“Fire in Paradise“, the Netflix documentary chronicling the recent (2018) Camp Fire in northern California that killed 85 people, was produced by Gary Kout, based in Ashland, OR. The film was directed by Drea Cooper and Zackary Canapari, for whom Gary has produced many commercial and documentary projects including the award-winning feature doc “T-Rex” and the acclaimed Netflix doc series “Flintown“.
Both Kout and Cooper have ties to the town of Paradise and surrounding communities, and as the aftermath of the fire was making headlines, the trio teamed up with Netflix and began working on the doc. Filming began on Thanksgiving Day, two weeks after the fire flattened Paradise, and continued for a month, followed by six months of editorial. While cutting the film, the filmmakers felt they were missing a “visceral feel of the fire,” according to Kout, as well as a few elements that tie directly into the stories of the interviewees. In order to create and film these fire elements, they looked for a location that was safe and accessible. Kout had previously filmed at the Jackson County Fire Training Center in White City, OR and had found it very film-friendly. It would also meet the safety requirements of Netflix.
Other Oregonians involved in the making of “Fire In Paradise” are DP Tyler Maddox, Phantom Tech Operator Chris Vanderschaaf, and Art Director Dave Marshall down in Southern Oregon, and the Portland-based special effects team of Kai Shelton and Carly Sertic. Jason Wynkoop of Ashland provided some post compositing and clean-up.