'On Fire,' movie inspired by actual events, pays tribute to first responders battling wildfires

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Tuesday, September 26, 2023
'On Fire,' inspired by actual events, honors first responders
The new film 'On Fire,' which is inspired by actual events, pays tribute to first responders who battle wildfires in real life.

The new movie, "On Fire," is inspired by true events. It focuses on one family trapped by wildfires burning all around them.

During the actors' strike, the film got a SAG-AFTRA interim agreement, allowing actor and co-director Peter Facinelli to talk about it.

In "On Fire," Facinelli plays a husband and a father trying to get to his family in the midst of danger. Authorities tell him the road is closed and he can't go through. In the film, he figures out a way to get to his family but getting them all to safety is a whole other story.

Facinelli said the movie is meant to be entertaining and suspenseful. It's also meant to pay tribute to real-life first responders.

"It celebrates firefighters. It celebrates 911 responders and gets to show you a little bit of, like, what they go through in a night like this," he said. "The dad's just doing the best he can. He's just trying to get his family through this and a lot of times, the wife is the hero and sometimes, the son is the hero and sometimes, he's the hero. And they push each other."

"On Fire" is a low-budget movie. It was made, basically, without fire.

"It's a lot of, like, green screen acting, like imagining that you're running from a fire that's burning down, even though it's not really burning. Imagining that, you know, I'm seeing embers in the air and that kind of stuff. You just have to commit 100%. Otherwise, you know, it feels and looks bad," said Facinelli.

In the midst of filming, Facinelli had to put out a different kind of fire when director Nick Lyon got COVID.

"We were too far out to sea to go back to the port. So we had to keep going," he said. "And to Nick's credit, I felt like he felt like I understood what we were trying to make enough to pass the torch and say, 'Hey, finish this up.'"

He did. And they became co-directors.

"On Fire" is in theaters Friday.