Web Series Launching on the Station Fire
Acclaimed Rhode Island filmmaker David Bettencourt is trying a new approach to get as many people as possible to see the stories of the survivors, victims’ families and first responders involved in the Station Nightclub fire.
He’s featuring them in a web series on YouTube, which is scheduled to launch on February 20. That’s the tenth anniversary of the fire that resulted in the deaths of one hundred people after foam caught fire in a pyrotechnics display during a performance by the band Great White.
“I’m trying to tell a lot of different stories and put this topic in front of people so that they can’t ignore it,” Bettencourt says. “If one person watches one episode and looks for exit signs next time they go to a club and there’s an accident and people are able to get out, we’ve kind of done our job.”
The first episode will feature survivor Gina Russo. Each Wednesday after that, Bettencourt will release a new episode with recollections from other survivors, family members of victims, first responders and politicians. They range from five to ten minutes and while he has more material, he is starting out with seven episodes.
Here's the trailer:
Bettencourt is also hoping that releasing the stories as a series will encourage a lot of the people who have not agreed to speak with him—the band, Great White; the Derderians, the owners of the West Warwick club—to see what he’s trying to do.
“I’m hoping that they’ll see that I’m not trying to be Michael Moore, I’m not pointing fingers. I’m really just interested in telling the stories of the survivors and the victims’ families and the first responders so that people understand what happened that night,” he says.
The episodes are presented by Tyco International, an international company that specializes in fire safety. The company plans to have its nearly 69,000 employees watch the videos.
“They’re sharing it with all of their employees to help all them understand the importance of what they do globally,” Bettencourt says. “It’s not just about sprinklers and fire extinguishers, but it’s about training of staff. Businesses should have the proper fire alarm systems put in place so that these type of tragedies never happen again.”