Black Cloud is a documentary about trauma, hope, and Austin Travis-County EMS. With an unprecedented amount of access, filmmaker Christopher Kim has crafted a film about the emotional cost of saving lives - from the perspectives of the saviors and the saved.
You don't think about them until you need them.
For me, that was 2012 when I nearly lost my girlfriend at the time. Her heart stopped for ninety seconds, she was given five pints of blood. Many surgeries, two titanium rods, and a couple of years later, Alex is miraculously on her feet.
There are many healthcare professionals who led her down this road to recovery but the first line of defense were two paramedics - Jason and Amber. Without them, her life would be over. In a way, my life would’ve been over, too. Their quick, heroic actions are the reason Alex is alive today.
It was one of the greatest gifts we had ever been given when Alex and I got to meet Jason and Amber. I didn’t walk away from that experience knowing much more about them but there was an undeniable bond that can only be forged between people who have walked towards death’s door together.
I began to wonder, How do they do this? How do they see death and destruction with such frequency and come out the other end with their sanity? What does it feel like to save a life? How do they cope with this lifestyle? How does it affect their views of humanity? Are they cynical? Are they optimistic?
Upon further research, I realized a disturbing truth: no one talks about medics. Despite all they do, despite the unbelievable impact they have on our community, nobody talks about them. Having spent time with them now it's become clear that living the life of a medic can be trying. There are sacrifices and tolls.
I had so many questions. I'm sure you do, too.
This film is my way of answering them.
Black Cloud is currently in production.
All images copyright Christopher Kim. All rights reserved.
About the Filmmaker
Christopher Kim has years of experience in documentary filmmaking. His work on the nationally broadcast PBS series Arts in Context over the past three years has contributed to its enormous success - including two Lone Star Emmy wins for his videography.
Concurrently, Kim also co-created, directed, wrote, edited, and shot Hardly Sound, an acclaimed and beloved music documentary series that aired on PBS. Hardly Sound was honored with a Lone Star Emmy nomination for Best Arts Program in 2013.
He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.