Mountain Fire Personnel
A documentary film by Alex Tyson

The full cut is now on Vimeo and YouTube:

"Making use of found footage from various sources, from newsreels to corporate advertisements and amateur videos, Mountain Fire Personnel deals with the accumulation and circulation of moving images in the digital era, while it attempts to build a narrative out of these fragmentary elements. In doing so, the film echoes our very contemporary ways of dealing and navigating across multiple sources of image access and information channels."

- Visions Du Reel / Winner of the Prix du Jury La Mobilière


Mountain Fire Personnel is an experimental documentary that explores a wild fire spanning 27,000 acres in Southern California. The film surveys the response from firefighters and State Prisoners by using over 30 sources of amateur footage, internet media and professional camerawork.

Read a discussion about the film with filmmaker Alex Tyson and curator Herb Shellenberger on VDROME.ORG

Directed, Produced & Edited by Alex Tyson
Music by Troy Herion / Jeff Witscher (Rene Hell)
Associate Producer: Herb Shellenberger
Cinematography by Alex Tyson
A Syntax Error Group Film


29 minutes
1080p HD Video, 24fps, 4:3
Stereo, 2.1 / 5.1 Surround Sound
Exhibition formats: DCP, BluRay, HD Quicktime
Native language: English
Available subtitles: French, Spanish, Arabic


MoMA Documentary Fortnight 2016 - NYC, NY
Museum of Modern Art
Feb 20 - Feb 21, 2016

فیلم شناخت Cinema Verite - Tehran, Iran
Iran International Documentary Film Festival
Dec 13 - Dec 19, 2015

Vdrome - Online Premiere
Limited screening with discussion led by Herb Shellenberger
Oct 27 - Nov 10 2015

AEMI - Irish Film Institute, Dublin, IRE
April 13, 2016
Collectivism II, screening alongside Kelly Gallagher, Shinkan Tamaki, Rei Hayama, Ana Vaz

GFFIS - Seoul, Korea
May 2016

Trento IFF - Trento, Italy
May 6, 2016

Squamuglia - Los Angeles, CA USA
May 26th 2015
Screening alongside films by Julika Rudelius

Malmö Art Academy - Malmö, Sweden
Screening with discussion led by Lily Benson

Docville 11 - Leuven, Belgium
Official selection / Belgian Premiere
Tues 5/5/2015 18:00 International Shorts Program
Saturday 5/9/2015 17:00 International Shorts Program

International House - Philadelphia, PA USA
Earth Day: Mass Movement to Mass Extinction
Films by Peter Hutton, Leonard Henny, Anna Geyer, Vanessa Renwick, Alex Tyson
Thursday 4/23/2015 7:00PM

Visions Du Réel International Film Festival - Nyon, Switzerland
Official selection / International Premiere
Saturday 4/18/2015 22:00 Capitol Leone Theatre
Sunday 4/19/2015 12:00 Capitol Fellini

Press Images

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Director, Producer, Cinematographer, Editor
Alex Tyson (b. 1985) is an American film director and artist based in Los Angeles, CA. He has produced projects at The Philadelphia Museum of Art, The Whitney Museum of American Art, MoMA, SFMOMA, MOCA and The Sao Paulo Museum of Modern Art. His first documentary film, Mountain Fire Personnel, was awarded the Prix du Jury La Mobilière for the most innovative film at Visions du Réel (2015) and screened at MoMA Documentary Fortnight (2016). He works as a film editor, sound designer and director specializing in documentary films. [photo: JPG]

Troy Herion is a composer and filmmaker working in chamber and orchestral music, opera, theater, and film. His work, New York: A City Symphony for film and orchestra premiered in Carnegie Hall. Baroque Suite, an experimental visual-music film created with Alex Tyson screened at festivals, on MTV, and was called “marvelous” by New Yorker critic Alex Ross. Troy is also founder of Squash Team, a composer collective based in New York City.

Jeff Witscher (Rene Hell) is an American noise musician and composer who has been active under many pseudonyms since the early 2000s. He has received critical acclaim for experimental synth albums Porcelain Opera and The Terminal Symphony (Type Records), and a 2012 split release with Oneohtrix Point Never (NNA Tapes). His latest LP, Vanilla Call Option is available on PAN.

Associate Producer
Herb Shellenberger is a film and video curator currently based in London. He has presented programs at Light Industry (Brooklyn, NY), Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (San Francisco, CA), Molodist International Film Festival (Kiev, Ukraine), IZOLYATSIA Platform for Cultural Initiatives (Donetsk, Ukraine), and International House Philadelphia. He is currently studying in the MRes Art: Moving Image program, a graduate research program focusing on experimental film and artists’ moving image run by Central Saint Martins and LUX.



Mountain Fire Personnel
Directed, Produced & Edited by Alex Tyson

Alex Tyson, John Martin, San Bernardino County Fire Dept., Jack Peckham, Idyllwild Fire Protection District, John Mcdonough, Corene Buck, Jon Bernard, Mike Cirrus, Heidi Cronshagen, Ray Vreeland, Hans-Werner Braun, Brett Houston, Jeff Carter, Donald Put, Philip D. Poulsen Jr., Frazier Drake, Nicholas Mitchell, Chad Mills, Earl ElPerfecto, Bill Gould /, Kenny Hassan Irwin, / Microwave Show

Herb Shellenberger

Troy Herion: Music for the Radio, performed by Crash Ensemble
Jeff Witscher: Excerpts from Rene Hell / Meclu & buf. value
Alex Tyson, Electronics

Excerpts from Building On A Dream; courtesy of and copyright © 2002 Palm Springs Aerial Tramway
Images created using the ESA and NASA funded Helioviewer Project, NOAA Satellite Services, HPWREN, San Diego SuperComputer Center, Google Earth

California State Prisoners, CalFire, Arrowhead Hotshots, Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, Jesse & Justin Moynihan, Danielle Davis, Tom Carroll, Kyle Roper, Nicholas Kalikow, Robert Aikens, Matthew Sanchez, Josh Fox, Brent Kiser, Emily Eddey, Jared Dyer, Dorothy Dubrule

Legal services provided by New Media Rights. Additional counsel provided by Donaldson + Callif, LLP.

© 2015 Syntax Error Group, LLC