The Bottom Line

The Bottom Line (10 min.) is my documentary thesis film produced while at Towson University.


A meditative look at professional firefighting, the bonds of family and what really matters when everything is on the line, The Bottom Line follows Joshua Burchick, a career firefighter as he prepares for the birth of his first child.

Jess Hug

Produced over a four month period, the film changes aesthetics with its thematic material. Josh’s family life is observed with a soft-focused DSLR, while his work is presented in grainy, POV handycams.

The only criteria given for the assignment prevented the use of sit down on-camera interviews, so my workaround was to have the film told entirely in Josh’s introspective narration.


An official selection of the 2014 Bethesda Film Festival, The Bottom Line screened two evenings to sold out crowds. I was invited to sit on a Q&A panel of other filmmakers, who represented a wide range of aesthetic styles, subject matter, and experience level in terms of documentary filmmaking. I feel blessed to have been given this opportunity with my first film.

On the panel for the Bethesda Film Festival.
On the panel for the Bethesda Film Festival.



Bethesda Gazette

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is a freelance filmmaker and a lifelong student.

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