It’s safe to say that not many documentary filmmakers got their start filming in Santa Clara. But Santa Clara resident Joe Goschy did just that. And, in the process, won non-profit CreaTV’s Citizen Journalist award for his film of the 2010 California Firefighter’s Olympics Road Cycling competition.
A native of Wisconsin, Goschy got his filmmaking start when he was in the 6th grade, making a video for the local 4H club. “I got exposed to movie-making and that seed was planted,” he says.
Despite a career in IT, Goschy retained his interest in media. Two years ago he joined the Emerging Artist’s San Jose Digital Filmmaking Group and worked as a production assistant on a children’s TV show.
Last May he invested in his own camera rig and made his first video. As his subject he chose his own neighborhood – a potluck street party celebrating the South of Forest neighborhood’s reassignment to Santa Clara’s 95050 zip code. Since then, Goschy has done musical performance films for the BACKLINE TV show, filming SmashMouth, Creedence Clearwater and Eddie Money.
But music is just one of Goschy’s interests. As a filmmaker, he has an eye for capturing the extraordinary in ordinary people. And because he produces, writes, and films all of his videos single-handedly, he’s free to follow wherever his muse leads.
Last summer this led him to the California Firefighter Olympics, an annual event hosted in 2010 by Santa Clara Firefighters. Even before he learned about the Firefighters Olympics, he says that he wanted to do a documentary about firefighters. “I admire their dedication and they’re in touch with life in a very real sense,” explains Goschy.
The annual athletic event was an opportunity to bring some visibility to both the people who take on the hazardous job of fighting fires, and the City of Santa Clara. “Firefighters told me that for several years there’s been no video coverage [of the event],” Goschy reports. “They were thrilled and it was a very positive experience for the city.”
Goschy shot non-stop for a week, later condensing his footage to six short films – surfing, road bicycling, bowling, stickball, and motocross. After an acquaintance forwarded an email about CreaTV’s awards, Goschy decided to enter his Firefighter Olympics films. The rest is, as they say, history.
Most recently, Goschy filmed a book talk by Santa Clara resident Mary Jo Ignoffo, author of “Captive of the Labyrinth: Sarah L. Winchester.” When asked what’s next for him, Goschy says that he’s just following his muse. But he’s certain about one thing: “Definitely more community service.”
ounded in 2008, CreaTV’s mission is providing the professional resources for managing, producing and distributing noncommercial, community-based media for San Jose’s public and educational access channels. Programs are available in San Jose on cable channels 15, 27, 28, and 30, as well as on the Internet at www.creatvsj.org.