Paul Douglas Newman used real events and real people to construct a narrative about one family in Cambria City through the perspective of a single woman for this original film, “We Are All In This Together.” His character, Kathleen (O’Creidy) Wissenschaft, led a typical family in Johnstown’s Cambria City, negotiating lockdowns, school and church closings, quarantines, social distancing, mask initiatives, vaccination attempts, and Red Cross volunteer efforts. The character is fictional, but the history is real.
The Johnstown Area Heritage Association allowed the use of the 1860 Wagner-Ritter House for the film’s set. Newman directed the film as part of a film team called Bob Cat Films, with Jason Bolinger as director of photography, and starring actor Kate Davis. The Tribune-Democrat recreated a historic newspaper for use as a prop.
Each of the film’s four episodes is around ten minutes long, and episodes will air weekly beginning on Thursday, April 22 as outlined below. Bob Cat will also make a single cut, 40-minute film for local release this summer as a public service, and will submit it to film festivals nationally in 2021-2022.
- Thurs., April 22 at 7:00 pm: The first episode of the “We Are All In This Together” film premieres (ITTC Facebook Page and YouTube channel); discussion with Paul Douglas Newman and others involved on the film at 7:30 pm (Zoom, ITTC Facebook Page).
- Thurs., April 29 at 7:00 pm: “We Are All In This Together,” second episode (ITTC Facebook Page and YouTube channel); discussion at 7:30 pm (Zoom, ITTC Facebook Page),
- Thurs., May 6 at 7:00 pm: “We Are All In This Together,” third episode (ITTC Facebook Page and YouTube channel); discussion at 7:30 pm (Zoom, ITTC Facebook Page).
- Thurs., May 13 at 7:00 pm: “We Are All In This Together,” fourth episode (ITTC Facebook Page and YouTube channel); discussion at 7:30 pm (Zoom, ITTC Facebook Page).
“Ten UPJ students read 10 months of Johnstown newspapers in 1918-1919 to learn more about the Spanish flu pandemic locally,” Paul Douglas Newman explained. “The messages authorities conveyed back then are really familiar to modern people contending with the coronavirus today: ‘believe science,’ ‘obey the regulations,’ ‘TEAMWORK will defeat the enemies!’ and of course, ‘we are all in this together.’”
“The historic parallels between the Spanish flu and the coronavirus pandemics are obvious, and striking,” said Jill Henning of In This Together Cambria. “The film, which was written and directed by Paul Douglas Newman, does a tremendous job of showing the human side of the pandemic while also presenting sound scientific information.”
The Zoom link is https://pitt.zoom.us/j/96156145654 ; Facebook Page, www.facebook.com/inthistogethercambria; YouTube, https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-mdZR2_0soiwIfZQIMxzMg .
The film is a project of the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown, with assistance from ITTC and The Tribune-Democrat.