Documentary for 1 October survivors closer to completion


Fundraising began at the end of 2017 for the film,  “When Prayers Aren’t Enough.” It’s a documentary made by survivors, for survivors, sharing the stories of people affected by the mass shooting on October 1, 2017.

8 News Now first interviewed the film’s director, and 1 October survivor, Jenna Cook, early this year. For Cook and her team, it’s been a year of fundraising, traveling across the country, and interviewing those affected by the tragedy.

Saturday night, she and her team revisited the concert grounds, gathering footage for their film, just hours after interviewing survivors and emergency responders in Las Vegas.

“Where did you run to?” Matt McClelland, the film’s co-director, asked Cook. 

“I went here,” recalled Cook as she gestured to a spot on Giles Street. “I was doing triage.”

After months of collecting footage, the film, created by the California-based survivor, is finally coming to life.

 “They went home to communities who just don’t understand and after it’s out of the headlines, it’s forgotten,” explained Cook of her fellow survivors.

Through film, Cook and her team give a platform to survivors, first responders, and experts on all sides of the political spectrum and gun control debate.

“If you tackle it from one side of the issue, then you’re just alienating one side of the audience,” explained McClelland.

McClelland wasn’t at the Route 91 festival. Now, as he co-directs the film and listens to dozens of stories, he feels like any normal outsider fully getting a glimpse of the tragedy.

“You feel so disconnected when you see it on the news, but when you really sit down with someone and they tell you their story…it completely changed everything for me,” expressed McClelland.

It’s that same impact Cook and her team hope to have on the world with the documentary—showing the true aftermath of tragedy.

“When 22,000 people all go back into the world after they suffer the same traumatic event, it’s really kind of unprecedented, said McClelland.

“You get an interview with somebody and they’re calm, cool, and collected. They’re happy,” shared Cook. “The next time you visit them, something hit them very hard and they are just back at square one.”

The team hopes their film reminds society that the conversation needs to continue.

“It’s not just a one night, one news line, it’s an ongoing event for all of these people,” said Cook of the 1 October tragedy and all other mass shootings in the country.

Cook and her team hope to finish up interviews by early next year,  then premiere the film at festivals at the end of 2019. If you’d like to help with fundraising you can visit their GoFundMe page here:


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