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ivoh | January 17, 2018

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One year after bombings, #WeWillRun video highlights perseverance of Boston marathoners

One year after bombings, #WeWillRun video highlights perseverance of Boston marathoners

(Screengrab of the #WeWillRun video.)

As the one year anniversary of the Boston bombings approaches, some media makers are looking for ways to highlight the resilience of the city and those affected by the tragedy.

WBUR has been publishing Boston Marathon reflections featuring the voices of first responders, survivors and others who were at the finish line. The Boston Globe, meanwhile, has been interviewing people hurt by the bombings to see how they’re doing now and whether they plan to attend this year’s marathon. Jarrod Clowery, who suffered severe burns from the bombings, told the Globe: “I grew up north of Boston. Boston’s my city, so I’m not afraid. … I’m not going to live in fear.”

That sense of fearlessness is at the heart of a new video, “#WeWillRun,” which has gained widespread attention this week. The video, which was shot in just 24 hours and edited over a three-day period, focuses on Boston residents’ perseverance.

“This is not a shoe commercial. It’s not a clothing commercial either,” the film’s narrator, Ritch DiMare, says. “It’s a story about a city, a city that was built by rebels — people not afraid to fight for their freedom. It’s in our fabric, our founding. Around here, winning’s expected. When times get tough, we persevere … We keep moving no matter what life throws at us. This is our city. We will run.”

Photographer, director and filmmaker J.J. Miller, who created the video, said he originally co-wrote the script for a commercial client, who ended up not pursuing it.

In a phone interview with Images & Voices of Hope, Miller said: “It was sitting on my desk and I was staring at it and thought, ‘this could be something special.'” He considered creating the video with his own money, for non-commercial purposes. “I showed the script to a few people, and everyone who saw it, said, ‘You have to do it. The people of Boston will love it; it’s what the city needs.’”

Thanks to friends who volunteered to appear in the video and help create it, Miller pursued the project. He hopes it will give Boston Marathon runners some added inspiration in their last few weeks of training.

He also wants it to be a reminder “that we are all going to come together as a city. If you’re running, cheering, supporting, it’s going to be the same tradition we’ve always had. We’re going to make it a bigger celebration and not let [the tragedy] affect the event.”

Since it was released on Monday, #WeWillRun has accumulated more than 70,000 views on Vimeo and more than 5,000 views on YouTube.

You can watch the video here:

(Disclosure: The writer of this piece went to high school with Miller.)