On The Job

From hijinks and camaraderie to danger and death, On The Job explores the more human elements of firefighting from the perspective of four firefighters.

Creative team

Writer/director: Mike Onley
Producer: Andrew Newton

Filmmaker’s statement

Making this film was very important to me not only because I think the subject matter itself deserves some recognition, but also because the people we interviewed are all personal friends and family.

My father and grandfather, Wayne and Fred Onley, make up half of the cast. I grew up around firefighters, hearing the stories and smelling the smoke on my dad when he would come home from a shift.

I was always aware of how passionate my family was about firefighting and, as I got older, two of my good friends, Ryan Kennedy and Kevin Katchanoski, decided to chose firefighting as a career.

I am often asked why I didn’t chose to go down the same path as my father, and his father before him. The honest answer is that I don’t share their passion for firefighting, although I am humbled and intrigued by it. I do, however, feel passionately about storytelling – and this film serves to connect the two worlds of firefighting and filmmaking that exist within my family.

About Mike Onley

Mike Onley

Mike Onley is a writer/director also trained in camera and lighting. He often employs his understanding of cinematography to create a unique and cinematic aesthetic.

His background in comedy writing is evident in the subtle charm and levity present even in his more sensitive and dramatic projects.


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