Austin-Based Filmmakers Announce An Open Call For COVID-19 Stories For ‘COVID Crusades’ Not-For-Profit Film Project

As we are in another month of quarantine in the United States, there are several stories within communities and cities of COVID-19 experiences. Some community and life stories have been heard but most have not considering the massive outbreak of the pandemic. Announced today, Austin-based writer and filmmaker Kirk Word and actor and filmmaker Sam Dillon are conducting an open call for interviews for their not-for-profit film project “COVID Crusades.” This is your time to tell your COVID-19 story as the filmmaking duo wants to hear from business owners, community leaders, and the general public who have compelling stories to tell about the pandemic in their lives and community.

“COVID Crusades” intends to examine the scope of Coronavirus in the United States by documenting the stories of those affected by the virus’ spread. It will inform, educate, and bring hope to the fight against the pandemic. To submit your story for consideration, please email

“With the recent spike in COVID-19 cases and the adversity it continues to cause local economies and our living conditions, we’ve decided to increase our production of content to provide more information and access,” said Kirk Word. “We’re going to be producing stories that personalize the effects of the pandemic in close to real-time on a local level. The stories are going to interpret what you see and hear through the various information sources and the actual effect it is having on people in your community.” 

“COVID Crusades” launched a fundraising campaign for the project via membership platform Patreon, where individuals and organizations can follow the filmmakers’ journey and watch exclusive content while contributing funds toward COVID-19 relief. The fundraising efforts can be found here on PATREON.

“We have streamlined our production costs to the bare minimum, some on the team are actually volunteering their time and skills,” said Word. “If our Patreon platform can help us keep the production going and use additional funds to help some people struggling through this pandemic, then we’ll consider it a success. Some people are already feeling the effects and need help now, hopefully those who are able to do so, will support our not-for-profit project. Regardless of which situation you’re in, we need everyone to spread the word about the ‘COVID Crusades,’ and know by doing that, you will be helping others.”

At the beginning of April, Word and Dillon embarked on a cross-country road trip with a camera and an RV. To date, they have visited cities in the West Coast and Mountain Basin that have been hit hardest by the pandemic such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle and Las Vegas. Soon they will embark on a trip to New Orleans and up the East Coast from Orlando to New York. The team will broadcast the journey across the COVID Crusades social platforms as well as offering exclusive content for contributing patrons.

Behind-the-scenes footage will include uncut interviews with people from across the country and from all walks of life, as well as discussions with the team chronicling their hopes, challenges, and process while making this series. The duo will also be producing a podcast covering a variety of pandemic-related topics, with interviews and stories from all parts of our society including medical, scientific, government, athletic, business, homeless, clergy, psychology, and other parts of our communities affected by this pandemic.

“We want those connecting with the journey to know that they are an extended part of our team and an active part of the solution to the pandemic,” said Sam Dillon. 

For those concerned with their safety precautions, Word and Dillon are aware of the risks they’re taking while on the road documenting the virus’s impact and safety is their primary concern. All necessary medical precautions are being taken to keep both the crew and communities they come in contact with safe from the virus during production. They will only travel to cities that they’re legally able to visit and film in and will adhere to local and statewide restrictions that they encounter.

For more information on the “COVID Crusades” see