Manny P. here…
My good friend Tim Keenan, the Operations Director at Creative Media, has made us aware through a posting on LinkedIn about an important documentary just released. Citing the Media Alliance of Orange County, The Brick People recently debuted. This thoughtful effort was produced by Orange County’s Art Kirsch of SoCalShowbiz dot com. According to the MAOC:
The Brick People, a documentary eight years in the making, is based on the eloquent writings of Alejandro Morales, a professor of Latino Studies at UC Irvine. It tells the story of the people of the company town that housed the workers of Simons Brickyard No.3, and it existed from 1905 to 1955 (now part of Commerce / Montebello, CA).
The Brick People offers the historical narrative of what makes America great. The unique film is about immigrants who came here, worked hard, and made us a stronger country. During this time, the Simons brothers had roughly seven yards in the Los Angeles area, and they made the finest bricks in the world in the first half of the 20th Century; material still found in buildings and walkways all over the world.
The short form documentary premiered at an Irvine movie theater on October 2nd to a full house. Subsequent screenings were held at UCI, the 2012 Latino Book & Family Festival, Occidental College in Eagle Rock, and the Montebello Library for two capacity audiences, and a third screening for some 35 people who waited for up to four hours.
A Kickstarter campaign was used to raise funds to secure rights to photos and archival footage, develop a soundtrack, and finish some post-production. Art and his team are working on Part Two, tracing the descendants of Simons, estimated to exceed 30,000 people. Kirsch is also working on several distribution deals, and creating a television series based on the book in the style of Little House on the Prairie.
I recently moderated a panel with Kirsch and Morales at the Latino Book Fest, who vividly described this wonderful tale of courage; a Hollywood-and-Vine moment, when Americana crosses into the movie business. I urge you see The Brick People to learn about a rich time in Southern California’s history.
Until next time> “never forget”