Keeping up with the Jones

Our first shoot was on the Navajo Nation in Thoreau, NM, currently the site for a new Rail Line to be installed about 30 miles East of Gallup, NM. We arrived to film a railroad family of three brothers who worked for BNSF. Their father worked for Santa Fe, the oldest brother recently retired, and…

Buy New Suitcases

Meeting the union reps for the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way set the tone for our film. They explained what we simply didn’t understand in one short story:

Steel Gang #1 & Steel Gang #2

In each region of the United States, the most economically oppressed people performed track work. Poor White, Black, Navajo and Hispanic workers have always been hired on for track maintenance starting in the early 1900s. The turnover of personnel was a constant factor for railroad companies as certain groups endured the strenuous work better than…

The Team

Metal Road immediately assembled a production team: we needed to find a good producer, cinematographer, editor, a production assistant, and most importantly, a babysitter. Because we had a limited preproduction budget the crew really attached themselves to the subject matter of the film. The life of Navajo Railroaders was such a unique story. We were…

Officially Underway

The Metal Road film project officially began with funding from ITVS Diversity Development and Arizona Humanities. It could not have been started any other way. These two organizations supported us from the jump. And with this help we set about to learn more about Navajo railroaders and why we are not finding anything about them…

Crafting the i-doc

If the typical analog documentary is a linear story with a pre-ordained beginning, middle, and end, the multimedia documentary allows the user to “play” the story, navigating between ideas, people, and things in a non-linear matter.

ICYMI: Our 96 Hour Tour

There was the gentle knock at the door. Older brother quietly saying “Sis, I don’t want you to freak out but its 1:38AM.” Aaaaaah! In a panic I pack and on the road by 1:45AM. So much for waking up at 1AM to make coffee, quietly pack, and get on the road. Note to self:…

Turning film into an interactive experience

As we started this project, we were looking for answers to questions we did not know how to ask yet. Taking an existing film and turning it into an interactive experience that is both accessible and yet intriguing. Interaction between user and the content is in the foreground of taking film as a medium and…