May 12, 2011
Although Mike Rowe, creator and host of the Discovery Channel’s Dirty Jobs, has been testifying before Congress the week of May 8 on issues related to bringing strength back to American manufacturing and asking Congress to focus on creating jobs rebuilding America’s crumbling infrastructure, he still managed to create a video intro for the May 12 Baltimore premiere of The Tradesmen: Making an Art of Work, an 88-minute exploratory social documentary. (Click here to see a trailer of the documentary on You Tube.)
In the video, Rowe says: “When (director) Richard (Yeagley) first contacted me, I was thrilled to learn about the project…a real documentary about real people doing real work. Do you know how rare that is?”
He also mentions Baltimore being his home town, and there’s nothing he’d rather do than be in the theater “shoulder to shoulder with fellow Baltimorians” but duty calls.
The film portrays the real life work, idiosyncrasies, and personal convictions of a multitude of working professionals, including two plumbers, two painters, a stone/brick mason, several carpenters, two auto mechanics, and numerous other craftsmen.
The film recognizes the essential contributions that these tradesmen provide, and shows only a few of the many challenges they face and the problems they solve in their everyday work.
Their stories are combined with academic analysis of the socioeconomic, intellectual, and philosophical aspects of modern trade work.
In a recent EG conference in Monterey, Calif., Baltimore native Rowe discusses the value and innovation found in today’s trade work, which is sometimes overlooked in the contemporary high-tech society.