Film captures story of Boilermakers

Boilermakers pose during re-enactment of a riveting scene for a new film. L. to r., Jack Dufur, Local 101; Nick Demaria, Local 83; John Standish, lead instructor with the Boilermakers National Apprenticeship Program; Joseph Fross, Local 101; and Brent Hendrix, Local 101. All but Standish are fourth-year apprentices.

Apprentices become “actors” for riveting scene

A NEW FILM being developed by the Boilermaker History Preservation Department (BHPD) will help tell the story of Boilermakers past and present. Produced by Wide Awake Films, the documentary-style video includes live footage as well as still images, narration, and music.

On December 16, 2009, a film crew traveled to the Boilermakers’ national training center in Kansas City, Kan., where they shot a segment depicting old-time Boilermakers riveting steel plates. John Standish, lead instructor for the Boilermakers National Apprenticeship Program, played the role of foreman while four, fourth-year apprentices played a work crew. The apprentices heated rivets, inserted them into pre-drilled holes, and secured them with a pneumatic hammer.

The scene was shot inside an open storage tank located in the rigging yard. All the players wore period garb from the 1930s. The apprentices, who were attending classes at the training center at the time the scene was filmed, included Local 101 (Denver) members Jack Dufur, Joseph Fross, and Brent Hendrix, and Local 83 (Kansas City, Mo.) member Nick Demaria.

The rivet hammer, bucking bar, and other equipment used in the scene came from the Boilermaker Archives.

After the outdoor shoot, the film crew captured modern-day apprentices performing various tasks inside the shop building.

Charles A. Jones, Director of the BHPD, said the 20-minute film will depict Boilermakers from both construction and industry sectors. “The main purpose of the film is to explain what a Boilermaker is and what Boilermakers do,” said Jones. “We are an elite trade, and our members deserve recognition for their work.”

When completed, the film will be available for public viewing at International headquarters, in the exhibit area of the national archives on the fifth floor. Jones said the film will have multiple uses — as an educational video, as well as a marketing and recruitment tool. “We own the rights to it, so we’ll also be able to adapt it to future needs,” he said.

Wide Awake Films is an award-winning company that has produced Civil War and other military documentaries that have been televised on National Geographic and PBS.