Working the Boats: Masters of the Craft
Working the Boats: Masters of the Craft, a six webisode documentary series, captures the golden years of Local 1329 of the I.L.A. (the International Longshoremen’s Association) in the voices of those who built it and from the community they supported. Founded in Providence, Rhode Island in 1933 by Manuel Q. Ledo, a Cape Verdean community leader, Local 1329 of the I.L.A. (the International Longshoremen’s Association) was the first predominantly Cape Verdean labor union in New England.
“Masters of the Craft” refers to the men in charge of the gangs that unloaded and loaded cargo in the ports of Providence. It was a job that demanded great skill: it was a major mark of distinction to rise through the ranks and become a walking foreman, or “Master of the Craft.” Local 1329 was the “table that fed the community”: it was a way of life, not a job, and the economic lifeline for three generations of Cape Verdean men from Fox Point who worked the boats in the ports of Providence.
The l940s to early l970s was a booming period for the waterfront. Providence, Rhode Island was one of the busiest ports on the eastern seaboard, with scrap iron and loose lumber being two of the biggest cargos coming into the Port of Providence. “Working the Boats” was the economic lifeline for the Cape Verdean community in the Fox Point sectcion of Providence, RI, providing jobs and security for between 200 to 250 Local 1329 members and their families. Jobs were passed down from father to son, and new members learned their “craft” on the job from their fathers, brothers, cousins, neighbors and extended family.
The horsing around, pranks, fights, tragedies and stories about the old country, Cape Verdean mariners and whalers became the lore of the waterfront that was shared over meal breaks or the long bus rides back and forth to the ports further down Narragansett Bay at Davisville, Quonset, Portsmouth, or Melville. The webisode brings the story to the present, as modernization, cranes, generational tensions and changing demographics are distancing Local 1329 from the traditions and lifestyle that sustained a community.
This webisode is the second in a trilogy of documentaries about the Cape Verdean community in the Fox Point. “Some Kind of Funny Porto Rican?”: A Cape Verdean American Story, the first in the trilogy, is the story of the community and the untold tragedy and scandal of what happened when the Cape Verdeans were forcibly displaced by urban renewal to make way for fancy coffee shops, antique stores and elegantly restored houses.
Working the Boats: Masters of the Craft WEBISODE.
(Each segment is @ ten minutes)
1) Fox Point Community – This segment talks about the relationship between the workers of Local 1329 and the community.
2) Craft – This segment explores the skills required to work on the waterfront and how the work has changed over the years.
3) Dangers – The waterfront is a dangerous place. Many of the interviewees talk about the injuries they have suffered and the accidents they’ve witnessed in this segment.
4) Generations – Several generations of families have made their lives on the waterfront. With each generation, new challenges arise and conflicts between the new and the old emerge.
5) Union – Safety, proper compensation, seniority and many other benefits the workers of the waterfront now enjoy were fought for by the previous generations through the union. The workers contemplate the future and wonder who will take on the fight now that many of them are on the verge of retirement.
6) The Women – The longshoremen’s wives and daughters talk about their life and role within the community at the waterfront.
Dear Friends, We are pleased to announce that we have reached our $10,000 goal: $8,505 in online donations and $1,495 direct mailed/special event donations. Many of you have donated more than once, and we appreciate your faith, support and encouragement for the long haul as well as this final campaign that helped us cross the finish line for this documentary webisode This campaign has provided us with working capital that allowed us to move forward and work on the episodes. The special screenings of each completed episode has brought much joy to and positive feedback that is encouraging and uplifting .
Visit our website www.spiamedia.com for updates, subsequent screenings and broadcast of the webisode.
Donors will receive a credit on the webisode.
The research and support for Working the Boats: Masters of the Craft documentary project is part of the work the Fox Point Cape Verdean Project (FPVCP), a community based research initiative comprised of volunteers from the former Fox Point Cape Verdean community. Since 2007 the FPCVP has worked to preserve, document and create a sustainable legacy of the history, culture and traditions of the Fox Point Cape Verdean community.
Our core Working the Boats: Masters of the Craft production crew.
Principal photography for Working the Boats: Masters of the Craft and the other two documentary in the Fox Point Cape Verdean documentary trilogy are shot by award-winning cinematographer Boyd Estus. www.heliotropestudios.com/
Acclaimed photographer/filmmaker Liane Brandon shot the formal portraits that feature members of Local 1329 longshoremen, their families and descendants interviewed for “Working the Boats: Masters of the Craft .” The portraits were photographed at the same time in a studio set up at the back of the Cape Verdean Progressive Center in East Providence where we were shooting the interviews. www.lianebrandon.com
The goal of both the documentary and photo exhibit is to create a sustainable legacy about the Cape Verdean community in Fox Point and their contributions to the history and patrimony of the State of Rhode Island. Masters of the Craft: Gallery of Memory is a stand-alone museum quality traveling photography exhibition .
EXECUTIVE/SUPVERVISING ONLINE POST-PRODUCTION
Production Manager for Disney ABC Television Group’s Communication . He oversees communication’s production and post production for several intel groups.
EXECUTIVE/SUPVERISING LEAD EDITOR
Rachel is the Senior Broadband Editor for A+E Networks Digital Media. Her credits include narrative and documentary feature work, advertising and PSA projects, and a multitude of digital shorts. She recently locked picture on CAPTURE, a feature film from the Executive Producer of THE WALKING DEAD.
OMAR J. CRUZ RUBIO
EDITOR & GRAPHIC/WEB DESIGNER
Omar is a freelance editor, motion graphics artist and web developer
EXECUTIVE/SUPVERISING POST-PRODUCTION SOUND DESIGNER
Audio Engineer: sound design and mixing, re-mixing
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, CENTER FOR INDEPENDENT DOCUMENTARY, FISCAL AGENT FOR SPIA PRODUCTIONS SINCE l986
Center for Independent Documentary was founded in 1981 to collaborate with independent producers to create films and videos on issues of contemporary social and cultural concern. These programs have been broadcast nationally and locally on public and cable television, won numerous awards, and are in distribution to educational markets worldwide.
BOYD ESTUS, DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY- PRINCIPAL PHOTOGRAPHY
WORKING THE BOATS: MASTERS OF THE CRAFT
“SOME KIND OF FUNNY PORTO RICAN?:” A Cape Verdean American Story(2006)
SPIRIT OF CAPE VERDE(l986)
Boyd Estus is a motion picture Director of Photography and Producer/Director whose credits include the Academy Award winning The Flight of the Gossamer Condor and the Academy Award nominee Eight Minutes to Midnight as well as many Emmy winning television productions. He is noted for his elegant work in 35mm, Super-16mm and 16mm film, and in high definition, standard, and digital video. He has shot and/or directed a wide range of material from feature films to cinema verité documentaries on locations around the world. heliotropestudios.com
FRANCIS COAKLEY, Sound Recordist
WORKING THE BOATS: MASTERS OF THE CRAFT
LIANE BRANDON: PHOTOGRAPHER
MASTERS OF THE CRAFT: GALLERY OF MEMORY
Liane Brandon is an award winning independent filmmaker, a photographer and Professor Emeritus at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. She was one of the first independent women filmmakers to emerge from Massachusetts in the early 70’s. During that time, she was also a member of Bread and Roses, one of the first women’s liberation groups in Boston. She is a co-founder of New Day Films, the cooperative that has pioneered in the distribution of independent social issue films.
Her classic films include Anything You Want To Be, Betty Tells Her Story, Once Upon A Choice, and How To Prevent A Nuclear War. These films have won numerous awards and have been featured on Home Box Office, The Learning Channel, USA Cable and Cinemax. www.lianebrandon.com
SHAUN CLARKE, DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY , 2nd UNIT
WORKING THE BOATS: MASTERS OF THE CRAFT
Shaun Clarke is a filmmaker based in Boston, MA. He graduated from the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University, with a B.F.A. in Film & Television production, and received an M.F.A. in Media Art from Emerson College in May 2012. He also studied cinematography at the internationally acclaimed FAMU school in Prague, Czech Republic.
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