“American Made Movie,” a film about the state of American manufacturing and community business, will make a stop on its 32-city tour at the Hippodrome Cinema on Aug. 4 at 7pm.
“American Made Movie” is a film about how manufacturing and business affect people and their communities on a personal level. People have a choice in the kinds of products they buy, and those choices affect the economy on a local, and all the way up to a global, level.
The film was co-produced and co-directed by Nathaniel McGil and University of Florida graduate Vincent Vittorio, who spent his undergraduate years studying journalism and English.
“I loved my time at UF,” Vittorio said. “When we were planning the tour, we were going from Jacksonville to Atlanta and we’re like, well, we can’t do that without stopping in Gainesville. I definitely want to take a picture of the bus in front of Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.”
The message of the film, Vittorio said, is very positive: American manufacturing will never be what it once was, but “American Made” looks at what’s important to people and what kind of change people are making every day.
Each company featured in the film, which includes New Balance and smaller companies like Annin Flagmakers and Viking Range Corp., provides a look at a facet of American business and manufacturing—the connection to the community, for example, and what it’s like to be a small business owner.
“Manufacturing isn’t normally seen as something to connect to on a personal level every day,” Vittorio said. “People don’t think to look at the labels on what they buy. But we show it’s really personal on a global, community, state and national level.”
Production on the film took about a year and a half. Vittorio said that they usually take more time for research, but the production team “jumped head-first and got to know all of the companies’ stories.”
Vittorio’s production company, Life is My Movie Entertainment, primarily focuses on documentaries with apolitical, balanced viewpoints. Originally from north of Atlanta, the company just opened a Los Angeles office, which Vittorio runs.
Independent film can be expensive, though, costing tens of thousands of dollars. Summer blockbusters try to reach as many people as possible to recoup that cost, but documentaries aren’t generally seen in the same light, in terms of audience appeal.
Vittorio said that it’s hard to put a number on the actual cost of producing a documentary like “American Made Movie, because of the amount of projects that the company has going on. It’s not the sort of business with any kind of itemized breakdown.
“We just describe it as a low-budget documentary,” he said.
Still, he says, documentaries tend to have staying power. “Look at ‘The Corporation,’” he says. “It’s from way back and still looked at to identify the relationship between corporations and the country. ‘Food Inc.’ has changed how people eat.”
Vittorio hopes that people come away with a better understanding of the national economy and how they can have an impact on it.
“If I’m in California and I want to buy an avocado, then obviously I can buy an avocado from someplace like Costa Rica,” he said, “or I can buy one from California. If we can all just take a look in our own backyards and see what’s important to our country, we all have the ability to do that.”