Made In America birthed out of my personal friendship to both Fr. Paul Abernathy and Robert Garrett. A videographer by trade, in 2014 I was hired to document the organization of Fr. Paul, and was deeply moved by his work to address trauma in inner city Pittsburgh. Coupling that inspiration with my respect and admiration for my godfather– Robert Garrett, Made In America was born. I lived with Joe Roden, a young friend and mentee of Roberts, for 4 months at the Recovery Ranch. I had tragically lost a close friend and needed healing of my own. Joe and I began healing together. We started filming. The story grew.
The tone of the piece grew out of my personal relationships with the people I was documenting. My hope for the audience is that they feel their own connection to those in the film: Joe and Brandon, Art and Vicki. It is easy to see our suffering neighbors and right them off as having made poor choices. But if we look and see them for who they are: their pain, their past, and the progress they are making, we might suddenly find ourselves connected to them. That’s the story of Made In America. Look and see.