Monday, May 08, 2017

Richard E. Ocejo's "Masters of Craft," the mini-series

Featured at My Book, The Movie: Masters of Craft: Old Jobs in the New Urban Economy by Richard E. Ocejo.

The entry begins:
While my book is about people working in fun jobs, it would be rather difficult to turn it into a single movie, but it’d make a great television mini-series. My book looks at the transformation of traditionally low-status manual labor jobs into “cool” taste-making occupations that many young people want to do as careers. I studied cocktail bartenders, craft distillers, upscale men’s barbers, and whole-animal butchers. I divide the book into two parts, each with four chapters. In Part I, I devote a chapter to each of these jobs, describing their history and renaissance. In Part II, I bring them all together in each chapter, based on particular themes: how these people pursue these jobs, how they apply a sense of craft to their work, how they teach taste to their consumers, and how their work constitutes a performance. So we’d have to break up the people and action in Part II and combine them into the chapters in Part I.

Episode 1 would be about the cocktail bartenders. Costume and set designers will have fun with this one. Most of the people I studied wear fancy attire (think Boardwalk Empire) and the bars often model themselves on swanky speakeasies (again, think Boardwalk Empire). I like “day in the life” stories, so it’d focus on a Saturday night: the prep, the growing crowd, the busy period, and the comedown. A busy bar provides plenty of drama. I can see Robert Altman-style filmmakers having fun with it.

Episode 2 would be about the craft distillers. For them, I think it would be cool to show...[read on]
Learn more about Masters of Craft at the Princeton University Press website.

The Page 99 Test: Upscaling Downtown.

My Book, The Movie: Masters of Craft.

--Marshal Zeringue