A short film about the Homestead Strike


"An orange flare envelops Carey, sending him yards away from the furnace"-pg. 1 of Steel Town

"I've never seen you here before. What's your name?"-Martin O'Donnell, pg. 9 of Steel Town

"Rifles poke out of the barge windows in rapid succession."-pg. 18 of Steel Town

Storyboards coming soon!


Nick Hurt www.nicolashurt.com Writer | Director | Producer Nick has produced multiple independent short films, including The Perils of Growing Up Flat-Chested, an official selection of the Palm Springs International ShortFest and winner of the 2012 Steeltown Film Factory competition, as well as First Kiss, an official selection of the 2012 HollyShorts Film Festival. Nick has a BS in Business Administration from Carnegie Mellon University and leaps at the chance to produce any film that tells a meaningful story.

Yulin Kuang www.yulinkuang.com Writer | Producer Yulin, a recent alum of Carnegie Mellon University's writing and film program, has written, directed, and produced a number of award-winning short films and webseries with university funding and external production grants. Her senior thesis film, First Kiss was a finalist short at the 2012 Hollyshorts Film Festival. Her first film following graduation, The Perils of Growing Up Flat-Chested was the first place winner of the Ellen Kander Weiss production grant from the Steeltown Film Factory screenwriting competition, and is currently starting its festival circuit at the Palm Springs International ShortFest.

Dan Vetanovetz Producer Dan has worked in the worlds of both film and local politics since graduating from the University of Pittsburgh in 2008. He has worked primarily as Gaffer on projects such as Yulin Kuang's The Perils of Growing Up Flat Chested, Andrew Batista's The Commute and Andy Keleman's Letter Die: A Gamut Sibling Mystery. He has worked extensively in the Pittsburgh freelance set electrician scene for clients such as New Perspective and KDKA. Most recently, he managed Dan Gilman's winning primary campaign for city council. His experience listening to life stories of community members on the campaign trail has made him a strong believer in the inheritance of working America, and its rich history in Pittsburgh. He hopes to bring together the working attitude of crew members and the dedication of campaign workers on this project.

Director's Statement

The Homestead Strike happened 120 years ago. Why tell the story now?

This story of charismatic leaders and ruthless capitalism holds a certain relevance to key issues of wealth and organized labor that our nation faces today. This work will address issues of workers' welfare, labor rights, and economic equality that hold a special importance in the wake of the recent Occupy Movement and the empowering of the "Ninety-Nine Percent". One-hundred and twenty years after the Homestead Strike, the context of organized labor debates has changed, but the underlying message of workers' rights remains the same.

The inspiration for this film stems from an appreciation for the strength of character of individuals on both sides of the conflict, including the rags-to-riches robber barons of the Gilded Age, like Andrew Carnegie and Henry Clay Frick, and the blue-collar champions of the workers, like strike leader Hugh O'Donnell. I wish to remind audiences of the heroism embedded in the nameless Pittsburgh steelworkers whose backbreaking work shaped our country westward and skyward. This work will aim to shed light on both sides of the conflict. By presenting the story as a dramatic film with high production quality, I aim to prompt an important dialogue on the relationship between capital and labor in the context of past tragedies and triumphs.

Why a short film?

Film is the most effective medium to tell the story of the Homestead Strike to a generation of younger students and Pittsburgh residents. Producing the film as a dramatic narrative rather than a documentary will allow us to convey the energy and passion of the time period and connect with our audience on an emotional level.


Set in Homestead, PA in 1892, Hugh O'Donnell struggles to maintain order among fellow steelworkers as wages are cut and working conditions decline under the ruthless management of Henry Clay Frick. Mounting tensions forebode a brutal workers' strike, but O'Donnell is determined to find a peaceful solution to this historic clash between capital and labor.



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In an effort to document what organized labor looks like today in Pittsburgh, we asked participants in the Labor Day Parade what Labor Day meant to them.

IATSE Local No.3 Stagehands 127 Years Old

Pittsburgh Theatrical Protective Assembly, Local No.3
Written By Brother Will Dennis

Pittsburgh, the birthplace of the American trade union movement gave birth to many of the nation's union organizations. Among these pioneer labor organizations was the Pittsburgh Theatrical Protective Assembly. Later, to be called; Local #3, of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage *Employes, Motion Picture Technicians, Artists and Allied Crafts of the United States, its Territories and Canada, A.F.L.-C.I.O., C.L.C. During these early days Pittsburgh's theaters were the Grand, Alvin, Nixon, Gayety, Barry, Duquesne, and Carnegie Music Hall to name a few.

The legacy of the Pittsburgh Theatrical Protective Assembly, Local #3, of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Motion Picture Technicians, Artists and Allied Crafts of the United States, its Territories and Canada, A.F.L.-C.I.O., C.L.C. began when a handful of men formed the Pittsburgh Theatrical Protective Assembly.

On August 7, 1887 the Pittsburgh Theatrical Protective Assembly affiliated themselves with the Knights of Labor. Over the years they developed a reputation as a strong union, loyal to the original principals of the Knights of Labor. The Pittsburgh Theatrical Protective Assembly was instrumental in the formation of a national stagehands union and on July 17, 1893 the first meeting of the National Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employes was opened by Pittsburgh's John Gallagher, later referred to as “ The father of the I.A.”

In the century to follow Local #3 has contributed to the beginnings of many of our community's performing arts organizations such as the Pittsburgh Symphony, Pittsburgh Opera, Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, Pittsburgh Public Theater, Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, and others. Local #3 stagehands have operated lighting equipment, set scenery, and transformed stages into imaginative scenes of beauty, wonder and technical excellence for all types of theatrical presentation. From the glory days of the Gayety, the Stanley, and the Loews Penn to the renewed heyday of the Byham, the Benedum Center, and Heinz Hall, the names of the theaters may have changed. Nevertheless the stagehands of Local #3 have maintained the quality of entertainment enjoyed by the citizens of Pittsburgh.

NOTE: Employes * The Union has retained the historical spelling of the word “employes”, calling itself the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employes. In recent years, however, it has chosen to use the more common spelling.