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Short Film: The Scrapper

The above embedded short film is Jonathan Olshefski‘s The Scrapper, a verite night-in-the-life documentary about a scrap collector named Joey who works in the Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia. It’s a sweet little piece that rolls as gracefully as Joey does on his rollerblades while collecting recyclable scrap. The movie recently screened at the Chicago Underground Film Festival.

Here where I live in Los Angeles, there are odd rules about apartment buildings and recycling. I’ve never had a recycling bin at my building. What I do instead is gather up my plastic and cans and put it out for my neighborhood “scrapper” one night a week. He always comes on the same day. Sometimes I forget to do this and I have to run out and hand my collection to him with a friendly “Here you go,” but that’s as much of a conversation I’ve had with the guy. So, beyond just enjoying Oshefski’s film, I really admire the process behind it of asking this guy if he wanted to be filmed.

However, while Joey isn’t the gregarious type, he at least seems a little chatty and playful, so maybe it wasn’t so difficult to approach him.


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  • Hey Mike,

    Thanks for the review. Just a note the final cut of the Scrapper ended up being about 32 minutes. The above was an early rough cut. Since I’m doing the festival thing now I’m not publicizing the early “web video” stuff…but it’s out there for those who want to search around.

    Check out the website for more info. http://thescrapper.org

    I also shot 35mm stills while making the film, so there may be a little book as well.

    Peace to you,
    Jon-O

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