I’m the director of Floored, which csbaron was the cinematographer on. my imdb is here http://www.imdb.com/name/nm3200352/ you will see links to csbaron’s imdb link under my work.
To our fans,
An update on one of our main characters, Rob Prosniewski is now a medical specialist in the U.S. Army stationed somewhere in Afghanistan. In the movie Rob said he wanted to find a job that he could help people, well now a combat medic in the army Rob is fulfilling his ambition. Rob has been in Afghanistan since September fighing with and patching up the 10th Mountain division in the mountains somewhere bordering Pakistan. Rob is in good spirits and in the best shape of his life. He returns to the states for his first leave in the fall. Our thoughts and prayers are with him for a safe return.
Producer of Floored
What fantastic ride this is turning out to be! [link]
FLOORED is coming to Seattle for a special preview screening at the University of Washington on Sunday March 28th at 1:30 pm. Tickets are $25 and include food, popcorn & refreshments.
seating is extremely limited, call (206) 543-0437 to reserve.
Director James Allen Smith will be on hand to present the film and host a discussion after the screening.
Sunday, March 28, 2010
Event begins at 1:30 pm
Cost is $25.00+ tax per person
Reservations are required
I caught up with Jon, Guy & Pete from OptionMonster/CNBC recently in San Francisco. This is how we roll.
Full text below:
By Jacob Bunge
Of DOW JONES NEWSWIRES
CHICAGO (Dow Jones)–The Gene Siskel Film Center transformed into a trading pit Friday night, as Chicago’s derivatives trading community migrated from the floors to the theater for the premier of a documentary on the vanishing business.
The screening of “Floored,” a film chronicling the glory and subsequent decline of the art-cum-bloodsport honed in the pits of Chicago’s exchanges, drew a sold-out audience that included traders, local celebrities and combinations of the two.
“You could come in and get rich overnight, or you could lose, but there was opportunity,” said Rick Santelli, a CNBC Business News commentator and veteran futures trader who broadcasts from the floor of the Chicago Board of Trade, at the screening Friday. “It’s a bittersweet story.”
The film, a three-year project by filmmaker James Allen Smith, tells the pugnacious tale of futures and options trading through the clerks, brokers and market makers that helped transform Chicago’s exchanges into a global center for managing commodities, currencies, interest rates and stock options.
Set against a backdrop of garish trading jackets and a soundtrack of shouting, past and present floor traders in the film wistfully recall the days when fortunes were made and lost daily in Chicago’s pits, a story replete with drug abuse, wrecked marriages, crippling stress and the occasional fling with a Playboy Playmate.
In their mid-1990s heyday, according to Smith’s film, 10,000 traders packed the floors of the city, a number that has since dwindled to about 1,000 as the rise of electronic trading supplanted the pits as the key source of liquidity in derivatives markets.
If there is a villain menacing the swaggering heroes of “Floored,” it is the computer, described alternately as a “virus,” a form of “cheating” and a “vile invention” by the steadily shrinking ranks of those committed to the open outcry profession. A portion of the film highlighting Chicago’s burgeoning electronic trading shops drew grumbles and jeers from the audience.
Some floor traders like Joseph Gibbons, one of the film’s producers, successfully jumped to screen trading, a realm that “Floored” depicts as no less intense or profane or profitable–but far less visceral than the pits, where spittle flies and the competition to buy and sell occasionally turned physical.
Beyond the usual shoving and poking of pens, traders in the film tell of fistfights in the plaza outside the Chicago Board Options Exchange and one incident that ended with a trader biting another’s nose.
“We were warriors, but we were also a great community of friends,” said Scott Cole, who described floor trading as his family’s business, at the screening Friday.
They are also a group clinging to a diminished slice of the American dream that allowed blue-collar Chicago kids, many possessing little education beyond a high school diploma, to make a living on par with doctors and lawyers–at least for a while.
“It’s a story that needed to be told,” said Kenny Ford, who still works the cattle pits, where electronic trading has yet to render the floor obsolete. “This was the greatest time in our lives.”
-By Jacob Bunge, Dow Jones Newswires; (312) 750 4117; firstname.lastname@example.org
I had the pleasure of sitting down with Eight Forty-Eight host Alison Cuddy to chat about Floored:
The Chicago Board of Trade and The Mercantile Exchange are more than just venerable institutions where small fortunes are won and lost on a daily basis. They’re spectacles, full of larger than life characters. Filmmaker James Allen Smith captures them up close and personal in his film Floored.The documentary is a rare look at life in the pits and how a young upstart – technology – is changing things. Smith knows it well. He was a web designer for a number of trading companies. One day, he was called down to the Merc by one of his clients. What he thought would be a routine visit turned out to be his first time on the floor. He says it was a shocker! MORE
REVIEW OF FEATURED ON AIN’T IT COOL NEWS 10/30/09
‘FLOORED': Documentary film that follows the chicago stock exchange, but more over is about the move from trading on the floors to trading on the screen (online trading). Director, James Allen Smith was there to introduce the film and for a Q&A and he discussed how the pre-prod/working title for the film was ‘The Way of the Carriage Maker’ because the change that traders were going through with technological advances was reminiscent of when automobiles started popping up and carriage makers had to make a decision to either make the switch to automobiles or be the best damn carriage maker they could be. That’s what this film is about. The traders Smith chooses to follow are those that are having trouble adapting to the technological trading sphere. We do get the perspective of online traders and those that have made the switch, but there is a sense that the passion that was there is gone. The documentary does a great job not only giving an overview of what floor trading was like, how it was established and it’s rise, which at it’s peak is closer to a scene from a rock n’ roll movie than the stock exchange. At the climax of floor trading that’s how these guys were treated, they were getting all the girls, bringing in all the money, drugs, alcohol, etc. Of course that’s not the primary focus of the film, that just happens to be part of the history. We see all these great traders who made a name for themselves by making fortunes within minutes, and possibly losing fortunes even quicker make the transition, struggle to continue trading on the floor or get out entirely. The characters are marvelous. smith chooses the right people to follow, because it’s the perfect mix of sad sappy people trying to adapt, angry at technology people refusing to adapt, online traders and absolute fucking psycho’s in the biz.
Smith was very modest about his film, but we had a few former floor traders in the crowd and they were very proud of what they just saw. A gentleman sitting in front of me had stepped out of the business at the tail end of the nineties (coinciding with the rise of the internet) and you could tell he had seen shit on the floor. His voice was very raspy and sounded like it was permanently hoarse from all the years of shouting out trades. the man said that the film was an accurate portrayal of his former business venture and passion. I know next to nothing about trading in general, but i enjoyed the hell out of the film and thought it was very well spoken, so to hear that those who have been on the floor appreciate is a good sign.
In addition to smith’s modesty he was accepting that he was not winning any audience awards for the film, especially sense ‘grown in detroit’ had won over everyone already, so instead to go online and vote for his film so it has the chance to play at other fests. i did just that and i hope that this review finds other audiences and film fests because it is a documentary film that needs to be shown and get as wide of a release as possible. It’s very strong, and seemingly very accurate and definitely a film that james allen smith is personally vested in. Smith is a director that not only has potential, but flexes his muscles with this film, showing his talent and strengths is linking these real people and situations together to create a well versed characters and a strong story line.
About 175 people filled the 200 seat room at the Texas Spirit Theater tonight at 6pm. Lot’s of folks from the McCombs School of Business at UT Austin thanks to Sandy for helping spread the word. Several former floor traders showed up wearing their old trading jackets, so cool! Electronic traders… investment managers… what a great crowd thanks so much to everyone who turned out. And thanks so much to Lynne at AFF for helping to make this such an amazing experience.
Michael, pictured here with his son, greeted me after the show in the lobby. Michael used to trade on the floor in NYC and had a lot of great insight to share during the Q&A and I was honored that he liked what he had seen. His son shook my hand and thanked me for making the film, he said that he feels he knows his father better now after seeing it. That was the best compliment I could have possibly received.