The Boilermaker Code – Ending the Red Ass Legacy
Over the past two years, we’ve been tackling one of our most challenging projects to date. The International Brotherhood of Boilermakers and M.O.S.T, a tripartite organization of Boilermakers, contractors and owners in the power industry, tasked us with helping them to train their members about an issue known in the union crafts as “the Red Ass.” It’s a phrase used to cover a wide range of negative actions such as job walk-offs, wildcat picketing, and work slow-downs, to name a few.
Our crew traveled to eight locations in North America, interviewing retired and current Boilermakers to hear their “Red Ass” stories. A handful of these were selected for use in the show. Excerpt interview clips not included in the show were used in a longer training module we designed in collaboration with the Boilermakers. These training modules were be rolled out in 2015 to every Boilermaker lodge in North America and have been gaining traction.
Since most of these stories took place in the 70’s and 80’s, we re-created job walk-offs, pickets and union work sites as they looked and operated in the days before safety standards were in place. The finished film spans thirty minutes. We like to describe it as a training film disguised as an HBO documentary.
To show the impact that the “Red Ass” has had on the Boilermaker craft, we took man-hour data spanning back to the mid-1970’s and compared it to that of today, using moving infographics.
In collaboration with the highly-talented staff at the Boilermaker History Preservation Department, we took the Boilermakers’ logo into 3D space and re-visualized its creation with smoke, sparks and flames. Then we tapped our friends at Kansas City’s Hammerpress to make that design a reality, creating a new “Live the Code” seal, which has since been implemented by the Boilermakers in a wide array of marketing efforts.