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“Long Days Working Hard” Documentary to Air April 20

Published: April 15, 2010

Dave Kelly’s documentary, “Long Days Working Hard,” is coming to local television when it airs at 10 p.m. (PST) on Tuesday, April 20 on Orange County PBS station KOCE.

Kelly, the director of Advanced Media Production in CSULB’s College of Continuing and Professional Education, drew his inspiration for the documentary while watching filmmaker Ken Burns’ series on World War II a couple of summers ago. In that documentary, Burns used four cities in four different regions of the United States to examine what happened on the home front during World War II. Kelly’s documentary focuses on Long Beach and everything that was involved in the war effort there.

After working on the project for 15 months, Kelly hosted an original premiere screening at CSULB’s Daniel Recital Hall on Aug. 19. The turnout from the general public was so overwhelming that a second, unscheduled encore screening was needed that evening to accommodate the crowd.

Since then, the documentary, which was funded by a $50,000 grant from the Long Beach Navy Memorial Heritage Association, has been distributed via satellite feed to all of the PBS stations nationwide. The first affiliate to broadcast the program was PBS Hawaii, which debuted it on Dec. 2, five days prior to the Pearl Harbor anniversary. In addition, PBS affiliates in the Rocky Mountains, in the Midwest, on the East Coast and in the South have aired the show. In California, PBS stations have aired the documentary in San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, San Bernardino/Riverside, Los Angeles and Redding.

“Initially we did have some concern that stations around the nation would express resistance to broadcasting this documentary because it’s about Long Beach and it’s California centric,” said Kelly. “However, those affiliates in other parts of the country which have gone ahead and taken a chance and put it on the air have been very pleasantly surprised by the positive responses they’ve been getting from their viewers.”

According to Kelly, “Long Days Working Hard” encapsulates a universal experience of World War II – whether it concerns “Rosie the Riveter” and people working in factories, people serving in the Navy and then ending up in Pearl Harbor or other parts of the Pacific, or people generally involved in the war effort in a variety of ways, which most were at the time.

“They find that this is a fascinating and informative presentation and the personal stories told in the documentary are riveting. People can relate to those stories, no matter where they live,” continued Kelly. “Older people who were alive at the time and remember these events are telling me they are so glad we were able to produce this film because it brings the details together in a meaningful way and puts everything into context. From younger people who have encountered some of these stories, they are saying ‘I heard my grandmother talk about this, or I heard my father talk about that’ and when they see the documentary all those stories come to life in a visual and visceral manner they had never imagined.”

Long Days Working

Fifty DVDs of “Long Days Working Hard” have been donated to the Long Beach Public Library with copies available for check-out at all of the branches. The Long Beach Unified School District has received 150 donated copies for inclusion in the local history curriculum.

“In terms of how this documentary has inspired or influenced people, it has exceeded our expectations,” said Kelly. “We knew there would be an interest in this program and we knew people would find it compelling, but what we didn’t know is how much it would affect them. People have said this was very poignant, memorable and powerful with an impact they didn’t anticipate. That’s probably the one thing that’s been especially notable and gratifying for us.”

For information on how to obtain a DVD of “Long Days Working Hard” visit the Advanced Media Production Web site or call 562/985-4352.

KOCE is channel designation 50 over the air and is the official PBS station for Orange County. It is accessible on all major cable systems and on Direct TV and Dish TV in the area. It is carried on different channel designations depending upon which cable service is providing the feed. Direct TV and Dish TV both carry KOCE on Channel 50, but Verizon FiOS carries it on channel 8/508. Charter Digital cable carries it on channel 309. Time Warner in Lakewood runs KOCE on channel 16, but Time Warner in Huntington Beach runs it on channel 25. Cox Cable in Irvine offers KOCE on Channel 10. It’s advised to check your local listings for channel assignment of KOCE on cable and satellite services.

–Shayne Schroeder