From Russell to ‘The Show’

It starts in the forests of Warren County, heads for the Louisville Slugger factory in Kentucky, and ends in the hands of baseball players across the country.

Now, you can see it all on the big screen.

The connection between Larimer and Norton Inc. and Louisville Slugger is one of many featured in the new documentary “American Made Movie,” which explores the importance of the American manufacturing system in today’s economy.

On Monday, director/producers Nathan McGill and Vincent Vittorio stopped at the Larimer and Norton facility in Russell for an advanced screening of the film as part of their 32 cities in 32 days tour across the United States.

“Basically, the film is about knowing the relationship between the products we buy and the manufacturers responsible for making them,” said McGill. “When you know who is behind the things you buy, it will have more of an impact on where your money is spent.”

The feature-length documentary urges consumers to know what it is they’re buying, buy local products when possible, and help share the message of purchasing American made products. McGill and Vittorio believe that every person has the ability to make a difference in their local economies based on simple choices they make every day.

“We wanted people to understand how supporting their local economy has an effect on the national economy,” said Vittorio. “Just be conscious of where your products come from.”

According to Larimer and Norton General Manager Brian Boltz, crews spent two days in the fall of 2011 filming at the facility and interviewing employees. In late April, he heard that the Akeley property was chosen to be part of the directors’ advanced screening tour.

“They had to make sure they could fit us in between trips to other cities,” said Boltz. “The timing worked out well for us. Our warehouse isn’t as full this time of year, and we had the space to set up a nice little theater.”

McGill and Vittorio said it was important to them to share the documentary with those who played a role in the film. Nearly fifty Larimer and Norton employees and family members attended Monday’s screening at the facility.

“We really wanted to bring the film back here,” said McGill. “It’s a nice experience for them to see their part in the story, and we get to meet more and more people who were involved with the process. That’s the coolest part about this tour.”

The story of America’s declining manufacturing workforce and the importance of its return was an enlightening experience, even for the stars of the show.

“It was eye-opening even for us, and we’ve been in business here since 1955,” said Boltz. “It was very well done. I like how they did it with a baseball theme and started off with us. It fit in well with what we do.”

At the conclusion of the film, McGill and Vittorio presented Larimer and Norton with the “Be A Part Award” for the company’s role in creating American made products. The award is given to individuals or organizations that have made an impact on the economy, whether it be on a local or national scale.

“American Made Movie” will be released in theaters nationwide on August 30. For more information on building a better America through consumer awareness and action, visit www.BeAPartMovement.org.