The Gwinnett-based film “American Made Movie” was released on video-on-demand services this week after a 32-city tour last year. The documentary about the necessity of buying local is now available to more people than ever before, and that, the filmmakers said, is the goal — to raise awareness about the importance of buying American-made products.
Vincent Vittorio and Nathaniel Thomas McGill grew up in Gwinnett, graduating from Dacula High School together in 1999. After college, the two founded Life is My Movie Entertainment and made their first film, “An Inconvenient Tax”. The accolades for that film allowed them to make “American Made Movie”.
McGill is the fifth generation of his family to live in Gwinnett county and he has seen the impact of foreign manufacturing locally.
“Gwinnett county’s history is really my family’s history. My family worked for General Motors. My grandpa went to work for GM, built the ‘57 Chevrolet in Lakewood. My dad worked for GM, my uncles worked for GM,” he said. “As I was going through college, the plant started to lay off workers. We had to move to Louisiana for a period of time when I was in middle school because of layoffs.”
This experience influenced his decision to make “American Made Movie”, which focuses on the need for consumers to buy locally-made goods. The film promotes the idea that consumer demand drives the economy and the ability for companies to build factories in the United States.
“What we’re saying is that if you demand Made in America goods at your local store, companies have to answer to that call. Large corporations and large entities that want to provide for this growing demand are going to call their lobbyists and congressmen and start implementing policy to make it easier to produce things in this country,” he said. “That’s the thing that’s special about this issue, if people want to see more Made in the USA labels on their products, they just have to continue to buy things made in this country when they go into the store.”
In 2013 the filmmakers went on a 32-city tour in 32 days to promote the film. They consider themselves part of a movement to push for American factories and manufacturing that started in 2011. The movement has some very influential supporters, including U.S. Representative Rob Woodall.
Woodall is a proponent of the Fair Tax and local manufacturing. He believes that by eliminating corporate taxes, companies would be able to build factories on American soil for a more reasonable cost.
“We have the highest corporate tax rate in the world. No one imposes taxes higher than we do. We can lower the taxes that our manufacturers pay. That makes us less competitive around the globe,” he said. “I am a champion of the Fair Tax rates and that takes the corporate tax rate to zero. If we exploit our maximum advantage through our tax code and energy policy we can move back to beign the manufacturing leader of the world.”
Woodall also agrees with the film’s idea that change starts with the people within a community. He believes that the government can only do so much, but that consumers are what drive corporate interests.
“We can pass protectionist trade policies that prohibits products from coming in or we can do what (“American Made Movie”) does and demonstrate why buying American is best for all of our best interests,” he said. “(Congress) may pass one law a day, consumers are making millions of decisions every single day. Those decisions impact corporations around the globe.”
“American Made Movie” released on video-on-demand services across the nation on Tuesday, spreading the word about local manufacturing to 65 million homes. McGill believes that anyone who watches will push themselves to buy more local goods.
“Press play, support the movement,” he said. “If we all get behind this, we really can change the country.”
For more information or to rent “American Made Movie”, visit theamericanmademovie.com.