Third in a series
One of the most amazing aspects of the life story of the late and amazing Ross Hawkins, film documentarian, was his ordinary entry into show business.
“He had a wonderful history of working behind the scenes,” says Tyler St. Mark, a writer-producer.
Mr. St. Mark was Mr. Hawkins’s closest professional associate in the last 10 years before Mr. Hawkins died last week at 77. In two falls in the past year, he suffered both a broken back and a broken hip.
Before Mr. Hawkins worked in front of the camera, he filled numerous positions on the other side, Mr. St. Mark noted.
He moved scenery.
He worked as a production assistant.
He was a production manager – and only later did Mr. Hawkins work as an actor.
And then he went on to perhaps the best part of his life, producing his own documentaries, seeking to assure Culver City’s merited but often overlooked role in early motion picture history.
Starting in 2006, Mr. Hawkins produced the Backlot Film Festival each year, as well as the Culver City Film Festival.
The Backlot Film Festival, said Mr. St. Mark, showcased boutique and independent films by small companies.
Meanwhile, Mr. St. Mark has amassed a huge photo collection.
“It would take many hours to sort through all of the photos I have taken at the various locations I went to with Ross while working on his various documentaries,” Mr. St. Mark said.
“I have singled out a few including the only one I know of taken of he and I together.
“In his capacity both as a documentary filmmaker and of producing Culver City’s only independent film festival (The Backlot Film Festival), Ross came into contact with many film luminaries.”
But, said Mr. St. Mark, “Ross’s pride and joy was his documentary titled, ‘Culver City, the Reel Hollywood.’
“This chronicled the true history of Hollywood, much of which took place in Culver City, CA.”
Mr. St. Mark added:
“I already miss Ross greatly!”
(To be continued)