Icons of the American roadways are topic to debate: Corvette or Mannequin T? Route 66 or the fashionable interstates? Waffle Home or Stuckey’s? Customary Oil or Shell? Paper maps or GPS?

However there could also be one road-going icon that stand alone, above debate. It’s the Airstream trailer, and Alumination, a documentary movie concerning the aluminum-riveted icon is scheduled to premiere in October (although learn on to find how one can view the film earlier than its official debut). 

Really, the movie was scheduled to premiere months in the past, however that was earlier than the coronavirus pandemic put such debuts, and folks reminiscent of actor-turned-filmmaker Eric Bricker, on maintain.


Really, Bricker isn’t on maintain, he and his group have been engaged on their subsequent movie challenge. Bricker is a local of St. Louis, the place his grandmother took him to a whole lot of films and the place he was a part of a highschool choir. He was inspired to check out for the varsity’s manufacturing of Guys and Dolls and landed the main function of Sky Masterson. 

He enrolled at Indiana College to review enterprise, solely to finish up majoring in English literature with minors in theater and artwork historical past

and performing in a manufacturing of The Rocky Horror Image Present. Motion pictures seen along with his grandmother sparked his curiosity in Hollywood, and he moved there after faculty, solely to find he would slightly make films than seem in them. After 15 years, he additionally found he’d slightly make these films from a base in Austin, Texas, the place he’s lived since 2007.

Bricker and his co-producer, Lisa Hughes, premiered their first joint challenge, Visible Acoustics: The Modernism of Julius Schulman, with Dustin Hoffman narrating the story of architectural photographer Julius Shulman. It was Hughes who known as Bricker in 2013 and advised the Airstream trailer as their subsequent movie challenge.

“That’s the place the journey started,” Bricker recalled, admitting that he and Hughes not solely found the story of the favored aluminum trailers, but in addition that of their creator, Wally Byam, and the group of Airstream homeowners.

“We had been fascinated by these iconic journey trailers, the long-lasting design piece and the long-lasting model, that was our level of departure,” Bricker mentioned. “However as soon as we jumped in, the factor that basically stood out was the folks that use these trailers. We didn’t know concerning the group. We didn’t know what we had been in for, the cult of Airstream. It’s essentially the most welcoming world, a mix of enthusiasm and an openness and willingness to share.”

If that sounds just like the collector automotive group, it is smart. Airstream trailers are cherished by their homeowners very similar to collector automobiles by their homeowners. In some instances, Airstream homeowners have sought out classic automobiles or vans to drag their classic trailers.

“Everybody, even Era Z, has emblazoned of their reminiscences Airstream journey trailers,” Bricker added. 

However the Airstream group wasn’t the one shock the filmmakers encountered. 

Film poster

“The story and the spirit of Wally Byam,” Bricker mentioned of maybe his largest shock within the lengthy course of. “He’s an unsung American entrepreneurial hero.  There aren’t too many people who’ve had his sense of imaginative and prescient, the rigor he would apply, regularly striving to make issues higher, weathering the arduous instances, doing these caravans for advertising and marketing. I’m very joyful we had the chance to inform the Airstream story, his story.”

Nevertheless, determining how one can braid collectively the varied strings was one cause it took so lengthy for the movie to go from inspiration to last minimize. What lastly introduced every part collectively, Bricker mentioned, was {a photograph} of Byam touching an Airstream, “virtually like he’s putting in his spirit into the trailer, and I do suppose the journey trailers carry the spirit of Wally Byam.” A spirit, he added, activated as effectively by the individuals who use these trailers.

Alumination, which runs 77 minutes and is narrated by Kate Pierson of The B-52s, was scheduled to debut within the spring of 2020 on the Newport Seashore Movie Competition, which now can be held in October 2021. 

Nevertheless, you don’t have to attend till then to see the film. Silverstream Filmworks provides non-public screenings for teams of fifty or extra, and if you would like will provide question-and-answer periods with the producers as effectively. 

“Impartial movie is hard,” Bricker famous. “If you wish to obtain monetary freedom, I might not advocate taking place the documentary path. However for almost all of documentary filmmakers, it’s ardour, following their curiosity.”

Interested in Airstream? Collect a bunch of 49 or extra mates now, or wait till this fall when the film makes its official debut on the Newport Seashore competition. After which? The producers, in fact, hope for a theatrical launch, adopted by a run on one of many digital platforms reminiscent of Netflix or Amazon, and by followers shopping for copies for his or her movie libraries, maybe even to view but once more in some wilderness location whereas tenting of their Airstream trailers.


Larry Edsall

A former every day newspaper sports activities editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek journal earlier than making the transition to writing for the online and changing into the creator of greater than 15 automotive books. Along with being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Occasions and The Detroit Information and was an adjunct honors professor on the Walter Cronkite College of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State College.