3-Minute Interview: David L. Brown

The Brisbane-based director is making a series of documentaries about the Bay Bridge sponsored by Professional Engineers in California Government. The newest, “Amazing: The Rebuilding of the MacArthur Maze,” follows the fiery collapse in 2007 and how it was reconstructed in just 26 days. It airs on KQED Channel 9 at 7:30 p.m. Monday, at 2:30 a.m. Friday and at 6 a.m. April 13.

How did you come to make the film? This is my second for PECG; the first was “The Bridge So Far — A Suspense Story,” which won two Emmy Awards. They had seen my work, contacted me through my Web site and asked to me do that one.

What was difficult about making the movie? It was mostly to craft the story in an entertaining way, to make the topic of construction as entertaining as possible for a general audience. We weren’t sure where the humor was going to come in; the 3-D animation by Rick Pepper and cartoon animation by Charlie Canfield — a pattern we set in the first movie — were a great boon.

Did the fact that contractor C.C. Myers was working toward a $5 million bonus affect the speed with which the project was completed? Yes. It’s the polar opposite of what is portrayed in “The Bridge So Far,” about how rebuilding the Bay Bridge’s east span has been unbelievably delayed and over budget.

Did the project really go as smoothly as pictured in the movie? There were a few small hurdles, like trying to find steel and two blowouts when putting on the final girders.

Did you plan the movie’s fun character development? It turned out that Carl Douglas, president of Stinger Welding [which provided the steel], was a great counterpart to C.C. Myers.

lkatz@examiner.com

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