Michael, who’s mother was born in Waltham and whose grandfather ran a drugstore on Moody Street in the 1930s, is nostalgic for telling local history. After watching Rex Trailer on television as child, the two finally met in person in 2002 while working on a pilot for a new children’s TV show.
After a career in Hollywood as a director for Disney Studios, and heading up Digital Freeway in New York City, Michael felt compelled to make sure history did not forget the legendary television pioneer.
The film premiered in 2005 on WBZ in Boston with encore broadcasts on WGBH in 2010 and 2013. The master tape and archives were presented to the Paley Center in New York City and now part of the permanent collection. The film was nominated for an Emmy Award, and Michael continued to work with Rex at his Waltham studios right up until his death in 2013.
They collaborated on the documentary film, “Voices from the Basement” about the original Filene’s Basement. It premiered on WGBH in 2010 and was rebroadcast as a Thanksgiving Day special in 2012. It was also nominated for an Emmy Award.
Since relocating back to his native Massachusetts in 2010, Michael worked with Rex and his daughter, Jillian Trailer-Rollock of Waltham, to make sure his archives are preserved for future generations and formed The Rex Trailer Collection.
The archives feature many local events from the 1950s through the 1970s that were shown on “Boomtown” and include many years of the Grover Cronin Easter Parade where Rex delivered the Easter Bunny via his personal helicopter.
Other archive films include, reenactments of the battle of Lexington and Concord, Paul Revere’s ride to Philadelphia, and many filmed short segments that feature hundreds of local faces.
Bavaro plans to show some of these clips after the screening during a Q&A with Michael Bavaro and Jillian Trailer-Rollock along with some cast and crew members of “Boomtown.”
The screening will be followed on Saturday, September 24, 2016, by a workshop entitled "Preserving Media Memories" on how to create your own biography and memories films using your own digital filmmaking tools.