Top of the Rock

The battle for the brave new world of New York's most iconic photograph - "Lunch atop a skyscraper" taken by Charlie Ebbets in 1932, of the iron workers taking a meal break from their deadly work building the Rockefeller Center.

  • Jes Bickhart
    Director
  • Jes Bickhart
    Writer
  • Jes Bickhart
    Producer
  • Liam Alex Heffron
    Producer
  • John Jox
    Producer
  • Liam Tuohy
    Key Cast
  • Liam Alex Heffron
    Key Cast
  • Tim Moran
    Key Cast
  • Todd Duffey
    Key Cast
  • Rainbow Borden
    Key Cast
  • Jim Cantafio
    Key Cast
  • Cesar Gamino
    Key Cast
  • Johnny Cannizzaro
    Key Cast
  • Rich Rotella
    Key Cast
  • Brian Brummitt
    Key Cast
  • Paige Bach
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Short, Student, Web / New Media
  • Genres:
    Drama, Action
  • Runtime:
    8 minutes 19 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    June 13, 2015
  • Production Budget:
    19,500 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
    English
  • Shooting Format:
    RED
  • Aspect Ratio:
    2.40
  • Film Color:
    Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    Yes
  • Student Project:
    Yes
Director Biography - Jes Bickhart

Jes currently works at Gidden Media with Amy Baer, former Columbia Pictures studio head and founder of CBS Films, in the development of feature films, television and emerging distribution platforms like Oculus Rift. Before Gidden, he worked in post production for Academy-nominated supervising sound editors Kami Asgar, Sean McCormack, and Tim Tuchrello at Sony Pictures.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

On September 29th, 1932 photographer Charles Ebbets took one of Time's top 100 pictures of all time of 11 ironworkers enjoying their lunch break atop a girder on the 69th floor of the then-rising Rockefeller Center some 800ft above the street. This year marks the 80th year since The Great Depression was a fascinating time in our nation’s history. Stories of men and women chasing the "American Dream" and following their hearts to the Land of Opportunity exemplify what fighting for what you believe in is all about. The poverty and hardships that these men and women suffered through have been written in the soaring skyscrapers and sprawling metropolises we appreciate today. This story however, is free from the depression of tenement life and endless breadlines, focusing instead on the inspiring tales of a fearless few hundreds of feet above a 1930s Manhattan skyline.

These Ironworkers were numb to the daily hardships of steel work. They moved fast, often working incredible hours in fear of being instantly replaced by the myriad of others down below. They were called “rivet gangs” and would throw red-hot rivets to each other across the girders, pounding them into the steel. But it wasn’t their tremendous work ethic that makes these men so fascinating, it is the bond they shared amongst themselves, a brotherhood and family, traits that I hold dear to my heart and hope to embody as a filmmaker for the rest of my life.