On screen

By Ruth E. Kott, AM’07

Theodore PetersFilm still courtesy Brian Ashby, Ben Kolak, and Courtney Prokopas

Scavenger hunt

In 2010 Brian Ashby, Ben Kolak, and Courtney Prokopas, all AB’06, debuted their documentary, Scrappers, at the Chicago Underground Film Festival, where it won Best Documentary Feature. The film spotlights two Chicago residents, Oscar and Otis, who earn their living scavenging for metal through the city’s alleyways.

It wasn’t easy to find subjects so willing to let the filmmakers into their lives—it took about a year of searching. And before they even started filming, they spent time with the men and their families to make them feel comfortable. It was worth it, says Prokopas. In some scenes the subjects confessed intimate insights that they may not have shared otherwise. For more, see "Metal Detectors" in the Core.