“THE LONG HAIR” is a documentary short that visits with one of the last independent barbers still operating in North Dakota—but more than that, it is about a part of American life that is disappearing before our eyes.
“People used to have more time in the olden days,” our barber, LeRoy Pendleton, says in “THE LONG HAIR.” “Nobody wants to wait around anymore.”
LeRoy, now 86, isn’t talking just about people who need a haircut, but about a culture that is too busy, too on the go to even stop and be in the present. Furthermore, LeRoy, as an independent business owner, says in the film that he chuckles when he hears from folks who have a 40-hour workweek, observing, “You’re just getting started!”
A Return to Simpler Times
But “THE LONG HAIR” isn’t just about one octogenarian barber; it’s about director David Kuznicki’s realization that shops like LeRoy’s are a place where he used to, as a boy, be “in the company of men”—and that he rarely visits such spots as an adult. Does this small bit of Americana need to be relegated to a simpler time and simpler place? And what, if anything, can LeRoy and his kind offer in our hyper-fast contemporary world.
These are all questions that “THE LONG HAIR” explores.
“THE LONG HAIR” reuintes Emmy-winning Kuznicki and Emmy-winning composer Brian Katona, who worked together on “The Town That Disappeared Overnight,” which was about the farming community of Round Valley in New Jersey, who were unceremoniously uprooted in the 1950s to make way for a reservoir. Eric Althoff, who co-wrote and co-produced “The Town That Disappeared Overnight,” is co-producing “THE LONG HAIR.”
About the Production Team
Meet the Director
David Kuznicki is an award-winning filmmaker and owner of Media 523. His films have garnered numerous awards and nominations, including four Emmy® Awards in the categories of “Best Short Format Program” (2), “Documentary” and “Researcher.” His filmography showcases an aptitude for crafting American history and local heroism narratives with broad appeal. Four of his films have aired on PBS stations across the country.
In 2010, after spending 20 years behind the camera at PBS, ABC, NBC and Fox, David started Media 523 to focus on documentaries. He views documentary storytelling as both a vital and important art. David currently lives in Grand Forks, ND.
Meet the Producers
A native of New Jersey, Eric Althoff studied at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles while also working as a summer intern at the New Jersey Film Commission. He later worked on films and television shows on both the East and West Coasts, including “The Man Show,” “Shop Til You Drop” and the independent documentary “Drew: The Man Behind the Poster.” Eric later produced the Emmy-winning documentary, “The Town That Disappeared Overnight” and several other works with Media 523—where he works alongside high school friend David Kuznicki.
Eric is also a journalist and writer, with articles published in the the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Napa Valley Register, Black Belt, DCist, ScreenComment.com and Luxe Getaways. As the former entertainment editor at the Washington Times, Eric covered the Oscars live at the Dolby Theater and interviewed hundreds of entertainers in Washington, D.C., from Jake Gyllenhaal and Gary Oldman to Julianne Moore and Juliette Binoche.
Eric is currently a freelance writer and editor, and works part-time as a copy editor at the Washington Post. He lives in Virginia with his wife, Victoria.
Brian Katona is an Emmy® Award-winning composer, orchestrator, arranger, producer and conductor.
Recent film/television credits: The Red River Flood, The Long Hair, The Builder (Emmy Winner for best musical composition), A Hope For Hartly (Best Melodic Theme, Garden State Film Festival), PEI Kids: Generation Change (Film: Broader Vision Award, Garden State Film Festival), The Town That Disappeared Overnight (Film: Two time Emmy Winner, Garden State Film Festival Winner), Biserici De Lemn Din Romania (SEEFest Official Selection), I Throw Rocks (Film: Maumee Film Festival Winner), My Spirited Sister (Sitcom). Theater credits: Jesse James: Dead or Alive. Commercial recordings: The Voice of Christmas: “The Night Before Christmas,” A Christmas Journey: “I Wonder What I’ll Get for Christmas.” Published concert music (Imagine Music): Anthem for the Patriots, Space Battle, Space Fantasy, When I Hear Music, An Irish Blessing.