Hard Earned completes principal photography

Hard Earned completed principal photography on June 2nd. With over 250 hours of footage in the can, editing continues on this six-hour series for Al Jazeera America, which follows five American families working low-wage jobs. Final shoots included a shift at a new Silicon Valley restaurant job for lead character Hilton, who has moved up to bar-back and busboy; a basketball game and father-son reunion for DJ, a former drugstore employee turned union organizer; and a stirring public speaking event for Emilia, a waitress on the southside of Chicago. Editors David E. Simpson (Life Itself, Head Games) and Liz Kaar (Typeface, Andrew Bird: Fever Year) continue editing and interweaving these stories into a 6-episode series. Hard Earned is being executive produced by Kartemquin’s Steve James, Gordon Quinn, and Justine Nagan. Maggie Bowman (Election Day, The Calling) serves as series producer. Directing the individual strands are Katy Chevigny (E-Team, Election Day), Maria Finitzo (Mapping Stem Cell Research: Terra Incognita), Ruth Leitman (Tony and Janina’s American Wedding, Lipstick and Dynamite), Brad Lichtenstein (As Goes Janesville, Almost Home), and Joanna Rudnick (On Beauty, In the Family). Though the project has been in production since 2013, we first announced the project in April, before previewing some footage in public for the first time at the 2014 Kartemquin Spring Showcase to great acclaim. Completion is slated for end of 2014, with a broadcast on Al Jazeera America set for 2015. Follow the film on Twitter: @HardEarnedAJAM and Facebook.