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FOR TRUCKERS, TRUCK LOVERS AND AUTOMOTIVE HISTORY BUFFS: NEW VIDEO BY TRUCKER'S SON RECORDS THEIR HISTORY

 CHERRY HILL, N.J., Nov. 29 /PRNewswire/ -- For some movie moguls, a BMW convertible is the vehicle of choice. For others, a Range Rover is a trendy alternative. For screenwriter and director John Connor, however, it's a truck. A diesel-breathing, chrome-laden, 18 wheeler.
 While you may not see him behind the wheel, chances are you will find him directing his cameras at a thundering big rig as he transforms his enthusiasm for trucks into a best-selling home video. It's a passion that began in childhood.
 "My father was a truck driver who hauled freight for over 50 years," recalls Connor. "To me it always seemed as if his life was one big adventure. He'd drive off in a rig that was as big as a house and come back with stories of his travels. Of course he was working 18-hour days just to make ends meet but to a 5-year-old boy it sounded like the most exciting thing in the world."
 Transforming his childhood memories into an entertaining video came easily to Connor. An Emmy award-winning documentary filmmaker, Connor and co-producer Steve Mohl spent nearly two years researching and producing "Wheels of Change ... How Trucking Shaped America" ($23.95, call 800-783-3737). They collected more than 50 hours of archival film and hundreds of photographs showing trucks of every description and every era to tell the story of America's biggest and most colorful industry. They also let the truckers have their say.
 "We filled the studio with beautifully restored trucks from every decade and interviewed the drivers as they sat next to the rigs of their youth," says Connor. "They told some incredible stories. One fellow recalled that in the days before heaters and defrosters they used to heat bricks and set them on the floor to warm the cab. They'd also use a candle to melt the ice that formed on the windshield as they drove."
 In addition to the anecdotes and film clips, Connor and Mohl staged scenes using vintage trucks as another way to bring their story to life. It was a lot of work but Connor felt personally compelled.
 "I guess I did it for my dad," admits Connor. "I wanted to give him something that showed him how much I appreciated who he is and how important his life's work has been. Being a filmmaker, I decided to make him a film."
 Orders for the tape have come in to Connor's Cherry Hill-based company, American Filmworks, from the families of truckers across the country and around the world, transforming this labor of love into a success story. Sales of the video are approaching 10,000 copies and it's gathering praise from the subjects themselves.
 "I admit I'm surprised at the response," says Connor. "We're receiving letters from truckers, some of whom started driving in the 1920s. They're thrilled that someone has finally told their story with affection and respect. For years my father shared his love of trucking and the open road with me. It was a very special thing. Now the whole world knows how I feel."
 For "Wheels of Change," $23.95, call American Filmworks at 800-783-3737.
 /delval/
 -0- 11/29/93
 /NOTE TO EDITORS: Photos, interviews and review copies available./
 /CONTACT: Steve Mohl of American Filmworks, 609-795-2468/


CO: American Filmworks ST: New Jersey IN: TRN ENT SU: PDT

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Date:Nov 29, 1993
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