"When I was first approached to be involved with this project, I wasn’t quite sure what to think or how to tackle it. Anything having to do with money or the economy has always been totally foreign to a person like me. I don’t even live in the U.S. anymore and rarely carry more than 20 bucks in my pocket! I kept thinking about it but just wasn’t able to wrap my head around such an abstract subject. And then it finally hit me… Detroit, the place I was born. A place that would be the perfect case study for what can happen to a society when the bottom falls out — whether it be from the effects of globalization or automation eliminating countless manufacturing jobs. The whole story was suddenly there for me — and hit home in a very personal way as my father was once an auto worker, as well as many family members. I tried my best to tell the story on a personal level and hear from the former auto workers as well as city officials. I didn’t want to wallow in the glut of the city or the doom and gloom everyone has become so familiar with. I wanted to show the city in a new light."
ALBERT HUGHES and his brother Allen began making films together at the age of twelve. Although Detroit natives, the two found that the unique Los Angeles backdrop provided the perfect setting to develop their signature visual style. Following studies at LACC Film School, Albert and Allen made waves in the then-emerging world of independent filmmaking with their first feature film, “Menace II Society,” which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival when they were just 20 years old. They followed up with a string of successful and critically acclaimed feature films, including “Dead Presidents” and “From Hell,” starring Johnny Depp. In 1999, they premiered their feature-length documentary “American Pimp” at the Sundance Film Festival. More recently, Albert and Allen lent their unique visual style to the Warner Bros. film “The Book of Eli,” starring Denzel Washington and Gary Oldman. The film went on to be their greatest box office success, grossing over $150 million worldwide. In addition to proving himself in the world of feature films, Albert has directed successful commercial campaigns for A-list clients including Adidas, American Express, Budweiser, Chrysler, Coca-Cola, DirecTV, Heineken, Nike, Pepsi, Reebok, Sprite and T-Mobile.