Ropewalk began as Bill Hagenbuch’s slide presentation on the history of the Hooven & Allison, one of the last natural fiber rope companies in the USA. That’s only natural, since Bill was the H&A’s former president and chief engineer. He used his MIT chemical engineering degree to convert the Xenia plant to synthetics. Bill was a 60-year member of the Engineers Club of Dayton. He lived to be 93.
The late Steve Fetsch directed, edited, and filmed Ropewalk. He studied film at Colgate University and applied his craft in various public and private sector environments. Steve’s earlier film, A Forest Returns, with producer Jean Andrews, won 9 regional and international awards including Best Documentary at the 2005 Appalachian Film Festival. Steve was a freelance filmmaker and multimedia designer in Athens, Ohio. www.ohiolandscape.org
Bruce Dalzell composed, performed, and recorded the original soundtrack for Ropewalk. He also created the award-winning soundtrack for A Forest Returns. A forty-year veteran of the music business, Bruce has performed a wide range of music with his wife Gay from one coast to the other while raising three children. They live in Athens County, Ohio. www.brucedalzell.com
Mark Martel’s years as an art director, writer and illustrator reach from the Internet era back to the days of hand-crafted graphics. When his work switched to computers, he began painting and drawing portraits, figures and landscapes on the side. His related work includes contributions to an indie science fiction film, TV commercials, multimedia projects and websites. Mark is Bill Hagenbuch’s son-in-law, having “tied the knot” with Kate during film production. www.martelart.com
Writer and oral historian Lyric Rillera helped Bill Hagenbuch prepare for the interviews, conducted the interviews for the camera, and brought the Ropewalk production idea to the Engineers Club of Dayton Foundation. Lyric’s interviewing techniques and personal touch bring Ropewalk to life, enabling director Steve Fetsch to weave the history of ropemaking with Bill’s own life story.
Professional photographer and family friend Timothy Hearsum spent two days in 1973 photographing inside the Hooven & Allison plant. His color slides and expressive black & white factory worker portraits, used extensively throughout Ropewalk, are archived at the Greene County Public Library. www.timothyhearsum.com
Tim’s mother, Mikki Hearsum, retired speech teacher and radio actress, dubbed in the voice of the interviewer. At 91, Mikki was proud to use her “radio voice”.
A registered nurse in one of Ohio’s busiest ER's, Kate Hagenbuch Martel knows how to get things done. She helped transform her father’s slide presentation, "The Story of Rope" into a PowerPoint lecture—and now into a documentary film. As executive producer, she has coordinated all aspects of Ropewalk film production on behalf of the Engineers Club of Dayton Foundation.