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“I Build The Tower”

Documentary Film on DVD (including Library Circulation rights)

Soundtrack on Audio CD



Both the DVD and CD


DVD for institutional use (including Public Performance rights for non-paying audiences)


- Shipping & Handling:
         - $5 per order US and Territories
         - $10 per order Canada
         - $15 per order outside US, Territories and Canada
- 9.5% California sales tax added to all orders
- All items shipped first class within 3 days of receipt of order

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- To order by mail, please send a bank check or money order to:
         Bench Movies
         1900 Alder Drive
         Los Angeles, CA  90065
             Please add 9.5% California State sales tax
             and $5.00 shipping & handling US and Territories
             (or $10 shipping and handling Canada, or $15 shipping and handling
             outside US, Territories and Canada)


“I BUILD THE TOWER” is the true story

of the life of Sam Rodia, the Italian immigrant who built the Watts Towers on a residential lot.  Told in his own words, the film portrays Sam Rodia as an individual transformed from drunkenness and despair into a world renowned artist

In his last interview (filmed exclusively for this project), R. Buckminster Fuller describes the beauty of the Towers as a unique display of the universal structural systems found in nature and as a demonstration of the power of individual initiative to effect change in the world.

-  The unedited 40-minute final interview of R. Buckminster Fuller
-  Slide show of archival and family photographs

A Brad Byer and Bench Movies Production
Directed, Written and Produced by  Edward Landler and Brad Byer
Edited by  Glen P. Rose and Edward Landler
Diaglogue Restoration, Sound Design and Mix by Bjorn Schaller
87 minutes   NTSC


Classical, Jazz and Hip Hop
Based on themes by Giuseppe Verdi

The film’s 24-track musical score is based on the operas of Giuseppe Verdi (including “Aida”, “Rigoletto” and “La Traviata”), the music Rodia loved. 

The score spans the time and distance from 19th-century Italy to present-day Los Angeles.  The classical score was arranged by Robert Israel conducting the Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra and the Robert Israel Ensemble. 

Jazz pianist Nate Morgan composed an original jazz score from Verdi’s music and recorded it with his ensemble. 

Filmmakers Byer and Landler conceived a hip-hop song, “Yo, Sam”, with Rodia as lead vocalist and music by Michael Abels. 

Produced by Edward Landler and Brad Byer
Mastered by Bjorn Schaller

© 2006 Brad Byer and Bench Movies

Watts Towers Film, Watts History, African-American History

"…the film is wonderful: lyrical, well-made and edited, and compelling...”
--  Ken Burns, filmmaker ("The Civil War", "Jazz")

“The crane shots lovingly reveal a poetry of form and detail…”
--  Les Blank, filmmaker (“Burden of Dreams”)

"A real discovery, entertaining and illuminating…"
-- Leonard Maltin,

Maltin On Movies

"…the most complete visual account of self-made architect Simon Rodia and his masterpiece…”
-- Robert Koehler,


“...fascinating not only for the slice of art history it exposes, but for the quotations it includes by Rodia whose worldview is weird and captivating the whole way through.” 
-- Isa Tousignant, Hour (Montreal weekly)

“Sam Rodia will be remembered as one of the greatest sculptors of the Twentieth Century.”
-- R. Buckminster Fuller

“The world is money.  No matter who you are, what you are, you ain’t got a dollar in the pocket, you in the hole...” 
                                                     -- Sam Rodia

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