A scene from John Steinbeck's great work "The Grapes Of Wrath" was recreated by San Jose State film students in a short filmed on Aug. 9, 2019.

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Classic Steinbeck Short Story Adapted To Film By San Jose State

Mike Colgan
August 11, 2019 - 11:18 pm

A scene from John Steinbeck's great work "The Grapes Of Wrath" has been recreated by San Jose State University film students. 

The scene, which Steinbeck originally used in his short story "The Breakfast,"  involves a stranger walking up a dirt road in the Salinas Valley during the Great Depression and discovering a migrant camp by the side of the road. 

"What resonates with me and this picture specifically is the humanity, the humility and the humbleness of these migrant workers who are happy to have 12 days worth of work," said actor Brett Edwards, who plays the lead.

Director Nick Martinez, who's also a faculty member at San Jose State, said the 80-year-old story remains relevant. 

Students and alumni from San Jose State's film program were involved in adaptation of a John Steinbeck story about migrants into a short film on Aug. 9, 2019.
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"I hope maybe some people look at it and go 'Maybe I'm going to treat a stranger a little bit differently or I'm going to treat someone I don't know a little bit differently, because maybe I'm going to help him out,'" Martinez said. "If I only help them out for this moment, that okay."

The film and theater production program had exclusive rights to film the work because of a close connection with the Martha Heasley Cox Center for Steinbeck Studies, which is also on campus. 

There was a crew of 60 who worked on the film, including 40 San Jose State students and 10 alumni who are working in the industry. 

They plan to show the film, shot over three days, at festivals.