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  Stuntboy Revival
January 14, 2023


The film Stuntboy (Click Here) was shot by former Richmond resident John Behrens in 1988 when he was 14 years old and completed in 1990 when he was 16.

John wrote:

Francois Chew and I made this film in 1990. It was written by Tom McGowan to be a making of an action-adventure film stunt with a child "Stuntboy'. I shot most of it when I was 14 with my first camera in 1988. Francois edited and we finished the film when I was 16 and he was 14, in 1990. We did all the effects practically with models and miniatures. We submitted to the Project 6 arm of the Mill Valley film festival in 1990 and got accepted and screened. We also got segment of the film on MTV and KRON. Scott Ross the general manager of ILM in 1990 saw the film and invited us to show it at ILM monthlies. I digitally re-mastered from the analog 8mm video, VHS and finally put it on the web.

The script was by Tom McGowan, another former Richmond resident who died just a few days ago. The site was the former PG&E gasholder tank located between what is now Brickyard Landing and Seacliff Estates. The tank was built in 1949, 254 feet in diameter and 385 feet tall. The tank was removed in 1988, as were other similar tanks around the Bay Area. It features another recently deceased former Point Richmond resident and former Hotel mac restaurant owner Griff Brazil.

The film was perhaps inspired by activities surround the removal of the tank, preparations for which have been incorporated into the film.

There is a lot of lore surrounding the tank It could be seem from miles away and was used as a homing landmark by Richmond Yacht Club sailors.

Another story is that in the mid-1980s, the developer of Brickyard Landing was concerned that the looming tank could adversely affect marketing of his proposed residential complex. He hired the late John (Jack) Knox, an influential attorney, to see if something could be done about it. Knox first contacted PG&E and found that the tank was slated to be demolished. Then, Knox told the developer, “ If I can get rid of the tank, my fee is $500,000; If I can’t, there will be no cost to you.” The developer took the deal, and the rest is history.