In every way, art is embedded into the very fabric of our society and as such plays an irreplaceable role in the building up of culture. To collect art is to understand this important fact, most personally.

The Builder is a story about friendship and the powerful way the interconnectivity of people living and moving throughout a city can help to build culture. The film centers on the art scene in Richmond, Virginia, with a focus on Oregon Hill native and contractor Don Childress, who–to the surprise of many–has an incredible contemporary art collection. This collection includes work from Francisco Clemente, Ron Johnson, Heidi Trepaneir and Bill Fisher to name just a few.

Don’s passion for collecting was born out of working with Tom Papa, a Richmond developer and committed patron and art collector himself. The film tracks the origins of Don’s collecting during building projects through purchase and bartering. The Builder gives viewers a window into how Don’s infectious passion for art impacts workers on his job crew and artists of acclaim in and around the city.

The Builder is bolstered by an impressive list of Richmond luminaries who have had a local and international influence on art and art making. The cast includes the Virginia Museum of Fine Art, Bill and Pam Royall, Sally Bowering and more.

The Cast

Directed By
Ryan Lauterio
Nick Seitz

Director of Photography
Nick Seitz

Edited By
Nick Seitz
Ryan Lauterio

Music By
Johnny Utterback
Jon Bibbs

Best Boy
Shane Taylor

Location Sound Mixing
Shane Taylor

First AC
Shane Taylor

Additional Photography
Will Connally

Still images of Solvent Space courtesy of
Ron Johnson

Image composites courtesy of
Ron Johnson

Images of Bill Fisher courtesy of
Miguel Carter Fisher

Audio Engineering & Repair
Julian Virag

Drew Webster
Rachel Seitz
Garreth Blackwell

Garreth Blackwell

Opening Title Graphics
Garreth Blackwell

Film Poster
Garreth Blackwell

Shockoe Artspace Motion Graphic
Ivan Witteborg

In Order of Appearance
Gerald Scholder
Bill Royall
Pam Royall
Ryan Lauterio
Tom Papa
Ron Johnson
Curtis Newkirk, Jr.
Sally Bowring
Amanda Dalla Villa Adams
Dr. Michael Taylor
Valerie Cassel Oliver
Don Childress
Troy Floyd
Casey Criddle
Heide Trepanier
Jacob Simmons
Dame Tiam
Miguel Carter Fisher
Will Connally
Elizabeth Scholder
Tim and Lisa Bynum
Shea Johnson

Film score by Johnny Utterback, in order of appearance:

“The moment I start listening is the moment I stop living”
“Circadian Riddim”
“Laminate lettering”
“The Equalizing Coefficient”
“Time Harvest”
“Soft Skills”
“Chambray Hombre”
“Witness to the Light”
“New Regularism”
“Everything is Precious”

Trailer & credits music
“Gotta Have It”
by Jon Bibbs

Special Thanks
Tim & Lisa Bynum
Chino Amobi
Sarah Mizer
Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
Bill & Pam Royall
Tom Papa
Sally Bowring
Will Connolly
Lillian Dunn
Laura Lauterio
Rachel Seitz
Miguel Fisher & Family
BJ Kocen
Joshua Williams
Sasha Waters Freyer
Kyle & Jenny Archuleta
Garreth & Callie Blackwell
Carey Kight
Don Childress