“Floored” a timely doc about people in transition

James Allen Smith plans a local theatrical release for his recently completed documentary “Floored,” about the final days of open air trading at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.

While his core audience is finance wonks, “?Floored’ is about people going through a tough transition in less than ideal times,” Smith said. “I think a lot of people can relate to that.”

Smith is former web designer for CME trading firm Local Knowledge. For years Smith had discussed, with Local Knowledge partner Steve Prosniewski, the possibility of documenting the adrenaline fueled, insular world of the CME.

“He told me that it was such a tight community that it would be very difficult to get anyone to open up,” Smith said.

“Years went by and that community started to fade away. In late 2006 it seemed the time to make the film had come. We approached [CME member] Joseph Gibbons together and started production almost right away.”

With $100,000 in financing put together by Prosniewski and Gibbons, Smith filmed through the aftermath of last year’s closing of the trading floor, when the CME merged with the Chicago Board of Trade.

Starting out to document the industry’s transition to computer-based trading, Smith increasingly focused on those traders who struggled with the transition.