Marty Shields, photographed at the Workman and Temple Family Homestead Museum, is a documentary filmmaker who focuses on little known local stories from the San Gabriel Valley.

Marty Shields

The Documentary Filmmaker

For 16 years, Marty Shields was the host of “Marty’s Corner,” a live cable access variety show where he interviewed all kinds of interesting people —from local politicians to comedians and historians. He was a local celebrity, known for highlighting stories about his longtime home, the East San Gabriel Valley. In 2009, funding to his show was cut and Marty had no option but to let it go. Within a few years, Marty’s favorite TV host, Huell Howser of “California’s Gold”, passed away. And that’s when Marty and his collaborator, videographer John Garside, realized they needed to find a way to keep the tradition of telling nonfiction video stories for and about the region. “We started getting all these crazy story ideas that we’d never heard before,” Marty says. Today, their YouTube documentaries tell rich local histories about old crime scenes, haunted buildings and forgotten airport runways. Each one requires months of research, interviews, shooting and editing, which both Marty and John carve time out for after they’re done with their day jobs. “I always think there should be little plaques wherever we do a story, because people don’t know there used to be (something interesting) here,” says Marty. “If we hadn’t done them, they would have just been lost in time.”