Southern California is the epicenter of the entertainment industry, making for a centralized hub of creativity and talent. When a need arose in the City of Santa Maria to discourage kids from participating in gang activity, what better way to broadcast this message than employing local industry talent?

The city-supported Life Facing Bars: A Gang Prevention Documentary is a 40-minute feature about gangs in California’s Central Coast. It features ex-gang members sharing their experiences and dispelling the lies about the gang lifestyle, targeting local junior high and high school students and educating them about choices and consequences.

The documentary took over a year to complete, and was privately funded by the Santa Barbara Foundation and the Santa Maria Police Chief’s Council.

Copyright (c) 2014 City of Santa Maria. All rights Reserved.

Documentary by: Matt Yoon
Produced by: Lieutenant Daniel Cohen (Santa Maria Police Department)
Music by: Ryan Waczek

For inquires about future projects, contact Matt at or check out his website,