working with bianca and michael of kid icarus was a blast. their shop is super cute, their location is in one of toronto's hippest neighborhoods, and their love for craft and handmade is infectious.
while what they produce is impeccable, kid icarus is really just a two person shop. michael handles all of the production and bianca manages all of the pre and post production, among all of the other facets that go along with running a storefront.
throughout the day they continue like busy bee's working apart but every so often they meet. what starts off as a split screen of the two of them working independently breaks when they meet in the middle to work together.
the color of the piece was pushed as far as i could go in apple color to really bring out the saturated colors apparent in screen printed goods. one of the main differences between screen printing and digital printing is color; with screen printing, anything is possible - including crazy neon colors (colors that we have incorporated in to printed collateral, particularly the orange that is seen on many of the goods that kid icarus has printed for us), whereas with digital, you can only go so far.
now, being that kid icarus is located in a small shop, we did run in to some challenges with lighting. luckily though, kid icarus is closed on monday's so we were able to film while the storefront was closed. setting up lights while the store was open would have been impossible. we ended up lighting from the outside of the shop when we lost the sun in the back of the building, and then lighting the interviews in the same direction of the sun when we lost the sun behind clouds.
what i really love about this piece is that it was filmed in 1 day, about 6 hours to be exact, with 1 cinematographer, 1 assistant cinematographer / pa, and an AD. the ability to go in for a day, create a film about kid icarus and their process with relatively low impact is quite amazing to me. the power of these cameras and lenses continually blows me away.
michael, of kid icarus, was kind enough to chime in on the process of being filmed and what it was like from their perspective:
I'm always skeptical when someone wants to bring a class on a field trip, a group of tourists, or a film crew into our space. It's not that I get camera shy or nervous around groups of people. It's the fact that our space is about 300 square feet and once there are about 6 people in the store, you start to feel a little claustrophobic. Filming on a day that we were closed was important. Gear scattered all over the place, store product stashed into any corner possible, the store started to look like a packrat's den with just a thin clear path on the floor to get from one side of the room to the other.
The folks at stillmotion were great. They put up with my random art direction and shot ideas, and also our many side tangents on whatever we decided to talk about that moment.
The night before the shoot we were finishing up a job for the My City Lives Anniversary party. We were on a roll and decided to plow through the printing until it was done. It felt great to head home late that night with another project wrapped up. Bad idea. This left us unable to articulate anything on the day of the shoot. No amount of coffee helped, we were zombies. I'm surprised at the end result of the clip, it comes off really polished despite or lack of sleep.
Some of the shots where we are in print production are my favourites, capturing the viscosity of the inks and the texture on the mesh, those look great in video. Alot of it was "1 shot only". From laying down a fresh bead of ink on a screen, to chopping down paper on the hydraulic cutter, it only happens once. When it comes to the physical printing portion, I generally rely on my core muscles to do most of the work . But there were quite a few overhead shots where I needed to shift my usual stance to accommodate cameras hovering over me. Awkward, yes, but I feel those made up the most interesting shots. It's pretty much what you'd see if you were printing.
Overall it was an interesting experience, especially not really knowing what angle the crew wanted to take on everything. It was loads of fun explaining the process, doing what we do everyday, and just having people around to document it.
technical notes: we used the Mark IV's with a 4 lens kit (24, 35, 50 and 135) and a couple of lights when needed. there is 1 slider shot in the entire piece, everything else is with a monopod or tripod for the interviews.
music is licensed through with etiquette. the artist is purse candy and the song is i need want it.
Frank Catalfumo is a 91 year old shoemaker and repairer in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn. He first opened the doors to F&C Shoes in 1945 and continues to work five days a week alongside his son Michael. If you're ever in the area, make sure to stop by the shop and listen to one of Frank's amazing stories about life in Brooklyn back in the day.