The last few weeks have been pleasantly busy with two new clients coming our way for film production services that we were pretty excited about.
We teamed up with Skidmore Studio (we did a piece on them for the Speakers Bureau when they moved their offices downtown– see that here) to shoot and direct content for a client of theirs called Abraxas Worldwide. The project entailed shooting employee testimonials that went in to a promo piece that opens the website and then little pieces throughout the site that guide users through Abraxas’ process and capability. Pretty cool. See that piece here:
Next, some work we did for Kiva Detroit. They disperse micro-loans to businesses throughout southeast Michigan in cases where traditional lenders usually will not intervene. A micro-loan is typically $1-5,000 and is paid back by the recipient over and agreed upon timeframe. What’s really cool is that the source of the loan comes from citizen lenders who want to support the business. Unlike something like Kickstarter, however, the lender gets their money back. We were really excited to do a piece for them that will be used internally to garner support for some of their upcoming programs, and will also be housed on their website for promo purposes:
Detroit Design Festival will take place this year on Wednesday, September 19th – Sunday, September 23rd. The five day event translates as a community curated and supported design festival developed to showcase the talents and abilities of Detroit’s creative communities. It will take place in Detroit’s Creative Corridor, as well as several other Detroit neighborhoods. Official Design Happenings will include studio tours, panel and roundtable discussions, lectures, product and fashion shows, product launches, retail happenings and design battles to name a few. This is the promo we did for them as a showcase of what’s to come in this year’s festival:
We are really pumped to see some more connection happening between Detroit and Lodz, the two cities we featured in our recent documentary “After the Factory” (that is playing at Traverse City Film Fest in August!). Street art duo Hygienic Dress League (that we’ve talked frequently about) has been making tracks through Lodz this past week doing a series of paintings, including one 70 foot mural near Lodz’ city center. See for yourself:
Nice to see some more connection being had obviously, but I think it just takes the narrative of the two cities one step further. Bravo!
After yesterdays article about the merits of adult playgrounds as a tool to build healthier neighborhoods and happier people, the folks at Huffington Post Detroit posted a poll asking a simple question: Would you go to an adult playground? As of this posting, the results were as follows:
YES, I think it’s a great way to get exercise. 51.06%
NO, I’m not in grade school anymore. 2.13%
YES, with adult-sized slides and swings! 40.43%
NO, it’s a waste of time and money. 6.38%
Kind of interesting to think about. Seems there is a reasonable amount of support. I think one of the key contingencies of something like this working though is building off of the hard work that others have already spearheaded– hence in the last post why I thought it was a good idea to put adult playgrounds in neighborhoods where community gardens are flourishing. When you’ve tirelessly endeavored to create a cultural attraction via the garden, more activity on the heels of that just encourages the original pioneer that started the growth to begin with. It provides affirmation and a sense that your hard work is paying off. And the great thing is that there are a ton of community gardens that are really thriving, so it seems like it’s time to get to work.
I was struck this weekend by a photo in the New York Times, seemingly of a modest group of adults on what looked like a jungle gym in the Bronx:
Turns out the article was about how New York City is installing adult playgrounds geared towards fitness and are having a great deal of success with it. Which got me thinking about the possibility and merits of such an effort in Detroit at the neighborhood level. With an aging population (ages 24-29 are the most frequent age group to leave Detroit), it seems there might be some merit in catering to the needs of folks that may find benefit from an adult outdoor workout facility. Added bonus: finding a vacant lot in neighborhoods other than those in the downtown core isn’t so difficult. Not to mention the benefit of meeting some neighbors over a set of shoulder shrugs and increasing your metabolic heart rate in the process.
SO! I won’t make any personal guarantees, but this could be a cool project to take on DL! style– perhaps as one of the outputs of our continuing effort to use “After the Factory” as a funding tool to create on-the-ground projects in the city (our current one is the race car track on Georgia Street). If we could get some traction creating these, it might be neat to target neighborhoods that have had success with community gardening. In those areas, we install an adult playground as an addendum to that successful effort, and use the kind of neighborhood engagement that the garden created to successfully initiate the adult playground. Then, both sites grow with participation and we get healthier people and neighborhoods. That’s a simplified progression, but still tangible enough to act upon quite quickly.
What do you think? Worthwhile endeavor? Silly rose-colored lenses vision? Chime in on Facebook if you feel so inclined.
Something we have covered a lot in some of the film’s we’ve been working lately on is Detroit’s long term plan for residents and communities– something that has become a hot topic of discussion via the Mayor’s Long Term Planning initiative as part of the Detroit Works Project. To broaden the perspective on what Detroiters are voicing as primary concern vis-a-vis Americans in general, we can look at a recent article in the Atlantic discussing urban planning and what Americans think makes communities work. Some of the studies findings:
According to a new poll from the American Planning Association, two-thirds of the 1,300 Americans surveyed said that their community needs both planning and market forces to improve its economic situation.
And more specifically:
Respondents were also asked to rank the top five factors that make up an “ideal community.” The results:
1. Locally owned businesses nearby
2. Being able to stay in the same neighborhood while aging
3. Availability of sidewalks
4. Energy-efficient homes
5. Availability of transit
A nifty graphic to aid in looking at more of the findings:
The whole point: Detroiters have voiced many of the same concerns locally throughout the Detroit Works Project Community Engagement sessions. So, a few things come to mind:
How can Detroit lead the charge for establishing aggressive appraoches to meeting these needs for Detroiters and establishing models that do it for other cities across the country?
How can we assure that these topics remain at the top of the priority list as the Detroit Works Project moves forward with its long term planning initiatives?
Last week we talked about the dynamo street art team that is Hygienic Dress League and the global tracks they are making right now through Europe. The fun hasn’t stopped. Below we have shots of three more of their works in the UK, and word is that the train ain’t even close to stopping– they are now tackling Berlin, making Detroit proud.
Check out a piece released today for the Urban Innovation Exchange. The short film looks at the work of Yusef Shakur in his neighborhood of Zone. Probably should just watch it below, he’s a pretty incredible dude.
The double trouble husband/wife combo that is Hygienic Dress League have been placing their iconic street art throughout Detroit and the region for quite some time now. One of my personal favorites they did a few years back, now the current site of the soon-to-be completed Mindfield offices:
Well, the duo is still at it, this time spreading the love to cities near and far. This just in from our London office: