Friday, September 06, 2013
Last year, I watched a group of men hand paint a billboard outside my daughter's apartment window in Brooklyn, NY. Not only was I impressed with the fact that anyone was hand painting these days, the logistics of the rigging, ladders and scaffolding was mesmerizing and terrifying. I learned that the young men painting were with a company called Colossal Media, the largest outdoor sign company in the country. On a rainy afternoon, I ran into them in front of the building, and we chatted about their work. Nice guys. Over the last year, I have followed them on social media and watched their work pop up all over NYC. When the documentary Sign Painters was coming to the Cable Car Cinema, with a Q&A from the directors I was all in! In this documentary we meet hand letterers and sign painters from all over the US. The most dramatic footage is with my pals from Colossal Media, showing how they rig and climb the huge walls they paint in NYC. Having just watched the Skyhigh crew paint a new mural in Brooklyn over Labor Day weekend, I asked director Sam Macon how it was filming them. He said it was especially harrowing because they were working in the early phase of hurricane Irene. Real life drama rivals Hollywood. There were a lot of sign painters in the audience at the Cable Car screening, who shared stories of pursuing their art. This is a solid documentary that explores a cool art form.