Adobe Creative Residency: Bringing “Ghost-signs” Back to Life

Nothing screams “dream job” for an artist quite like the Adobe Creative Residency. Being the artist-driven company that it is, Adobe has established an annual Creative Residency, which enables selected artists to spend a year focusing on their passion project while documenting their process to share with other creatives. This particular installment is near and dear to us -- literally. This year’s Adobe Creative Residency artist, Craig Winslow, is combining the digital and physical worlds by using projections of light to bring “ghost signs” -- washed out advertisements on the sides of historic buildings -- to life in our hometown of Portland, Oregon. The New England-native and experience designer has traversed the country to bring his passion project, “Project West,” to life and immerse himself in the creative, quirky, and whimsical community that defines Portland.

See his full journey in the project featuring Marmoset tracks, "Paceface" by The Brow, "Green Fingers (Instrumental)" by Jupyter and "Sunday Morning Shopping With a Stroller (Instrumental)" by Lullatone below:

Behind Craig’s journey is a whole other team of creatives who helped share his story with the world. We chatted with Christian Bruno from Electric Park Films about working with Winslow and his process when choosing the music.

Did you have an idea of the general music direction that you wanted to take prior to filming, or was that something you developed throughout/after the film/production process?

Christian Bruno: Much of our work at Electric Park Films is in the documentary spirit -- meaning that we go into places we've never been before and allow ourselves to respond the milieu. It requires a little bit of improvisation and a whole lot of paying attention. In this case, really listening to Craig's thoughtful insight into his creative process and paying attention to his physical world, Portland.

What mood were you hoping the music would help bring forward?

CB: Stepping into Craig's world -- his workspaces, his city and to some extent, inside his creative process -- sparked so many ideas about how we wanted to present this story. Craig's work is about exteriors -- walls, surfaces, environments -- but when you meet and talk with him, you learn how thoughtful he is and how much he is conceptualizing all the time. We had some ideas about the types of music that would portray both the exteriors and interiors of Craig and his art, but it wasn't until we saw the footage we gathered, piecing it together, that ideas of sound and music began to take shape.

Why did you decide to go with the songs/artists you did? How do you feel the songs elevate your story?

CB: I'll let our editor, the talented Julie Caskey, answer this one: “As an editor, music is my best friend, and critical in creating the feeling of the story. Typically, I’ll first digest the footage, which, when well-directed as the Craig Winslow piece was, really informs the vibe. Then, I lean on music pretty hard as the piece finds its legs. The Brow, Jupyter, and Lullatone were perfect for helping set the stage for the urban, fun story we were telling about an interesting, creative person.”

But I will chime in to say that after seeing Julie's first assemblies of the video, I feel like she zoned in so well with her music choices. Pretty much all the final tracks were the first ones she picked. And though his interview drives the final piece, we would mute the narration, and man, the music and picture married perfectly. Music does a lot of work, but so do the images. But ultimately, it's the rhythm of the edit. It's the totality. Seeing it all come together like that? It's totally why we make movies!

Posted on September 19, 2016 and filed under Field Notes.