This morning a friend of mine sent me the link to the video below. “Conrad and the Steamplant” is the product of photographer Dustin Cohen. This is the latest in a series of short films he has produced over the last year or so, and like his previous short films this one profiles an individual in New York with a unique job. It is a striking portrait of Pratt Institute’s Chief Engineer which follows the story of 79-year-old Conrad Milster. Milster started working at the steamplant in 1965 and is one of only four to hold his position at Pratt in its 127-year history. Like all of Choen’s works this is a beautifully shot and edited documentary short that is well worth the watch and a great way to start your work week.
I hope I live to be 91, well at least 90 and a half like the star of this film by Dustin Cohen has. I hope that at the age of 91 I am still working at a job I love with as much energy as Frank. The video below is part of the “Made in Brooklyn” series and stars 91 year old shoemaker Frank Catalfumo. Really nice work from Cohen and his small crew. The film is a great story, and has a great look to it.
Frank is an inspiration to us all.
I work with pixels, with digital content on a daily basis. The things I create have no physical form, they are simply a display of numbers represented as images on a screen. This doesn’t diminish the creativity that goes into what I do, but over the years it has made me yearn for things made by hand. When I started my career as a designer, everything was done by hand. Even the photo processes used to create a printed page was analog. That longing for the mechanical, the analog, the hands on, has led me in recent years to a greater appreciation of finely crafted items, especially things like watches, clocks, vintage radios and stereo gear, etc.
Last night while perusing the “Made in Brooklyn” series on Vimeo I came across “The Watchmaker”. This is a short film by Dustin Cohen about David Sokosh, a watch maker in Brooklyn New York. Cohen’s short film captures that feeling about the hands on craftsmanship that surrounds the creation of a fine time piece. It captures Sokosh’s passion, and patience that is needed to produce a bespoke Brooklyn Watch. Perhaps it is my longing to spend time creating with my hands instead of a computer that drew me to this film. Then again it could also be the masterful way the short film was shot and edited.
The ironic part is, the film is all pixels, and I am equally drawn to the pixel craft went into making this film.
Be sure and check out the photo essay about the film here.