craft

'Max The Artist' By Emmett Redding

Emmett Redding a talented Melbourne filmmaker and a good friend of mine has produced a neat little documentary about my work. The film looks at my three major projects to date, and includes some insight into South By Scooter. Emmett also managed to mask my annoying repetitive hand gestures - a task only a truly talented director could accomplish. 

If you enjoy my work, would like to know a little more about it, or are as into behind the scenes things as I am, I encourage you to check it out:

 

MAKING SXS: Official Mission Sneakers

‘Making SXS’  is a series of posts documenting exactly how I made my film South By Scooter, from conception, thru production, to release. To see the full series of posts click here.

One of the completed South By Scooter Official Mission Sneakers

One of the completed South By Scooter Official Mission Sneakers

Before I started work on South By Scooter I was developing a story that featured a pair of shoes in almost every picture. That story is still a work in progress, so I wont say more than that, but I guess I had shoes on my mind. 

Initially I thought the South By Scooter Survival Suit would be a bit more like the space suit from Max To Moon - made from odds and ends that I found around the place and thrown together. But as progress on the survival suit continued I found myself making more and more of it from scratch. I realized I would need something to wear on my feet, and that if I bought shoes they would stick out like a sore thumb. By this point in the project I was so into making stuff that I figured I could whip up a pair of shoes no problem! Especially with my trusty new sewing machine. 

As seems to be a common theme in these making of posts/most of the South By Scooter production process - I had absolutely no idea what I was doing, so I just made it up. I didn't have a pattern or anything to work from so I eyeballed a couple of pairs of desert boots and tried to figure out how they were put together. I broke them down mentally into their basic parts and got to work with felt and scissors. The design for my sneakers came together by hand.

I chose gold for the main colour so that the sneakers would match the backpack and stand out from the red of the survival suit and the orange of the scooter deck.

It took about two and a half days to make the pair. The first day was spent hammering out exactly how the shoes would work. I cut out the pieces for one shoe and pinned them together. I was guessing the whole time, I can’t stress enough how little I know about how shoes are made! I tried them on very carefully a few times, cutting down the pieces until they were the right size. 

The second day was spent making a template from the original pieces, deciding where the felt needed to be several pieces thick for durability, adding design details such as the trims, arrows and ‘M’s, and then sewing like mad, making things up as I went.

The design came together very organically. I really did just make it up as I went along. I still can't believe I made a pair of sneakers... I suppose technically they're more like shoe-shaped-slippers... But they sure look like sneakers! Mad sneakers!

I'll be back next week with another making of post. Until then If you haven’t seen it you should check out the film. If you have any questions you can get in touch with me on twitter @maxpiantoni or use the contact page.
 
 

My Camera

by Max Piantoni

Recently I have received a number of enquiries as to how I achieve the characteristic visual style of my work. These enquiries have reached a critical mass, so I figured i’d take the time to address them thoroughly here. If you are unfamiliar with my work I encourage you to take a look at the examples in my galleryfor greater context.

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In the fledgling days of Photography many of the men and women who championed its use as an art-form were also devoted to the technological aspects of the medium, and to its advance as a science. For example Henry Fox Talbot, who pioneered primitive counterparts to modern film processes and concepts, is also regarded as one of the great artists of the early period of photography.

It is in the same spirit that I have developed my own blend of exacting optical science and high art, the result of which has allowed me to develop my distinct photographic practice.

Central to this practice is a one-of-a-kind camera of my own construction (fig. 1.). Initially built as a means of documenting Max To Moon, I now turn its gaze towards all that I encounter and wish to express. The camera is named My Camera

More important to the look of my work than any other factor, My Camera contains custom glass that splits the incoming light into its own idiosyncratic interpretation of the visible spectrum (fig 2.). The interpreted light then makes contact with the emulsion as in any regular photographic process, but with wildly different results.

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I have prepared a basic side by side technical comparison of a test card photographed with a regular (albeit poor quality) CCD based camera, and My Camera. The test was conducted in controlled studio conditions. These results exemplify the unique tonal and textual characteristics of images produced using My Camera (fig. 3). 

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For my less technical readers I have also prepared a less abstract comparison using an iconic real world object. (fig. 4.)

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I would present more real-world comparisons, however due to the remote and often introspective locations of my shoots i mostly work unassisted. 

Additionally, I do not own another camera. Since constructing My Camera and thoroughly mastering its use, I have found it to consistently produce unique interpretations of whatever scene I present to it.

If you have any further questions regarding my Art, technique, camera, etc. please don’t hesitate to email me.

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