Builders, sculptors, craftsmen – a growing video trend presents the art, the stories, the experience behind making a living making things by hand. These first person told short films celebrate entrepreneurership, the go local movement, human ingenuity, and remind us what it’s like to do what you love and love what you do. Now more than ever its important to learn about the people who are diversifying local economies and show the connection between workmanship and quality products.
Josh Vogel: Blackcreek Mercantile & Trading Company
This video by The Scout Magazine about wood sculptor Josh Vogel focuses solely on the philosophy behind his work. Trees start out as living things and as he carves the wood into something new, layers of time are peeled back and something new about life is discovered.
Shaped on All Six Sides: Emerald Marine Company
Somewhat similarly in this video by New Canada, boat builder Andy Stewart talks about the satisfaction of turning something with a living, storied past into something new. Stewart’s passion for boat building comes from knowing that for thousands of years mankind has made boats to explore, trade and create progress. He also feels connected to that past through the generations of building wisdom passed down to him.
PROFESSIONal: Salt Lake Sheet Metal Works
This video is part of Vita Brevis’ Films PROFESSIONal series exploring the role of small businesses and craftsmen in an ever changing American economy. Neil Youngberg is a metal fabricator who took over his grandfather’s metal works shop. He looks back on the successes and setbacks of his life and work.
I love these videos because they are slow and timeless; simple, but the narratives are complex; and they showcase the craftmanship of good filmmaking alongside the inspiring stories. There are also entire video series dedicated to exploring the craft of craft like Made by Hand.