What Can I…

An award-winning documentary could be the inspiration for your shop's next project.

It’s an annual tradition for my family to have an Oscar viewing party. We compile a smorgasbord of food (nacho bar, popcorn, candy), print ballots, and attempt to stay awake for the 3.5-hour show. (Red carpet not included.) Whoever correctly guesses the most awards receives a gift card to the movies, naturally, and bragging rights for the whole year. 

In order to vote fairly, I try to see all best picture nominees before the big night. This year, my boyfriend and I picked up DVDs from Redbox, rented films On Demand, and headed to the movie theater for back-to-back showings. (Pro tip: Spread this out over a few weekends. Your eyeballs, and significant other, will thank you.)

One of my favorite movies of award season, “Faces Places,” didn’t get a best picture nod, but it was nominated for best documentary feature.

“Faces Places” is a French film that follows long-established, world-renowned film director, Agnès Varda, and modern day, 24/7 sunglass-wearing artist/photographer, JR, as they travel across rural France, producing images of the people they encounter. I highly recommend following @JR and @insideoutproject on Instagram. (The documentary is part of a larger mission, “Inside Out Project,” to pay tribute to the power and dignity of humans by displaying their portraits in public spaces around the world.)

Throughout the film, the two artists cruise picturesque landscapes in JR’s mobile print shop: a U-Haul-like truck equipped with an instant photo booth and wrapped in graphics depicting a digital camera. Members of the communities they visit step inside the vehicle, pose for their picture, and within five seconds have a wide-format black-and-white portrait. JR and his installation team then paste the graphics upon barns, abandoned homes, trains, water towers, shipping containers, and more. 

“I thought, ‘What could I paste on this?’ I’m always asking myself that question,” says JR in the film.

As a print service provider, are you asking yourself the same thing? “What can I print that’s unique?” “Where can I install this graphic?” “What can I do that hasn’t been done before?”

In our ISA Sign Expo recap, we found forward-thinking attendees and exhibitors were asking: “What else can I do with what I already have?”

In our feature on retail and P-O-P, we’re asking how shops can spruce up a brick-and-mortar industry that has seen a decline in the last five years.

And in our sustainability feature, we’re asking why so many high-volume PSPs have invested heavily in their plant’s sustainability efforts. 

Need more wide-format inspiration? I encourage you to dig into this month’s issue, scour our social media accounts, browse our brand-new website, rent “Faces Places,” and start asking yourself, “What can I…?”

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