Urbanized, Gary Hustwit’s latest film and the final piece of the Design Trilogy, has been released on DVD, Blu-ray, and digital download. For more information on the film, and to keep up with Gary’s latest blog posts, visit the Urbanized website.
Categories: Film News
Luke Geissbühler and Gary Hustwit atop a heliport in Santiago, Chile.
Hello friends, just wanted to give you a quick update on Urbanized. We’ve been crazy busy the past six months, traveling and filming all over the world, meeting some amazing people, and getting what I think is some incredible footage. We’re still working on getting a “real” website up for the film, and a trailer, and we’re knee-deep in editing, and… well there aren’t enough hours in the day. Suffice to say that we’ve done extensive filming in a dozen cities on four continents, and we still have at least another six trips to go. We’ll be detailing some of the people and projects we’ve been filming when we launch the real site, within the next 30 days. But my Twitter feed is still the place to get the latest updates and other musings.
How can you support Urbanized? Well, it’s pretty simple. Urbanized is a totally independent project, funded mainly by the revenue from Helvetica and Objectified. So the easiest and best way for you to support the new film is to buy merchandise from the previous films. If you’d like to help out now, you can purchase any of these fine items (they make great gifts, too):
There are less than 20 of these limited prints left, so get them while they’re around. If you’re anywhere in Europe, you can order DVDs from our UK Webshop.
Thanks again for supporting the film and following along on this journey with us, and I’ll have more news soon.
Categories: Film News
Helvetica/Objectified/Urbanized cinematographer Luke Geissbühler is really a science geek at heart. He and his 5-year-old son Max, along with a few friends, made a homemade spacecraft out of a Thai food takeout container, outfitted it with an HD video camera and an iPhone, and a few weeks ago used a weather balloon to launch it into the stratosphere. Their amazing video of the project has now gone viral with millions of views, and he’s getting hounded by the media. On a recent filming trip to Europe for Urbanized, all anyone wanted to talk about was Luke’s spacecraft!
P.S. – Nice use of Helvetica for the titles, Luke…
Swiss Dots has produced a new limited-edition screenprint inspired by a 1960’s promotional poster for Helvetica, a version of which keeps popping up on Mad Men this season.
Hand screenprinted on archival 300gsm paper, A2 size (16 1/2″ x 23 1/2″) in a numbered edition of 100 copies, each signed by director Gary Hustwit. $150, order one while they last.
Update, the prints are SOLD OUT!
Five years ago I began work on my first documentary, Helvetica, which looked at the worlds of typography and graphic design, and their impact on our visual environment. After Helvetica was released in 2007, I had the idea for a second film, Objectified, which focused on industrial design and product design, and our relationship with the manufactured objects that surround us. While working on Objectified, I realized I wanted to make a third film that would also examine how design affects our lives, and began thinking of the films as a “design trilogy” of sorts.
The third documentary in this trilogy is about the design of cities. Urbanized looks at the issues and strategies behind urban design, featuring some of the world’s foremost architects, planners, policymakers, builders, and thinkers. Over half the world’s population now lives in an urban area, and 75% will call a city home by 2050. But while some cities are experiencing explosive growth, others are shrinking. The challenges of balancing housing, mobility, public space, civic engagement, economic development, and environmental policy are fast becoming universal concerns. Yet much of the dialogue on these issues is disconnected from the public domain.
Who is allowed to shape our cities, and how do they do it? Unlike many other fields of design, cities aren’t created by any one specialist or expert. There are many contributors to urban change, including ordinary citizens who can have a great impact improving the cities in which they live. By exploring a diverse range of urban design projects around the world, Urbanized will frame a global discussion on the future of cities.
Urbanized is currently in production and will premiere in 2011. We’ll be releasing more details about the cities, projects, and people featured in the film in the next few months, along with a proper site. Once again I’ve teamed up with cinematographer Luke Geissbuhler, and I hope you’ll follow along as we complete the film and finish this third exploration into the role of design in our lives.
For the time being, my Twitter feed is probably the best way to keep up with news during this process. Comments, questions, suggestions? info[at]urbanizedfilm[dot]com
Earlier this week I drove from Arkansas to North Carolina to attend the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, and made a stopover in Nashville. I had the pleasure of visiting the legendary letterpress shop of Hatch Show Print, talking with director Jim Sherraden, and getting a tour of the joint. If you’re not familiar with the press, they’ve been printing for over 100 years, and are most well-known for the show posters they created for early bluegrass and country musicians and venues around Nashville.
Watch this short documentary about the press that was made a few years back.
The lovely Michaela shows me a drawer of their huge collection of wood type.
A Wille Nelson poster in progress.
I bought a nice Johnny Cash poster and then hit the road again. You should definitely visit Hatch Show if you’re ever in Nashville. Thanks again to Jim and the staff there for taking the time to show me around.
If you’re attending South by Southwest, come by and see “Fans, Friends & Followers: Creating Your Own Cult (of the Non-Apocalyptic Variety)” in which Scott Kirsner and I will be discussing ways for filmmakers to use the web and other routes to reach an audience for their work. Sunday, March 14th, 3:30pm at the Austin Convention Center rooms 18ABCD.
You will come to this panel. You will come to this panel. You will come to this panel.
“Documenting Design” L to R: Eames Demetrios, Doug Pray, Michael Bierut, Gary Hustwit
I’ve just returned from two weeks in Africa, partly to attend the fantastic Design Indaba conference in Cape Town. I was on a panel called “Documenting Design” along with my friend Doug Pray (Scratch, Art & Copy) and Eames Demetrios, filmmaker and grandson of Charles and Ray Eames. The conversation, which was moderated by designer and Helvetica show-stealer Michael Bierut, was too short! It was one of those situations where after 30 minutes I thought we were really getting into an interesting discussion about the creatives processes of designers, and our processes as filmmakers. After the panel, Eames, Doug and I sat down for the Design Indaba video crew and continued the discussion for another 45 minutes, so hopefully they’ll post that video on their site soon.
One of the most surreal moments of the conference happened during a dinner train trip the organizers had planned for all the speakers on the Blue Train. Along with dinner and drinks, there were blackjack tables in one car of the train where guests could partake in some play money gaming. Being a man who loves his cards, I joined in, but suddenly found myself sharing a blackjack table with Martha Stewart. She may know paint chips, but she don’t know blackjack. When she hit a 14 against the dealers 6, I was like, “Martha, Martha, Martha…” shaking my head. Somehow she ended up winning though… go figure.
I also presented screenings of Helvetica and Objectified, the first time the films had been shown publicly in South Africa. Thanks to everyone who came out to the shows, and special thanks to the Design Indaba team for such a great experience.