Last year the former owner and editor of Greenpointers website, Jen G. Pywell took into her head that she needs to learn how to hand-paint signs. Speak of strange ways of creativity. She was cold-calling shops all over Brooklyn and Queens asking looking for someone to teach her this old-fashioned craft. After a while, she came across Artistic Neon in Ridgewood. She asked if Robbie, the owner could teach her hand sign painting but Robbie said that his sign guy doesn’t work out of the shop any longer. “Hand sign painting is also a dying art,” Jen noted. Relentlessly she proceeded to ask him if he could teach her Neon Sign Making, to which Robbie said no again but invited her to the shop.
Jen was amazed by the art of neon sign making and decided that Greenpointers need their own sign. “When I met Robbie and saw how skilled he was and what a great character and story he had I decided I had to somehow document the sign making process,” Jen explained. And what began as a “making of” documentary with director of photography Miguel A. Rodriguez and editor Hannah Jayanti evolved into a very intimate story about neon sign making in New York City as told by father and son Gasper and Robbie.
The documentary has won The Best Documentary Short at Queens World Festival and was screened at DC Independent Film Festival. Now you can see it in Videology on Monday October 19, and if you can’t make it you can watch the film online.