Presenting top 20 Fusion Doc Challenge finalist filmmaker Duncan Williamson and “Signal Box – Vibrance to a Concrete Jungle”

December 22, 2015

What’s your Fusion Doc Challenge film, “Signal Box – Vibrance to a Concrete Jungle,” about?

My Fusion Doc Challenge film is about a public art project that Clean Slate Group out of Bozeman, MT started called the a.r.t Project, artistically reclaimed traffic boxes. The idea of the project was to stop graffiti on traffic boxes, while involving local artists to bring vibrancy to these necessary eyesores. Clean Slate Group started in Bozeman and has now expanded all over the country bringing the project to many different towns and cities.

Duncan Williamson Signal Box – Vibrance to a Concrete Jungle

Duncan Williamson “Signal Box – Vibrance to a Concrete Jungle”

How did you choose your subject?

As a junior at Montana State University in Bozeman I have been seeing these things at every stoplight for the least 2 and a half years. I have always wondered if they were anything more than just public art. When I received a genre choice of art I couldn’t resist finding out more about these traffic boxes.

What was the hardest thing about the challenge?

The hardest thing about the challenge was getting in contact with people and scheduling times to do interviews. We tried to fit in all the interviews on one day, so we spent a whole day driving around the Gallatin Valley interviewing people. When we started that morning we interviewed who we thought was one of the main people involved in the program, but it turned out he was just the public art coordinator in Bozeman. When the interview finished I had to look up who the actually founder was, get him on the phone, and set up an interview at some point that same day. We ended up getting an interview over his lunch hour and by sheer luck he had one of the wraps that was going on a brand new traffic box at the shop.

What was the best thing about the challenge?

My favorite thing about the challenge was working with two of my fellow film students from MSU and spending the better part of 4 days dedicating all our time to this one project. This was completely different from anything we have done in school so it was a great learning experience and friendship builder.

Duncan Williamson Signal Box – Vibrance to a Concrete Jungle

Duncan Williamson Signal Box – Vibrance to a Concrete Jungle

 

What’s your biggest take away from the challenge?

Being good with people is one of the best qualities a filmmaker can have. I truly believe that because of how we approached the artists about the interviews and the project it made them comfortable with a days notice to do an interview with a complete stranger. Because of this project I have created friendships with the people involved and I think they enjoyed the experience too. It is always good to connect with your talent and to make sure they understand it isn’t about me as the filmmaker, but about the story we want to tell.

What is on the docket now for your film career/What are you working on?

My next projects will hopefully include a short documentary about my local barbershop, some work with a musical festival, and graduating from Montana State University in the spring of 2017.

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