— DAY 1 —

Day sponsored by Craig Sr. & Laurie Winslow

PORTLAND, MAINE

DAY 1, in which our traveler prepares for a long adventure ahead.

Kicking off this project today felt fantastic. 

To begin, we've been organizing our adventure-mobile, and scouting a few locations for tonight's projection. This first night set the tone for the entire project, and our Kickstarter backers got to see an actual glimpse of what they can expect for the next 15 days.

After talking with staff at a local boatyard in the town Craig grew up in, we were happy to share DAY 1's location in a sweet little corner near Handy Boat Service + Dockside Grill.

What a great start to our adventure. The quiet weather was great for both projecting and documenting. Some friends & family also ventured out to accompany us during the installation despite the late hour. We learned a lot about our process, our timing, and enhancing workflow moving forward.

The people at Handy Boat were very accommodating after hearing about our project earlier that day, and the location could not have felt more like Maine

At the end of the night, we recorded the 3D soundscape and could feel just how calming standing still for 3-5 minutes really is.

We'll both be looking forward to this meditative last step to close out each of the next 14 stressful days.

— DAY 2 —

CORNISH, NEW HAMPSHIRE

DAY 2, in which our traveler reflects on his reasons.

Today we spent a good bit of time where Mike grew up, soaking in the surrounding woods of Lebanon & Cornish, New Hampshire. We were gifted some knowledge of the area from Mike's family, hearing a few stories and seeing a few locations that impacted tonight's narrative.

Mike's grandfather explained today that farmers would pull up these stones while cultivating their land, each farmer placing them at the edge of their property, creating low, natural boundaries.

Consequently, the trees near these walls have prospered due to a law prohibiting anyone from cutting trees down within 10 feet of a property line. Over time, these have created a distinct natural perimeter.

THESE LOW STONE WALLS SHOULD BE VERY FAMILIAR TO ANYONE WHO LIVES IN NEW ENGLAND. 

We had these natural walls which metaphorically embody boundaries, security, and home stuck in our heads all day. Luckily we didn't need to go far to find a really nice one with a plethora of green ferns for tonight's projection. 

The moment of calm at the end of tonight while recording our location's ambient audio felt special as we reflected on the day, looking forward to tomorrow, when we leave the region we've lived in our entire lives. 

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— DAY 3 —

Day sponsored by Champlain College & Local64

Windsor, Vermont

DAY 3, in which tears are shed, bidding farewell to everything that's been 'home' in his life thus far.

It was a powerful realization on our minds today that from here on out, we're out of the nest.

Today we're over the border to Vermont, a state where Mike and I first became friends. We met as freshmen in our dorm at Champlain College, lived together with a couple other great fellas until graduation, then Mike moved to San Francisco, and I stayed in Burlington for another 4 years.

Needless to say, Vermont feels like home, so it feels nice to visit. A fitting location for DAY 3 on our journey, especially after going through my home state for DAY 1 and Mike's home state for DAY 2.

It was definitely a powerful realization on our minds today that from here on out, we're out of the nest. The comfort of familiarity will be gone, the safety off, all feelings that will certainly manifest themselves in what we're working on for tonight's projection.

We explored a bunch of covered bridges nearby, as they're not only iconic to Vermont, but feel like they match our thoughts of transitioning out to a new world, through what feels like big wooden portals.

They were all beautiful locations, but felt tricky to get into, or project around, so we decided to explore our other options surrounding the feeling of 'moving forward.'

We walked around the area surrounding Windsor Station, an area that felt like a good second plan for us, but it wasn't until we talked in the car while heading to another covered bridge, that we realized its full potential.

Sidenote: Along this trip we've been recording random conversations, mostly just for us, but occasionally to stay on task (someone listening is a great motivator) and to gather some audio journals for our behind the scenes on this project we'll eventually be making.

Our grand scheme was to try and projection map a moving train

After asking around, it turns out there aren't too many trains that pass through this spot, but if there was... we'll have been prepared.

Tonight we packed the Honda Element like we were on a covert-ops mission. In case anyone kicked us out, called the cops, or approached us all sketchy, we could close up the back and essentially take off.

Turns out, no one bothered us, and the stress of uncertainty kept us on task, as we broadcast the whole night on Periscope.

Here's to DAY 3, the closure of a mini trilogy.

— DAY 4 —

BUFFALO, NEW YORK

DAY 4, in which our traveler discovers a pool of endless opportunities that await him, and chooses his direction.

Today we had the long 7 hr drive ahead of us through Vermont and all of upstate New York to Buffalo.

The monument in Bennington was an interesting treat– neither of us expected it to be as large as it was.

After twisting through some small Vermont and New York towns, we emptied onto 90 West to a shocking message from our GPS...

"Continue oN 90 West for over 200 miles."

We expect to hear higher numbers as this trip progresses...

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Along the long drive we talked about OUR THOUGHTS ABOUT MOVING WEST, and what could unfold for our little adventurer after he boarded his train to A new frontier

The drive went pretty fast. Mike sketched as we storyboarded tonight's episode, and worked on some animations along the way.

Then, Mike found the rapid fire setting on our camera, and we proceeded to laugh heartedly as we imagined a gatling gun with a photography feature.

We caught a freak downpour around Rochester, then the skies completely cleared and we were smooth sailing to Buffalo.

Mike and I were both completely taken aback by the sheer scale and presence of Buffalo's Silo City.

We expected this to be a simple episode: large scale, industrial, our character entering a giant, new unfamiliar land... 

WE WERE WRONG IN THE MOST FANTASTIC WAY.

First off, The scale of these BEHEMOTHS is hard to comprehend.

They're roughly 190 feet tall.

Our thoughts going into this evening, after a long drive, was we'd pull back the tricks and do something simple. Big projection on the outside of a silo, Little Buddy gets off a train and sees a big city. Boom. Easy.

The tricky part, was after an amazing tour from our friend Adam, we saw all sorts of interesting projection opportunities, and were suddenly back to the storyboard. We had no idea we'd be able to walk inside of these things.

The best way to hear our process for DAY 4 is through a great conversation we had with some onlookers, then Mike and I ideate further and decide on an amazing location, inside silo #42.

We also share a struggle felt up to this point about the limited format of our backer-only updates, sharing snippets publicly along the way, and more.

Earlier today we were given a tour by our friend Adam.

Silo City is so vast, and profoundly vacant.

He showed us the site-specific art installations peppered throughout the various buildings, and explained how they recently put on big events that bring in a ton of people to these incredible structures of concrete + steel.

The echos that bellow through each silo chamber are difficult to capture or even explain. By the end of the night, 3:30am, the silence made us awestruck to be in the space that we were, at this moment on our journey, feeling calm + thankful + fortunate to be able to bring this project to life. 

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Everyone we met tonight felt super excited for their city and the positive growth it has seen in the past couple years.

We'll definitely be back to this place.

After another night wrapping at 4am, we've been continually re-evaluating our process to ensure we don't fall behind, but don't sacrifice the quality we want to deliver, either.

Next up, our longest drive yet, to Chicago, Illinois.

Huge thanks to Jim Watkins at Silo City for being an incredible host for DAY 4.
Special thanks to Adam Sauerwein for guiding to & through this wild location.

— DAY 5 —

Chicago, Illinois

DAY 5, in which Little Buddy reaches the big city he's been following his compass for, only to discover it may not be for him.

TODAY WE crossed 5 statesone time zone.
(THE EXTRA HOUR WAS A WONDERFUL SURPRISE.)

We talked a lot during the long drive.

We talked about the project, which we thought was going pretty well, despite staying up until 4am yet again. We knew this wasn't a sustainable amount of sleep, and we felt it after this 9 hour drive. 

Mike worked on our postcard rewards, which we sent along the way to 36 backers. We quickly learned postcards take a very long time out of our precious time, especially as we wanted to do our best to write meaningful messages to everyone individually. Our backers became our motivation, everything else melted away. We were making this project for ourselves, with the support of strong group of 125 who were watching along, every single day.

We also talked about narrative, and started calling our character by the name we adopted for him: Little Buddy.

Little Buddy made it to the big city he was searching for, but what do we do with him now?

We rolled into Chicago tonight wanting some sort of urban location under a bridge if possible, and found a great spot near an area suggested by our friend, photographer, and backer, Ashton Ray Hansen.

It's called Park No. 556.

We pretty much immediately wanted to play with shadows.

We knew a dark spot in a bright city might be tough, but this spot offered consistent light cast from street lights in the area. 

This inspired Craig to play with shadow borders and force perspective of buildings from another world, while Mike animated Little Buddy as he follows his compass through the streets.

another 4am night, and we felt a sinking feeling as we realized we just backed ourselves into a narrative corner.

Little Buddy didn't really do anything. Now he's in a city, tomorrow we're headed to Omaha, Nebraska, after that we're out to the badlands. Full-on nature. We had to somehow wrap up his urban story and send him on his way.

This is something we'll beat ourselves up heavily during the long drive to Nebraska, but now it's time for a few hours of sleep.

Huge thanks to our close friend Justin Kuzma for filming some behind the scenes.
Also, thanks for staying out, and giving us a place to sleep. Justin's great.

— DAY 6 —

OMAHA, Nebraska

DAY 6, In which Little Buddy hits a breaking point, and refocuses his passion.

Today was simply incredible.

We were struck by a seemingly endless rainbow the entire drive across Iowa.

Man, is Iowa so beautiful. 

While Mike wrote out more postcards for our backers, we kept getting distracted by the majestic wind power colossi as far as the eye can see.

Mike and I talked a lot along the way, unclear of where to go with the story of Projecting West.

We felt we had missed an opportunity last night during Chicago’s projection, to introduce a character, to spark a narrative fire of sorts, but instead, it just kind of… was.

Knowing our character, who we recently would refer to as “Little Buddy,” is headed into some nature for the next handful of days, and we have to get him out of the city.

We sweat this for a long time, until we finally pulled into Omaha as darkness fell, and started to explore for our DAY 6 location. Someone suggested 5 specific spots for us to check out, so we felt hopeful.

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WHO KNOWS, MAYBE WE'LL STUMBLE ON A LOCATION AND EVERYTHING WILL CLICK... BUT RIGHT NOW, WE HAVE NOTHING. 

Unfortunately, they were all either too large, made of a difficult material for projection, or simply weren't logistically possible.

After Chicago, we realized that the past episodes we liked the most, were ones which simply came from the heart. Of course it sounds cheesy— but if we weren’t completely stoked about that day’s projection, we'd feel like we're letting ourselves, and our backers, down. 

Then, this happened.

At 11pm, feeling completely defeated, we wander through a sculpture park called Spirit of Nebraska Wilderness.

It depicts a larger-than-actual-scale tribute to the true pioneers who uprooted their entire families to move west. It was not only deeply humbling, but the technical detail put into it was near unfathomable. This is an entire winding trail through a full city block complete with full caravans and emotions on everyone’s faces.

Experiencing this work at night is powerful. they're like true shadows of the past.

What you're looking at right now, is seriously all metal. Not cloth, wood, and rope just painted black. Metal, rendered at slightly larger than actual size. Let that sink in. Cool. Let's continue.

What you're looking at right now, is seriously all metal. Not cloth, wood, and rope just painted black.
Metal, rendered at slightly larger than actual size. Let that sink inCool. Let's continue.

It was a moment caught in time.

These were the true individuals projecting themselves west.

After mopping ourselves up, we wandered back through downtown, and right around midnight we walked back by a billboard I made a comment on earlier

All I previously notioned was how much I love those old signs— but in this new moment, everything suddenly became very clear.

We noticed a tree and some grass across the street from it, a perfect location for Little Buddy to think about life. 

There was even a part of road blocked off, so we could "apologize later" and set up shop there once our content was ready. 

Game time.

Tonight we felt Proud success.

Once we finally visualized what we wanted to create, it was (only) a solid 4 hours of work and we were done. We pushed through what felt like our lowest point yet, only to finally prevail.

Here's one of our favorite audio logs from this whole project, recorded right as we were packing up for the night.

Little buddy’s headed to big wilderness.

Unfortunately for us, this marks our 6th day in a row staying up past 4AM, and the wall we thought we avoided... was about to get its vengeance.

— DAY 7 —

Badlands, south dakota

DAY 7, in which we discover our limits.

Our Lack of rest FINALLY outpaces our limits.

4AM, we race to our location— the sun rises, our hopes set.

THE REALIZATION SETS IN THAT WE MISSed A DAY; EVen worse, We're about to let our backers down. — IT'S HEARTBREAKING.

We spend a few moments in silence. Mike sits calmly on the curb by the car, while Craig slowly paces around mindlessly taking photos of the surrounding (and absolutely stunning) pastel-drenched sunrise landscape.

— the previous 24 hrs —

We woke up feeling an incredible high coming off of day 6.

We got to sleep at about 4:30am the night before, which was par for all five previous nights leading up to it, but waking up DAY 7, we gave ourselves a little break. We felt accomplished.

We woke up, left a note for our new friend who let us crash on their floor, and went for breakfast at a solid diner downtown which we saw the neon of the night before. 

We had 7 hours of driving ahead of us, so we reflected on what went really well the night before. Start to finish, we've been averaging 4 hours each installation, from concept to filming complete— our hangup was deciding on content & location.

Plus an hour for Craig to edit the video and share with backers, which he was determined to "share before we sleep" for it to count as the same day.
This was unfeasible by DAY 2, yet he pressed on.

If we could plan DAY 7 during the drive, get to Badlands at sundown, find our spot by 7pm, we could be done by midnight.

Easy.

after sucking on some omaha library wifi,
we hit the long, flat, BUGGY, road.

The Corn Palace was an interesting stop, though our weird imaginations were a little underwhelmed after it was told "It's a building made of corn!" which should be rightfully corrected to "it's building covered with corn!" 

That said, Corn Palace was amidst construction on their latest boopie–steeples which we opportunistically snuck inside of.

Nearing the Badlands as you drive west, the landscape changes in wild ways— then quite suddenly, you're on a different planet entirely.

We instantly got chills. 

There was a vast, unseen landscape of pointy silhouettes all around us. Were we sleep deprived & hallucinating?

We pulled into a large parking lot where a few dozen of these creepy dark figures turned out to be photographers learning about long-exposure.

We killed our headlights, got out to look around, and recorded this audio log, PART 1 for the story of our eventful night.

There are some audio blips and eerie interferences in the recording, which could be aliens, or our cellphones.

 

we were going to camp, but decided a motel would do us good. So we made some coffee, and got to work.

...at least for a little while.

There's no better way to share this moment, than to just share this moment. 

here's audio log PART 2 where we ideate for 22 minutes.

It starts as a storyboard session for DAY 7, but a mere two minutes in, we pump the brakes and take a huge step back to reassess our entire project. 

We reflect on why we moved, pouring out thoughts, feelings, fears— to manifest as themes we're passionate enough to want to touch on at some point during this project.

By the end, we even lay down an ambitious narrative goal to have multiple overlapping 'trilogies' weaving throughout Projecting West...

we turn off the recording, chat private, then record more.

We've cut 15 min from the beginning of PART 3, but this next 11 minute segment is where things get juicy.

We're riffing back and forth on the theme of making choices and Mike says:

"NOTHING IS FREE, EVERY DECISION THAT YOU MAKE IS AT THE COST OF MAKING EVERY OTHER DECISION THAT YOU DIDN'T MAKE."


We're really excited about our concept, but ambition blinds us of time— it's 12am.

We work until 1:00am, then agree we need to take a nap for 30 minutes.


CRAIG + MIKE BOTH SLEEP.

Craig wakes up, unsatisfied
with the amount of "rest" he got.

 Mike is unable to wake, so Craig lets him sleep.

Craig works on some visuals, that
turn out to be kinda useless.

At 2:30AM, Craig hears a bird, sending
a stress chill down his spine.

Mike is shaken awake by Craig.

Mike jumps alert to life, gets to work.

5 minutes later, Mike is a head-bobbing vegetable.

3am — when those Birds start chirping

Craig suddenly realizes it's 3:30am,
and whatever we have to show— 
it's time to go.
Right now.

Hey backers, 
So, for a multitude of reasons, I'm sad to inform that we don't have a video to share with you today. A crazy combination of overly ambitious driving lengths, and an unsafe lack of sleep has hit us hard and we're taking an extra day in The Badlands.
The good news is, we're taking an extra day in the Badlands, and have a specific plan set to catch up with two videos tomorrow. 
Plus, we're honestly really blown away by the Badlands and wanted to do it justice. 
For now, I'll be breaking the daily posting for sake of a solid recharge, and looking forward to the shorter drive days moving forward through Montana.
Thanks for understanding,
— Craig & Mike
We actually do have a video for today... but we're very unhappy with it.
Maybe it'll surface when this is all over

Our day ended, or rather— day 8 began, with an idiotic scramble to save our asses with a "daytime projection"... 

we officially hit an all-time low.

We knew we could get out of it, but we just needed sleep first.

🌲

— DAY 8 —

Badlands, south dakota

DAY 8, in which Little Buddy discovers a thriving oasis in an unexpected place.

— FULL PROCESS POST COMING SOON —

— DAY 9 —

SHERIDAN, WYOMING

DAY 9, in which Little Buddy enters a somber dreamscape reflecting on something he left behind.

— FULL PROCESS POST COMING SOON —

— DAY 10 —

Gardiner, Montana

DAY 10, in which Little Buddy finds some happiness with some playful fish friends along the way.

— FULL PROCESS POST COMING SOON —

— DAY 11 —

Great Falls, Montana

DAY 11, in which Little Buddy feels concern that others are progressing farther & faster than him. Comparative fears begin to sink in.

— FULL PROCESS POST COMING SOON —

— DAY 12 —

Great Falls, Montana

DAY 12, in which Little Buddy hits critical mass, finds his inner confidence, and banishes his fears.

— FULL PROCESS POST COMING SOON —

— DAY 13 —

Coeur d’Alene, Idaho

DAY 13, in which Little Buddy meets a brave new companion named Lady.

— FULL PROCESS POST COMING SOON —

— DAY 14 —

Seattle, Washington

DAY 14, in which Little Buddy confronts a new nemesis, and gains a overly-confident goof named Gary.

— FULL PROCESS POST COMING SOON —

— DAY 15 —

Portland, Oregon

DAY 15, Little Buddy completes his journey, only to find that new, bigger challenges await.

— FULL PROCESS POST COMING SOON —

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don't miss a day.

we'll LET you know WHEN WE share more process posts.

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