Music, Art, and Craftsmanship Converge in 'the Gentleman's Boombox'

Bearded, Chicago-based artist Floyd A. Davis is living the dream, spinning his background in carpentry into a variety of creative projects. His breakout success has been building unique sound systems out of vintage suitcases and trunks. "I think it has a lot to do with nostalgia," he explains in this documentary portrait from Drop Culture. While digital formats make music easier to share than ever, he says, people still need ways to "blast it for everybody else." Drop Culture, a series of web videos about art and culture, is produced by Paul Stone, who worked with the filmmaking team the Mullet Brothers (tagline: "business up front, party in the back") to create this piece. Previously, the series has profiled Cindy Gallop's famous "black apartment" and photographer Lyle Owerko. Stone talks about the making of the series in a brief interview below. 

The Atlantic: How did you find this artist and decide to profile him?

Paul Stone: I produce original content for a documentary web series called Drop Culture. I chose a new film collective called the Mullet Brothers to direct this project. Floyd built some props for a recent commercial shoot that the Mullet Brothers were directing and they added a day to their Chicago schedule for this short documentary.

What was the production process like?

The Mullet Brothers are a multi-disciplined film collective; one brother directs, another brother shoots, and the third brother is the editor. The fourth brother is a writer for our narrative projects. They worked with a small local crew. The brothers shoot quickly and are very organized and precise. This helps when you need maximum creative output when shooting an artist who has limited time.

The "craft documentary" (portraits of artists, designers, builders, etc) are an increasingly popular genre in web video. What do you think people like about them?

Any craft that involves using the hands for anything other than typing on a laptop is interesting to me, with the exception of creative writing, of course. Designing apps is not as visually interesting as a person who can handle a circular saw or paintbrush.

What's next for you?

I am currently in Europe searching for new stories to tell. My commercial work brings me to new, exotic locations several times a year, which helps the discovery process when producing an original film-based web series on art and culture. I recently opened an office in Venice, California, and our next few films will be west coast-based stories. I have personally directed seven short documentaries in seven months for Drop Culture and hope to premiere two to three original films each month with the help of the Mullet Brothers. I recently shot the pilot episode for a new sci-fi web series called The Future Committee that has a major Hollywood studio interested in developing the first season.

For more from Drop Culture, visit http://www.dropculture.com/.

Kasia Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg is the executive producer for video at The AtlanticMore

Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg joined The Atlantic in 2011 to launch its video channel and, in 2013, create its in-house video production department. She leads the development and production of original documentaries, interviews, and other video content for The Atlantic. Previously, she worked as a producer at Al Gore’s Current TV and as a content strategist and documentary producer in San Francisco. She studied filmmaking and digital media at Harvard University.

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