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Print Takes Over

Epic events require extreme visual presence.



SundanceEvery winter in Utah, 100,000-plus filmmakers, actors, producers, press, and movie-goers descend on the small ski resort town of Park City at the Sundance Film Festival. Having helped launch the careers of such filmmakers as Kevin Smith, Quentin Tarantino, and Steven Soderbergh, the festival championed by Robert Redford has long been considered a breeding ground for future Oscar winners, especially for non-mainstream movies. The current event is a more star-studded affair than its origins’ intent as a venue for low-budget, low-profile indie flicks, but it remains a platform for small movies to make a splash. Without Sundance, we may never have seen (and be able to quote) Napoleon Dynamite, Get Out, The Usual Suspects, The Blair Witch Project, or Reservoir Dogs.

The festival has grown since the first incarnation more than 30 years ago. Today, the annual event spans 10 days and 35 venues in three Utah cities (Park City, plus Salt Lake City, and the Sundance sundance2Mountain Resort near Provo). An annual event of this magnitude and clout requires a ton of branded graphics across its many locations. Having worked with the Sundance Film Festival for three years, Vision Graphics, a Salt Lake City-based print service provider, output and installed more than 20,000 square feet of graphics at both indoor and outdoor locales. 

“Some elements are hung on old, historic buildings, which require the materials and methods do no damage and leave no trace,” says Christopher Dalley, director of marketing, Vision Graphics. “Our installation team had to work in tight spaces, during odd hours, and often five stories off the ground to apply all of the elements.”

When making installation plans – and choosing substrates and printers – Dalley says they had to take into account the unpredictability of the winter weather in the mountainous area. superwideThe graphics needed to maintain vibrancy and adherence in temperatures that might swing from 50 degrees during the day to -10 degrees overnight, with possible exposure to sunlight, rain, or snow, he adds. 

Ten installers – five in-house and five contracted – had one week prior to the start of the festival to apply interior and exterior graphics on walls, windows, a metal sculpture, walkways, fences, and light poles. Vision Graphics had to be on-hand during the week of the film fest as well. Some of the graphic elements were event-specific and were put up and taken down within hours. 

When the festival concluded, the PSP had just two days to remove everything they had installed, leaving no evidence of the graphics behind.




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