We arrived at the new Montauk store in Gastown late Friday night. We had trekked in from Northern B.C. and the shock felt by the hive of activity we encountered in this stunning urban space jolted our senses. Having spent weeks cocooned in the British Columbian hinterland we were now in City mode. We maneuvered thru the chaos of construction workers, window washers, electricians, installers, caterers and staff – all in hyperdrive and jockeying for position in preparation for Saturday’s launch party.


Our mission (should we accept it) was to show a film on the history and philosophy of Montauk Sofa, a 45 minute montage assembled from reams of photos and clippings of all things Montauk past and present. The second phase of our assignment was to get some interesting footage of ” The Party”. Mission Impossible, you think? Our first obstacle, no projectors. Nothing left to do but to wrangle up some projectors on a Friday night in Van, no easy task.


Internet searches, yellow pages prospecting, phone calls and unlimited coffee…


I call up Martha Carter of the Vancouver dance company mmHop to see if she might have another projector I could borrow for the night. I worked for her company back in ’99 when she was based in Montreal – we haven’t talked for 2 years. She’s on her cell from Vancouver Island, but sure enough there’s a projector hanging in her studio just off the Drive and I could take it down at noon before the Saturday dance class.


After a short walk along English Bay we turn in.


Leaving our hotel early Saturday morning we fueled up on coffee and pocketed a parking ticket (not the last). We swing by the video store and pick up projector # 1 and get direction’s to the closest hardware store to pick up wood, rope and all the hardware we will need to make cradles to suspend the projector’s. It’s a simple design but will require some improvisation and precarious heights. We stop on the Drive to get espresso and by noon we’re heading down to the other side of Hastings to look for the mmhop studio . After a short time atop a 15 foot ladder we have projector # 2 in hand, and are heading back to the new store where all the other final preparations are happening. The first projector is hung upstairs when we realize we need screens, all the walls are red brick and the projections all but disappear. Back at the hardware store we buy a 20 x 20 foot, raw canvas drop cloth that we cut into two 10 x 20 foot screens The raw canvas works well with the brick walls and the sofa’s in the new store. It’s after 5:30 when everything is up and running, one hour before the party and we’ re sweaty and exhausted with no pre-plan the shoot.


The one idea I’d had earlier in the week was to find the quintessential Montauk sofa and capture video portraits of the guests enjoying the comfort of the sofa. We set up a tripod and go to work taking the sofa portraits – in between roaming with another camera capturing the party atmosphere. I guess there’s just something about people enjoying a glass of Prosecco and a really comfortable sofa because the portraits ended up being the most interesting footage we had. The party does not disappoint. Well after midnight we realize we’ll be back in the morning to take down the projectors and call it a day. Sofarsogood.


contributed by Jonathan Inksetter