Artist storyteller

Finds 'all these opportunities'

Max Meyer. Photography by Ellie Bogue

Max Meyer. Photography by Ellie Bogue

The installation of a stunning pair of paintings in the lobby of One World Trade Center in New York City was documented by local videographer Max Meyer, who said he wanted to capture the story of the man whose giant brushstrokes imbue that special space with color. In doing so, he created a new business that now offers video storytelling to artists nationwide.

Meyer spent four weeks this past fall filming artist Donald Martiny as he crafted a pair of giant brushstrokes, in hues of blues and greens and peaches and whites, that were installed on the ground floor of the newly opened One World Trade Center.

“I had to start (Maxamillian Studio) for the sole reason to get insurance to (be able to film) in the Trade Center,” Meyer said.

That rather prosaic need led Meyer to realize that in starting a business, he had an opportunity to help other artists bring the stories of their artworks to life through video. That meant Maxamillian Studio would not be a one-off. The fledgling studio, which he set up with help from a variety of Fort Wayne experts, provides digital and video storytelling for artists.

“I realized I have all these opportunities,” Meyer said.

He’s also working with writers and nonprofits to tell their stories through video and website work. And, he noted, video and website development are crucial for artists to showcase their work.

“I want to give the artists their own voice through a first-person narrative. Video adds another dimension,” Meyer said.

Meyer is no stranger to artistic storytelling. In his day job, he’s the director of children’s education for the Fort Wayne Museum of Art, where he oversees the museum’s award-winning work with the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. The museum serves as the Northeast Indiana and Northwest Ohio Scholastic Art and Writing affiliate. He’s used to helping the general public – especially children – interpret and understand art and artists’ imaginations, a notoriously tricky business.

“Look, I work with kindergarteners,” he said. “I take really (hard) stuff that people do theses on and translate that for kindergarteners. The people who buy the work don’t necessarily understand that big art (concept).”

Translating Martiny’s creation of the artwork into a five-minute video required more than eight hours of filming over four weeks in September and October. Meyer and Martiny worked behind a screen, putting the finishing touches on the two 15-feet-wide artworks, while visitors to the center passed by.

“It was a religious experience, being in that space,” Meyer said. “My grandmother worked in the World Trade Center (before the terrorist attacks). To be able to (document) that was such an honor.”

First appeared in the April 2016 issue of Fort Wayne Magazine.

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