“Beyond the Brick” Brings Maine-Made Art and Music to Life
A multimedia collaboration between Good To Go Studios and Heart of Ellsworth celebrates creativity and talent in the Pine Tree State.
The small city of Ellsworth, Maine—just past Blue Hill and about thirty minutes from Acadia National Park—is undergoing a renaissance. The first step in breathing life back into the town? A brand-new outdoor mural by Mount Desert Island artist Judy Taylor. To celebrate the kickoff of Taylor’s piece, producer and director Kyle Lamont of Good To Go Studios was tapped to create Beyond the Brick, a multimedia collaboration of Maine artists and musicians that was projected onto a 3,000-foot wall at a pop-up art show over the summer. We sat down with Lamont to learn more about her studio, what makes Ellsworth special, and how Beyond the Brick came to be.
What is Good To Go Studios?
We are a production company that makes meaningful media. We specialize in films, podcasts, branded content, and marketing—we haven’t tapped into video games yet, but maybe soon! We’re multimedia storytellers, possibility thinkers, and creative problem solvers, and we absolutely adore working with writers, filmmakers, editors, animators, and other creatives and business owners.
What was the initial idea behind Beyond the Brick: A MultiMedia Maine Journey?
The idea was to take people beyond themselves, beyond the brick in downtown Ellsworth, Maine and back to see how our region is a direct reflection of ourselves. We set out to make a video that reminds us why we love Maine, to fill us with pride as we honor our state’s creativity and talent. Maine’s beauty is common ground for conversation and a catalyst for artists. That inspiration shines brightly in the piece.
The creative direction came after flipping through Carl Little’s book, Paintings of Maine, which has been sitting on my coffee table since I was a senior at Sumner High School in Sullivan. The artwork kept coming to life in my mind as animations. From there, the concept grew to include footage from film shoots and branded content campaigns I have produced and directed over the years. When it came to the soundtrack, I was moved to co-produce a soundtrack composed entirely of music created by Mainers.
The project was ambitious. In addition to the video, I co-produced a pop-up art show with the nonprofit Heart of Ellsworth where the intention was to project the film onto a 3,000-square-foot wall in support of our city’s first outdoor public mural. While there were a lot of moving pieces, it was a dream project. With my wonderful team—Jim Picariello, Ruthie Harrison, and Tara Rook, plus my production designer Theo Dumas, combined with the trust of Cara Romano and her team at Heart of Ellsworth—we were set up for success. Rounding out the team was my synergy partner, Heidi Stanton-Drew, who has a wonderful way of synthesizing ideas and making them soar.
What was your first thought when you were approached about the collaboration project with Heart of Ellsworth?
I’ve been in close collaboration with Cara Romano, Heart of Ellsworth’s executive director, for years. Her vision for the downtown Ellsworth district is inspiring and one I fully subscribe to. Culture is shaped by media, and I love the symbiotic relationship we have as I support and promote their mission by producing promotional videos, live streams, and photography. The Water Street mural project has been in the works for years, so it was an organic partnership to co-produce the pop-up art show and create the video projection to headline the event. Bringing more awareness to our community about this public art piece is a big step towards infusing more culture into our town.
How were artists selected for the piece?
Carl Little was our art director, and his passion and ability to articulate Maine art is a true inspiration. He selected more than 20 artists from our region, including James Francis Sr., who is also the Penobscot Nation’s Tribal Historian, and Jessica Lee Ives, an artist in Camden whose depiction of swimming in Maine’s lakes and quarries makes me melt. Together, with the help of Karin Wilkes from Courthouse Gallery, we curated a stellar lineup. From iconic Maine artists to budding high school art students, there is a wellspring of material from which to instill pride in our creative youth. I am so grateful to all the artists who shared their work for this piece. I hope it will inspire the next generation and manifest new possibilities of community engagement.
How was music selected for the video?
Thanks to Meg Shorette at All Roads Music Festival, I was introduced to the talented sounds of Tara Rook, a producer and musician based in Portland. Her ability to craft mixes and make music that touches a spiritual chord is why I called her up! She was super receptive to my idea of creating a Maine musical soundtrack, and before I knew it, we were off to the collaborative races. It was equal parts composing for the film and producing the film to her music. Because there is no dialogue in this video, the music had to communicate a variety of feelings. Once I figured out the emotional arc of the video, she worked her magic. I love how we introduced each other to Maine musicians we had never heard before. Our state’s music scene continues to amaze me.
Why Ellsworth? What makes Ellsworth special in your opinion?
I get this question a lot. The city has a strange reputation, and it’s not entirely undeserved. I love the contradictions, like how solitude and community are both available here. I love helping small businesses develop their brand by producing a video for them and seeing the results! As a media professional who often freelances out-of-state for commercial shoots, I always stay true to my ethos that Maine is more than just a pretty backdrop on a film set, but a viable hub for media makers. Ellsworth is a supportive spot to create, and its downtown has transformed culturally through the work of Heart of Ellsworth. I’m excited to see what comes next!
What’s next for Good To Go Studios?
We’re loving the podcast format! Our in-house show called Concert Cast (a Spotify Editor’s Pick) is a travel podcast exploring concert culture. Season one is a road trip around Maine that takes you from the State Theatre to Eureka Hall, Maine’s most remote venue in The County. Our experience in podcasting has led us to develop two more live music-based shows, and we’re also developing a true crime podcast from the coast of Maine.