No matter what you think of Mesa, you won't be able to deny that local videographer Michael Pearson's new video makes it look super cool.
Titled "Greetings from AZ Part 1: Mesa, AZ," the six-minute video captures the historic sites and signs of this east Valley community.
The video took Pearson a couple weeks to shoot, and -- because it's shot entirely on 8mm, high-definition film -- another week to process. Because of the vintage medium used, Pearson's footage of Mesa's historic signs (including the Lost Dutchman Lodge, the Buckhorn Baths, and Hiway Host Motel) look very retro, almost like archival footage from decades ago.
View the video and read more after the jump...
"I like the look of 8mm and 16mm film," says Pearson, who works in television production. "There's no way to emulate it, even with post-production and technology the way it is. I was thinking of vintage post cards, and I wanted that kind of 'old' look."
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to Phoenix New Times's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Phoenix's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
Indeed, Pearson's footage of vintage signs lighting up, from the Roadrunner Motel to the Starlite Motel to the Deserama Mobile Ranch, look like glimpses of a lost time.
When Pearson set out to make the video, he says he hadn't been to Mesa in a while. "I wasn't thinking about the signs. I was just thinking about Mesa. But when I went, a lot of the signs were in disarray," he says. "Now, when I think about Mesa, I think of those signs, and Fiesta Mall, the Mesa Library, and the area around Milano's Music. I tried to just get an overview of what I could [for the video]."
Pearson's next video project will be focused on Phoenix, and will include footage of sites like the Westward Ho. "I want to try and capture the entire summer," Pearson says, "from when it's unbearable to when it ends with the monsoons."