Private Project

How to Bend Concrete in 108 Easy Steps [Spanish subs]

Cómo Doblar Hormigón en 108 Pasos Fáciles:

Engineering meets art as we follow a designer in his efforts to bend industrial concrete into beautiful furniture. Underneath the documenting of the physical process of manifesting the sculpture, we also document the ethos and mental process of ideation, discovery, and presentation -- capturing what all content creators struggle with on every project.

  • Mahesh Madhav
  • Sean Conley
  • Mahesh Madhav
  • Neal Aronowitz
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Art, Sculpture, Makers, Mindful
  • Runtime:
    19 minutes 30 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    August 10, 2019
  • Production Budget:
    2,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital 4k30
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • 2019 Oaxaca Film Festival
    October 8, 2019
    Mexican Premiere
  • 2020 Festival de Largos y Cortos
    March 5, 2020
  • 2019 Arte Non-Stop Festival
    Buenos Aires
    September 29, 2019
    South American Premiere
    Best Art/Design Film
Director Biography - Mahesh Madhav

In 2012, Mahesh was introduced to video production by an inmate at Oregon State Penitentiary who was serving a life sentence. He used his newfound skills to give back to the community by producing cultural and spiritual programs from the South Asian diaspora. He also produces music videos, including a piece recognized as a "Best Music Video, Independent Producer" in the 2019 Hometown Media Awards. Mahesh allies himself with OpenSignal, an inclusive community media space in Portland, OR. All of his production and editing work is done on volunteer time.

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Director Statement

I was drawn to this project through a strong camaraderie felt with the artist. As he began his journey to build his first console table, I started my own journey to produce my first documentary. We wanted to craft a story for artists in all domains; underneath documenting a physical process of manifestation, we have documented the ethos and mental process of ideation, discovery, and presentation -- capturing what all content creators struggle with in their work.

Neal and I have similar philosophies in our creative flows. During filming, many of the pithy sayings that came out of his mouth were fully in line with my own thoughts. This included his stance on breaking through "impostor syndrome", on letting go of your creation since it was never yours in the first place, and on always being the best version of yourself. We hope that through sharing our own stories, we will encourage and uplift others who are on their own paths, internal or external. The audience can then see it is not only the concrete that bends, but also our own minds, to allow for tremendous growth and learning.

There are definitely spiritual undertones as the subject and I are dharma brothers in the same Indian spiritual sangha. We both hold the Vedantic precepts as the core foundation of everything we do, and I meant to have that shine through the mental struggles he has in the film. So, although the subject is not South Asian, he has adopted our creed and culture by choice. You can see Indian religious iconography in the background in his studio. It is subtle but I feel it resounds more powerfully that way for those audience members who seek it out based on the title. It is not mean to be overt.

Also, this project is also unique in that the director of the studio unit is a hearing-challenged person-of-color. Andre Gray has been deaf his entire life, but he uses this to his advantage; plus he is one of the most hard-working producers I know. He took the lead in interviewing Neal and his background in art and graphic design made him well-qualified to conduct the conversation and tease out the proper sound-bites. Although this was logistically challenging, the crew rose to the occasion with an atmosphere of inclusivity. In projects such as this and others, Andre leads the pack, allowing the deaf community to witness his efforts and to feel empowered.