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Meet Anna Gustafson and Craig Harmer of Slow Blink in Silver Lake

Today we’d like to introduce you to Anna Gustafson and Craig Harmer.

Anna and Craig, before we jump into specific questions about your work, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
We are a happily married Director & Cinematographer duo, and co-founders of Slow Blink – a boutique production company based in Silver Lake. We built Slow Blink to be a creative haven for ourselves and our collaborators- A Creathiven, maybe? No, that’s awful.

The two of us met in film school – working on each other’s terrible student films. Our careers started in the Midwest, mostly Agency work, ads, and indie films between the two of us. A lot of our peers took the same path we did, learn what you can and try to keep growing. For us, that meant heading to the West Coast. We were both pretty sick of frostbite and one too many of those harsh Michigan winters helped make up our minds! So we got hitched, packed up the cat, and moved to LA.

Over the past two years, Slow Blink has been growing into an artistic hub – a place for us to collaborate with like-minded folks and make what we all want to make. With all the resources and talent around you like you find in LA, we feel so lucky to have found a place to open the doors to the work we wanted to do.

Has it been a smooth road?
Smooth – nope! It’s tough to leave a market you’re established in. Between Detroit and Chicago, our portfolios were strong in that region and we had a network we could count on, so building it all again in LA was a challenge, to say the least.

Then, of course, we decided we had to up the difficulty a bit and formed Slow Blink, which meant we had to learn a whole other side of the industry as co-owners of a business. Plus! We just got married.

It sounds so cliché, but the common lesson through all of our struggles – communicate! Ask questions. Really listen. Blah blah blah.

Please tell us about your work. What do you guys do? What do you specialize in? What sets you apart from competition?
Our brand is a mix of vintage and modern tastes, tipped toward vintage. It’s something we try to maintain in our lives as well as our work, thankfully we’ve found kindred spirits to collaborate with on that front. We actually have a music video coming out very soon with local artist Satta that does a bit of that, also we’ve worked on several pieces with music due to FINKEL that have given us a chance to experiment and shake things up. Our partnerships with bigger outlets – NBC, Netflix, and others – come from that same creative place.

We like to bring some playfulness to the table. Format / style / genre, it’s all fair game. It’s fun to blend things and be a bit carefree with it, something you can’t do as easily when you answer to a large team.

With Slow Blink, we have a way to connect to the creative people we’re drawn to, and as long as it continues to do so we’ll be in a good place. Boutique production allows us to be choosy – no dicks, no egomaniacs, just kind souls, and passionate collaborators.

Want to make a music video homage to The Village People’s, “Can’t Stop the Music”? Let’s do it. Envision a dark and absurdist fashion editorial in the style of Dune? Perf. Let’s chat about what you want to do and we’ll figure it out.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
LA is amazing. The culture, the people, the art, the activism, the weather – all that’s lovely. Also, everyone is pretty chill and friendly, which was a pleasant surprise!

Unfortunately, the pizza game here is WEAK. We’ve finally found a couple of favorites (what’s up, Big Mama’s?) but overall, we’ve come up short. Our theory is cold weather brings out the best pizza so Los Angeles is at a disadvantage.

But for real, our happy places in LA are –

Eddie Brandt’s Saturday Matinee (VHS RENTALS, y’all!)

Ample Hills Creamery (Snap, Mallow, Pop 4 Lyfe)

Everybody Gym (body-positive dream space)

El Unico Pollo Taquero on Santa Monica (YUM)

Contact Info:

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Image Credit:

Leigh Ann Cobb // Amanda Vanvels

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