Who is Vesto?

By March 9, 2017May 23rd, 2018No Comments

For an astronomy class our senior year of college in 2001, my friend Tom Keefe and I made a short film called In Vesto’s Legacy about the American astronomer Vesto M. Slipher (1875-1969). For over thirty years, Slipher was the director of the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona, where Clyde Tombaugh discovered Pluto. (A moment nicely fictionalized by Michael Byers in his novel Percival’s Planet, with Slipher in a supporting role.) Slipher was also responsible for discoveries that Edwin Hubble built upon to find galaxies beyond the Milky Way. Tom and I were surprised we hadn’t heard of Slipher so we wrote a film – an extended sketch, really! – where Vesto’s great-grandson visits campus to discuss his ancestor’s work. Our friends in the class who were also uninterested in taking a final exam played all the roles. (This was in the days before YouTube, so the film isn’t online and hopefully Tom, who now runs his family’s real estate business in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, is too busy to change that.) Tom and I later made another short film on 16mm called Pretender’s Dance under the Vesto Productions banner and when I began my publicity consultancy in 2012 my first thought was to call it Vesto PR. As well as remembering our creative collaboration, a type of work I’ve been lucky to continue, the name seemed right given Slipher’s role in astronomy – helping others achieve greater heights in a more concealed role.That’s what I hope to do for my clients. For many years, I held staff jobs while taking on the occassional project, and now I’m thrilled to turn toward my consultancy full-time starting in 2017. This video below shows my girlfriend Isabel Brito-Farre on a Vandercook press at The Arm in Brooklyn, NY in December 2016, making postcards to advertise my business.

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