’68 Chevy Impala – Camera Rig

For all the hip hop and muscle car lovers out there (click for an homage)….Here’s a shameless promotion for TALCO’s Camera Car Mounts — featuring an incredibly versatile hostess tray / side mount from Modern. It even comes in deluxe gold plating for wrapper’s delight — and it holds more then a 32 ounce drink with a burger and fries**. ** Roller skates and mini skirts coming soon.

Phantom HD w/ Milos Raonic

In this TV spot for New Balance, TALCO goes face to face with Canadian olympic tennis star Milos Raonic. We teamed up with a New York based company hscusa.tv to bring Milos to life in full HD, high speed, glory. Filmed at frame rates upwards of 700 FPS using a Phantom HD camera we required special high frequency HMI ballasts that have only become available within the last few years. Paramount Production Support in Vancouver helped us obtain state of the art Power Gems 300hz capable electronic ballasts. This allowed us to use two 12k PAR and one 4k Par to shoot this high speed photography. We would not have been able to do this a few years ago using these types of luminaries. Click any of the following pictures to enlarge/slideshow. In the following picture you can see us setting up for the shoot with two 12k Par, an Ultra Bounce 12×12 frame, and some Power Gems ballasts. All HMI were using 300hz capable electronic ballasts and were flicker free at 700-1000 FPS high speeds for the Phantom camera. A few years ago HMI would have been out of the question for this type of photography. We would have had to use T12, 20k Tungsten Fresnels, or Maxi Brutes to get the amount of light we needed without flicker. For those who are not familiar with high speed photography, the photo frame is exposed so fast that it can detect the cooling down of a tungsten filament between cycles as it becomes energized on and off rapidly reacting to the sine-wave pattern of AC – alternating current (60 hz North America). Larger filaments – generally 5k and up — tend to be safer because they are so large they burn hot, so the cool down effect of the filament is not as perceivable. However, tungsten are large — we considered 20k Fresnel, T12’s, and Maxi Brutes — hot, and the light was too warm in color temperature for our commercial shoot. We wanted to be far away and unobtrusive with the lights. They needed to be cooler, and able to focus tighter beams. We considered Luminsys Softsun strobe lights by the makers of Lightning Strike. But they are an expensive specialty item and require special consideration to power. They also sometimes have issues of overheating we have found. Instead we choose a workhorse staple in the film industry: HMI PARS. HMI discharge lights operate differently then Tungsten. They use a transformer (ballast) which features a complex system of capacitors, coils, and circuits to build up high voltage electricity which arcs through a vacuum chamber of metal. The metal ignites into gas/vapour, then the voltage lowers and stabilizes to pulse through the vapour, causing it to emit light. In its most basic form — the heavy “boat anchor” magnetic ballast — the electricity passing through the vapour changes polarity 120 times per second at North American 60 hz frequency. With each polarity change the light momentarily strobes. This happens so fast that the human eye cannot detect it very well but the camera certainly can unless it is synchronized to a compatible shutter angle. Originally magnetic ballasts required cameras to be set to “hmi safe” speeds (frame rates which divide evenly into 120 (60/40/30/20fps) or the camera would catch an inconsistent amount of pulses per frame, creating a rolling strobe effect. Then electronic ballasts came out and offered Flicker Free, which was basically an electronic switching that chopped the sine-wave pattern into a tighter “square-wave” pattern making each individual pulse less discernible. This minimized the rolling strobe effect and allowed some irregular shutter rates, but the max speed possible to shoot at was still limited by the output frequency of the electronic drivers. HD Cameras have gotten faster as well. The technicalities of capturing, and then recording the millions of pixels involved in one thousand high definition pictures per second are astounding. The HMI technology has steadily kept up the pace. First electronic ballasts offered 100hz output cycles providing more pulses per second then at 60hz. Now Power Gems offers 300hz and Arri has 1000hz capabilities. The cameras can go upwards of 2500 fps theoretically pushing Arri’s 1000 hz to the test. Anyway, in our experience Power Gems lived up to their claim of flicker free up to 1000 fps using their 300hz output ballasts. These power gems ballasts are widely available in rental houses although some inventory may not have 300hz capability (although they can be sent back to Power Gems for an upgrade card to retrofit them if they don’t have the feature stock).  They may not be as fast as Arri’s 1000 hz ballasts, but for us and up to 1000 fps they were adequate and most importantly, readily available. Here’s a little spin-off second portion of our shoot which was used for Biotherm Canada called “Ace Your Serve”. This video was used as a comic promotion it was supposed to feel like candid television.  

Midnight Stallion (2013) trailer

An NGN film we did last summer with Pieter Stathis has been released. It stars legendary country singer Kris Kristofferson. You can find out more about the making of the film, including our horse rig in collaboration with BrantFX in our post from a few months ago, under the original title, Midnight Rider. Synopsis: Midnight Stallion (2013) – Kris Kristofferson and Jodelle Ferland star in this heartwarming and inspiring tale that celebrates the spirit of family and the amazing courage and determination it takes to defeat all odds. Fifteen-year-old Megan Shephard and her parents will do anything to save their struggling farm. When the family discovers a wild stallion in a nearby forest they begin to wonder if this could be the answer to their prayers. Stars: Kris Kristofferson (Joyful Noise, Dolphin Tale), Jodelle Ferland (The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, ParaNorman (voice), The Cabin in the Woods), Chelah Horsdal (Rise of the Planet of the Apes).

First feature debut for Ellie Fox

From time to time we get an opportunity to work on an independent film with a great story which transcends the technical, monetary, and logistical limitations of the film Ellie Fox‘s first feature film, “Under the Apple Box“, has taken several years following principal photography to re-finance and complete. She’s slowly but surely getting film festival and media attention after much perseverence, thanks to her compelling story. This is good for the local Vancouver cinema scene, and what’s better — she’s got another script up her sleeve. Here’s a roundup of Under the Apple Box’s latest announcements: Women’s International Film Festival – Miami – Screening March 2013 Honorable Mention Winner at the New Jersey Film Festival 1 of 5 screened at VanCity Theatre for Toronto International Film Festival Distribution agreement with Horizon Pictures for international markets “Escaping from a world where women are undervalued and often in peril, Leila ultimately finds that her successful new life comes at an unbearable cost.” “From a small town in Iran, a young Leila rises up to teach her world about acceptance and rekindles a lost love along the way.” The Story: At a traditional “Rozeh”, or women’s gathering, in Iran in 1983, nine year old Leila (Jane Lowery) has discovered a talent for taking pictures. Her revealing glimpses of the hidden female mysteries find a ready market with local photographer, Amir, who sells Leila’s photos and holds private screenings to show her forbidden pictures to eager boys. Orphaned as an infant, Leila was left in a basket under an apple box in a grocery store, to be raised by the loving Nanah (Elaine Rathey), the shopkeeper and a revered local storyteller. Leila’s main goal is to save up enough money for Nanah’s knee operation. As a teenager, Leila (Lorena Griffiths) meets a rich Australian boy named Danny (Mike Clemente). They fall in love and Danny visits her every summer. However, the Revolution forces Danny and his family to leave Iran, leaving Leila devastated. Life takes a shattering turn when Leila’s step-brother attempts to rape her but is caught in the act by Nanah, who inadvertently kills him. The subsequent trial is a foregone conclusion as both Leila and Nanah are sentenced to death. They manage to raise enough money for Leila to flee the country but tragically, she is forced to leave her beloved Naneh behind. Having escaped to Vancouver, Canada, the adult Leila (Tammy Gillis) becomes a very successful photographer and writer but is forever haunted by her dark past. One day she hears some disturbing news and her lost love Danny (Gilles Tanguay) comes to find her, forcing her to revisit her tragic past and to come to terms with its legacy at last.

Social Networking

  To coincide with the launch of the all new 10-Ton Truck, we have linked our faithful website dynamically with a social media network. You will now notice that you can share any page you like with the online masses simply by having a compatible account and clicking the new “like” and “share” buttons. We’ve linked our blog comments and posts so everything will by synchronized with the social network website via updates and wall posts. This TALCO site will remain the original source of the content so you will always find everything here first, but now we have presence on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Linked In. We figured since the new year has brought us an exciting new work truck and a larger equipment package, what better way to share the good news then an updated approach to social media. We have what you need…..now you can find us!

New Truck for the New Year

Big things are coming for TALCO lighting in the first part of 2013. We are upgrading to a 10-ton truck with a larger box which allows us to double the size of our pre-loaded truck package. A 1985 Kenworth K100 Cabover (COE) diesel from a nostalgic era of trucking to deliver the following improvements to your production: 30 foot box filled with 10 tonnes of lighting and grip equipment. More HMI: We’re carrying a 6k HMI Fresnel to complement our pairs of 4k/2.5k/1.2k/575w daylight lighting. Streamlined workflow: gets equipment unloaded and on set faster to make your days on budget. Distance: filming up north or across the mountains into Alberta? No problem for this big-cam, jake break equipped, long haul truck. TALCO travels to you for your production. Here is a sneak peak, of the new TALCO package truck, coming soon in the first quarter 2013: