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… 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:

Lighting up downtown Calgary

A true indie experience, last September we were in Calgary for 3 weeks working on a film with local cinematographer Aaron Bernakevitch. The experience re-equainted us with filmmaking outside of Vancouver, where the dream is still very much alive! In fact, local businesses were friendly and the city was inviting. It appears that without a lot of big productions in town, everyone was just happy to see us filming there. We didn’t have an experienced locations department or any of the typical production support we are accustomed to from our hometown of Vancouver (a hollywood spin-off with a large production infrastructure), despite this we were were able to use our experience to safely create big budget lighting in a town that rarely got to see it. Among our accomplishments: We flew a condor in front of the Bay at night in the heart of downtown Calgary. The production was able to get a water truck to make the streets shine for the shot, further enhancing the effect. We did a stunt shot to simulate an actress’s drug high by using a man-cage attached to a forklift on a downtown street. A steady-cam ran backward framing a medium shot of the actress as she stumbled forward. Camera and talent both step seamlessly into the man cage of the forklift, we safetied them discretely, and it raises up 20 feet in the air giving the illusion that the actress is walking forward, then floating up as the camera stays seamlessly on her and the sidewalk vanishes as the building perspective raises. We also built another process trailer from the ground up, something we seem to do on all our out of town shows. This one we organized a 24′ trailer towed by our producers pickup truck. We loaded our 10k diesel generator and two HMI ballasts in the back of the truck. Then we hitched up the trailer and built a scaffold pipe safety railing around one side of the car and the camera area in front. We outrigged one of our 2.5k HMI par along the drivers side window of the car and mounted a 4k HMI Par in the foreground on the deck by the camera position. We also mounted a pee-wee dolly for the camera platform so they could get the slow camera boom up shot from the grill of the car to the windshield as the rig travelled down the street.

Behind the Scenes on Midnight Rider

Midnight Rider, a modern day horse film, starring singer/songwriter legend Kris Kristofferson and Jodelle Ferland. We worked with director Bill Dear and cinematographer Pieter Stathis who together set out to create a picturesque, and predominantly outdoor film, with horses and landscapes. The movie was produced on a MOW budget by The Nassar Group – NGN. We had a crew of 4 guys and a generator operator. Much of our days involved logistics of setting up and shuttling equipment over large distances and working closely with animals and trainers. A big part of the film was the horse race at the end. In order to create the racing sequences Brant FX built a horse gimble rig on the bed of a flat deck truck. We built everything around it, scaffold pipe railing, generator, and HMI rigged for each rider with a diffusion frame. The horse gimble was like a giant spring mounted toy from a playground. Brant FX took it a step further by mounting the center horse on dolly track and attaching an air powered hydraulic piston to propel the horse forward or backward during the take. It made it appear as if one horse was overtaking the other when filmed from the side. Getting the camera position to the side was a difficult task as well because the flat deck was only 8 feet wide. With the help of the FX team we secured a forklift man-cage cantalevered off the side. We mounted our bazooka base and pedestal to the cage, then we strapped in Pieter Stathis who operated his steady cam using a garfield mount. Due to the large distances and the MOW pace of shooting, we gave up a hydraulic pee-wee dolly in favour of our lightweight panther dolly which we could transport more easily through the fields. Pieter wanted lots of motion in his shots to accentuate the large horizons and scenic frames, we didn’t have a lot of time to setup each shot. We mounted a porta-jib to the panther dolly in order to provide a mobile base that could be repositioned easier. We even mounted two pieces of our GI Track on 4×4 beams so we could march into set, drop the beams, and level it quickly without thinking twice. Speed was the name of the game. When available we used gators to shuttle our equipment. Here’s some video clips behind the scenes: [cvg-video videoId=’55’ width=’600′ height=’400′  /] [cvg-video videoId=’56’ width=’600′ height=’400′ /] [cvg-video videoId=’57’ width=’600′ height=’400” /]

Worksafe BC: Vancouver Rain Cover

This was a roofing safety video for WorkSafe BC. We filmed in the pouring rain. We needed to get a large rain cover safely in the air above the set which was built 8 feet off the ground to simulate a rooftop. We built a “fly swatter” by rigging a 20×20 clear to the basket of a gennie lift. We sent it up unmanned from the base and were still able to position it, making adjustments with ease using the versatile controls of the lift. We could pan and tilt the basket, extend the primary and secondary boom, and telescope the arm, all from the ground. It worked great. Here’s some photos.