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).
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:
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. http://talcolighting.com/contents/wp-content/uploads/video-gallery/Behind-the-Scenes/video.flv 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.
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” /]
Behold some of our finest work on a skeleton crew — Mirza 2012: The Untold Story. The film which was sold out opening weekend in Canada and caused a huge stir in India. [cvg-video videoId=’76’ width=’640′ height=’420′ /] It stirred us up in Vancouver as well because of the magnitude of the lighting setups we were able to achieve with a streamlined crew of swing grip/lx technicians. A true testimony to a cohesive team and our close camaraderie with our good friend and Vancouver’s best kept cinematographer secret: TOBY GORMAN. The trailer is proof that a new era of image-making is upon us. Sensitive digital cameras — tightly knit crew of skilled independent filmmakers — making the most of limited tools — we can create huge budget-like features. We worked tightly together to create an action-packed big-budget movie look with a skeleton crew of only 4 guys (which includes a dual gaffer/key grip, a best boy, and two swing technicians). We added a tow-generator, and a 6k Par to supplement the TALCO LIGHTING & GRIP PACKAGE, and that was it. We took the time to make a simple and effective plan that would cover the entire scene with minimal disturbances. Then we took the extra time at the start of our days to set it up so the rest of the day would go smoothly. We had no rigging crew so we showed up and did everything on the day. Mirza Sahiban is one of the most famous stories in Punjabi literature, and one whose origin goes back hundreds of years. It is a story that has been told and retold for generations, so when a film takes up this tale and labels it The Untold Story, ears were certainly perking up among the millions of Punjabis worldwide. The traditional story is one of forbidden love, revenge, and tragedy; not unlike many legendary folk tales from the world over, but this tragic ending is a bit notorious, because of a twist at the end that gives the story a part of its name.
Here’s a trailer to Mirza – The Untold Story, a punjabi film we worked on last year over a two month period. Release Date: April 6, 2012 Starring Gippy Grewal & Mandy Takhar with Rahul Dev and Bunnu Dhillion. Music by Honey Singh. The director, Baljit Singh Deo, wanted to create a Punjubi film with a distinctly North American large scale production value feeling. He wanted to set new standards for Indian films overseas. Principal photography was in Vancouver, BC. We had a challenging time creating that big budget movie lighting with a minimal crew and no budget for pre-rigging. We worked closely with our good friend and cinematographer Toby Gorman to use large sources, carefully shaped single sources, and strategically placed background lights. We used condor lighting where possible for our night exteriors to save time and manpower because we had minimal time for setup and turnarounds to rig smaller lights. Throughout the show we carried a pair of 6k PAR’s in addition to our base lighting package, slush truck, and a tow generator. Filmed on Red Epic. Produced by Inda Raikoti & Aman Khatkar. The movie has been getting a lot of attention overseas because of its cast special appearances, and non-conventional Bollywood production ways. [media id=46 width=640 height=340]
TALCO returns from 3 weeks filming a movie in Edson, Alberta! The feature film, BELOW ZERO — starring Terminator 2’s Edward Furlong, horror legend Michael Berryman, and supporting actress Kristin Booth — takes place in a butcher shop where a captive writer (Furlong) gets twisted into dementia when confronted with a deadline he cannot face by his agent (Kristin). Blurring the lines between a depressing reality and a beautiful macabre, the writer’s angst manifests in a gruesome character of his own creation (Berryman) while the writer himself explores a sick fascination with the butcher’s son, a pecular little boy named Golem. [nggallery id=6] We filmed in a small highway town far from infrastructure which challenged us to improvise. We originally built extended hood rigs on our vintage picture trucks using scaffold pipe and sliding cheese plates, but the gravel roads proved to be too shaky with the old truck suspensions. We had no stabalizers so we ended up building our own process trailer from a flatdeck base, ground up. The night exteriors ended up being a simple task done in a minimalist way using cinematographer Norm Li’s 4k Airstar Helium Balloon Light. A photo of which from us even ended up on Norm Li’s website.