Bringing the 1930’s to life with visual splendour, feat. Iwan Rheon of Game of Thrones — a.k.a Ramsay Snow; here’s a taste of Charlotte’s Song, a first feature film for producer duo Jessica Leigh Clark-Bojin and Lindsey Mann of Done Four Productions who did an amazing job putting together this unique period piece film. It was an action-packed journey creating director Nicholas Humphries‘ enchanting world with DOP Naim Sutherland — who is no-stranger to dark visual storytelling. There promises to be much more to come from this fun film. A young girl with a special gift comes of age during one of the most desolate periods in American history in this dark fantasy inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Little Mermaid. Think “Pan’s Labyrinth” meets “Carnivale” – gritty human drama with a supernatural twist, situated in the 1930s Oklahoma Dust Bowl. Inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Little Mermaid”, “Charlotte’s Song” tells the story of Charlotte, a young girl coming of age in the midst of one of the most desolate and desperate periods in American history. The untimely death of her mother triggers a downward spiral for her father, five sisters and their family-run song and dance act. Help comes from an unlikely source when a gangster named Randall offers to pay off their debt in exchange for making some unsavoury changes to the family business. Matters are complicated when it is discovered that Charlotte, like her mother before her, is in fact a mermaid capable of controlling humans with her voice. What follows is a sophisticated magical turf war in which antagonists from many camps seek to take advantage of Charlotte’s power.
[singlepic id=177 w=300 h=400 float=left] TALCO assists Danny Nowak C.S.C. in a first of it’s kind Capilano University Cinematography Workshop for indigenous people of Canada. The intensive studio course followed the success of another workshop we did at BCIT Film Flex program for graduating students who — prior to us — felt that they were lacking in hands on education and real world experience. At both schools we brought in our 5-ton lighting and grip package truck for a week and helped provide the students a crash course in cinematography, Danny style… It started with overviews of the truck, the equipment, and essential lighting principals such as: a) the inverse square rule for fall-off of light and b) the relative size of a light source as it relates to the softness of the light a.k.a. the importance of a large bounce or diffusion frame; we then built sets and put them hands-on through the process of shooting a scene. Teaching was a very rewarding experience –The indigenous people at Capilano for example were grateful of our filmmaking wisdom and eager to apply their newfound knowledge to complete their film studies at the university. They will soon return to their native lands to become filmmakers and story tellers for future generations. The BCIT Film Flex students began their final practicum following our workshop and worked for 30 days in the industry. Currently Danny Nowak C.S.C and TALCO are looking for more opportunities to take the workshop on the road. [nggallery id=5] These photos were taken at the Capilano cinematography workshop.
Here’s a sneak peak of new artwork to decorate our 5-ton Lighting and Grip Combo Truck. The works are by the talented Scott Sueme and Coleman Webb of Kids At Heart Collective. Guest appearance by Arpi from Montreal. Scott first appoached us on the set of Under the Apple Box when by chance we were filming at an elementary school in Strathcona a few weekends after the Police Shooting. SUEME and WEBB were painting a mural for the community which involved children and school a few meters away from our Truck. The rest is in the ozone….and rolling through North Vancouver, Kerrisdale, and the Country Club. We may have a few cameos soon, can you spot us?
Noticed something new on the TALCO front page? Graphic Designer, Photographer, and Fashion Photo Retoucher Christopher Wallace from NYC has released motion graphics for Trounce Alley Lighting Company. In addition to the front splash page, he made a webpage teaser for promotion: [media id=2 width=320 height=240] If you would like to place the TALCO teaser clip on your site (you can scale it to any size): It is easy to link to from youtube. Just copy and paste the EMBED code from over there. Then post a comment on this thread so everyone knows. We love you!
Yesterday to our great delight, Tony Dean of RED Rad introduced us to veteran key grip — Peter Reynolds — the mastermind behind their RAD Cam. Peter showed us his light-weight aluminum fabricated towers which can suspend the rig overhead in no time to fly a camera affordably. He also offered us use of his privately owned Italian-made crab dolly to subrent on our truck! Read below for more details about his amazing hydraulic dolly. The deluxe model with beer holders is coming soon…. We’ve coined it the term, Reynolds Peewee dolly. This is a well machined Italian version of the American Peewee dolly, not to be confused with a cheap asian knock-off. In fact, this is the only one of it’s kind in Canada. Peter has done a nice job restoring it and it comes in sexy matte Black finish, with plush italian leather. That might be an exaggeration, but smoothness of the arm is not. In fact, the Italian Peewee dolly arm movement is much better then an actual Peewee crab dolly. We tried it ourselves and agreed. Once the workhorse of Peter Reynolds fleet of grip trucks, the Italian crab dolly has been reconditioned like new to serve again. Thanks to him you don’t need to pay the standard $600/day for a hydraulic crab dolly. You can have a smooth hydraulic arm in a compact, full featured dolly; for less. For those not familiar with the hydraulic crab dolly — like everything American — they are a carefully controlled commodity which is only available by lease and never to own, by two manufacturers: Chapman-Leonard who makes the Peewee, Hustler, and Hybrid dolly, and J.L Fischer who makes the Fischer 11, Fischer 10. These two giants control a monopoly. They only build so many units, so there is no supply, and it creates a demand. No one can own the dolly so there is no way to discount it. Even the rental house has to pay a lease to Chapman or Fischer every month for the privilege of renting the crab dolly to its customers. The design of the hydraulic crab dolly dates back to World War II. Originally manufactured to load bombs into airplanes, are these dolly’s really manufactured by Lockheed-Martin for Hollywood? It’s a conspiracy theory in the making. Years ago an Italian company reverse engineered the Peewee dolly, rebuilt it with standardized machined parts for mass distribution, and outfitted it with a better hydraulic system. Chapman sued the shit out of them and banned sales in North America, crippling thier revenue and sending them out of business before they could establish a mass-production line and bring the hydraulic crab dolly to people like you and I. Fortunately Peter Reynolds bought one of these units in their prime and brings the Italian crab dolly back to us now! In fact, TALCO can pre-load the Reynolds Peewee dolly on our truck today!
As the SAG situation and economy combine to create a slow start to the new year for us in Vancouver, we look towards our next projects…Any takers? At the moment we are passing our time collaborating with Brant McIlroy and Martin Testa of the innovative Brant FX company (their website is being redesigned) on a unique animatronic project completely unlike the last film we met them on over a year ago. A photo to the left shows a taste from the past as TALCO illuminates a large night exterior using a condor flying above a rural landscape supported by fog and rain towers by the effects duo, BrantFX. They created the rain somehow without a pump truck because this was a docu-drama, not a big budget feature and the show could not afford the $3000 it would have cost to have a pump truck. They couldn’t afford a pair of 40′ trailers either with seperate grips and electrics. That’s where we came in with a carefully planned, minimal set of subrentals and our basic 5-ton package truck. Together Trounce Alley Lighting Company and BrantFX created a big budget hollywood look on a docu-drama budget. In fact, we were able to work out an arrangement to have our truck for 2 months of interviews preceding this shoot. This allowed us to push a new standard forward as far as what cinematically could be done in the confines of a docu-drama structure. We like Brant and Martin because they have the same “can-do” attitude as us. They can literally take on any challenge no matter how immense — and pull it off for relative peanuts compared to a large studio. Like us, they have built a truck for the motion picture industry and they have the equipment and knowledge to create anything out of electronics, chemicals, metals — you name it — they’ve done it — their workshop is something straight out of Ironman. Personally we’ve seen them cut steel like butter, use explosives, build circuit boards, weld, and experiment with rare mineral oils, all to the blaring sound of heavy metal on their studio’s sound system! Of even more potential: the studio space BrantFX owns — when teamed up with TALCO the possibilities are endless! Whether its music videos, commercials, or anything that needs special effects and lighting — together we raise eyebrows for a fraction of a cost of the big studio outfits! We can provide everything from 20’x20′ green screens to a camera dolly and gib arm — your complete lighting and grip needs. They can provide the studio, animatronics, and effects. Good things are in the future. Who’s going to be the first to bring us together and create million dollar results for relative pennies? We’ll keep you posted as this latest collaboration develops.
In the vein of the extraordinary NYC documentary Dark Days by Marc Singer with music by DJ Shadow about an entire sub-culture living below the city in abandoned tunnels, I have discovered a local Vancouver documentary by wheel-chair bound director Murray Siple. It’s about homeless men running the gauntlet in shopping carts and presented to us by the NFB. We’re not affiliated with the project — and it’s on a much lighter note then Dark Days (view trailer) — but we get enough bottle collectors in Trounce Alley that we certainly enjoyed it. Perhaps a new sport in the making. Thanks to a friend from Portland who first sent me a link to the Mercury’s thursdays morning blog post where I first viewed this documentary. Reposted below, Carts of Darkness by Murray Siple: