This story starts with the combined efforts of dreamers and the support of friends and families willing to take this journey with us. Anyone in this industry can tell you there’s nothing easy about making your first feature film, or your second, or your third. But, it’s the first one where you break down the wall between wanting to make movies, and making movies. When working on a film that has a budget that’s less than your actor’s rates, everyone trusts you with their reputation and that my friends should never be taken lightly. This is a legacy we are living and aspire to provide a film that reflects the fight, struggle, camaraderie, fatigue, discovery of new friends, discovery of self, the hurt, and the love, that transpired during the making of this film. Like all dreams, it starts with a vision of a few, and the support of many. This is the truth about Tinker. We ask that you join our journey as we complete Tinker to share with everyone in 2015.
Tinker relates to common people dealing with change and overcoming challenges the best way they humanly know how to as they are presented. In one way or another the story resembles the challenges the crew faced in their personal lives while making Tinker. We had sickness, life-changing experiences, losses, heartache, and yet we overcame the valleys to see it through.
A majority of the people who made this movie have been friends for a lifetime; bound together by more than the love of the craft, but the love for each other. When the time came for Sonny Marler to direct his first feature film putting the core team together was easy. There’s a high level of trust in the director’s vision no matter how unique it is. Adjustments had to be made around the locations at our disposal and the available manpower, which was slim due to the first phase of production, took place through the Christmas and 2014 New Year holidays. Both Clayne and Christian Kane were busy on other projects and we gladly worked around their busy schedules. The result is a freezing cold winter production with sniffling noses, fever, icy roads, and frozen equipment.
When Clayne Crawford and his son committed to make the movie they opened their door, connected us with the right people, and practically gave us a key to the city of Clay. We met with Mayor Charles Webster and he supported the film by providing a location for base camp as well as providing resources and contacts that would help us throughout production. The town’s people generously provided a variety of locations that complimented the look and feel we wished to convey.
The director of photography, Ryan Purvis from Los Angeles, CA, was the first man on board other than our lead actors. We worked a lot with Ryan and knew that he was the perfect fit since Sonny takes some degree of translation when discussing his vision.
Other members were sheer answers to prayer. The Production Designer, Will Drummond from Nashville, TN, was a tremendous recommendation from Clayne having worked with him on a prior production. Will gives a lot of attention to details and worked with the Producer, Tom, with a number of creative elements, set designs, and props. Will introduced the team to Edward Gurney, a principle at OzWorks Design and Production in Birmingham, AL, where we were able get props for sets and use their shop for fabrication.
Every production has their beast. Our beast was Chad Sullivan from Burbank CA. Chad is a life-long friend of both Sonny and Ryan. The thought of using Chad as our gaffer was not a question for them, but for the producer. He considered utilizing local talent to save money, however he eventually went along and was glad that he did. He’ll tell you he’s a gaffer, but on Tinker he was everything we needed him to be. A three-ton grip truck was rented from Department Blue, out of Chattanooga, TN. Chad was in control of every inch; mainly on his own with a little aide from a part time and volunteer assistant.
Our 1st AC, Diego Monteal, was a perfect find that started with a meeting at Starbucks and could not have been a better decision. He was recommended by other filmmakers in the Birmingham area and lucky for us he was available for the whole production with the exception of one day. He worked close with the DP and brought a positive youthful energy to set that was viral.
Randy “Tumbleweed” Smith was another host who was a consistent resource and a good actor to boot. He provided his home as a location and a place for a few members to crash. Have you ever met someone who knows everybody and everybody knows him? This is Randy. Throughout the production, Randy vouched for us with the locals and brought us to locations only a local would know.
Having the privilege of meeting and working with amazing people is just one reason we are so committed to this film. We believe in this story and can’t wait to see what you think.