Tivoli Films Inc. &
Hallman Animation Studio
PROFILE - Winter 2018
The Tivoli logo includes a ferris wheel, representing the many skills of this dynamic, full service production company which has just completed its fifth full year of operation and experienced the busiest year to date.
Brent Hallman, executive producer of both the flourishing Tivoli Films and Hallman Animation Studios, reflects that his interest in video production grew from an expensive hobby. His university studies focused on Hotel Management through a Bachelor of Commerce degree at the University of Guelph. To gain experience in that field, Brent worked his way through a number of roles in both back and front of house positions.
But he loved to travel, recording landscapes and people through the lens of his camera. Gradually he bought more and more video equipment, and began to dream of transferring his energies to his real passion, film. The young company was formed in Waterloo, coming to Fergus in 2012, when they purchased and restored the historic building at 145 St. Andrews Street W. Gradually the film studio became a full-time business, enjoying a burgeoning expansion for five years before moving to Elora,
In June 2017 Brent and his wife Lauren moved to Elora with their young son Charlie, after purchasing the graceful grey wooden building at 18 Mill Street East. Renovations are still underway to the ground floor studio which has ample space to hold cameras, creative facilities, drawing boards, editing stations and meeting rooms. The visibility of this location in the heart of Elora’s tourist area is an asset in reaching potential clients. But mainly, Brent says, they are both energised by the dynamic spirit in Elora: creative in all genres, enriching in breadth, it inspires focus and innovation. For a small town, it is unequalled in Ontario.
Brent wishes he had started the production company ten years earlier. Work is stimulating and different every day. He and Lauren, who is half owner of the business, are surfing on an exploding industry, creating original promotional content for organizations of all sizes, across Ontario and internationally.
Hallman Animation Studios is a complementary part of the business at the Mill Street Studio. The vitality and originality of animation have made it a growing art form. The Studio is fortunate to have Jud Walton as Head of Animation. Jud spent years in England animating and directing a wide range of content for popular children’s programming such as Bob The Builder and Pingu. His twenty years of animation background bring a breadth of experience, amazing skills and diverse styles to his creative product. It offers a secure base for employing and integrating other artists from across the country. These days animation is mostly done on computer, and can be contracted from diverse locations.
Tivoli Films and Hallman Animation Studios have produced promotional material for a diverse clientele ranging from major international brands to small mom-and-pop shop businesses. The use of animation not only in entertainment but in marketing and education demands creative vison on many levels, Did you know that whiteboard videos are drawn live on-camera? As producer, Brent hopes to branch out to children’s animation and documentaries -creations which are storyline driven. Animated feature films are popular and appealing.
As co-owner of Tivoli and Hallman Studios, Lauren is a creative director, producer and artist in both undertakings, collaborating with clients in determining production needs, assisting with script development and planning overall video content. Highly creative in her own line of interest, Lauren started a production company focusing on vegan food and lifestyles. Lauren says creating food is a form of meditation. She is also to be found behind the camera, capturing enticing images of her food creations.
Lauren and Brent spend a good deal of time with their two-and-a-half year old son Charlie, whom they plan to home school. Brent himself didn’t like school and found he was always day dreaming! Living close to the film and animation studio day by day provides Charlie with a unique opportunity to learn. It’s a welcoming, familiar place where he is not barred from touching the equipment or experiencing the steps of the creative process. Brent, who works long hours, often stretching into the early morning, enjoys spending time with his son, and living in the residential unit above the studio allows for lots of quality father-son time. With a passion for all aspects of their visual enterprise,
Brent enjoys working alongside a talented team of professionals, especially those who have greater skill and expertise in their fields than he has. The Studios are actively seeking the right people to sustain quality growth: illustrators, artists, animators, editors, writers. This community has a strong talent pool, but it’s small, and they must look outside for employees and freelancers with experience and fresh ideas. As creative director, Brent has the final say in a production but he values collaboration. His vision is to keep the studio lean and invest in high quality talent to continue growth.
Brent enjoys producing quality content for his clients. He has produced aerial films of the Grand River landscapes for the GRCA and films promoting local tourism. On a broader scale, clients have included multi-national companies, nonprofits, museums, TV companies and corporate and commercial groups, with increasing opportunities offered through marketing agencies. In fact, they have produced works not only in many places, but in many languages: English, French, Dutch, German, Spanish, Italian and Flemish.
“Fifteen years ago I didn’t see life this way” Brent says. “But I had a dream !”.
Interview by Beverley Cairns
is the Newsletter of the Elora Arts Council, published quarterly since 1985
Each publication features an artist living in the area of Centre Wellington.
128 Profiles have been published.
In 2005 the book Profiles was published featuring 75 artists from every artistic discipline.