Avengers: Infinity War
Blade Runner 2049
Hacksaw Ridge
Star Trek: Into The Darkness
The Revenant
Guardians Of The Galaxy
The Hateful Eight
X-Men: Days OF Future Past
The Hobbit: Battle Of the Five Armies
The Hobbit: The Desolation OF Smaug
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Kong: Skull Island
Mirror Mirror
War For the Planet of the Apes
Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes
TRON: Legacy
Brokeback Mountain
The Imaginarium Of Doctor Parnassus
Legends of the Fall
The Assassination Of Jesse James
I Robot
Days of Heaven
The Clan Of The Cave Bear
Game of Thrones
The Good Doctor
DC Legends of Tomorrow
Van Helsing
The Walking Dead
Parks & Recreation
Chicago Fire
Hart to Hart
Chicago PD

140 Riverside Drive W North Vancouver, BC

Thomas FX Local Time

. . . Call Us First . . .
We Are Here For You

We are fully stocked 
for all strike recovery 
production needs !!!





Thomas FX Serves 
Established Industry 

All COVID-19 Protective 
Measures Are Installed In 
Store. Hand Sanitizer, 
Temperature Checks, 
Social Distancing.

We reserve the right to limit or 
deny access to our building.

Practice COVID Protocols
 Stay Safe!

Non Toxic Colored Smoke Effects - New Product

You might have noticed lighter than usual posting this week. For the past several days we have been hard at work making our new product line ready for market, and adding it to the Thomas FX Online Store.

Now, thanks to a solid effort by our entire team, I am pleased to announce this latest Thomas FX product line . . . Non Toxic Colored Smoke Effects. Perfect for hazmat training, movie making, or special events, it can be used as a stand alone smoke effect, or combined with fireworks to enhance displays.

Colored Smoke Effects is not a "hazardous" good. As such, it can be safely handled and inexpensively transported via traditional carriers without incurring hazardous goods handling charges. This is not a controlled pyrotechnic product, and it is not a firework. Of even more importance, it is NOT a toxic substance. We recommend that you do not use this product indoors as the smoke WILL STAIN anything it comes into contact with.

Colored Smoke Effects are available in two sizes, the regular smoke effect which generates about 1250 cubic feet of colored smoke during a period of two to four minutes, and the larger high volume version which generates about 2500 cubic feet of smoke in the same period of time. Non Toxic Colored Smoke Effects are sold in packages of 5 units. You can purchase packs of five single colors, or a multi pack that includes 5 different colors. Available colors include: White, Blue, Purple, Red, Orange, and Yellow.

We have created a new product category SMOKE EFFECTS in our online store. Colored Smoke Effects can also be purchased Online on the HAUNT EFFECTS page under our HALLOWEEN SUPPLIES category. Since this is NOT a pyrotechnic product, or a firework, you do not require a pyrotechnician's licence, or special permit to purchase it. Colored Smoke Effects from Thomas FX can be purchased year round by members of the general public.

For your convenience we have produced a demonstration video and posted it on our YouTube page this morning. Hopefully you will find it useful, informative and perhaps even entertaining.

Thomas FX remains committed to supporting film and entertainment industry productions around the world by suppling high quality, hard to find, special effects production supplies. Our Corporate Mission is to make special effects magic available to all.

Read full post »

Stargate SG-1 Foggers Consigned to Thomas FX

Special Effects Coordinator Tony Lazarowich dropped by today with some unique special effects consignment equipment that he has asked us to sell for him.

The 4 Ultra Foggers shown in the picture were built for, and used repeatedly on, Stargate - SG1 and all of the long running show's spin-offs. These machines create a steady flow of cool water mist, much like the traditional Mee-Foggers, but on steroids. Tony tells us that he purchased an entire pallet of Ultra Foggers when the show wrapped a couple of years ago. Much of the surplus gear has been purchased by Vancouver-based special effects technicians, and the rest has been consigned to Thomas FX for clearance. According to Tony, these Ultra Foggers were custom made for the Stargate crew at a cost of about $3,000 per unit. We are selling them for only $700 each!

Tony is also offering 2 LeMaitre Show Foggers for sale. These industrial strength fog machines were originally used in the doomed Vancouver themed attraction Storyeum. Unfortunately, this attraction never achieved traction in the local market and quickly closed. The foggers had been sitting in a warehouse for years when Tony purchased them. Tony tells us they have hardly been used, and judging how quickly Storyeum came and went, I am inclined to take him at his word. Today's price for a new Show Fogger is about $1,399. We are selling these two "lightly used" units at $700 each!

You will have seen Tony's work as Special Effects Coodinator on movie projects such as: The Day The Earth Stood Still, Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes, Elf, Deck The Halls, Alien vs Predator: Requiem . . . and also on Television projects  such as The Andromeda Strain and Virtuality. Check out Tony's website for more information.

We Look At The World Differently
So why are we helping out a firm that has positioned itself as one of our competitors in the local marketplace? . . . Because at Thomas FX we still believe in building "community". What goes around, comes around. We also believe in abundance. In our world view, there is plenty for everyone. A Utopian point of view perhaps, but we honestly believe that each one of us has an obligation to do good in this world and to lend a helping hand whenever an opportunity presents itself.

If you are interested in acquiring any of this professional special effects equipment, just Contact Betty and she will help with all the shipping and logistics details.

On the other hand, if you are a special effects professional with surplus equipment to sell, let us know. Perhaps we can help to turn some of your used Gak into cold hard cash.

Keep checking the Used Equipment page on the Thomas FX website for surplus equipment updates and buy online, or make an offer.

NOTE: There is no warranty on used special effects equipment. Buyers must rely on the reputation of the Seller, and on the Seller's representations, which we report dutifully. Thomas FX makes no representations about the quality or condition of any of the consignment inventory that we offer for sale on behalf of third parties.
Read full post »

Quality Used Special Effects amp Stunt Equipment for Sale

Charlton Heston studies 'Alaska' script on Thomas stunt pads
Congratulatons to Norway's Kai Rodseth for expanding his stunt business with quality new and used stunt and rigging equipment from Thomas FX, and also to Martin Hogberg, Sweden's leading Special Effects Coordinator. Thomas FX has been a leader in unique stunt and special effects equipment, as well as hard to find production supplies, for more than four decades.

Ten years ago, we decided that we would no longer go to set as a stunt and special effects organization. Rather, since we are widely recognized as one of the pioneers of the Canadian film industry, we wanted to give back to the industry that has been so good to us for so long. Now, we no longer compete with our customers for business, we stand behind them and help them to become more successful.

The Thomas FX team is fully dedicated to helping special effects and entertainment professionals around the world to succeed in building their businesses, by being the best in the world, with world class support behind them. Part of how we do that is by taking the worry out of purchasing equipment and production supplies . . . ie., Will it arrive? Will it arrive in time? Will it be what I ordered? Can I rely on the quality? Will there be any hidden costs?

When an order is placed with Thomas FX, you can count on receiving quality equipment and production supplies, at the prices quoted up front, when you need them, and wherever you need them in the world. In addition to eliminating uncertainty we also take away your logistics headaches, and we facilitate customs documentation and cross border clearances.

Experience the Thomas FX difference. Let us support your next production and let us make your job easier by taking away the worry so you can focus on producing world class entertainment.
Read full post »

Rare Gibson CS 356 Koa Custom Joins Our Family

I am pleased to introduce the latest addition to our family; this rare Gibson koa wood, triple pickup, gold plated, "CS 356 Custom" beauty.

When I found out there were only three exactly like it in existance, I just couldn't resist. Pricey . . . . but well worth it.

Andre from the vintage and custom guitar department at Vancouver's Long & McQuade outlet scoped out my personal tastes in guitars then claimed this rare gem for me when he visited Gibson's custom shop in Nashville a few weeks ago.

Seriously, waiting for the guitar to clear customs was almost like waiting for a new baby. However, the "baby" eventually arrived and it looks great in my collection.

It is "almost" criminal that this amazing instrument will never tour, but I readily admit to feeling no guilt whatsoever.

Coincidentally, when I went in to pick up my CS 356, Betty and I bumped into Vancouver Special Effects Coordinator Gary Minielly who was in the store helping his son to pick out a new axe. Gary had just wrapped "Sleeper", a new media film project, the day before.

You will have seen Gary's work on films such as: I Robot, Tron: Legacy, 2012, X-Men 3: The Last Stand, Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 2, and the TV Series Kyle XY.

Read full post »

Transmission Inc Books Thomas Studios For Seether Gig

Transmission Inc., a modern content production studio that offers full production, post, and new media creative services in Los Angeles and Vancouver, has booked Thomas Studios.

Transmission will be working in Thomas Studios this week producing a rock video for the popular metal band "Seether".

Seether , originally from South Africa, is currently on tour across Canada and the United States with a musical style they promote as " post grunge / alternative metal "  . . .  Good tunes guys! Kind of like a polished version of Nickelback, who they also gig with, but with more attitude. If you haven't heard their music before, have a listen. 2012 Tour Dates Here.

Special thanks to Transmission for choosing Thomas Studios. We are all looking forward to hosting your project this week.

Fan Photo . . . Seether Tour  . . . Apollo 2012

Read full post »

1 1/4" Realistic Acrylic Ice Cubes - New Product

At Thomas FX we like to give our customers quality choices and are always on the lookout for new products.

Here is the latest addition to our Fake Ice & Icicles website catagory . . . 1 1/4" acrylic ice cubes. These artificial ice cubes are the most realistic cubes we have found . . . . so far.

The edges of the cubes are partially rounded, just as the edges of real ice cubes melting in a glass would be. There are even air bubbles in the cubes, just like the air bubbles in real ice cubes.

This is a nice addition to our established line of artificial ice cubes that include acrylic ice cubes measuring, 3/8" , 5/8" , 3/4" , 1" , and now 1 1/4" .

We still manufacture our popular realistic rubber ice cubes that look like ice cubes that have just come out of your refrigerator . . . and they actually float! If you prefer, we can purchase a block of optically clear rubber ice that you can break into floating ice chunks or chips in sizes of your choice.

In addition, we offer two sizes of acrylic ice chips for people who prefer a crushed ice look in their film production, photo shoot, live event, or store window display.

Shop Online , or come into our North Vancouver store to view artificial snow and ice products in a fully appointed Snow & Ice Display room where three types of variable lighting can create a lighting environment similar to that which will exist on your set or display.

Read full post »

Theatrical Contact Lenses In Stock


For those who have been waiting patiently for the past few weeks . . .

We just received a large shipment of theatrical contact lenses.

In the movie The Chronicles of Riddick, star Vin Diesel wore Cataract theatrical contact lenses.

Every style is now in stock at Thomas FX. Shop Online, or drop by and pick up your theatrical contacts today.
Read full post »

World's Most Extreme Fog Machiine

If you want to see the special effects fog machine equivalent of this guy's steroid overdose photo, check out Dieter Sturm's latest video.

Literally folks, it  ROCKS . . . and . . . ROLLS !

Well done Dieter!!!
Read full post »

RBC Canadian Woman Entrepreneur of the Year Awards

Every year the Royal Bank of Canada sponsors the prestigious Canadian Woman Entrepreneur of the Year Awards.

On May 9'th between 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm the British Columbia Forum for Women Entrepreneurs has organized an information seminar on the 35'th floor of the Royal Bank Building at 1055 West Georgia Street in Vancouver.

Betty Thomas Quee, President of Thomas FX, will be one of the panel presenters at this event. Betty was nominated for Canadian Entrepreneur of the Year in 1997, and again in 1998 when she WON the Canadian Woman Entrepreneur of the Year Award. Betty has been a role model and mentor for Women Entrepreneurs for many years and has volunteered as a Judge for the annual Awards competion for nearly a decade. She is an Honourary Lifetime Member of BC Women In Film & Video.

Throughout her career Betty has always been at the forefront of change and innovation. She was the first female Stuntperson in Canada, the first female Stunt Coordinator in Canada, the first female Second Unit Director in Canada, and to our knowledge the first and only film industry Woman Entrepreneur to be recognized as Canadian Woman Entrepreneur of the Year. It is only fitting that she is also President and Board Chair of the Thomas FX Group  . . .  the first Special Effects company in Canada.

Betty has also received the international "Ambassador's Award" from Canada's Ambassador to the United States, presented to her in Washington DC, the "Award of Merit" from the British Columbia Film Commission for her "Contribution to the Development of the BC Film Industry", and several awards from the North Vancouver Chamber of Commerce for "Business Excellence"... for "Innovation", and for "Best Business".

Panel Presenters will include:

Susanna Carson | CEO, BSI Biodegradable Solutions (Past Award Winner)
Barb Mowat | CEO, Impact Communications Limited (Past Award Winner & Judge)
Betty Thomas Quee | President & Board Chair, Thomas FX Group (Past Award Winner & Judge)

Moderated by:
Jill Earthy | CEO, FWE (Judge)
RBC Advice & Best Practices:
Suzanne Rutherford | Vice President Enterprise Collaboration, RBC
Betty McLeod | Sales Manager, Small Business, RBC
Vanessa Noga | Senior Account Manager, Commercial Financial Services, RBC

If you are a Canadian Woman Entrepreneur and would like to attend this event, CLICK HERE for more information, and register. Full attendance is expected so if you are interested . . . Act now!
Read full post »

Buy Breakaway Glass Mirror From Thomas FX

We are pleased to let everyone know about the latest Thomas FX breakaway glass product . . . . breakaway glass mirror.

We have been working at developing this product for years and have finally "cracked" the secret . . . Sorry about that bad pun, but I just couldn't resist.

To the left you can see a roll of digital green tape reflected against a test sample of our new mirror glass. Can you tell which is the real tape and which is the reflection?

Breakaway glass mirror, also known as breakaway mirror glass or just mirror glass, while more expensive than our normal breakaway glass products, can be made in any thickness, shape or size, as per our established breakaway glass product offerings.

Contact Betty for pricing and ordering details, or call her directly at 604.929.5455.
Read full post »

Today's "SILLY HAT" Award Goes To . . .

 A local Special Effects "wannabe" walked through our doors this afternoon with "a new product" that he wanted us to distribute. Before telling us anything about his product he told us we had to sign a 3-page non-disclosure agreement. Next, after we told him what we though of his NDA agreement, he told us his new product was a "peel and stick" pyro product that was still in beta testing. Then he told us he was going around to local special effects technicians to try and sell the "new product".

While we admire initiative, this guy qualifies for today's "SILLY HAT AWARD" for making the worst sales call that we have ever experienced . . . on behalf of a product that he couldn't discuss . . . that he didn't have a sample of . . . that was not market ready . . . and to top it off, he couldn't tell us how much he wanted for his product!

While we respect the company he works for, this guy made some really BIG mistakes today:

1) No business owner is going to take time out of a busy day to read some legal document handed to them by some guy that just happens to walk through the door unannounced, flogging a product that he is not willing to discuss.

2) Demanding that an NDA be signed before telling us WHY we would be interested in what he had to say is just downright stupid. Insisting that we sign the NDA implies he thinks we will steal his product.

3) Telling us that he was going direct to our customers with his new product then expect us to be interested in distributing it is also downright stupid . . . Why on earth would we stock a product that a manufacturer was selling directly to our customers?

4) Approaching us with an unproven pyro product "in beta testing" is not just stupid, it is dangerous, and it would be pretty dumb for us to even allow such a thing as an unproven, unregulated, unlicenesed pyro product into our building . . . but no worries in this case, because the guy making the "sales" pitch didn't even have a sample of the product with him!

5) Finally, he had no idea that the Federal explosives regulations were in the process of being changed, and the likelihood of his "beta product" complying with the proposed new regulations would likely be remote.

We distribute more than 6,000 sku's, and sell millions of dollars of product to customers in 46 countries around the world every year. Most of those sku's are made by the world's pre-eminent special effects manufacturers. Those manufacturers do business with us becuase they know that our ethical business practices and commitment to both service and quality are unequalled . . . AND because we always pay our bills on time.

Customers trust us to ensure that the products we sell are always of the highest quality . . . that they are safe . . . and that they meet all regulations prescribed by any regulatory body having jurisdiction. We would NEVER market a product that was unproven, and potentially unsafe, or manufactured by a hit-or-miss startup company that was represented by unprofessional people.

We do respect and admire initiative, and if approached, we are always willing to listen and offer direct honest feedback . . . even though most people cannot handle direct or honest criticism . . . but after 44 years in business if you are planning on walking through our front door, asking for our time, with the assumption that we are somehow going to cheat you, or steal your idea, then you probably should not be walking through our door. That is just not how we do business in this company.

Over the years many of our customers have come to us with their new business and product ideas, and we have always been open to listen, and willing to offer constructive feedback. However, if the first thing you do when you walk through our doors is to insult us, if you are not prepared, and you waste our time, you are not going to get a warm and fuzzy welcome from us. We run a serious business serving serious professionals with serious special effects products and do not suffer fools lightly.

The bottom line is that we told the gentleman, honestly, directly, and in no uncertain terms, that he and his product were "not ready for market" and wished him well with his mysterious new product . . . a product that experienced professional pyrotechnicians would likely never be interested in . . . a product that might not be safe to use . . . a product that will possibly never see the light of day.
Read full post »

Another First For Special Effects Technician Dieter Sturm

Long-time friend, colleague, and Academy Award winner, Special Effects Technician Dieter Sturm has just hit another one out of the park. He has invented one very cool jet powered fog machine. See it in action HERE. Dieter says "the SMOKE shown in these tests is NON-Toxic and we have MSDS sheets to back it up".

According to Dieter, using a commercial-grade micro jet turbine engine, massive amounts of fog and smoke can be quickly created for special effects visuals in motion pictures, TV, disaster simulation training, and special event projects.

Dieter's system is designed and built to be mobile, so very large areas can be fogged by physically driving the system as an STV. The new fogger can also be used in a static position. The jet turbine head, produces up to 150 lbs of thrust, and has an automated tilt feature to disperse down to the ground or up into the sky.

This jet turbine system was designed to be "modular", so with little effort the unit can be removed from this vehicle and can be integrated into other project uses.

You have seen Dieter's Special Effects work on recent projects such as: CONTAGION, UP IN THE AIR, FARGO, PUBLIC ENEMIES, and THE GUARDIAN. If you have not seen these movies, click on the links to view the trailers.

Way to go Dieter . . . You are STILL at the cutting edge of special effects technology!
Read full post »

Westjet Cargo Worst Airline Worst Customer Service

Why Is This Man Smiling?
Today we have a problem . . . A problem shared by the cast and crew of a motion picture company in Winnipeg . . . A problem caused by Westjet Cargo.

To make matters worse, despite numerous calls to Westjet this morning, NOBODY at Westjet is willing to solve this problem. Instead, everyone we have spoken with has chosen to hide behind the "I am just following procedures" excuse . . . earning them all recognition as having the WORST CUSTOMER SERVICE.

At this moment six out of a shipment of seven boxes of production supplies destined for Winnipeg is still sitting on the tarmac in Vancouver waiting for a plane. Yesterday afternoon, we chose Westjet as our carrier because they told us they could get this shipment to Winnipeg overnight. For that GUARANTEED "EXPEDITED" service we agreed to pay thousands of dollars in shipping charges. This morning we were contacted by Westjet and told that only one box made it out on their 6:45 pm flight yesterday. As it turns out, the majority of our shipment was "bumped" by passengers. To make matters worse, they cannot tell us when . . . or even IF . . . our shipment will be delivered to Winnipeg.

We have been completely frustrated in all attempts to contact ANY Westjet manager with the authority to ensure that our shipment is expedited. The receptionist and employees of the Westjet sales department have continued to stonewall us . . . they have given us completely incorrect information . . . and have demonstrated a complete lack of concern about the problems, or consequences, that they and their SERIOUSLY FLAWED airline have created. We have been "placed on hold" repeatedly and completely unable to speak with ANYBODY who can help.

Christiane Youssef was the Salesperson for Westjet Cargo that we dealt with. In our view she is completely incompetent. In the last 24 hours she has:

1) Quoted the wrong price for our shipment

2) Conducted a personal conversation with a coworker while at the same time on the phone recording the details of our shipment . . . in her words, when questioned about this, she jokingly replied, "I am multi-tasking"

3) Lied to us. She told us the reason our shipment did not go out was because the boxes were the wrong size. Her supervisor later told us our shipment was bumped by passengers.

It should be noted that nobody at Westjet called us to let us know our shipment had not made it out last night as promised. Had we known, we could have made other arrangements and the problem for the picture company could have been averted.

Now, making matters even worse, unable to get service or a solution from the sales department, we just called the corporate offices of Westjet in Calgary and asked to speak with the current Westjet CEO, Gregg Saretsky. Judy, the receptionist told us she was unable to find the CEO, or the VP of Operations, or the VP of Sales, or ANY MANAGER in the building. She was also unable to find any "Administrator" in the building. We were put on hold repeatedly, but again the fall back was the "We are a large company and I am only following procedures" excuse.

Judy told us that she was in a six story building and could not be expected to know who was in the building. When I told her we would be sharing our experience with Westjet on the Internet, Judy said she felt threatened. Judy said she was "trying". I pointed out that "trying" was not the same as "doing" and I told her that I needed her to actually DO something instead of just trying. Rather than take this problem seriously Judy chose to hang up on us! Nice job of Customer Service Judy. So, given the fact that Judy "the receptionist" was unable to transfer my urgent call to ANY living breathing person in her six story building, I think it is fair to add Judy to the list of incompetent Westjet employees being managed by CEO Gregg Saretsky.

Personally, I have been flying since 1953 and have logged untold hundreds of thousands of miles in the air. NEVER have I encountered an airline with worse customer service. I have also shipped baggage and cargo all over the world and have never had a worse airline experience.

If you are contemplating using Westjet for your next cargo shipment . . . BEWARE!!! . . . Your cargo will get bumped if they sell too many passenger tickets. Seriously . . . This company should NOT be in the cargo business if they are not willing to service cargo customers properly.

According to a previous Westjet CEO, WestJet's Core Value Proposition is "cheap fare, fun environment and good experience when you fly with WestJet." The airline's recipe to attract its clients is "humor, customer service and good value." . . . Well, nobody here is having a good experience, or much fun, today dealing with your airline Mr (former) CEO.

Under CEO Gregg Saretsky's management, based on our experience with a number of Westjet employees as we have dealt with while attempting to manage the damage this airline has created, a more appropriate Value Proposition for Westjet employees would be . . . "We are a large company. We follow procedures."

This is just the latest example of a company that fails to live up to the founders' Vision and Mission. Mr. Saretsky, you are undoubtedly focused on growing profits, but in the process your corporate culture is in big trouble.

This ALWAYS happens when a company puts profits ahead of customer service. The wrong people are hired; employees are not properly trained; Managers lose touch with their customer base; Core Values deteriorate; individual initiative disappears; and Service is replaced by a robotic-like adherence to "policy". Over time, companies on this downward spiral eventually fail and shareholders lose their investments.

Westjet is a company that was built on individual initiative Mr. Saretsky. You might want to be curious about how the airline has lost touch with its core values. Telling jokes on flights is all well and good, but today's joke is the horrific service on Westjet Cargo, and the "joke" is on all of your customers who expect, and deserve, so much more from your company.
Read full post »


A couple of people have asked about the photo in my last Blog . . . . "Was that some kind of special effects trick, or could John Thomas really walk on water?" In the photo, which was given to us by Charlton Heston in appreciation for our work on his film "Motherlode", John Thomas is standing on the BOTTOM of a float plane in which wife Betty had just crashed, nearly losing her life.

Betty Thomas, a stuntwoman on the film, was flying with a pilot who was inexperienced at landing on northern mountain lakes. When the pilot tried to land, one of his pontoons dropped low and tipped the plane into the lake. The plane came to rest upside down in an ice cold glacial lake with Betty and the pilot still strapped inside. BOTH people nearly lost their lives in that crash. However, as the plane crashed Betty had the presence of mind to brace herself, release her seat belt, and crack her door open so the water would not trap them inside the sinking plane. In the process of escaping from the plane she also rescued the dazed pilot, pulling him from the submerged plane to the surface and safety.

Since John Thomas died in 1994 she has kept our company alive and thriving in her role as President & Board Chair. Betty was the first female stunt performer, first female Stunt Coordinator, and first female Second Unit Director, in Canada. She has won numerous Canadian and International Awards, including Canadian Female Entrepreneur Of The year. After winning the coveted award, she was invited to judge the prestigious Awards competition, and has continued in that role for almost a decade.

Customers who call into our company seldom realize the accomplishments of the person who is on the other end of the phone. For Betty it is all about helping other people to succeed and she is very good in that role, even though she rarely gets any recognition . . . . even a thank you would be nice from time to time, but she soldiers on regardless, making a difference in the world every single day.
Read full post »


Read full post »

Shaw Cable Monopoly "2011 Grinch"

Running a global business focused on meeting the needs of entertainment professionals around the planet is a task that requires a constant flow of market intelligence, especially in this challenging economic environment.

In addition to constant personal contact with our thousands of customers, we spend countless hours day and night on the Internet, and we monitor entertainment programming on our television(s) via Shaw Cable. We pay a very high price for all of this media access, connectivity and bandwidth . . and fairly so.

However, last night we returned home to discover that the programming on FOUR of the six television sets in our home had lost most of the cable access we had previously been utilizing. Instead of the regular 58 channels we were paying for, we now only had access to 28 channels. No CNN. No BNN. No BBC.

It seems that the Shaw Cable Monopoly had introduced a new digital "service" yesterday, that required us to purchase four additional signal converters. The cost of the Shaw converters runs from $58 to $199 each.

When we went to the local Shaw retail outlet this morning to obtain the new digital boxes, there was a very large lineup of very unhappy angry customers. Moving through the line took more than half an hour, then another half hour dealing with the counter clerk.

Never mind the unexpected expense. Never mind the disruption and inconvenience that this has caused to so many people's lives. Never mind the disrespect that the Shaw Cable Monopoly has demonstrated to its customers by forcing this new technology and unexpected expense upon them . . . especially at this time of year!

The thing that REALLY BURNED us was the fact that everyone behind the counter was smiling and clearly having a wonderful time at everyone else's expense . . . LITERALLY! This was a bonanza for the Shaw cable Monopoly and all of the staff were basking in the glow of an easy buck and a big payday . . . all at the expense of you and I folks.

Monopolies are often EVIL. Monopolies are often IMMORAL. Monopolies are always INEFFICIENT.

Anyone who subscribes to the Shaw Cable Monopoly "service" knows how inefficient it is. Our personal experience has consistently proven that: Cable signals are often scrambled, and are generally of poor quality. Their equipment is often faulty. Contacting a service person by telephone is almost impossible, often taking more than two hours waiting until someone is available to speak with you. Customer "service" people often know very little and are usually unable to resolve a problem. I could go on, and you could likely add a few things that I have overlooked, based on your experience with the Shaw Cable Monopoly.

Quoting directly from Shaw's 2010 Annual Report To Shareholders: "Consolidated service revenue of $3.72 billion improved over 9%". Clearly, these guys are not hurting . . . But this latest move of theirs is clearly "hurting" their customers in many ways other than in their pocketbooks.

We have high-speed cable Internet from the Shaw Cable Monopoly in our business. We have high-speed cable Internet from the Shaw Cable Monopoly in our home. We also subscribe to the Shaw Cable Monopoly's HD television cable product. Now, we own SIX of the Shaw Cable Monopoly's digital boxes.

If a company, its Directors, and its Management can be perceived as having a "personality", that personality can be reflected in the quality of its products and of its service. Based on our personal experience with the Shaw Cable Monopoly over many many years of doing business with them, our judgement is that the character of the Shaw cable Monopoly can best be described by words like: Greed, Avarice, Incompetence, and an overall failure to conduct its business with integrity relative to its representations to shareholders;

"We have never been more committed to providing exceptional customer service while creating best in class products and services."


Shame on you Shaw. If you truly believe that your current product offerings, actions, and level of service represent "exceptional customer service" and that you are truly "creating best in class products and services" then your Directors, Managers, and Employees seriously need to go back to business school, and back to the drawing board. You are failing your customers in a major way and your most recent actions have forced us to aggressively look for alternate technology solutions. I am sure we are not alone in this.

Shaw Cable enjoys a highly profitable monopoly. Based on results, it does not have to deliver quality products, quality service, or quality equipment. Its customers are forced to accept whatever the monopoly is willing to provide and there is no opportunity to complain . . . nobody cares. We know this to be true because we have often complained but nothing ever changes. If we ran our business like you do, we would not be in business!

Sorry for my rant everyone, but I just had to get this off my chest. Someone has to call it like they see it. Multiply our inconvenience and expense today by the 3,200,000 Canadian subscribers it boasts of "servicing", and you have a company that has just caused a great deal of pain to Canadians everywhere.

In my estimation, Shaw Cable qualifies as this year's "Grinch that Stole Christmas" . . . from millions of Canadians.
Read full post »

Fireworks Permits ... Play Safe ... Stay Safe on Halloween

Yes . . . We sell Fire Department Fireworks Permits. They cost $2.00 each.

All Permit money collected goes directly to the District Of North Vancouver Fire Department.

You must buy a new DNVFD Permit every time you make a Fireworks purchase.

The Permit allows you to Purchase, Own, and Transport Fireworks in the District of North Vancouver, and to discharge them in the District on October 31'st.

If you live outside the District of North Vancouver you may also need to purchase an additional Permit from your local Fire Department to discharge Fireworks in your municipality.

Some Municipalities have completely banned the use of Fireworks. (Happily, we have a more enlightened Civic Government in the Districts Of North and West Vancouver.) Check with your local Fire Department to find out if you can set off Fireworks in your area.

Fireworks in the District Of North Vancouver may ONLY be discharged on October 31'st between 6:00 pm - 12:00 pm.

If you choose to discharge Fireworks at other times there will likely be consequences.

You must be 18 years of age to purchase and discharge Fireworks in the District of North Vancouver.

NO . . . . We do NOT make these rules . . . we just follow them . . . These are good rules that keep us all safe. Play Safe . . . Stay Safe.

NO . . . . We are NOT the Fireworks Police . . . but break the rules and you might meet them.

YES . . . .  If you hassle us about the Permit . . . or tell us you plan to break the rules . . . we will likely not sell Fireworks to you, so PLEASE . . . We are all very tired right now so, with all due respect, check your attitude at the door or take your business somewhere else.
Read full post »

1006 Belmont Haunt in North Vancouver Featured

Jim & Danielle Myers Haunt Featured
If  you have seen this week's North Shore Outlook, you might have noticed a "Frightfully Fun" photograph promoting an amazing haunt at 1006 Belmont Avenue in North Vancouver.

The Haunt is run by our customers Jim and Danielle Myers. Jim and Danielle dropped into our store again today and are seen here holding their Outlook photo.

In the photo they are holding, Jim is wearing the  amazing Giant Vampire walkabout costume he purchased at Thomas FX.

The Myers' haunt is open from 6:30 to 9:30 pm every day until Halloween.

Belmont is located just off Highland Avenue in the Edgemont Area of North Vancouver. Make sure you drop by and make a donation to B.C. Children's Hospital.

Don't forget to let Jim and Danielle know that you appreciate what they are doing to make a difference in our community.

They really went over the top to make sure their neighbourhood haunt was the best.

Mission accomplished!
Read full post »

Discovery Channel's Daily Planet Filmed at Thomas FX Today

Once in awhile we get to pull out some of more exotic special effects equipment and create some spectacular special effects snow in our own backyard . . . well front yard in this case.

Snow, in September, in Vancouver?!

Today was just such a day as the Daily Planet's Mark Miller, with Director Brent Gilbert, filmed at Thomas FX all day today.

Mark expects the show to air sometime before Halloween, so keep checking in with the Daily Planet to find out when the segment at Thomas FX is set to air.

In the show you will find out so much about making special effects snow that you will be astonished by the diversity of special effects snow products.

You will also see Mark Miller COMPLETELY "embedded" in snow. To say that Mark is in "over his head" would not be an understatement in this case. Way to go Mark!

The entire crew had a lot of fun filming this show and I hope that you have as much fun viewing it.

Mark Miller Embedded at Thomas FX . . . Coming soon to Discovery Channel on a television set near you. Stay tuned for more information!

PS: Our dramatic snow special effects literally stopped traffic for most of the afternoon. If you hear about a highly localized blizzard in North Vancouver, relax . . . It was just us having fun.
Read full post »

Why Are Your Props So Expensive?

Tommy Gun Prop

People often want to purchase the realistic props currently advertised on our website, not realizing perhaps that they are advertised as "Daily Rentals" and not as merchandise that can be purchased. Under special circumstances, and to only a handful of special organizations, we may agree to sell a prop at our cost, but so far nobody has ever followed through on this opportunity because our props are VERY expensive.

NOTE: We ONLY rent our props to established film companies, film and entertainment professionals, designers, and corporations that are known to us.

We get so many enquiries from people wanting to purchase our props that I felt it would be useful to answer the question that most people eventually ask . . . . "Why are your props so expensive?"

First, these are real movie props, made for and used in hundreds of feature films and hit television series. Every prop that we RENT was hand made by Master PropMaker Betty Thomas, Master PropMaker Ty Shultz, Master PropMaker Marsha Neiman, or Breakaway Glass Master Ed Deeth. Combined, these four master craftspeople have racked up more than 125 years of experience producing the finest quality props, and breakaway glass, currently available in the film industry . . . . anywhere on the planet! We know this to be true because we have been looking for better props for years and have never been able to find any that surpass our realism and quality.

So, having invested several millions of dollars in equipment, molds, and infrastructure during the past 40+ years, and having attracted a team of talented propmakers with more than 100 years of combined experience, let's look at how props are made. First, we start with an authentic original . . . very expensive when dealing with authentic period pieces such as weapons or antique crystal. If an original  is not available, then an artist must be commissioned to develop a sketch for the client's approval, then a sculptor must be commissioned to make a life size model of the item which would then be re-presented for approval to ensure our client will be completely satisfied with the finished product.

A silicon, or other material, mold of the original is made . . .  Silicon is also VERY expensive. Next the silicon mold is encased in plaster or some other appropriate substance . . . very labour intensive, and we pay well for the best craftspeople in the industry. Finally, after perhaps three or four days of intense work, a copy of the original can be produced through a variety of proprietary hot or cold chemical processes, each of which takes place under very stringent climate controlled environments, each at a predetermined temperature, and each of which has taken decades to perfect.

Often the mold must be "broken in" before we get copies that meet our standards for quality. This means that usually the first few copies from the mold are discarded. Remember that making copies is a very labour intensive procedure that involves the use of very expensive chemicals.

Lifecast Octopus Prop
Once we have produced a copy that meets our standards, itt then will be painted by hand to achieve the appropriate degree of authenticity. At the risk of stating the obvious, period pieces, antique weapons, or life castings of fish, vegetables or animals, must each exhibit a certain degree of natural aging and the general appearance of wear and tear that would be present on an authentic original of that period, item, species, food, or genre.

WW-II Nazi Dagger
So the bottom line is that something like a military knife would cost roughly $1,000+ to produce the first usable copy. A handgun would cost about $1,500+  . . . and so the pricing goes . . . the bigger the item, or the harder it is to find, or the more difficult it is to work with ( like a real octopus for example ) the more it is going to cost us to make, and the more it is going to cost you to buy.

For example, we were recently asked to quote on making a 24" acrylic ice cube with a vodka bottle suspended in the middle . . . our quote was $20,000 . . . decidedly a non-starter. Believe it or not, there was not a lot of margin on that project for us because the labour and materials would have been so expensive.  People are nearly always surprised at what it actually costs to realize their visions. On the other hand, props made from existing molds are quite affordable, such as the unbreakable icicle props that we recently sent to New Zealand for the filming of The Hobbit, and to New York for use in Coca Cola's latest advertising promotion.

Red Kryptonite Prop
 We are very active in the custom mold making business and produce the world's finest movie props. We are happy to take on any challenge, such as the red kryptonite we made recently for Smallville, provided that expectations are realistic and the project is appropriately funded. Making molds, and making props that are good enough to be used in the film industry is a labour of love, but it is also our business. We do not undertake any project unless we can recover our costs and make a fair profit. Having taken on a project however, our clients NEVER worry about quality, or about delivery of the finished prop within the timeline or budget promised.

We make thousands of different styles of custom breakaway glass items designed to break (safely) on demand, and have an inventory of thousands of realistic creative props available for rental to movie companies. Contact us if you don't find what you are looking for, or if your project requires something unique and special. We can do just about anything!

Read full post »
More results: Previous 1... 6 7 8 9 10 11 Next