Tippy Canoe or the line that connects the Adirondacks, Bruce Weber and the best print & motion production in New York
Meet Tippy Canoe, a New York-based production company working in the industry since 2010. We had the pleasure of speaking with Tyler Ellithrorpe, founder and producer of Tippy Canoe, about the constant changes in the industry, how to differentiate yourself from your competitors and some of their most exciting projects.
Stills, music video or commercial, the experienced team of professionals behind Tippy Canoe will provide you with the best service and make your most challenging projects come to life.
Production Paradise: Tell us about the beginnings of Tippy Canoe, how was it like when you just started and what changed over these years?
Tippy Canoe: Tippy Canoe was born in 2010 when I produced my first job at 23 years old. The shoot was in the Adirondacks of New York at a boat-only access location, six hours north of New York City. From the beginning when all of my closest friends who were old enough to rent an SUV, coming to work for me, to promising them repeated jobs and telling them to trust me, to now having some of the highest volumes of production vehicle rentals in NYC, it really has come a long way. Prior to Tippy Canoe’s inception, I started working as a production assistant with a walkie in hand when I was just 9 years old. Growing up under the guidance of Bruce Weber and his producer solidified from a young age that this was exactly what I was destined to do.
Constant changes in the industry are ubiquitous today. The ever formidable budgets are now managed much more carefully to accomplish as much as possible from each shoot day. The technology has also come so far with respect to the quality of cameras that are utilised and the invention of drones, both of which make it possible now to accomplish angles and achieve extreme clarity that was once only dreamed of.
Production Paradise: How do you stay competitive and what do you believe differentiates you from your competitors?
Tippy Canoe: We are willing to work within clients’ budgets on a per project basis; the word “no” is not in our vocabulary. We understand that not every project is the same as the last, so we treat each project with individualised focus and pride ourselves on never resting on our laurels or skimping on any requests or attention to detail. We will do everything in our power to call upon the best crew and vendors in the industry to expose clients to something new and outside the box, in comparison to some of our competitors who are not as fortunate to have as many connections as we do.
The thing that separates us most, is making the entire cast and crew feel that work can be enjoyable and something to look forward to. They say that if you do something you love up until the day you retire, then you haven’t worked a day in your life. We love what we do and we enjoy being on set so we want to do everything we can to make everyone else feel the same way.
Production Paradise: Now you regularly work with clients such as Ralph Lauren, Uniqlo, Vineyard Vines and John Varvatos. Was it hard to get recoginsed and gain trust of world’s top brands?
Tippy Canoe: It’s always toughest to make your first-time client a repeat client as brands of that caliber have the ability to work with any of the top production companies in the world. Our attention to detail and to every person’s individual needs on set is what keeps clients coming back. From the top VIP clients to the interns, we hear them and we listen to their needs and wants on set to ensure that they are cared for so that they can accomplish their objectives seamlessly and efficiently. Building personal relationships with clients is important to us. Not everyone is going to be in the best place possible in their personal or professional lives while on set, so we make it a point to do everything in our power to assist each person in their unique role with as much care as possible.
Production Paradise: Could you tell us about one of your most exciting projects?
Tippy Canoe: One of the most exciting projects I was fortunate enough to be involved with was a Denim & Supply, by Ralph Lauren campaign with the late Avicii. It was during the height of his career and the collaboration between Ralph Lauren and Avicii was rather huge for anyone who took a vested interest in both fashion and the music industry. We were in an amazing location in New York City with roughly 200 cast and crew on set to help capture all of the motion and stills needed for the campaign. The atmosphere with all of the models and extras going crazy to see Avicii perform was a pretty amazing thing to be a part of. Working hand-in-hand with some of the world’s most talented artists is always exciting.
Production Paradise: How has Production Paradise helped you in connecting you with clients?
Tippy Canoe: Production Paradise’s global reach is crucial to expanding the future of Tippy Canoe. We have had clients from as far as India become repeat clients due to the international influence that Production Paradise has within the industry. It’s great to be connected with the top agencies and talents of the world.
Production Paradise: What can we wish for Tippy Canoe’s future?
Tippy Canoe: We are hoping that the sky is the limit for Tippy Canoe. We enjoy every print and motion project we are fortunate enough to be involved in. Having multiple projects going on at the same time creates the excitement and controlled chaos that we thrive in. We can only hope that each new project is bigger and more challenging than the last. Having a client ask you for a baby elephant on set, or to launch a hot air balloon in Central Park are exactly the kind of challenges we want to prove we are up to again and again for new and repeating clients. We hope to someday be a household name within the industry, covering all corners of the globe.
We would like to thank Tyler for taking the time to speak with us. You can see more of Tippy Canoe work on their website and on Production Paradise. Most recently their work was published in our Commercial Production Spotlight. More new work will be published in the upcoming Photo Production Spotlight in May and New York Showcase in June, so keep tuned!