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Bending/Folding

Making movies with COLE-TUVE Inc.

By Scott Rosenman

Above: Daniel “SHARPIE” McNabb, Owner of Sharpie Rentals, and his Metal Fabricating Team. Standing, left to right: Gary Giffune, JR Stenzel, Jim Sofield, Hoang Le. Kneeling, left to right: Steven McCartney, Daniel “SHARPIE” McNabb.

Behind the scenes, making movies with a Sahinler HPK 50 angle and shape bending roll

October 2018 - A great movie is a combination of an intriguing plot, authentic acting, stylish costumes and dramatic music. Credit often goes to noteworthy actors and actresses and famous directors and writers.

But few give a second thought to the imaginative sets that have been custom crafted for exposure on the big screen. Enter Daniel “Sharpie” McNabb, stage left.

McNabb, 37, who hails from Miller Place on Long Island, New York, studied to become an aircraft mechanic at Suffolk Aviation Academy.

He was working in the Hamptons when an acquaintance recommended him to Madonna, the pop star.

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8-ft.-diameter clock manufactured on COLE-TUVE’s Sahinler HPK 50 angle and shape bending roll for the television show Gotham.

McNabb was soon hired as Madonna’s head carpenter for her world tour from 2004 to 2009. He worked with the performer’s international traveling team of over 150 professionals as Madonna toured in Brazil, Paraguay, Chile, Argentina, Japan, Croatia, Israel and more.

Transitioning from his studies to be an aircraft mechanic to head carpenter didn’t come as a surprise, as McNabb’s extended family—including numerous cousins and uncles—have always worked with their hands as carpenters and film “grips.”

McNabb produced concert stages for Jay-Z, Rascal Flats and Ricky Martin, and has worked with other notable icons throughout his career.

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Sahinler HPK 50 angle and shape bending roll.

In 2009, McNabb shifted gears once again, by establishing Sharpie Rentals to rent steel fabricating equipment to the film production industry.

Sharpie Rentals won jobs to produce metal fabrications for movies and television shows, and McNabb and his crew have been designing and producing on-location sets virtually 24/7.

“We have to be able to produce anything that is in the art director’s imagination—immediately,” says McNabb.

Sharpie Rentals built itself a complete “machine shop on wheels,” including a Vicon CNC plasma table. In 2015, the company purchased a Sahinler HPK 50 3-Roll angle and shape bending roll from Cole-Tuve Inc., to help meet the demands of the movie industry. According to McNabb, “Every piece of equipment that we have is mobile, including the Sahinler HPK 50. Our ability to roll metal on site gives us a huge advantage and helps a movie production save valuable time,” he notes.

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P.T. Barnum steel stage, 80 ft. by 200 ft., for the film The Greatest Showman.

The HPK 50’s three rolls are powered, hardened and ground from specialty steel. It features lateral guide rolls, will work in horizontal and vertical positions and has dual foot control. The unit will bend and shape angle iron and T irons; flat, square and round bar; channels; round, square and rectangular tubing; and round pipe.

Sharpie Rental’s first major job with a film studio was for The Dictator, a 2012 satire starring Sacha Baron Cohen. He and his team worked inside a decommissioned nuclear reactor, and McNabb had to construct a dairy farm that doubles as a nuclear missile facility.

“Our crew is flexible. At times we have as many as 50 or 60 professionals assisting us with a fabrication,” says McNabb. Building sets on-site allows the fabricators to make adjustments matching the will of the creative team and saves studios money in the process.

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A 22-ft.-long slide for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II channeled 1,500 gallons of water per minute.

Most recently, Sharpie Rentals has worked on well-known film and television projects including The Greatest Showman, Zoolander 2, John Wick 2, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II, Gotham, Tower Heist, Motherless Brooklyn, Original Angel and the soon to be released Escape At Dannemora.

It’s safe to say that when a film production company is looking for a creative partner for metal fabrications, chances are that Sharpie McNabb and his Sahinler HPK 50 angle and shape bending roll from Cole-Tuve Inc., will be summoned to build the set.

Exit Daniel “Sharpie” McNabb, stage right. FFJ

Sources

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