I'm often asked "How did you get into working with birds-of-prey?".
Usually I'll respond by saying: "That's...not a short answer". The truth is, there were two timely moments in my childhood which connected me - perhaps surprisingly - with my love of raptors.
The first was in reading "Hawkmistress" by Marion Zimmer Bradley at the tender age of 8, and the second was the full-on experience I took away from the movie "LadyHawke" as a teenager.
The questionable parts of its soundtrack notwithstanding, "LadyHawke" is a beautiful story. There isn't a misstep in a single line of dialogue. Every performer is perfectly cast...and the Red Tail hawks (there were two feathered actors used for those scenes) took my breath away. Utterly.
There's a moment in the film when Lady Hawke floats with ethereal, slow-motion joy over the surface of a winter-kissed lake toward Philippe (Matthew Broderick's character). It is so moving, so full of beauty and sadness...I admit, I wept.
When I began working with birds-of-prey in 2004, I knew I wanted to inspire others - move them as I'd been moved - by that pure and singular few seconds of screen-time captured in "LadyHawke". Several years later we jumped into the proverbial deep-end with our first Red Tail hawk, 'Thorn' in "Smallville: Veritas", and never looked back.
My desire and intention is to collaborate with film-makers in the creation of breathtaking moments captured through the eye of the camera.
My passion is to create moments on film which will live forever in the memories of those who love stories.
My assistants and I greet this great privilege with tremendous enthusiasm, energy, and gratitude.
Unique traits: Professional Falconer, championship archer, skilled horse-woman, skilled in European weaponry (Longsword, Rapier, Smallsword, knife-fighting, grappling). Working fluency of German language, as well as British and German accents.
"Cleanse the Bloodlines"
Video by Brotherhood Pictures/Richard Olak Falconer, Actor, Location A sorceress seeking immortality must find - and sacrifice - her sons, but in the end, loses everything for her terrible desires. Song performed by metal-band "Unleash the Archers". Filmed in its entirety at 'Falcon's Rest' in British Columbia's Southern Interior.
"Shape Shifter" layout
Print by Joyce Tu Falconer/animal-handler This fantastic collaboration with Joyce Tu and Kim Atcha was shot on Iona Beach (Richmond, British Columbia). "Team Feathers" in its entirety worked with the fabulous Sheena to create twenty pages of breathtaking stills, (pages 203 - 223).
"Battle of Burgledorf"
Film by Richard Olak Falconer/animal-handler During a routine Graveyard shift at the local Super Gas station employee Erik Matheson is thrown into the middle of an underground war - disguised as Live Action Role Playing - filled with mighty heroes, mystical creatures and magic... After meeting a young woman fighting to save a small stronghold called Burgledorf, Erik embarks on a quest to find a magical weapon that is said to wield the power to end the war and bring peace to the world. With the help of a lonely Wood Elf, a Dwarf named Stump and the local guild of hardcore gamers Erik will discover a greater evil more perilous than the war at hand, and realize that he must make a final stand in order to save the world from being obliterated by chaos. The Battle of Burgledorf has begun. Our Red Tail hawk, 'Mohave', appears as the familiar of the Dark Queen (portrayed by Karin Inghammar).
Music by Michael Brock, Eric Lamirande Falconer/animal-handler Shot near the Lyn Canyon in Vancouver, British Columbia, both our Red Tail 'Mohave' and our Gyrfalcon 'Sabre' put in a full day of work with the gifted, generous and gentle-spirited singer, Michael Brock. We look forward to seeing the final cut of the music video this year.
Television by Sierra-Engine Television, Infinity Films, Welldone Productions Falconer/animal-handler A group of international contestants agree to test their will to survive and their sanity in an unforgiving Siberian wilderness for the chance to win $500,000. When 16 contestants from around the world are dropped off by helicopter in an ancient Siberian wilderness with only the clothes on their backs, they find themselves in an extreme survival adventure and social experiment with no rules or help from producers or the outside world. Leaders and followers emerge, and the contestants' survival is constantly being challenged in unexpected and literally life-threatening ways. Everything is on the line as they struggle against the elements - human and inhuman, natural and unnatural - in a place where misfortune abounds, and the fragile fabric of their new society is woven and torn apart from day to day. It is a study of humans under great stress who are relentlessly tested with sudden, frightening events and situations gone horribly wrong. Our Gyrfalcon, 'Sabre', appeared in episodes 9 & 10 with Joyce Giraud and Johnny Wactor.
Film by Claudia Lliosa Falconer/animal-handler As we follow a mother (Jennifer Connelly) and her son (Cillian Murphy), we delve into a past marred by an accident that tears them apart. She will become a renowned artist and healer, and he will grow into his own as a peculiar falconer who bears the marks of a double absence. In the present, a young journalist (Melanie Laurent) will bring about an encounter between the two that puts the very meaning of life and art into question, so that we may contemplate the possibility of living life to its fullest, despite the uncertainties littering our paths. The entirety of "Team Feathers" appears in this film - Cillian Murphy worked directly with our Red Tail hawk, 'Mohave', Zen McGrath worked directly with our Saker falcon, 'Jarih', and our Gyrfalcon, 'Sabre', provided all the high-energy "stunt" flying scenes for young-Ivan's companion, 'Inti'.
Commercial by Means of Production, Ole Petersen Falconer/animal-handler
"Divine: The Series"
Internet by Ivan Hayden, Maple Blood Productions Falconer/animal-handler A young priest must come to terms with his crisis of faith or risk damnation to the soul of a living miracle. With man's freewill held in the balance, the bloody conflict surrounding the immortal being known as Divine will take him further into his religion than ever he dreamed possible. Our beautiful Red Tail hawk, 'Mohave', teamed up with the brilliant, talented and wonderful John Emmet Tracy as the familiar 'Ayun' to John's character, Scorn.
Television by James Marshall, Tollin/Robbins Productions, DC Comics Falconer/animal-handler Lex becomes obsessed with learning about Veritas, the secret society his father Lionel and the Queen, Teague and Swann families founded to protect a secret called 'the Traveler' in which he sends his assistant to locate a safety deposit box containing information on the Traveler. Meanwhile Lois and Jimmy decide to team up to investigate the murder of Patricia Swann who was connected in some way with the Luthors. Elsewhere, the Kryptonian Brain Interactive Construct (Brainac), aka: professor Milton Fine, makes contact with Kara to offer her a chance to recreate her lost life on Krypton. Brianiac successfully attacks Lana and drains her mind making her his drone to force Clark to turn Kara over to him. Our first Red Tail hawk, 'Thorn', provides the animal-disguise for Brainiac (James Marsters) at the beginning of this exciting episode.