Derek Hall: Vancouver’s Pacific Backlot Offers up Matthews Grip

Valerie Taylor |

As General Manager of Pacific Backlot, Derek Hall has his finger on the pulse of the Vancouver production scene. Since his first day 17 years ago he’s seen consistent growth of the family-owned studio rental company located on the Vancouver Film Studios lot. While they started out catering to studios, today they also do off the lot rentals of lighting, grip, and lifts of all types.

The Matthews Connection

With an extensive lighting inventory Pacific Backlight is big on gear that positions the hefty fixtures. So another favorite is MSE’s award-winning Max Menace Arm that facilitates easy positioning of fixtures up to 175 pounds/80kg anywhere on set. Then there’s the VATOR cranking stands from the Low Boy single riser through the Super Vator III. “We like to have what they ask for,” remarks Hall. “The Super Vator III’s are new and starting to gain traction so we have a few more on order right now.”

Customer Oriented

A one-stop-shop, Pacific Backlot also offers a full array of Matthews grip rigging hardware. Regardless of the equipment’s age Hall is grateful that Matthews’ keeps it simple and easy to service, a real benefit for a company like Pacific Backlot that takes pride in every rental. “We have some fairly old Matthews gear that still works like new.” But the forward-thinking General Manager knows the value of staying up to date and ahead of customer requests. “When we need something, Matthews is our first call. I love dealing with Linda Swope at the Burbank headquarters, we have a great relationship.” 

Going Green

Proud of his company’s global responsibility, Hall says, “Pacific Backlot is the first lighting and grip rental company to become a Certified B Corporation™ in the world! It’s a great honor.” As a carbon-neutral company they are committed to continued investment in green lighting technology, and recycling outdated technology responsibly. So it worked out well that Matthews has instituted their own environmentally responsible policy and now ships to Pacific Backlot in plastic-free, low-waste packaging.

How’s Business?

The last 3 months of 2020 were great. “We are expecting more productions and growth both at the studios and off the lot,” Hall warmly replies.

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