Shryock Fabrications is an Oklahoma-based business that uses metal, wood, foam and plastic to fabricate your movie needs and dreams into a reality. The company also recently acquired a Mark Roberts Motion Control Robot (Bolt X), one of the fastest motion control robots in the world and one of eight available to the film industry in the United States.
Can you tell us how and why you started your business?
Shryock Fabrications started as an idea to build a business that can provide a full-service design and fabrication shop for the film industry in Oklahoma and surrounding states. Over the last 20 years or so, I have been asked to design and fabricate things for various productions – both commercial and film, and I have really enjoyed doing so as sort of a hobby while I worked in the movie biz.
I have a background in engineering and design with experience in construction and carpentry, machinery, welding, form and buck building, molding and casting, modeling, sewing and auto/truck mechanics. Additionally, I’ve worked many years as a Key Grip and Rigging Key Grip, and I am kind of a jack of all trades with one heck of an imagination and problem solving skills. All of these are talents that can be utilized in a fabrication shop for the film industry.
How has your company grown to meet the needs of Oklahoma’s film and/or music industries over the last 3-5 years?
A fabrication shop for the film industry is something you would find in larger production markets and a service Oklahoma needs for our film industry to grow. In early 2022, I decided to start Shryock Fabrications with my son Peter and son-in-law Stephen. We have since hired our one non-family employee, Collin, who is our 3D printer expert. They each add a tremendous set of diverse skills, experience, talent and imagination that build on what I have to offer the film industry giving us as a whole a unique ability to accomplish many things.
What are the benefits of basing your company’s operations in Oklahoma?
I’ve been in the film business in Oklahoma since the late 90’s, and throughout the years, I’ve known of productions that needed something fabricated for their production. The cost of having it fabricated in California or Georgia then shipped to Oklahoma was cost prohibitive, so they shot that portion of their movie in those states or did without. Shryock Fabrications can benefit productions by serving as a one-stop-shop, so more can and will be accomplished in Oklahoma’s film industry.
I also have a friend in the art department that needed something constructed utilizing metal, wood and foam and had to have three different local fabrication shops handle each of those materials separately. When the three parts where all brought together, they didn’t fit together, so modifications had to be made at the last minute for them to all work together simply because all of those parts were made by different shops. By bringing all of those fabrications under one roof, situations like that can be avoided because we can test fit before the project is released. Plus, if there are any design changes that production needs done while the item is being built, we can make sure all of the components will work together after the design change.
What would you consider your business’s greatest accomplishment to date?
We are a new business, so our greatest accomplishments have been the few projects we have been involved with so far. For example, we built a functioning bookshelf for a feature film that looked like rock and granite but built from foam because it had to be lightweight. The bookshelf had a 6-foot tall by 14-foot wide angel with spread wings embossed on the front of it which was primarily shaped by our Kuka robot. It was made from foam because it had to hang on a track and slide open to reveal a secret passage way. Not only did we build the bookshelf, but we also modified and strengthened an existing track system in the building so it would function properly and support the bookshelf.
Are there any recent successes your company would like to highlight related to work within the Oklahoma film and music industries?
We built a steam punk prop for a Metro Tech student film utilizing 3D design software to modify the 3D image they provided and then used 3D printed parts, wood, foam and some LED lighting to bring their image to reality. We 3D printed a Trojan helmet and made a Trojan shield from foam for a video produced by the Film Education Institute of Oklahoma for the Fredericks Douglas High School football team. We’ve done other things not related to the art department as well. We rebuilt part of a frame for a 1940s Willy Jeep to make it drivable again, modified a car hauling trailer so it was easier to load and unload cars, fabricated parts for transportation to repair a truck, 3D printed parts for a camera leveling head out of a carbon fiber material, 3D printed mattes for a matte box and gears for lens ring and even designed and installed a small lighting grid for a local studio.
What are you working on now/next?
We are currently working on something slightly unrelated to the fabrication side of our business. We recently acquired a Mark Roberts Motion Control Robot, a Bolt X, one of the fastest motion control robots in the world and it is only one of eight in the USA. I say it’s only slightly unrelated because we can utilize our design and fabrication business to build devices that work with the Bolt X, such as dropping objects or moving mechanisms like moving sets and walls that need to have precision control and timing, or even motion control tables to simulate vehicles traveling for shooting in front of a green screen or a LED Volume Wall like what Boiling Point Media, the Cherokee Nation and others in Oklahoma have at their studios. Using the Bolt X and a local Volume Wall we can now offer something that productions would have to go to California or Georgia to get, and we have the benefit of being able to fabricate as well.
What is your goal/vision for the future of your company?
Our goal is to be able to design and fabricate anything a film or commercial production might need utilizing metal, wood, foam or plastic for any department from grip and electric, to art department, VFX, to transportation, even costume, and hair and make-up, any department, from conception and design through to paint and finishing, or any part of that process. All of these utilizing our CNC mill and lathe, welders, CNC plasma table for cutting metal, CNC tubing and pipe bender and roller, wood saws and shapers, hot wire foam cutter, large Kuka 7 axis foam and wood 3D cutting robot, precision 3D scanner, laser cutter and engraver, and eight (soon to be nine) 3D printers as well as many other machines, and we plan to soon have the ability to rotocast and vacuform.
What services do you provide within the film/music industry?
I’ve been asked, “What can you possibly fabricate for the hair and make-up departments?” If you have an actor that can’t be life cast because of time or they are claustrophobic, we can 3D scan their features and then 3D print that feature for those departments to use. For the costume department, we can laser cut EVA foam for pads and helmets or 3D print objects. For props, we can scan and 3D print out of many different materials. For electric, we can 3D print hard egg crates or a custom sconce for a LED lights.
There may be times where a part or something may be back ordered or take too long to ship in and we can manufacture it faster than they can get it saving production time, the possibilities are endless. I don’t want a film production to be limited by what Oklahoma has, or doesn’t have, to offer in the way of fabrication.
What opportunities do you believe await Oklahoma’s film/music industry in the future?
If our Film Rebate increases this year, it would bring more productions to Oklahoma and the need for more service-related business catering specifically to the film industry. The more that Oklahoma businesses can provide for the needs and materials of movie productions then the more that Oklahoma can benefit financially from those productions.
Each featured individual or business is given the provided questions to answer in their own voice. Other than formatting and grammar, the answers are personal to each featured voice, and are not provided by the Oklahoma Film + Music Office.