Short film ‘is a celebration of Carbondale’ |

Short film ‘is a celebration of Carbondale’

Tyler Stableford, center in cowboy hat, works on "The Calling," a short film featuring Carbondale that was designed to showcase new Canon cameras. The film is showing Tuesday in Carbondale.
Trevor Brown Jr. |

Tyler Stableford has already attended a sort of premiere for his short demo film “The Calling,” but he’s looking forward to bringing it home to Carbondale in a special event beginning at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at Marble Distillery.

“This is a really special event because not only are we celebrating the main characters, but really this film is a celebration of Carbondale and the things we love about this town,” he said.

In just under 5 minutes, it offers “a portrait of life in the high country” as a demonstration of Canon’s EOS C700 camera.

“Canon was interested in creating a short film that would be a showcase for their camera that would focus on Western Americana,” he explained. “Steve Tobenkin, the producer, lived in Las Vegas but had been to Carbondale and thought it would be a great town to feature.”

Stableford came out on top in the bid to direct the piece and ended up with Russell Carpenter, the Academy Award-winning cinematographer for “Titanic,” as director of photography.

“It was cool to see the ingenuity and craft he brings to cinematography and lighting. He’s def one of the world’s greatest cinematographers,” Stableford said. “You never know if someone at the top comes with ego and aggressiveness, and he doesn’t have that at all. He’s a really dear-hearted man.”

With each of them behind a camera, Stableford and Carpenter set off to challenge the cameras’ 15 stops of dynamic range.

“What that means is that you can shoot at very challenging lighting conditions and hold more fidelity for the scene,” Stableford explained. “This film should speak to professional cinematographers about what it can do. The story is there to pull them through.”

The story is that of three sets of locals pursuing their passion: Connie Baker of Marble Distilling, rancher Max Macdonell and climbers Ben Rueck and Mayan Smith-Gobat.

“We went through a list of things that would be the most visually compelling to film and we really came down to what we thought was a good mix of activities in a small mountain town,” Stableford observed.

Even though it’s often more work than it looks like in the movies, Macdonell is well aware of the aesthetic appeal of what he does every day.

“I try not to take it for granted,” he said. “I try to stop, look around and appreciate it.”

Having a whole film crew on the ranch changes that dynamic a bit, but it’s not his first rodeo.

“Tyler is just so great to work with,” he said. “There’s nobody better as far as I’m concerned.

“I spend a lot of time alone doing ranch work, and this is certainly the other end of the spectrum,” he added. “Hopefully it conveys, with all three segments, an independence and stewardship towards what each of us do.”

In the end, the all come together at Marble Distillery. The unifying theme as Baker sees it is people who really love what they do.

“It’s hard to do what you love here, but if you believe in what you do you can do it no matter where you are,” she said. “It’s a little more stylistic than the real nuts and bolts and dust and grime we all live on a daily basis, but I feel like that still comes across.”

In that respect, Stableford himself is an example of the spirit his film seeks to capture.

“I think it’s really awesome that we have people like Tyler here,” Baker said. “He could have gone anywhere to do this, and it’s really cool that he decided to do it here in the valley.”

That’s one of the reasons the distillery is hosting the local premiere event.

“We wanted to give the opportunity for our community to see something we all have to be really proud of,” said spirit liaison Michelle Marlow. “It was very cool to be part of something like this.”

The film actually shows at 6 p.m., but folks are encouraged to come early for cocktails and small bites, then stay to hear more about the process. To preview the film or see more of Stableford’s work, visit

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