FauxPop to foster creativity at new East Street Station location
BY DENNY SCOTT
The East Street Station in Goderich has had new life breathed into it once more as FauxPop Media has bought the structure and is looking to turn the site into a cultural and creative hub in the community.
The company, which has been operating for more than a decade creating all kinds of media, consists of East Wawanosh-native Mark Hussey and Randall Lobb. Together, the duo have helped authors publish books and musicians record music.
Hussey and Lobb also made their first foray into motion pictures in 2014, with Hussey editing, mixing sounds, providing visual effects and serving as executive producer for Turtle Power: The Definitive History of The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Lobb wrote, directed and produced the film.
The site is going to be a unique amalgamation of a community space and professional media generation hub. People will be able to join the group either by renting the space or hiring skilled professionals from there or become partners by offering their own skills and having an opportunity to work with experts across different fields.
“We’re going to call it FauxPop Station,” Lobb explained in an interview with The Citizen.
The group “assumed command” of the site on Oct. 15, though the move has been slow.
“We have so much gear to move,” Lobb said. “We also have many partners with gear.”
He explained that partners in the site can use the space and have their equipment there, pointing to Rob Boyce of Over Yonder Aerial Productions and Thomas Ireland, a music producer who is using the space.
Having its own space has been part of a long plan for FauxPop Media according to Lobb, and Boyce, who is helping with the space, said that acquiring and moving into the space is just one more step in a long ladder to success.
Before the purchase Lobb, Hussey and the various partners have all been working out of separate sites, many of which were home-based studios and offices.
As for why the train station, Lobb said that there were several factors involved with the purchase of the site.
“It has some interesting spaces,” he said, pointing to the dual parapets of the structure. “Those are good as a creative space.”
The true answer to why choose a former rail station-turned-yoga-studio for the company’s base of operations, however, is within the question according to Lobb.
“It’s exactly that,” he said. “People ask that question and that’s exactly the answer. It’s a provocative space.”
While FauxPop Media had always planned on having a space, they weren’t actively seeking one. When the station became available it was an easy decision.
The third reason for the space was that it was local.
“As a group, we’re great believers in the community,” he said. “We didn’t want to leave to pursue these projects. We love the area and we want to be here.”
Lobb said that if FauxPop Media can contribute to having media industries move this way, he would count it as a success.
So far, plans are being formed to use the space to shoot podcasts on everything from music to comic books to board games, live music events and recording and editing music and video. There will be far more projects, however.
“When Mark saw this place, he saw the potential right away,” Lobb explained, saying that even while he’s home, he’s drawing what he thinks the space can look like.
Partnership in the space is not just limited to individuals either, as Lobb explained that companies like Hurontel have signed on to be a part of the project, gaining access to services for providing high-speed internet for the space.
“We have a need for that kind of service,” Lobb said. “What we do around here is network intensive so Hurontel is a great partner to work with.”
Lobb added that there will be more companies joining, some of which are already in discussion.
Interest in the project is also coming from further afield than Huron County. Lobb explained that his friends in the various media industries from metropolitan centres have commented on how unique and great the space looks.
Another partner is Isaac Elliott-Fisher, a Clinton native who worked with Lobb and Hussey to create Definitive Film, which produced Turtle Power: The Definitive History of The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The success of the film has lead the group to create more films.
Currently in development are two more films about television and movie heroes, Power of Grayskull: The Definitive History of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe and A Riddle of Steel: The Definitive History of Conan the Barbarian as well as a game based on video game culture called A Gamer’s Journey: The Definitive History of Shenmue.
Lobb said that part of what makes the films special is what has made FauxPop Media work. The film group looks for the human stories.
“We go deeper and approach the subject to find and bring the depth,” he said. “When we did [Turtle Power], we didn’t just do the guys who made it or the people who liked it, it was an all-encompassing look at everything.”
The geneses of the films are as varied as their subject material. Turtle Power came from a love of the material from Elliott-Fisher, a respect for the property from Hussey and the knowledge that the film could reach a large audience from Lobb. The fact that the recent reboot of the film franchise came shortly after they started working on the film helped to make it a success.
The group has had similar luck with the other films, though not in the same way. When researching the Conan the Barbarian documentary, they discovered a movie was in development and now the film has even more drive and a wider audience.
The He-Man documentary came about organically through the discovery that several of the interviewees for the Conan film were involved with He-Man as well.
“Those points of intersections are what make the films work,” Lobb said. “It’s not really the projects we pick, but the projects picking us.”
The Shenmue project originally started out looking at the game, which has had a cult following, and exploring why it should have a sequel. Soon after the project started, a sequel to the game was announced.
“It’s kind of like the work finds us when it needs to be done,” Lobb said.
The coming of age (and coming into spending money) of the people who grew up with these intellectual properties has helped to allow projects like Definitive Film’s ongoing works to continue.
“Nerd culture has always been cool, but now everyone else is catching up,” he said, pointing to the recent success of Marvel Comics movies through films like the Iron Man and Avengers franchises as proof.
Hussey and Lobb, 10 years ago, were looking at the same projects, however the synergy with the film industry wasn’t there to drive the kind of projects in which they are currently involved.
For more information about all the projects being tackled by FauxPop Media, visit the company online at www.fauxpopmedia.com