Like its name, Gigantic Cranium stands out in the crowded room. It’s full of ideas and likes to tell a good story.
It started out specializing in sound, under the name Gigantic Cranium Productions in the late 90’s, but the company went into hibernation when Mac found himself regularly employed at a large post production facility in Northern California. Gigantic Cranium was always in the back of his mind waiting for other opportunities. When Tom Tollefsen and Laura Capitano came up with the idea of doing a documentary film about the Madison Scouts drum and bugle corps, Gigantic Cranium woke up from it’s long, restful nap.
Gigantic Cranium now focuses on sound and picture with it’s debut film, “Scouts Honor: Inside a Marching Brotherhood”. Expected premiere, Fall 2013.
Mac Smith (Director, Producer, Founder)
Mac was born into a family of tuba players in Omaha, Nebraska. His parents and older siblings exposed him to films that were a bit mature for his age, and a wide variety of musical styles. Films that stand out from his early childhood are “Murder By Death”, “Monty Python and the Holy Grail”, and “The Blues Brothers”. It was on that fateful day when his parents took him to see “Star Wars” in the theater in 1977 that changed it all. After that viewing, Mac knew that he wanted to make movies when he grew up. Mac experimented with video cameras, and picture editing throughout his childhood. He went off to Los Angeles at age 17 to take the Summer Production Workshop at USC Film School, and then made his home in Iowa City at the University of Iowa. Mac marched in the sousaphone section of the Hawkeye Marching Band, and studied film at Iowa. During his time in Iowa City, Mac decided to audition for the Madison Scouts drum & bugle corps in Madison, Wisconsin. He marched as a contra player for only one year due to age eligibility in 1995.
The lightbulb really went off for Mac when he got his hands on early digital audio editing software while he was the Music Director at the University of Iowa college radio station, KRUI. This is where sound and picture came together in his mind. The decision was made to start his career in sound editing for movies. Within a year of moving to Northern California, he found his way into the movie industry. Mac has worked on post production sound for over 60 films (“Dawn of the Planet of the Apes”, “Toy Story 3”, “Tron Legacy”, “Rango”, “Clerks 2”, “Hoodwinked”) and has been nominated for six Golden Reel awards. He enjoys living in the Bay Area with his wife Ashley, his son Admiral, and daughter Maven.
Tom Tollefsen (Director, Producer)
Tom marched with the Madison Scouts from 1995 through 1997. A native of Omaha, Nebraska, he marched with a local drum corps prior to his years with the Scouts. During his first year with the corps, he met fellow Nebraskan Mac Smith, with whom he instantly bonded over a shared passion for all things related to the film world. Their insistent conversations about cinema and quoting from movies no-doubt annoyed anyone unfortunate enough to sit near them on the bus, but it is that enthusiasm that has led to the Madison Scouts documentary project. While he does not work in the entertainment business, it seems inevitable that he would team up with Mac to make a documentary on their favorite subject, the Madison Scouts. Tom currently lives in Jacksonville, Florida where he has practiced law for a number of years.
John ‘JT’ Torrijos (Co-Producer, Performance Music Recordist)
John has three passions: music performance; filmmaking and stage; and, in the last three decades, John has been involved with the drum and bugle corps activity. At the age of 10, John started playing trumpet, eventually playing lead in his high school and college jazz bands. He also was a singer in his college jazz choir and was the lead singer and played bass for the cover band ‘Silverline.’ In 1990-91, John was the musical director, fronted, and played trumpet for the Showcase Jazz Band at Great America in Santa Clara. He also performed in a vocal trio and was a sound tech at the Great America Amphitheater. John started making movie shorts with his family at an early age as well, and in 1985, he wrote, scored, produced, and co-directed ‘Bad Dudes’ with his brother. In 1997, he co-directed a short film titled ‘Payback,’ and in 1999 he co-produced and played the lead role in the feature length film ‘The DVX File.’ Since 1996, John has worked at Skywalker Sound. With a number of the tools he found there, he started making experimental Drum Corps recordings in 1998. After fronting jazz bands, John wanted to be able hear the same sounds in his car that he experienced live on the stage, field, or in his stadium chair. In 2009, John started recording for Drum Corps International and did his first 5.1 recording at Stanford in June of that year. This recording put the spark in Mac and Tom’s interest in making Scouts Honor. In 2011, John recorded the Madison Scouts field show in Summerville,SC in 5.1 and also edited the picture. John currently runs the Stag Theater at Skywalker Sound and is the Stage Manager for The Civic Arts Education Dance Academy in Walnut Creek and The Napa Regional Dance Company in Napa. John also assists in recording the Blue Devils’ pre-season CD and is an official recording engineer for Drum Corps International.
Garrick Gonzalez (Co-Producer, Digital Web Sensei)
Garrick marched with the Madison Scouts from 2005 – 2009. It is through this organization and the drum corps activity that he was privileged to meet Mac, Tom, and JT. A graduate from the University of Texas at Austin’s Music Business and Recording program, Garrick sparked a large interest in the music and sound aspects of filmmaking. Garrick went on to write music and sound design for multiple student films and assist on an independent feature film in San Antonio, all while remaining active within the bustling music industry in Austin as a Grammy University member and intern for Public Hi-Fi, a recording studio owned and run by Jim Eno of the band Spoon. He currently resides in Houston, Texas and is planning on making the move to California, where he can further pursue his career in the entertainment industry.
Nathan Haugaard (Cinematography Consultant, Steadicam Operator)
Born and raised in Washington State, Nathan Haugaard’s passion for the drum and bugle corp activity stems from his time marching tenors with the Seattle Cascades. He then moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in filmmaking and cinematography. After viewing the technical achievement in Nathan’s short film ‘Adalyn’, producers for James Cameron’s 3D company offered Nathan a position as a 3D Camera Technician. Nathan has had the opportunity to work and study under many great cinematographers including Robert Elswit, ASC; Amir Mokri; Donald M. Morgan, ASC; and Vince Pace on projects such as ‘Transformers 3’, ‘Cirque Du Soleil 3D’, and many more. Most recently, Nathan was in Haiti filming a documentary about their youngest generation, chronicling the changes in their lives in the aftermath of the earthquake. The journey through Port-au-Prince took Nathan and his camera crew into the heart of the Haitian crisis, including a trip into the infamous Cite Soleil. In addition to his cinematography, Nathan is an active professional photographer. Working on the crew of ‘Scouts Honor’ has given Nathan an opportunity to fulfill his long desire to bring his unique skills to a documentary on drum and bugle corps.
Please visit our production company page at GiganticCranium.com for contact info and upcoming news.