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Profile: Frank Hadfield

Day jobs are not unique in the film industry, but a Dinosaur Hunter with his own film studio, now that’s quite the find! Frank Hadfield is the President of Palcoprep, a company dedicated to the art, science and presentation of fossils in Drumheller, Alberta. He is also the man who discovered the first feathered dinosaur fossil in North America.

Now Frank is diving deep into the film industry and opening a studio in Drumheller. Dinosaur Valley Studios (DVS) is a “turn-key solution” for filmmakers to access incredible studio services at an affordable price. To celebrate, he wants to offer one lucky winner a week in his studio for FREE.  How does that sound?

We asked AMPIA member Frank Hadfield a few questions about getting into the industry and what filmmakers can expect from the Dinosaur Valley Studios (DVS). Here he is, in his own words:

What’s the most exciting “find” you’ve discovered through your work?

That’s easy, the Alberta film and television industry! We’ve had such a positive experience working with regional filmmakers and we’re really looking forward to building on those  relationships. We kind of fell into the film industry fifteen years ago when producers started to ask us to build props and secure locations for them and we’ve busy with that ever since. The idea to launch a studio started about a ten years ago and when we we’re able to secure the new location we knew the time to launch DVS had come. People think of me as a “dino hunter” but I feel more like a member of the film industry whose hobby is finding dinosaurs. A few years ago I found a new species of dinosaur while kicking around behind the local grocery store. That was pretty exciting but when it turned out to be the first feathered dinosaur ever found in North America that took it to a whole other level. 

Dinosaur Valley Studios,  Drumheller, AB.

Dinosaur Valley Studios, Drumheller, AB.

What other services are available to filmmakers?

Whether you’re shooting a series, feature, commercial or documentary, DVS is committed to “one stop shopping”.  We like to think of ourselves as a turn-key solution for filmmakers. While studio facility is great we also offer full fabrication support for sets , props, location access , site security, accommodation  and catering.

What should producers and filmmakers know about Drumheller?

Within ten-minutes of our facility there are about a half-dozen distinct landscapes and locations which provide producers lots of creative options. From “Unforgiven” to “Knock Around Guys”, the films that have been shot here are just as diverse as the landscape. DVS is just a one-hour drive from the Calgary International Airport, and three hours from Edmonton International. The Dinosaur Valley is a hidden gem and most people don’t know we even have our own regional airport that can support business jets. There are some great new hotels, restaurants, shopping and recreational facilities in town and we’ve made great deals with them on behalf of AMPIA members.

What are your hopes for the Dinosaur Valley Studios?

Filmmakers and content creators are looking for the same thing we are – great collaborators. DVS is going to be an à la carte facility, but if a filmmaker wants to use the entire building with both studios, production offices along with carpentry and fabrication shop, it’s only $500 a day. The bottom line is, we’re accessible, affordable and full service. In the end, we let the filmmakers decide how we can best support them because it’s the only way we can continue to build the industry in Alberta.


For more information, visit the Dinosaur Valley Website here:

To APPLY for the 5-Days in the Badlands Contest, click here.

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