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Thread: research for a movie.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2021
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    3

    Default research for a movie.

    Hi there...brand new to this forum and looking for a little advice.

    I'm doing Props on a feature film being shot in Vancouver, BC. Before you ask, I'm bound by an NDA and can't reveal details about it except to say that it is for one of the major studios.

    I need to buy 2-3 matching ukuleles that have a very old, or primitive style, as our film is set in the late 19th Century.

    Respectfully, I don't want to get into the weeds too much about details. We will be able to do a lot with ageing and paint treatments, but if anyone can suggest a brand or type of mandolin that might be a good starting place in terms of the overall style, I'd be appreciative.

    Probably the more basic and unadorned the better.

    Oh, another thing worth mentioning is not to be too concerned how it will sound. That will likely be added in during post-production. It's all about the look.

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    Somewhere in GA, USA
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    347

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    No expert here (I'm a vintage Martin person), but you might consider trying to find a few of these on the used market;
    https://reverb.com/item/12682657-anu...with-hard-case

    Would be nice if the body of the instrument was smaller, but there should be a few of these around and they do remind you somewhat of an early uke from the late 1800's. Not overly adorned.
    One is good. Anything more than that is gravy!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
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    Ohana sk28

  4. #4
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    Look for a nunes-style uke, with wooden pegs (or replace the existing pegs with wooden tuning pegs.)nunes.jpg
    Banjo Ukes: Southern Cross, Firefly, Stella
    Sopranos: Donaldson, Timms, Moku, Waterman, Bugsgear, Outdoor, Waverly Street, Harmony
    Concerts:Cocobolo #460 &#412, Ohana CK450QEL, CK-65D, Rosewood Vita, Mahogany Vita,
    Donaldson Custom, Epi Les Paul, National Triolian Reso, Republic
    Tenors: Kala KA-KTG-CY, KoAloha Sceptre, Fluke, Cordoba 20TM
    Bass: Fluke Timber

    Am I done?

    ...Maybe?...

    My YouTube Channel

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
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    Michigan, USA
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    To my knowledge, the ukulele really evolved into the instrument we know and love around the end of the 1800's, having been introduced to Hawaii around 1880, and didn't really achieve much popularity on the mainland until the early 1900's.

    The oldest surviving example of a ukulele that I know of can be see here: Uke from The Met website

    You can also have a look at some of the instruments in this gallery: Vintage Ukes at the Ukulele Hall of Fame site If you click on any picture, it will tell you the era.

    Early ukes were pretty simple affairs, overall, at least the ones that survive that I have seen.
    Mainly a concert player.

    Beansprout alto (myrtle) | Martin Konter | Kala Elite Soprano | Rebel Double Cream mango concert
    KoAloha Silver concert | Blackbird Clara | Kamaka HF-2 (special) | Kanile'a K-1 C
    Anuenue UC200 Moonbird Concert | UkeSA Pineapple Sunday concert (acacia) | Pop's Pineapple Sunday (koa)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
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    Darlington UK
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    This is where those engraved Luna things come into their own...
    You don't stop playing when you get old. You get old when you stop playing

    Tanglewood TU13M concert called Kalea
    Brunswick BU4-B baritone called Kalua
    Fender DG5 Dreadnought guitar named Tilly
    Tanglewood Discovery guitar
    Valencia hybrid classical guitar
    And a whole heap of other instruments...

    My Music Blog

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    453

    Default

    Those aNueNue 1879 are very good replicas, but they're becoming hard to find.

    Old Kumulaes (although most of them are from the 1920s) are cheap-ish and would look the part from afar, except perhaps for their big headstock decals. If you can't find them, there are probably East Coast or BC collectors who could lend them out on condition that they're insured during the process.

    Those Ohana's look too modern to me, with the wide lower bouts and wide waist - the earlier instruments had a more or less perfect figure 8-shape, were small, and had pin bridges.

    Another idea is that some luthiers make fantastic replicas, and probably wouldn't mind hiring them out and having their name on the credits. David Means (Annapolis, MD), Mike Da Silva (Berkeley, CA), Kunihiro Matsui (Oahu, HW), Kevin Crossett (Middelsex, VT) all make excellent Dias replicas with pin bridges, wonky headstock shapes and all. Mike even makes a Santos replica. Marc Schoenberger (San Luis Obispo, CA) and Joel Eckhaus (South Portland, ME) used to make them as well, but I'm not sure if they're in business anymore. Danny Ferrington (Santa Monica, CA) has built period musical instruments for movies before (The Ladykillers 2004 by the Coen Brothers, he's featured in the DVD extras).

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    McDonough, GA
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    4,630

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    Dave Newton, a luthier in Beaumont, TX used to build Primitive Style Mahagony Sopranos. Check with him.

    He used Rosewood violin friction tuning pegs, fretted on the neck instead of using a fret board. Looked like it was from the 1800’s, and played great.
    -Hodge
    Humble strummer of fine ukes.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
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    Saratoga, CA
    Posts
    1,201

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    Quote Originally Posted by JWW View Post
    Hi there...brand new to this forum and looking for a little advice.

    I'm doing Props on a feature film being shot in Vancouver, BC. Before you ask, I'm bound by an NDA and can't reveal details about it except to say that it is for one of the major studios.

    I need to buy 2-3 matching ukuleles that have a very old, or primitive style, as our film is set in the late 19th Century.

    Respectfully, I don't want to get into the weeds too much about details. We will be able to do a lot with ageing and paint treatments, but if anyone can suggest a brand or type of mandolin that might be a good starting place in terms of the overall style, I'd be appreciative.

    Probably the more basic and unadorned the better.

    Oh, another thing worth mentioning is not to be too concerned how it will sound. That will likely be added in during post-production. It's all about the look.

    Thanks in advance!
    Contact Shawn who runs ukulelefriend.com. He can send you pics of period ukes that you can then get built or mimic.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Catskill Mountains, NY
    Posts
    7,674

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ksiegel View Post
    Look for a nunes-style uke, with wooden pegs (or replace the existing pegs with wooden tuning pegs.)nunes.jpg
    Exactly what I had in mind. That style might be hard to find, but the modern style would stick out.

    EDIT: https://www.ukulelemag.com/stories/u...ives-in-hawaii
    https://theukulelesite.com/anuenue-1...age-relic.html
    https://www.maplestreetguitars.com/s...tem=1879%20KOA
    Last edited by Jerryc41; 01-13-2021 at 03:09 AM.
    Too many ukes, but I can't stop buying!
    https://www.catskillukulelegroup.com/

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