Evolving Revolver

//  09.10.13

Toronto-based Revolver Films announces its company re-launch and celebration of its 30th anniversary with a party during the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) on September 11.

Revolver, founded by director Don Allan, is credited with being one of the first music video production companies in the world. Revolver went on to produce groundbreaking videos for the likes of Canadian icons such as Rush, The Tragically Hip and Leonard Cohen and later, made its mark internationally with videos for artists such as David Bowie, The White Stripes, and Christina Aguilera.

Revolver is marking three decades in the film industry with a refreshed roster, the addition of Executive Producer/Partner Luc Frappier, Executive Producer Richard Cureton and a new focus on producing commercials, long-form content and feature films, in addition to music videos.

“To be joining Revolver at this juncture and to be able to shape it’s legacy for the years to come is very exciting,” explains Frappier. “Developing relationships with brands and creating original content will only add to our already strong portfolio.”

“The timing of us all coming together was just right,” explains Cureton. “Our industry connections, skill sets and vision for the company all compliment each other perfectly”.

Revolver’s soon to be released roster includes the critically acclaimed commercial and music video directorial team Radical Friend, whose experimental short film “Sweat” premieres this year at TIFF, Natalie Robison, a multiple 2013 MuchMusic Video Award winning director, and legendary hip hop and commercial Director X (McDonald’s, Bud Light, Nintendo), who has won numerous accolades for his distinctive videos for artists including Kanye West, Jay-Z, Diddy, Justin Bieber and most recently Drake’s multi-award winning “Starting From the Bottom” video.

Revolver is also pleased to announce its company affiliation with commercial production house Believe Media, whose roster includes Man of Steel director Zack Snyder, Beyoncé’s director of choice, Jake Nava, Antony Hoffman (Mercedes, Am Ex, Lexus), and the new music video cross-over commercial star, Anthony Mandler.

In addition, the Believe partnership brings the return of commercial and music video luminary Floria Sigismondi to the Revolver family where she began her illustrious career.

“Revolver has an amazing legacy of developing new talent. Our intention is to maintain that reputation while venturing further into the exciting world of commercials as well as developing long form projects and continuing to produce award winning videos,” explains founder Don Allan.

Feature projects on the company’s extensive development slate including a feature film about the life of jazz icon Miles Davis, based on Quincy Troupe’s biography Miles and Me; the Norman Mailer-penned Sexus: The Life of Henry Miller; and a series of films based on the long-running spy novel franchise, Nick Carter: Killmaster.

Founded by Allan in 1983 to capitalize on the rising popularity of then-nascent music channels MuchMusic and MTV, Revolver has produced award-winning music videos, live concerts and music documentaries for artists such as Rihanna, Arcade Fire, Broken Social Scene, Alanis Morissette, Metric, Janelle Monáe, Feist, Gnarls Barkley, Billy Talent, Interpol, Sigur Ros, Arcade Fire, LL Cool J, Rihanna, among innumerable others.

Its portfolio also spans films, documentaries, web casts and commercials for brands such as Pepsi, Coke, Molson, Labatts, Budweiser, McDonald’s, Toyota, Ford, GM, Reebok and Nike.

Revolver’s 30th anniversary bash will take place on Wednesday, September 11 at TIFF pop-up venue C Lounge (456 Wellington St. W.). Confirmed guests include a mix of local and out-of-town film industry luminaries and a who’s who of the Canadian music industry.


Don Allan began his music video career while still at the Ontario College of Art in 1980. Afterwards, he started shooting dozens of bands such as Iggy Pop and the Ramones and packaging them into a groundbreaking television show called The StereoVision Network. In 1983, Allan founded Revolver Films in Toronto, which has built an award-winning reputation for world-class music-based film and video projects for over 30 years. Revolver’s earliest ventures saw Allan produce and direct a variety of music programs and entertainment magazines for the CBC, including rock documentaries for artists including The Tragically Hip and IN FASHION, and directing projects with Canadian Rock legends such as Triumph, Glass Tiger, and Leonard Cohen, whose project I Am A Hotel won more than a dozen international awards, including the Golden Rose of Montreaux and went on to show at the Museum of Modern Art in NYC.

A filmmaker with over 30 years experience as both producer and director on film, television, commercial and video projects, Allan plans to continue to direct commercials and music videos, with special attention being paid to cultivating new talent, while developing long-form projects in Revolver’s feature films division.

Luc Frappier, former managing partner and Exec Producer at Spy Films, began his career in advertising, having worked at such agencies as McCann Eriksson and McLaren. In 1992 he decided to venture into production, where the knowledge gained from working agency side allowed him to quickly rise to the role of executive producer. His first company ZooTV was dedicated to finding and developing young Canadian talent, such as director Peter Lynch, known for his “Project Grizzly,” and director Bradley Walsh, for his “NBA Canada Campaign”. Frappier then went on to work at The Players Film Company where he began to forge international relationships with production companies Villains in L.A. and Hamster in Paris, France.  At Spy Films he helped build the company into what Gunn Report and Boards Magazine named one of the top 20 commercial production houses in the world in 2005. Working with directors such as Neill Blomkamp (Citroën/ District 9/ Elysium) and Trevor Cornish (BC Lions, 13eme Rue), Frappier helped win countless awards including a Bronze Lion at Cannes and a Gold Pencil at the One Show in New York City.

With a career that now spans some 18yrs, Frappier‘s role will be to build Revolver into a creative force in the Canadian commercial market place while continuing to build strong alliances around the world as a way to showcase Canadian directors internationally.

Richard Cureton had an early crash course in production when he and two partners started Projektor Images and Sounds in the mid-1990s, creating videos for the likes of Stereo Lab and live visuals for artists including Spiritualized and Daft Punk. Since then, he has become a successful Executive Producer in his own right, with past positions at The Players Film Company and Spy Films. There, Cureton developed a reputation for finding and nurturing young directors, many of whom have gone on to prolific careers, such as Arno Salters and Radical Friend. His work has accumulated many accolades, including 3 MMVAs and an MTV US nomination for Len’s “Steal My Sunshine” and 1 MMVA for Arcade Fire’s “Rebellion.”
In his role as Executive Producer at Revolver Films Cureton will continue to seek out creative projects that will challenge director’s artistic talents and bring them to new heights in the world of advertising, digital and music.

Rudy Langlais, former Editor of the Village Voice and founding Editor of Spin Magazine, is best known for his work producing The Hurricane, starring Denzel Washington, which earned an Academy Award nomination as “Best Actor” and won a Golden Globe. He began his career in film in 1990, with Voice founder Norman Mailer, adapting writer Henry Miller’s trilogy The Rosy Crucifixion, for 20th Century Fox and director Milos Forman (Amadeus, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest). Since that time, Langlais has produced such films as Sugar Hill, starring Wesley Snipes, Who Killed Atlanta’s Children?, recounting his own investigation for Spin of the series of brutal slayings in Atlanta, starring Jim Belushi and Gregory Hines and Redemption, starring Jamie Foxx as Stanley Tookie Williams, the founder of the Cripps gang who was nominated seven times for Nobel Prizes in literature and Peace for writing children’s books.

With more than 20 years experience working for major studios, television networks and major independent motion picture companies, Langlais’s focus at Revolver Films will be on developing the company’s new feature film and television series division.