Peter Sutherland’s Toronto-based prop-making continues to be loads of fun. Advertising, film, and POP provide satisfying challenges for his enthusiasm to solve unique problems in the creation of “real-but-perfect” props and rigs for stills and motion. Peter’s acquisition of new skills is on-going, but his formal training includes study at the Ontario College of Art and Design, École des Beaux Artes in Montréal, an apprenticeship with sculptor and wood carver, William McElcheran, and stints as the production mould-maker for Canada’s premier mannequin factory and as an architectural model-maker.
His 30 year career spans the entire evolution of digital capture, yet he maintains the exacting standards of the time when photography worked with film and polaroid, and when “what you see is what you get”. Digital re-touching once appeared to be a competitor. Peter now relishes the new creative opportunities for image-makers. The ability to combine elements of various scales enables new synergies amongst prop-maker, photographer and art director. There is a dictum from the feature film world, “You can lie . . . but you can’t cheat.” That’s the world that Peter loves to figure out.
In the making of stills or film, there is a delicate balance between the (sometimes) competing interests of thrift and excellence; Peter’s long experience and enjoyment of smooth-running production provides a valuable resource for the most challenging projects. His clients includes: Cisco Systems, Capital One, GM, Toyota, Honda, Union Carbide, Home Depot, Warner Lambert, General Foods, Amex, Visa, Grolsch, Budweiser, Dupont, Pirelli, Syngenta, Stella Artois, and AT&T.