Portraits Highlight Vancouver Film Industry That Paused Due to Strikes

Two portraits from Rob Trendiak's Anachron series next to each other.

As Hollywood is on pause due to two major strikes, the effects stretch beyond Tinsel Town into the “Holly-North”: Vancouver.

In his new portrait series Anachron, photographer Rob Trendiak captures actors and crew members from Vancouver’s film industry who have been affected by the ongoing SAG-AFTRA strike in Hollywood.

While the SAG-AFTRA strike, and the Writers Guild of America’s strike, have shut down television and film production for U.S.-based works, Canada’s felt the effects as well as many Hollywood works are filmed in the country.

“While talking with film industry peers,” Trendiak states on the project’s website, “I began to realize just how dire the situation is for Canadian film cast and crews. Work that was scheduled for the fall disappeared overnight. People instantly out of work suddenly need to find employment.”



The name Anachron comes from the word anachronistic, “meaning old traditions conflicting with new ideas,” according to Trendiak. “Hollywood studios need to update their old ways of functioning to adapt to newer technologies such as streaming services and artificial intelligence,” he continues.

SAG-AFTRA is striking over the protection of actors’ “images and performances to prevent replacement of human performances by artificial intelligence technology,” and compensation that reflects “the value we bring to the streamers who profit from our labor,” among other demands, which can be viewed on the organization’s website.


Anachron was shot on a twin-lens reflex Ciro-flex camera from the 1940s, which Trendiak says “represents the old ideologies of Hollywood and filmmaking.” The 1940s were part of what’s known as the Golden Age of Hollywood. He also used AI to expand the borders of the images. Though he notes AI was not used to manipulate the subjects, nor was there any use of Photoshop.

“I did a few colour tweaks in Lightroom but the gritty and grainy effect in the photographs is the viewing glass on the old TLR camera,” the photographer shared.


To round out his equipment, Trendiak used two strike, one at full power positioned 45 degrees from the subjects to the camera’s right, and the other with a bare bulb pointing at the background behind the subjects, according to the project website. This made the background appear white, Trendiak says, bringing out the dust scratches of the TLR camera.

Trendiak said the process forced him to show down to ensure he got the perfect show, ultimately making him a stronger photographer. Anachron is a departure from his regular photography work, in which he mainly focuses on corporate headshots.

“They were gritty and artistic portraits. I honestly didn’t even know if anybody would be interested in participating in this series as they may think I am crazy for creating images that have a heavy aesthetic.”



However, Trendiak found that people were excited both by the project and at the prospect of being involved.

“I met so many new people whom I now can call friends,” Trendiak said, “and reconnected with past film industry colleagues whom I have not seen in over a decade.”

Disclosure: Lisa Marie Segarra is a member of the Writers Guild of America, East, whose film and TV writer members are also on strike.

Image credits: Rob Trendiak