“Greyscale” and beyond

Ryan Dunlap, a director/writer/actor and former Tulsan, talks about professional filmmaking in Tulsa.



You might already know about the movie “Greyscale,” which was filmed primarily in and around Tulsa from September 2008 to April 2009.

The feature-length film exhibits more than 30 Tulsa-area locations, with more than 100 cast and crew.

Seasoned Hollywood actors such as Doug Jones (“Hellboy” and “Pan’s Labyrinth”), Tim Russ (“Star Trek: Voyager”) and Anthony Tyler Quinn (“Boy Meets World”) appear among the leading roles, along with many Tulsa-based actors.

And the man behind it all — the director, writer, producer and star of “Greyscale” — is Ryan Dunlap. Born and raised in these parts, he studied film at The University of Tulsa and began making this movie two years after graduating.

When I asked him recently about shooting “Greyscale” locally, Dunlap said, “It was literally a lifetime of favors being called in to use all those places. And I had great support from TU when it came to using their resources for a few scenes.”

Dunlap and I chatted briefly via e-mail a couple of months ago, just after I’d had a chance to see “Greyscale.”

It’s a tidy, stylized, quick-moving film — a modern-day film-noir drama about an ex-private-eye-turned-colorblind-visual-artist and his allegedly deceased wife.

Clearly, Dunlap has done his homework; “Greyscale” succeeds as a shadows-and-trench-coats homage as well as a tough, intricately plotted detective story.

It’s neo-noir, as they say, with pretty solid footing. Also — and this may be the film’s greatest strength — “Greyscale” is an engaging movie from a strictly visual standpoint.

It’s presented primarily in black and white — with a top-to-bottom emphasis on darkness — but there are also some important splashes of color throughout. The vividness, or simply the high contrast, that Dunlap achieves with this palette can be remarkable and telling and fresh.

And crucial to the film’s story.

The title came to him before the story, says Dunlap, who has loved noir films since his university days.

“When I set out to make a feature film, I didn’t know what sort of resources I was going to have,” he says. “I had an education in most everything film-related, except lighting, so I decided that (even if I had) to make the film a one-man show, going the black-and-white route would cover up my inexperience with lighting.”

He ended up with a great crew and director of photography, “but the black-and-white idea stuck, and the crew really excelled at achieving the classic style of film noir.”

Delving into what would motivate the use of black and white, he landed on achromatopsia — complete color blindness. And so a major theme took hold, even before he scripted the first draft.

“Greyscale” remains in post-production but was screened in Tulsa last summer at a private event for the film’s cast, crew and their families.

And the film has opened doors. Because of “Greyscale,” Dunlap is now a full-time, salaried director in Nashville, Tenn., where he is creating a feature-length documentary for BrightBulb Entertainment.

“Leaving Tulsa was one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had to make,” he says. “ … I couldn’t have made ‘Greyscale’ anywhere else but Tulsa because getting the film made, as I said before, required a lifetime of relationships and accumulated favors.

“But the tough reality is that there isn’t an infrastructure for a Tulsa-based film industry currently, and unless you have the money and relationships to keep making films, you’re not going to find steady work.”

When will we get to see “Greyscale”? And how?

“We’re still tweaking the last bits of the film before going to distributors to see what outlets we will have for it,” Dunlap says. “Once we get a distribution offer, we’ll know whether ‘Greyscale’ will get a limited theatrical run, will go straight to DVD or will be available on VOD (Video on Demand).”

Meanwhile, interested parties can learn much more at www.greyscalemovie.com.


Scott Gregory hosts “All This Jazz” on Public Radio 89.5 KWGS, where he’s also the producer and editor of “StudioTulsa.”

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November 2018

We’re serving up our new chef-inspired fondue and traditional brunch options like Alpine Benedict Cheese Fondue, French Toast Fondue, Avocado Fiesta Toast plus bottomless mimosas. Reserve...

Cost: Varies

Where:
The Melting Pot of Tulsa
300 Riverwalk Terrace #190
Jenks, OK  74037
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Sponsor: The Melting Pot of Tulsa
Telephone: 918-299-8000
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Over the past thirteen years, the Williams Route 66 Marathon presented by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma has become a 26.2-mile party! You might find yourself asking "Is this a race or...

Cost: $110

Where:
Downtown Tulsa
Tulsa, OK  74066


Sponsor: Williams, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma
Telephone: 918-408-1208
Contact Name: Ally Lightle
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FlyingTee is fun for the whole family and on Sundays, kids eat free! *Limit one free meal from the kids’ menu with each purchase of an adult entrée. Not valid on brunches or holidays.

Cost: Free with purchase

Where:
FlyingTee
600 Riverwalk Terrace
Jenks, OK  74037
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Telephone: 918-528-7717
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When four lost New Englanders who enroll in Marty’s six-week-long community-center drama class begin to experiment with harmless games, hearts are quietly torn apart, and tiny wars of epic...

Cost: $20

Where:
Studio 308
308 S. Lansing Ave.
Tulsa, OK  74120
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Sponsor: American Theatre Company
Telephone: (918) 747-9494
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Cost: $10-$20

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Mabee Center
7777 South Lewis Ave
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Come and Support ORU Women's Basketball as they jump into another exciting season. Join in on the fun and purchase your tickets today! All children ages 13 and under, accompanied by an adult, will...

Cost: $7

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Mabee Center
7777 South Lewis Avenue
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Cost: Free

Where:
Hope House
4241 S 37th W Ave.
TULSA
TULSA, OK  74107
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Sponsor: Hope House
Telephone: 918-446-8176
Contact Name: Dorothy Brown

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Every Wednesday Live Event Trivia is at The Willows Family Ales - Show starts at 7 and is free to play! Movie scenes, Finish the Lyric, Classic Trivia, and more! The crew from T-Town Tacos will be...

Cost: Free

Where:
The Willows Family Ales
418 south peoria ave
tulsa, OK  74120
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Telephone: (918) 895-6798
Contact Name: Julian Morgan
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Local, Live Music at the The Willows Family Ales taproom EVERY Thursday at 7:30pm. Surprise food vendor to be announced SOON!! 11/1 ---- Eric Himan 11/8 ---- Wendy Nichol Hall 11/15---...

Cost: FREE!!

Where:
The Willows Family Ales
418 south peoria ave
418 South Peoria Ave
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Sponsor: The Willows Family Ales
Contact Name: Julian Morgan

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Tulsa Air and Space Museum & Planetarium (TASM) will celebrate Black Fly-day Weekend in place of the regular shopping holiday on Nov. 23 and 24.  The Museum plans to open their...

Cost: Free - $15

Where:
Tulsa Air and Space Museum & Planetarium
3624 North 74th East Ave.
Tulsa, OK  74115
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Sponsor: Tulsa Air and Space Museum & Planetarium
Telephone: 918-834-9900
Contact Name: Kevin
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Reconnect with family and friends in the garden illuminated with colorful lights. Make s'mores over fire pits, enjoy holiday music and take in the spirit of the season in our magical garden...

Cost: Tickets are $15 for ages 13+; $5 for ages 3-12, Children 2 and under are free.

Where:
Tulsa Botanic Garden
3900 Tulsa Botanic Drive
Tulsa, OK  74127
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Sponsor: Tulsa Botanic Garden

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Philbrook Festival is back and better than ever! Enjoy the most beautiful place in Oklahoma during the most wonderful time of the year. The Museum comes alive with festive holiday events, Santa,...

Cost: $5/Philbrook Members, $15/Public, Free/17 & Under

Where:
Philbrook Museum of Art
2727 S. Rockford Rd.
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Tulsa, OK  74114
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Sponsor: Philbrook Museum of Art
Telephone: 918-748-5300
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Philbrook Festival is back and better than ever! Enjoy the most beautiful place in Oklahoma during the most wonderful time of the year. The Museum comes alive with festive holiday events, Santa,...

Cost: $5/Philbrook Members, $15/Public, Free/17 & Under

Where:
Philbrook Museum of Art
2727 S. Rockford Rd.
Tulsa, OK  74114
View map »


Sponsor: Philbrook Museum of Art
Telephone: 918-748-5300
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More information

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Tulsa Air and Space Museum & Planetarium (TASM) will celebrate Black Fly-day Weekend in place of the regular shopping holiday on Nov. 23 and 24.  The Museum plans to open their...

Cost: Free - $15

Where:
Tulsa Air and Space Museum & Planetarium
3624 North 74th East Ave.
Tulsa, OK  74115
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Air and Space Museum & Planetarium
Telephone: 918-834-9900
Contact Name: Kevin
Website »

More information

We’re serving up our new chef-inspired fondue and traditional brunch options like Alpine Benedict Cheese Fondue, French Toast Fondue, Avocado Fiesta Toast plus bottomless mimosas. Reserve...

Cost: Varies

Where:
The Melting Pot of Tulsa
300 Riverwalk Terrace #190
Jenks, OK  74037
View map »


Sponsor: The Melting Pot of Tulsa
Telephone: 918-299-8000
Contact Name: Alex Cooper
Website »

More information

Reconnect with family and friends in the garden illuminated with colorful lights. Make s'mores over fire pits, enjoy holiday music and take in the spirit of the season in our magical garden...

Cost: Tickets are $15 for ages 13+; $5 for ages 3-12, Children 2 and under are free.

Where:
Tulsa Botanic Garden
3900 Tulsa Botanic Drive
Tulsa, OK  74127
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Botanic Garden

More information

Philbrook Festival is back and better than ever! Enjoy the most beautiful place in Oklahoma during the most wonderful time of the year. The Museum comes alive with festive holiday events,...

Cost: $5/Philbrook Members, $15/Public, Free/17 & Under

Where:
Philbrook Museum of Art
2727 S. Rockford Rd.
Tulsa, OK  74114
View map »


Sponsor: Philbrook Museum of Art
Telephone: 918-748-5300
Website »

More information

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Cost: 59.95

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Hilton Garden Inn Tulsa- Broken Arrow
420 W Albany St.
Broken Arrow, OK  74012
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Telephone: 866-496-0535
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Cost: $7

Where:
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1/2 west of Peoria, on 35pl behind the church
Tulsa, OK  74102
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Sponsor: The Ok Swing Syndicate
Telephone: 918-450-691
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