Recently Oddfellows Barbershop in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada released a short film with some shop regulars. Uppercut caught up with owner, Joel Martell to find out a bit more about his shop and the project they just released
Where is the shop located?
Oddfellows is located in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. I operate a small, one chair shop in the back of Halifax’s staple skateshop, Proskates. I opened the doors in August, 2014.
How long have you been slicking hair?
I’ve been cutting for 3 years. I started out in barber college and did an apprenticeship in Vancouver, BC. I cut in an awesome shop in the middle of downtown Van called Barber & Co and really earned my chops there. After a while my home town started to call to me so I moved back to Halifax and opened my own shop.
What was it about barbering that made you want to pick up the shears?
I graduated from business school and moved to Vancouver to work at a skateboard magazine called Color. I was filming and doing events for them and loving it but it didn’t want to do it as a long-term career. I decided to leave the mag and learn a trade. Barbering appealed to me because I’m a people person and I thought it would be cool to meet new people every day. I had no idea I’d love the craft of cutting hair so much until I started barber college.
What influences you and your shop?
Skateboarding has a huge influence on me and the shop. I’ve been skating my whole life and it’s taught me to have an appreciation for style and aesthetic. It’s not about if you can kickflip, it’s about how you kickflip. I think the same mentality goes for hair, it can be the most perfect haircut ever but it’s about how the person wears it for the next 3 weeks that makes people say “damn sucka where’d you get that haircut?”.
What is it about a barbershop that makes the bros want to hang there?
Myself along with the owners of Proskates, and Anchored Coffee (The Cafe in the front of the shop) have worked hard at making the entire building a comfortable place to chill and hang out. Between the three businesses, we have an awesome customer base that feels really comfortable just stopping in to say hello. There’s also a pinball machine and a miniramp in the barbershop, so lots of ways to keep busy while you wait for a cut.
This clip is one of the funniest/quirkiest things we have seen from a barbershop in a long while, can you tell us how this Clip come about?
I’ve been good friends with Dave Hung (The films director) for a long time, and knew once I had the barbershop up and running that I wanted to work on something with him. Dave is a part of this crew called ODOD. They’re all super cool guys and they’ve produced a bunch of hip hop videos and other media. I have a background in videography as well and I always wanted my business to be an outlet to do creative media projects. It seemed even more appropriate because Proskates, the skateshop in which I operate the barbershop, has a long history of producing short films. Dave and I were stoked to contribute to the legacy.
When I first opened the shop and brought in the Flash Gordon pinball machine, I filmed this little 15 second instagram video of my dog Grady playing a game of pinball. I showed it to Dave and we joked about turning the concept into a short film. The more we talked about it the more serious we got and within a few weeks we made it happen.
We shot the film over a course of 2 days and working with Grady was interesting. We would stand behind the camera and put a treat in his line of vision for where we needed him to look. We’d tell him he was a bad dog if he needed to have a sad face and we’d praise him if we needed him to look excited. It was pretty mind blowing to watch the finished product and see how many different reactions and faces we got out of him. I don’t think the video would have turned out the same with any other dog.