Did you notice a piece of Cochrane in the majority of scenes in HBO’s The Last of Us?
Star Pedro Pascal seemed to never be far from his characters’ backpack, which was handmade in Cochrane.
“I'm not usually the type of person that gets starstruck or anything. But when you watch an actual TV series and you see a famous guy with something you made on his back, it's pretty cool,” says the bag maker, Cochrane’s Tara Van Ringen.
Her business, Mooi Studio in Cochrane got the opportunity to build five bags for the main character thanks to the close-knit bag-making community in Alberta.
“The props manager with the series contacted a friend of mine in Spruce Grove. She has a huge bag-making hardware store. So these people called her and said, this is what we're looking for. And she said, well, I can't do it, but I know someone who can.”
“She gave them my designer friend's name in Calgary, her name is Tara Sinclair with UhOh Creations. She said she'd love to do the mockup, but didn't have time to actually sew them. She called me and I'm like hell yeah.”
“Tara had to actually look at the pictures from like the PlayStation video game that they gave her, the artist's rendition. She had to design it and figure it all out. Once it was exactly the way they wanted it to look, she brought all the materials to me and the instructions."
Making an exact match to the video game bag is one thing, making it functional was a whole different challenge.
“If you watch him with that bag, they're hiking it up and opening it and putting stuff all the time, it's so cool like honestly,”
The designers are hopeful to feature more of their work in the recently announced season two of HBO’s The Last Of Us.