Our Mission

Our mission at FARMHOUSE PHOTOGRAPHY is to create a safe alternative to otherwise very dangerous traditional squibs and special effects. Our goal is to give film, tv, theatre, and live productions a safe, easy and affordable way to create spectacular non-explosive bullet hits and special effects without putting their performers, crew and themselves at risk.

Who are we?

FARMHOUSE PHOTOGRAPHY is a team of forward thinking special effects artists dedicated to designing and building the most innovative and dramatic safety squibs, blood delivery devices and special effects systems in the world. We are based in Pittsburgh, PA and are proud to call the Steel City home. FARMHOUSE PHOTOGRAPHY is run by Steve Tolin and is a division of Tolin FX

We have been in this game for a long time, building our earliest rigs in 2001. They were a little crude but very effective, and over the years we've made many improvements and have finely tuned our designs for reliability and dramatic effect. We are bullet hit and blood slinging specialists.

Our rigs are sold and used worldwide from Peruvian theatre, to Canadian indie films to immursive performance in Russia. We are focused on building creative partnerships with filmmakers and artists the world over. We have distributors in Australia, UK, Canada, LA, Nashville and Pittsburgh

We are constantly striving for new ways to improve our products and better serve the needs of our customers. We are tirelessly working on designs for new rigs and are excited to be constantly advancing this technology. It is our goal to always remain on the leading edge of this industry.

Where have FARMHOUSE PHOTOGRAPHY rigs been seen?

Our bullet hit rigs and blood delivery systems have been seen all over the world in film, on stage, and in live immersive performances to create stunning squib blood effects, spraying & squirting blood, and (non-explosive) exploding heads.

Here are just a few places that you can see our rigs at work:


  • Walking Dead Parody, Hillywood Show
  • 6:15 PM, 615 The Movie LLC
  • Kantemir, Island Rocks Entertainment
  • Bigfoot the Movie, Show Pictures
  • Playhouse, Yeti Bros Productions
  • Bridge to Nowhere, Smithfield St Productions
  • The Korean, Tom Dixon Pictures
  • RL Stein's: The Haunting Hours- Don't Think About It, TCH Productions
  • Homecoming, Paperstreet Films
  • Trapped, New Light Pictures
  • In Northwood, Mike Whittlen Productions
  • It Came From Yesterday, Clear Conscience Pictures
  • Squibman, Storynaut Productions
  • Motivational Growth, Imagos Films
  • A New York Heartbeat, NYHB Films


16 Productions of The Lieutenant of Inishmore, featuring:

  • Pittsburgh Irish and Classical Theatre, Pittsburgh, PA
  • Berkeley Rep, Berkeley, CA
  • Northlight Theatre, Chicago, IL (2009 Joseph Jefferson Award for Outstanding Special Effects)
  • La Plaza ISIL, Lima, Peru
  • Fusion Theatre, Albuquerque, NM
  • New Rep, Boston, MA
  • Watertower Theatre, Dallas, TX
  • St. Louis Rep, St. Louis, MO

Other awesome shows including:

  • Stephen King and John Mellancamp's: Ghost Brothers of Darkland County, World Premiere, Alliance Theatre
  • Evil Dead the Musical, No Name Players
  • Evil Dead the Musical, North American Tour 2015, Starvox Ent
  • Cannibal the Musical, World Premiere, Starvox Ent
  • God of Carnage, Pittsburgh Public Theatre & Fusion Theatre ABQ
  • Sweeney Todd, Opera Theatre of St. Louis
  • Hunter/Gatherers, Bricolage
  • Macbeth, Madlab Productions
  • Lonesome West, Pittsburgh Playhouse
  • The Pillowman, Pittsburgh Irish and Classical Theatre
  • Claustrophobia Performances, CP Ltd


  • Tolin FX Supply, Pittsburgh, PA- Rigs for Sale and Rental
  • MaliceHause, Nashville, TN- Rigs for Rent
  • Set Stuff Rentals, LA, CA- Rodriguez Rig for Rent
  • Geelong Fireworks, Australia- Rigs for Rent
  • Bloody Stuff, London, UK- Details coming soon

What is a squib or bullet hit? What is a safety squib, or non-explosive bullet hit?

First it should be known that squibs and bullet hits are not neccessarily the same thing. Bullet hit, blood squib, air squib, safety squib and squib are all terms that are used synonymously to generally describe special effects which create the illusion of someone or something being shot. The actual definition of a squib is "a small explosive device, detonated using an electrical charge". Most squibs are considered high explosives, and must be licensed in the USA with the BATF and state authorities for the right to use, transport or store them.

Traditionally gunshot wounds and other bullet hit effects have been achieved using squibs, which we all now know are high explosives! This means that for 60 years filmmakers and special effects artists have attached high explosives onto human beings as the primary method of achieving a bullet hit. This is obviously a horrible idea, being super dangerous even in the most professional special effects artists' hands, not to mention very expensive (not to say that you can't get cheap squibs, but cheap squibs are even more dangerous).

Safety squibs or non-explosive bullet hits are devices and systems that use air to create the effect of being shot instead of high explosives. FARMHOUSE PHOTOGRAPHY rigs are safe, easy to use, require no licenses or special permits saving time and money, are quick to setup and reset, and can be reused hundreds of times. And most of our rigs cost less than you would pay for one squib on one day of shooting.

Why use FARMHOUSE PHOTOGRAPHY bullet hits?

Using air to drive a bullet hit rig system has a number of advantages over using explosives.

  • Much safer- Safer for performers, safer for the operator, safer for production. A safer work environment lets everyone focus on being artists.
  • Easy to use- Simply and solidly constructed, our rigs are easy to use and come with complete and thorough instructions.
  • More cost effective- Explosives and the triggering systems and equipment used to operate them can be quite costly. Our rigs need only air and batteries.
  • No licenses required- Handling and using explosive squibs require a ridiculous number of federal and state licenses. Our rigs requre none.
  • Reduced liability- The insurance that required for productions using explosives to cover the liability can be cost prohibitive.
  • Allows for flexibility- Reduced overhead means that you can choose to pass the savings on to production. If you want.

Who are these rigs for?

  • Independent filmmakers
  • Cinema and theatre art students
  • Theatre technical departments
  • Special effects artists
  • Filmmaking hobbyists & enthusiasts
  • Emmersive theatre experiences
  • Street performers
  • Circus acts
  • Magicians and Illusionists
  • Makeup artists
  • War reenactors
  • Haunted attractions

What kind of special effects can you create with these rigs?

  • Gunshot wounds
  • Massive head wounds
  • Bullet hits to the knee
  • Cuts from a knife or razor
  • Slashes from swords or claws
  • Lacerations from an axe or machinery
  • Arterial Spray
  • Projectile Vomit
  • Monster, alien, or demon slime
  • Environment bullet hits
  • Dust bullet hits
  • Water mist bullet hits
  • Air only bullet hits
  • Mold spore explsion
  • Drywall bullet hits

About Tolin FX

FARMHOUSE PHOTOGRAPHY is a division of Tolin FX. Tolin FX is an award winning Special Effects and Specialized Design & Fabrication studio. In serving the film, television, and theatre industries for more than a decade, Tolin FX has earned a reputation for outstanding professionalism, detail-oriented precision, and a passion for creation. From conceptualization to execution, Tolin FX provides superior solutions to your complex creative challenges.

Tolin FX is owned and operated by Steve Tolin. Some of Tolin's most notable film credits include work on Batman: The Dark Knight Rises, Jack Reacher, Warrior, and Adventureland. Tolin recently produced a feature film It Came from Yesterday, for which he and his team created the creature effects and Production Design.

On stage Tolin's work has been seen internationally. Some of his most marked theatre credits include the world premiere of Stephen King and John Mellencamp's Ghost Brothers of Darkland County at the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta, GA and Sweeney Todd at the Opera Theatre of St. Louis. Tolin FX has become the go-to effects studio for more than fifteen productions of Martin McDonaugh's The Lt of Inishmore, winning a Joseph Jefferson Award for work on Northlight Theatre's Chicago production in 2009.

Steve is a graduate of the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, a member of IATSE Local 489, and a certified PADI scuba diver. Based in the Steel City of Pittsburgh, PA, Tolin FX utilizes numerous local and national artists and craftsmen to meet the special demands of entertainment businesses and artistic enterprises in the Southwestern Pennsylvania area, across the United States, and world-wide.

Click here to visit Tolin FX's official website.

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