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about us

Full-Stack Production

Cutting Edge Fab

Immersive Visuals

TonalTotem was founded by David Ostro and Doug Marks. David has 15 years experience running a public art firm which blends VFX and digital fabrication toolsets to create unforeseen works and experiences. Doug shares his 10 years of expertise as a project manager in a high-end fabrication shop with an uncanny background as a bioengineering lab researcher. Together they give TonalTotem a striking balance between new forms of creative innovation and production management.

Our business is designed for one-off and short-run productions. We work with artists, musicians, architects, designers, event producers, fabrication companies and a gambit of other creatives.

TonalTotem sets itself aside from traditional art production outfits with a unique approach to ideation and talent management. TonalTotem thrives at the confluence of VFX and CAD tributaries. We bring together talent from the parallel worlds of fabrication and imaginary fabrication (CGI) to create a new kind of workflow for powering innovative change.


Each world uses similar toolsets to completely different effect, yet despite their similarities, there has rarely been any crossover at an industry level until now. With this novel workflow and a diverse network of trusted creatives, TonalTotem positions itself to pursue the most ambitious projects.

TonalTotem is a collective network of talented artists with a vast array of skill-sets operating out of a 20,000 square foot shop in sunny Oakland, CA. We combine the strengths of a design and fabrication shop with the dynamic diversity of independent contractors.


TonalTotem draws from a stable of talent to choose the ideal team for each job without carrying the cost of an immobilizing payroll infrastructure. TonalTotem is a full-stack agency that will take your project from concept to completion no matter the scope.


Working with us rather than a host of specialty shops means you save time and money by optimizing efficiency. Our lean structure and minimal overhead means we can produce work of the highest quality at incredibly competitive rates.

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