Rick Tallman the Revolutionary

June 26th, 2024 by Casey Flores

Rick Tallman says he never wanted to lead anything. The “45-and-a-half” year-old tinter with a deep country accent has gone from a standard online forum commentator to leading one of tinting’s online communities: Window Film Revolution.

“I have not always been vocal and never could’ve envisioned myself the head of a large organization of people like this,” he says.

Who is Rick Tallman?

The owner of TNT Tinting in Newnan, Georgia, Tallman started his career in the automotive aftermarket industry in detailing and eventually got into film.

“I bought a thousand bucks worth of film and saw someone doing it—I thought it looked easy enough,” he says. But it was being raised on the streets and a career in the military that gave him the tenacity and discipline to want to chart his own destiny as an entrepreneur.

Rick Tallman, head of Window Film Revolution.

“I had a very rough childhood,” he admits, noting he grew up around drugs, partying and witnessed mental, physical and sexual abuse throughout adolescence. “I’ve seen people killed in front of me—I’ve seen a lot of bad stuff.”

Tallman was raised in rural South Georgia and in Atlanta.

“Back in those days everyone partied a lot,” he says. “They were drinking and it was heavy drugs, alcohol, all of it. If you could name a drug under the sun, I’ve been exposed to it, just in my childhood.”

His father passed away a week before he turned 18 and he knew it was time to make something of his life.

“That moment in life was when I really became a man,” Tallman says. “I didn’t have a security blanket to fall back on and had to become my own man.”

So he enlisted in the Marines at what he calls the lowest point in his life.

“I felt like I had lost everything and almost didn’t have a purpose to live,” he explains. “I went there and had a life-changing experience because of it, but not necessarily in the way most people would think. I did learn discipline, but I was always a free thinker as well.”

That free-thinking, contrarian spirit is what prompted him to revolt against the system. That system wasn’t the U.S. military, but the next community he was a part of: the window film industry.

Tallman’s Transformation

Tinters who were around when Tallman started Window Film Revolution will remember he was quite vocal during that time. He admits he had an ego.

“I just wanted to get past the egos and I had my own ego and one of my transition points is that I lost my ego,” he says—largely thanks to fellow tinter Ralph Van Pelt, who he considers his life mentor. Van Pelt had built a community of his own loyal tinters under his brand Flex Film and the two became close. They now talk multiple times per week, Tallman says.

“Up until the point I met Ralph, my entire understanding of life was somebody who was raised in the streets,” he says. “I had a very black-and-white opinion of things and what Ralph did was—the same values and morals I learned from the streets were the same that he had but he taught me how to do the same thing in a more sophisticated way. You can get better results being nicer to people. I didn’t always consider other peoples’ thoughts.”

That said, he still takes immense pride in his window tinting skills. “You’re talking to the best window tinter on the planet,” he says jokingly.

From Revolution to Reunion

Tallman says he now is focused on bringing people together. His online group has grown to the point where it’s able to offer regular giveaways and even features its own gathering—Window Film Family Reunion—which will be held in Chattanooga in August of this year.

“Our end goal is to simply bring value to the window film installers and owners; by doing that, it’s going to bring value to the end consumer and bring value to the manufacturers—it all comes full circle,” he says. “That’s why the logo has a circle with an arrow in it.”

The group is run through his own business entity—TNT Tinting. His ultimate goal is to turn it into an association complete with accreditation and member support.

Tallman’s Vision

Tallman has been a part of both the window film industry’s maturation and its growth in scale since Window Film Revolution’s inception. He says the industry now needs to focus on getting people trained to tint.

“I believe that training is the number one building block of the future,” he says. “If we don’t train people, our industry won’t be as strong as it could be.”

He says the industry is not currently meeting the goal but it’s well on its way.

“Any time you see private individuals coming out of the woodwork to start training centers, that’s a good sign that there’s a hole that needs to be filled,” he says.

Legacy industry members have been surprised by Tallman’s success but are also grateful for it. Tallman attributes that success to overcoming the challenges he faced during his youth.

“Because of all the things I went through in my childhood, I had a strong belief in myself that I could get through anything,” he says.

This article is from Focus on Film, the weekly e-newsletter that covers the latest news regarding window film and related products, including paint protection film. Click HERE to sign up—there is no charge. Interested in a deeper dive? Free subscriptions to Window Film magazine in print or digital format are available. Subscribe at no charge HERE.

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