This post is really late… oh well. Better late than never.
I had started thinking about doing some sort of space theme for this year’s card immediately after we shot last year’s card, but it wasn’t until Toby and I spent a few minutes brainstorming a few weeks before Christmas that it all started coming together. As every year, I did a quick little sketch and we just went from that.
I wanted to keep costs down so I decided to make most of the set out of fabric… down town LA has an incredible fabric district where everything is dirt cheap. I think I spent around $30 for everything. Also, I’ve acquired quite a bit of fabric from various jobs so I used up a bunch of that as well. I made the costumes out of some material I’ve used for sets on 3 different films (all strip club scenes too…) I never throw anything out which comes in handy for projects like this.
We made the props for photo – the anal probe Toby’s holding and clear tablet I’m holding, grabbed the costumes, grabbed a few metal tubes from Home Depot, grabbed Robbie (our Santa) and my friend Kellie (an awesome art director friend that I work with a lot) and headed over to EVS in Glendale to shoot the card on their stages. We have a very fortunate situation at our disposal… Toby works at an HD rental house equipped with stages and when we have little projects like this they’re generous enough to let us use the space. So thanks EVS! Here’s a time lapse of the entire day
We took a ton of pics and the final product was actually created out of two different photos. I know there are lots of photographers who like to stay true to the form of photography by not compositing tons of images together, but I feel that there’s an art to compositing, so I have no problem sewing several images together to get what I want.
After doing some minor color correcting and retouching I created all the vfx graphics… probably spent 5-6 hours doing all that. I had to crunch this out fast because I had a big job going on simultaneously that I was designing. Plus we had to get all these damn cards in the mail asap. We also like to hand make each card… we could get them printed but we never do. We print them ourselves, assemble the cards and hand write messages in each one. It’s real time consuming!!
So you’re probably thinking that this is a lot of work to put into a stupid Christmas card… well it is. But every year people tell me how excited they are to see what we’re going to do. I’ve also heard from several people that they put the cards out in their homes as decoration. And all that makes us feel real special. We love doing stuff like this so we’ll continue to do it until… well I dunno… something really bad happens and we can’t do it anymore? Well that just sounds shitty. Happy belated holidays, everyone!