dack.com  
 home | golf | booze | film | music | stocks | web | misc  archive 
 
you are here: dack.com > film > films > happy santa > the making of
inside films:
/films overview
cube farm samurai
happy santa
disco

the making of
Here's how I did it.

The first step was to drag two sawhorses and a solid-core door out of the garage. (I always have a solid-core door in the garage for long-table dinner parties. Works great.) I was a little worried about reflection off the door so I painted it black. A nice side effect was it made it easy to make shooting marks with plain chalk.
I wanted the stars to look as real as possible, so I built a frame that would hold the black fabric board (see below) on the front and sides and could be covered in the back. Inside the closed-in space were the lamps (below).
Viewed straight-on, this is the the stage with the fabric board. I put a piece of white rope along the bottom of the board to indicate the absolute bottom of the shot.
Side view of the "black box" that contained the stars. I stuck poster board on both sides and draped a black sheet over the top.
Inside the "box" I put three lamps.
I punched a bunch of holes through the front of the "fabric board" to create the star effect. I call it a fabric board because I spray-on-glued some some black moleskin fabric to the front, to create a second skin onto the poster board.
To do the fly-ins, I put the sleigh flying rig (see below) on a 1x6, which was set on top of a hardcover copy of William Manchester's The Glory and the Dream. I switched sides for the right-side fly-in.
For a smooth fly-in effect, I marked up the 1x6 with a line every 1/4". Turns out it was actually too smooth and had to remove every other frame for the final cut. To see the super-smooth fly-in, click here (Windows Media, 250K).
I took apart the sleigh flying rig before I decided to do this "making of" page, so it's leaning against a rig I used for static shots. This was an absolute bitch to make. The reindeer were so heavy I needed to run a brass rod down the full length of the sleigh and attach it with a screw. The vertical rod was a thin threaded rod screwed into a block of 1x6 at the bottom and the sleigh at the top. To hide it, I covered it with the black moleskin fabric.
To give the sleigh an upward flying look, and to make it easier to move in small increments, I screwed some round-head wood screws in the bottom, some a little futher in than others.
This was the rig I used for static shots. I built a block out of 1x6s and covered it with the black moleskin. I put some screws in the bottom for this, too, because it did a small amount of flying in and out of shots.
For the flying bottle, I built this contraption with wood and long threaded and brass rods. It was extremely difficult to shoot these shots because the bottle was very giggly after each move.
I couldn't figure out how to get the brass rod out of the shot, so for about 35 frames I had to Photoshop the rod out of the image using a "clean" star background.
That's about it. If you have any other questions or suggestions on how to do it, please send me an email (link at the bottom of this page).

email: dack@dack.com© 1998-2017 dack.com