Every year, my boys and I are tasked by my wife* to come up with a Christmas card to send out to family and friends. And, every year there are the usual challenges to produce something creative and that tops last years efforts.
This year, the original concept was to find a 1930s motorcycle with a side car and figure out how to get it up to the studio. Well, I found one 1934 BMW, in cherry red. But, it was about a foot too wide to fit in the elevator. And the owner was understandably reluctant to separate it for the low budget we had for prop rentals. I even offered to raise my price to 2 six-packs of beverage of his choice. But, we were turned down and had to table that idea. (still looking, if you know anyone).
Plan B was to place the boys some place like 1960s NASA or 1980s War Games (Matthew Broderick, 1983. Look it up.) or, perhaps, Hunt For Red October style of thing.
Which would require the creation of a prop radar screen station and a little photoshop work.
*Disclaimer: Yes, she wants a nice card every year. And, yes, I am the one who decides to turn it into a full pre- and post- production project requiring multiple props, costumes, special effects and a generally quirky sense of humor. But, she loves me anyway.
Step 1: The Plan
Any good, concept based photoshoot starts with a plan. I needed to sketch up the basic idea, both to figure out the shopping list and to share and get approvals from the talent (my boys) and my client (my wife).
You can see that, at this point, the station was going to be Ice Station Blitzen.