A lot of my creativity stems from a childhood (the first one, i’m in my fifth) where magical transformations required little more than cardboard boxes, masking tape, some glue, and a lot of love and encouragement. And it’s especially fun when I get to play, even at my age, with like-minded creative types who take on the challenge of limited budgets with, literally, what is at hand and what comes to mind.
Case in point: this locally-produced tv spot for Lewis Advertising, realized through the creativity of Nancy and Rod Rich, of monkeybravo.com (and they invited me to play!).
Done with computers? Well, yeah, partially. But before that part, it was almost literally a “seat of the pants” production. Nancy bought two identical pairs of slacks for each of the on-camera people, then cut up one pair and stretched the fabric over a double thickness of foam core with a hole just big enough for me to wiggle my hand through to the pocket entrance. These were clamped to c-stands and I performed each “pocket” separately, using a monitor (muppet style) to get my eyelines right. Each “pocket lining” was a separate tube-sock style puppet sewn up by Nancy with real coins glued to flat buttons which she then sewed onto the characters. She even thought to have the goofy one fixed with different size and color coins that wobbled to make him look a little more offbeat.
On location, Rod videotaped the people first. Then the pocket sections were set up, one at a time, and shot under the identical light. Back at their studio Rod and Nancy matched up and sized the insert shots, matted them over the master shots, and blended the edges in the computer so that it looks like the actors’ slacks and the puppet segments are one and the same. They also matched any slight shifts or movement by the live actors so they wouldn’t have to do it over still photos.
I performed to my own pre-edited voicetrack played from a boombox, which they later synched up to the video edit from the cd. Fellow VO talent Donovan Corneetz had contributed the voice of “Pocket #2” via mp3 from his own studio a week earlier.
It’s this kind of high-level imagination that can make even a low-budget production shine. How low? Well, I ain’t tellin’…but nobody was “out of pocket” too much on this creative project.
— over and (inside) out —