Monday, January 12, 2009

Who Wants to Know about the Holiday Video? I Do! I Do!

Well, hello there, stranger! No, you're not the stranger, I am, but still, to me, that makes you the stranger since I haven't seen you in many, many moons. So, I say again, and without hesitation, "Well, hello there, stranger!"

Where have I been? Hmm. Let me answer that as a character on Lost might answer it: "Where do you think I've been?" Good. Now that that's cleared up, I'm here today to get back into the swing of my Monday postings. Not posting makes me feel very guilty, while posting makes me feel creative and useful. Sounds like a no-brainer to me. So here it goes.

Yes, here I go with a post. I will write one now. A post filled with interesting tidbits about our show. Hmm. Yes. Tidbits. Like pineapple tidbits. In their or its own juice, depending on... your... on your grammatical... usage structure.

Okay, so I began this without an idea of what I was going to write. Robb is teasing with teasing teases about our next full episode, so maybe I should talk about our last video. That was our holiday video, though, and who wants to hear about the holidays when they're over? Except Robb?

Well, I shall swallow my post-holiday holiday aversion and tell you some things you may not know about our holiday video. Instead of calling them "factoids" or "factinos," I shall call them "factadactadilloes."

Factadactadillo #1

The holiday video was not originally intended to be sped up as it currently is. No, the reason it's sped up is because we ended up shooting too much footage. In fact, we were worried we would not have enough footage, so during brainstorming, we just kept adding stuff to shoot. We shot 98% of what we set out to shoot, but that left Robb with too much to put in. He left only one thing out, which was something with singing snowmen, and the rest he sped up to fit the song. It was a very, very happy "accident."

Factadactadillo #2

The snowy frame at the opening and closing of the video is cotton batting and paper snowflakes pasted on cardboard (a Mac Pro box, to be exact). We once again wrote ourselves into a conundrum; at the end, we thought it'd be quite funny for Robb to slide the frame back into frame (cinema is so self-referential). The other options were to just cut to a new shot with us all behind the frame, or for the frame to close in on a hinge. But sliding is funnier. So we spent some time constructing an apparatus solely for this purpose. The apparatus consisted of four light stands, three casters, and two closet door sliders, all held together with gaff tape. Getting it to work right was more time-consuming than we expected. No doi!

Factadactadillo #3

There's a blooper built right into the video! When the candy canes on the string of lights fall down, that was entirely unintentional. I think you can tell that by all our "out-of-character" reactions.

Factadactadillo #4

This video was meant to be very quick and simple to shoot. That was our goal. But as you saw in factadactadillo #2, we just luuuu-uuuu-uuuuuv a good challenge. Such good challenging did not stop with the snowy frame. No, we also came up with the little gingerbread Wizard of Oz reference. This meant we needed a spinning house and, if possible, a spinning cow. Cue the lazy susan, the blue screen, and the gingerbread house kit!

As an added bonus, here's a short video of us testing the fully-automated mechanical spin feature.

Corrie did her kung-fu poses in front of that very same blue screen for the attacking cookie shots.

Factadactadillo #5

It's harder than you think to find very tiny, sparkly red shoes. I ended up buying a whole doll just for the shoes, which we then had to hand-paint with sparkly red paint.

Factadactadillo #6

In last year's holiday video, the gingerbread man cookies were cardboard cutouts. This year, to save on time, we used real gingerbread man cookies from a gingerbread man cookie decorating kit. They tasted terrible, but so did the cardboard, so at least we got some realism instead.

Factadactadillo #7

I know a magician never reveals his secrets, but this is movie making, and movie-makers do it all the time on DVD and E!, so I'm going to spoil some magic here for you. The popcorn on a string in the microwave thing was indeed one shot. We put a divider in the bowl so one side could hold the popcorn kernels and spool of thread, and the other could hold the pre-stringed, popped popcorn.

And that, folks, is it! I hope you found that informative and fun. If you didn't, you should have your head examined by a certified clinical holidaycologist. But not a holidayecologist. That's an entirely different branch of the holiday sciences.

Have a great week!


Robb said...

What a great and informative post!

But my favorite part is imagining you typing "factadactadillo" that many times.

And I'm glad you put some thought into the plural form of the word as well!

Anonymous said...

To be fair, I did hire a consultant to research, create, and type that word. I simply did not have time to think it up on my own.

But not really.

Don't think I didn't try to cut and paste the word in the Blogger editor. I had to type it over and over because Blogger is too stupid to let me paste any text into the Composer tab! And don't get me started on the messy, messy, messy code the Composer tab creates. I think it must be a Safari issue.

Would you like to hear something else, dear holidaycologist? I can not get the high-res version of that video to work, though I have duodecuple-checked the secret code. I ended up re-editing the whole post in a text editor, hoping that cleaning up all the <div> tags would somehow help. Alas.

I am never posting again!