I’ve been making e-cards for my department at work for years. The past 6 years however I’ve really stepped it up. With each year the pressure is greater to do a better card. After each card is complete I inevitably get the comment “This year was my favorite. How are you ever going to top it!”. How indeed!
Last year we enlisted the studio to help block off streets around our building on the lot and I had a script written and voice over done. This year, we got to shoot on an actual stage! Stage 21 is the former How I Met Your Mother stage – or part of it. It was great because there were dressing rooms (more on that later)! I again had a script written but we stepped it up a little bit more again!
I thought of the concept in September and around October started pre-production. The concept was to tell a story of our department trying to find the perfect music and during that search we traveled through lands and time. At the end of course it was inside of us the whole time. Awwww.
To illustrate this we convinced the wardrobe department to lend us costumes so we could dress as characters from iconic or current Fox films. I had to get wardrobe for 32+ people but it really was fun going down to the wardrobe department every day in November and searching for just the right thing for everyone to wear. To get the wardrobe staff on my side, I made a vow that I would bring a goodie for them every single day. I am happy to say I did that. Every single day in November I woke up at 6am and baked something for the wardrobe department. Thankful for my book! I did cookies, cakes, brownies, lemon bars, etc etc etc. I’m sure they’re happy I’m not coming over making them fat anymore… But it worked. They were usually happy to see me and helped us find whatever we were looking for.
I also was very thankful that the Fox lighting and grip department let us raid their closets for a ton of lights, scrims, C Stands, and a 12 x 12 food green screen. I asked a friend of mine, Greg Earls, who went to AFI and knows light like nobody else. He even wrote a novel about it!
Day of shoot was really magical. We had the aforementioned dressing rooms and a makeup artist so we felt like pros. Everyone helped everyone get dressed and it was a really nice gathering for our group. I love that they all participate in what started as my folly and is now a legit thing that we all look forward to!
It was a lot of work and a very short post time (normally I have 3 weeks but this time I posted in 5 days!). I had the story and had the VO written but during my short post window I realized it was way too long. So overnight I had it re-written, tweaked and re-recorded. Ugh! The department ended up loving it and I’m really glad it’s over. Next year I will start much earlier!