Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Giant Human Sized Globe Suit Custom

Yeah, I know this one is a stretch but I've been getting a lot of messages asking what I've been up to lately. Well here are the answers...

1) I moved.
2) I've been working on a lot of commissions for clients. (Pics of those coming soon.)
3) I've been creating and producing games and "interactives" for events and trade-shows.
4) I've been writing and producing commercials and viral videos for consumer products companies. Sometimes, even making the props for these videos.

One such video was for Replogle. If you're not familiar with Replogle, take a closer look at just about any globe. That's right, more than likely Replogle made it. They are the largest globe manufacturer in the world and they approached me to do some demo videos for a new product called The Intelliglobe.

It's an interactive globe that comes with an electronic pen that allows you to touch anywhere on the globe to learn tons of interesting things about that place. The information is provided through audio so you can hear voices, music, and even animal sounds. You can compare different parts of the world in several different ways from life expectancy (one of my curious favorites) to population. The database is massive and you could literally sit and play with it for hours and not even scratch the surface of the information it contains. (You can check out here.)

After playing with it for just a few minutes, I felt it was worthy of more than a demo video. So I suggested that in addition to the demo videos, we shoot a commercial / viral video to give this product the attention it deserves.
They were open to the idea so I met with my long time collaborator and good friend Matt Wechsler of Hourglass Films. A few hours and two Kuma burgers later, we came up with the plot for the video that we affectionately called "He Knows Too Much." In the video "a giant globe runs through the streets of Chicago in a hilarious mad-cap chase" as I later explained in the pitch meeting.

Well Replogle loved the idea so I had to figure out a way to make it all happen. Luckily, I was able to secure a slightly imperfect giant globe from Replogle. It is the largest model that they make (and is the same model that's in the Oval Office). This globe normally costs several thousand dollars and here I was having to hack it up with a saw because it needed to be wearable by an actor.
It was so big (64 inches), it was going to be difficult transporting it to all the locations so I decided to cut it in half. Using the lines of latitude and longitude as a guide, and outfitting my Dremel with a special diamond tipped cutting disk, I started cutting. I only had one shot at this as this was the only one they would spare so slow and steady was the order of the day.  Any small slip could destroy the paper covering of the globe. The plastic walls were so thick, when I was finished cutting, the cutting disk was trashed.
I cut two arm holes in the sides and a viewing hole near the top so the actor could at least see in front of them. However, I attached a wire mesh in front of the viewing hole to obscure the actor's face. I sanded down all the openings to make them as smooth as possible but they were still a little rough because of the quality and thickness of the plastic. (Sorry about that rip in your shirt, Roy.) I cut a hole in the bottom so the actor 's body could stick out. To keep the two halves of the globe together, I attached industrial grade Velcro to the inside edges with super strong epoxy. The actor could secure the Velcro once he was inside the globe.
Matt and I scouted some fantastic Chicago locations like Zia's restaurant in Edison Park and drew from the stellar pool of Chicago area actors to form the cast.  It was a long, two day shoot but it couldn't have been better. The video below is the result and you can finally see the globe in action!

I hope you dig this little divergence. I promise more custom figures next week. My clients have commissioned some real beauties. Until next time, I remain The Insidious One.

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