This year the Dashboard Christmas card was centered around the king of the Internet, all mighty animated GIF. We created each of these GIFS in house in our makeshift photo studio setup just outside of Daryl’s office (thank you Daryl for dealing with all the strange activity next door). I had a lot of personal firsts working on this little project and given the nature of some of the GIF ideas I’m not all that surprised. After a lot of strange problems, shopping experiences and photos taken I present to you my 12 most bizarre and interesting moments creating the GIFS of Dashboard.
1. Prop shopping
Let me tell you it’s not easy to find certain things in this city, I mean why is it so hard to find a snow globe? Also there are some really strange people out during the day in Toronto, like, a woman with a giant headdress and a dog on her shoulder and a guy lying on a mall bench who I thought was dead. You’d be surprised what you see wandering around in the afternoon.
2. Making fake snow
Fill a box with Styrofoam packing peanuts and then start picking, pulling, smashing, rubbing, cutting and picking them apart. After an hour the snow looked great but the smell and the strange sense of my hands being coating in wax was a bit odd.
3. Collecting real snow
Early December in Toronto tends to yield no real snow, just rain. So when we needed to create a real snowman it was easier said than done. The solution: a quick run down to an ice rink with a big Tupperware container, fill it with snow and hurry back before it turns to slush.
4. The snowman in the freezer
Obviously building a snowman indoors isn’t the best of ideas, so what do you do with a quickly melting mini snowman? Put him in the freezer asap.
5. Breaker, Breaker the snowman is not melting
The snowman is in the studio he’s starting to melt a little, but we need him to go faster to capture the stop motion of his demise. So we turned on him with a hair dryer… Then the power turned on us. We blew a fuse and that was the end of our speedy attempt to destroy the snowman. After many attempts to bring him down he just wouldn’t die, the snowman had to be cut.
6. Skewering a chicken with a candy cane
So we had to make a “Turkey” (we used a chicken just because it was smaller) dance. We tried attaching a complex system of strings to the beast in an attempt to create a poultry marionette, but it didn’t quite work out. The chicken needed a backbone, so having a giant candy cane handy, we skewered the chicken to allow it to stand upright and get its groove on.
7. Drinking milk with a stir stick on the floor
Doing a time-lapse of some cookies and milk being eaten seems easy enough, but there was only one problem: The milk needed to progressively down but we couldn’t move the glass. Solution: Kendrick and a stir stick, look at him go.
8. Super model Eggnog
This is just funny. Kendrick really likes Eggnog.
9. Cutting off a sweater
In one of our attempts to get the effect of a sweater unraveling we decided to cut small strips off then shoot the photo. Kendrick might have a future as a tailor.
10. Doing a Santa Dance
Yes those are my legs, this is definitely the first time I’ve bust a move in a Santa costume.
11. Bribing for fireworks
In our attempt to obtain some fireworks to blow up our beloved fruitcake we sent Nik on a mission to Kensington to see what he could get. He did indeed find us some fireworks but the store refused to sell them to him. So the logical next step was to try and bribe them.
12. Chestnuts on the beach
This was the first GIF we shot, a baking sheet, some tiny beach towels, brown sugar sand and some chestnuts; this mini tropical paradise was perfect for roasting.
A special thanks to all that helped out no matter how strange the ask might have been.
Check out the GIFS of Dashboard here.