Behind the Scenes

As much as I love a polished, finished product, sometimes I can't help but love the process of creating something even more than seeing it completed. Perhaps you're like that, too? If so, here's a little glimpse of what went in to making this year's Christmas Video. 

After spotting this image on Pinterest, I knew I wanted to play with lights and silhouettes. J brought home as many large, cardboard boxes as he could fold into the mini cooper, and I proceeded to cut out mountains and pine trees with a box cutter.

Next, I tested out the effect by taping twinkle lights to the back.

Once satisfied, we dragged all the cardboard out to the backyard and painted them with left-over white house paint. Unfortunately, the silhouettes immediately started to curl inward, so we ended up having to press them flat again under 5 gallon buckets of wheat. :)

Then we dragged all the cardboard back upstairs to transform my bedroom into a winter wonderland. Instead of fake snow, we spread out white sheets and blankets on the ground-- the OFELIA blanket from IKEA had the perfect snowy texture.

We always get requests to see the entire family in one shot, so that was the goal this year. We bribed the kids with marshmallows, and managed to keep the baby in the room for a few consecutive minutes on camera! Oh-- and I rubbed a bit of my lipstick onto their cheeks to give them all a rosy glow. ;)

One of my favorite creations was the little paper campfire. The rocks were just crumpled sheets of printer paper and we stuck a ball of Christmas lights under the blanket to make it all glow!

I kinda-sorta fell in love with this fuzzy hat. We have absolutely no use for it here in the desert, but I thought it brought out my Ukrainian heritage nicely. :) If you'll notice, I have my hand on the hat in a lot of the shots, and that's because I was covering the tag-- I returned most of the props after using them for the one-day shoot.

The aspen tree set was SUPER cheap to make. We cut strips of paper from the MALA drawing paper roll in half, lengthwise, and taped them to the ceiling and floor of the living room.

Then I just slapped on a few brushstrokes of gray paint from my vast collection of Martha Stewart paint samples. :) Voila!

The lighting was much better the next morning. :) The kids were fascinated with the overnight forest, and couldn't wait till we were done filming so they could run around and tear them all down.

And as usual, we were grateful to be filming in our own house so we could work around the inevitable temper tantrums and Baby R's naps-in-the-middle-of-the-floor.

This was the first year that we filmed before Thanksgiving , and we really missed living off of leftover turkey and pie. Stopping to make a meal was such a pain. But we managed to knock it out over a short weekend, hand-letter the title cards, and call it a year!

Until next time. ;)


Karri said...

Wow! Thanks for showing us behind the scenes. I am always fascinated by your videos. They are truly amazing :)

Apis Melliflora said...

When I read & see the behind the scenes, the ideas seem simple and doable. But combined with the family skill set: artistic & lighting vision, film production, prop selection and acting talents, it all seems magical and utterly professional!

The Queen Vee said...

Happy New Year Melancholy and family. It's always a treat to see how you create the magic. You and the hubby have vision and talent that the rest of us mere mortals do not possess. Your Christmas video has become a tradition at our house. Thanks for the behind the scene tour...it's all still magic to me.

Running Corgi said...

You know, your ideas would make an awesome outdoor Christmas decoration using waterproof silhouettes. And that video was awesome also!

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