June 27, 2011

Behind the sets: Target Toys Summer Catalog

Have you gotten your catalog in the mail yet? If not you can view the whole thing here.  I got such great response to the behind the scenes pics from the winter catalog that I thought I would share some of our tricks from the summer one.

The summer catalog's design involved lots of simple shapes and cut outs to make the background scenes, mixed with some super sized "real" objects imposed later on with digital effects. 

For example we shot this amazing 8 year old pro skateboarder on a ramp in the studio.  And later they superimposed a clam shell over the ramp to make it look like she was actually going down the side of the shell.
Where it looks like the kids are holding something.  We gave them a cardboard or "placeholder" object so it looks like they are carrying the "real object"

The hardest set to create was the "Backyard" where we had a working sprinkler and water slide.
To capture this we first built a base pool pretty much the entire size of the studio to act as a catch for all the excess water.  Next we made a small platform for the floor to sit inside the catch pool and then covered that with our green vinyl "grass".  The back walls we painted blue and hung our clouds.  We had mini trees in the background to give the illusion they were farther off in the distance than they actually were.  A little water heater, and hose hook ups and Voila:  Backyard water fun ready to go!
The slip and slide was interesting.  We padded underneath the slide to simulate a softer surface to slide on, but it was still not easy or safe for them to take a running leap to get the power needed to generate a good slide and splash.  We ended up having to physically push push the kids down the slide.  After much trial and error the 'ole curling throw stance seemed to work the best.  Of course they photoshopped the "slider helper" out so there is no evidence in the final picture. No kids were harmed in the making of this catalog.  They were having a blast.  In fact for the most part so was the crew.  (YES, I tried the slide ... someone had to make sure it was safe!)


  1. that's pretty awesome!

  2. cassandra22:18

    looks so good!

  3. it looks great!
    "slider helper"
    aka: the set designer, sam stefanski.