The year has absolutely flown by and a blog update is long past due! Good blogging intentions lost out to day jobs, studio and commercial deadlines, family, and travel.  No excuses, just fact. But, where exactly did the time go? Finished panel with stripes. The goal was to have it look like the walls of an older style subway car, like the B train.


Truth be told I can’t remember what the heck we had going on at the start of 2012, other than a continuation of projects from 2011.  Lori had begun constructing the set for the Subway image the later part of 2011.  It was a large set, necessary to include details like the striped wall covering –shiny/matte striped aluminum. Lori painstakingly layed out, taped off, and then used sandpaper to create the matte stripes.  The seats were carved foam, coated in spackle, then painted. Aluminum rod acted as center poles and was bent to become handrails.


Subway seats-step 1. Glue together rough cut pieces of pink foam. Use hot-wire then sandpaper to shape.

Subway seats -step 2. Cover seats with spackle then more sanding. Repeat 2-3 times as needed to get the desired shape.


Subway seats -step 3. Careful taping then painting to get the right look.

Lori has long been fascinated by the walking sand dunes of Namibia. That is what led to us dragging  300lbs of sand up to our apartment. How much did we actually use to create the sand filled interior of the subway car? A wee fraction. But you never know. If we’d just picked up a little bit of sand initially, we would inevitably had to go buy more.  It was entirely a fluke that Hurricane Sandy hit in late October, just a few weeks after the scene was completed.  All told we worked on Subway for about a year, off and on.


Subway seats attached to back wall of model. Lori fine tunes the dirty and rusty finish.


It stinks when you have to adjust that one little thing and you can't reach it from the outside!


Quality control officer Merman giving everything the once over!

Part of the “off” time was the opportunity to work with our Four Story Treehouse buddies  (Joe and Vincent) again on a short video for the new BBC America series, Coppers.  This was the first original programming by the American wing of BBC and the idea was to create a video that would bring viewers up to speed historically with what was happening in the Five Points area of New York City in the 1860’s. It was decided to focus on the draft riot and its’ effect on the country, highlighting the anger it created between the different classes and ethnic groups.

Laying out streets and wooden sidewalks for Five Points model. Daisy is keeping the board in place.

Early stage of alley. Buildings are all scratch-built. A rare, hovering giant squirrel looms in the distance.


With little time to do research and build the sets, about 1-1/2 months, we got to work. We planned some specific camera shots, knowing basically what would be needed to tell the story. Lori and I have also learned that there is a lot of improvisation on set, and do our best to offer a variety of possibilities. You can check out the finished product on the Four Story Treehouse website - .

Lori takes test shots of buildings.


Birds-eye view of alley set up. Laundry is cut up dress shirt from the thrift store, hanging from piano wire.


On set, shooting Five Points model. Director Vincent Peone plans his next move.


Getting ready to shoot. Cue the fog machine!



CategoriesStudio Life