Rebel by Lacey


CLM agency photographer/filmmaker Lacey asked for our help to create four miniature scenes for a Details Magazine fashion feature. The theme was “Rebel” and we immediately thought a barber shop, a bar, an alley and a subway car would make good environments in which her young rebels could find some trouble. To execute the shots, Lacey had the brilliant idea to photograph her models first, then print up the images, cut out the figures and place them into our sets. We had been wanting to create sets for just such an inventive project for some time, so we were very excited by this idea. 

It was to be a two part process. Lacey had specific ideas about the actions that would take place in each scene. We made some rough sketches to make sure our sets would give her what she needed. We also provided her with measurements for the primary props. When shooting her models she would have them work with “stand-ins” that were the dimensions of our props. For example, the motorcycle rider sat atop a similar sized box. We met with her about half way through the build to double check scale, then set the dates for shooting the dioramas. 

We tried to scratch build as much as possible. Once again, Lori focused on the main structures and then I came in for more of the detailing. It was especially fun making the cigarette machine and the barber shop chairs. The alley was built for versatility so Lacey could move the walls around to try to shoot multiple scenes. Lori truly outdid herself when making the trash dumpsters. She laughed when she saw me detailing the interior of the dumpster. My argument was that you never know what the photographer would want to shoot on the spur of the moment. Best to try to give them more than they asked for. 

They shot the paper models inside the sets over four days. Lori and I were able to set up two scenes at a time - one set was lit while we continued to put the other scene in place. The paper figures were all cut out ahead of time and numbered to correspond to the desired actions. Now, in addition to the film stills, Lacey had hired an animator to make short videos using the paper models on each set. This was where the true storytelling was going to take place! It was fantastic to watch the animator at work. The level of detail he brought to the videos was amazing. 

The final photographs in the magazine were fantastic. The paper figures (which she never tried to disguise as being paper) worked beautifully with the sets. Elements of scale were included - in one a hand held a figure, a safety pin appears in others - to show that it was a miniature set. All in all, it was a lot of work for everyone involved but the outcome was such a success I don’t think anyone minded.  

You can see Lacey’s video here at

Set Designer / Fabricator: Nix + Gerber Studio

Director: Lacey

Cinematographer: Christopher Webb

Animator: Pete List

Creative Agency: CLM

Executive Producer: Lauren Hertzbert

Style Producer: Eugene Tong

Editor: Kate Owen, White House Post