Monday, December 29, 2008

Harva-Contest Mania

First, a big big big huge thank you to anyone who voted for Harv's Packers/Penske commercial. You are awesomer than awesome. Sadly, he didn't win. A big bummer. If you ask me, it was a very poorly run contest, with little to no promotion and a three month window in which you could vote. It seems fairly certain that the prize went to not the best spot but to the person who could get the most friends to vote everyday. Harv's pretty modest and not the type to shamelessly self-promote to the extent that was probably necessary to win.
Oh well. He's already got big plans for next year.
One contest does not a mania make and so I will now share with you what prevented me from making a single handmade gift this year.

The Bushman World Ukulele Video Contest!
I found out about this contest about three weeks before I had to leave town for Christmas, decided to enter 2 weeks before and only started animating 1 week before. Yipes. It was tight. But I designed the video in a way so that I could probably (I hoped) get it done. It's all cutout paper and fabric shot on a down shooter (a multiplaned table with the camera suspended above). I started animating on a Saturday, finished the following Friday night (while working full time, bear in mind), took a red-eye to Connecticut the next night and finished all of the compositing/editing (computer stuff) once we were there. It was nuts.
Of course I had some super helpers all along the way. Buddy Systems (Harv's studio) was very awesome to let me shoot there and use their resources. Linnea and Kelsey, two Buddy interns, helped a ton. Among other things, Linnea drew the puppet and Kelsey cut out all of the hills and trees. Jenny Towner did the track reading and lip synch, Eric Towner advised me on post production matters and Harv did all of the lighting and camera work. Nick Mariana sacrificed some of his band's rehearsal time to help me record the song and Alex Kamer lent his baritone uke skills to the mix. Ethan Marak saved my deadline with some last minute advice. Plus, he gave me "permission to not be amazing". And last but not least, Tennessee Reid Norton got me hooked on the ukulele two months ago and I've been obsessed ever since.
Thank you all so much, you're all the best best best!

So, wish me luck! Thankfully, this contest is not determined by internet voting. The winners are announced on Monday.
Here's a handful of behind the scenes pictures.