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Wonderland Behind the Scenes: Septime Clock

Written by in Profiles

 

Next up in our behind the scenes look Design Army’s piece for the Washington Ballet. The book, Wonderland, was made to help celebrate the 10th anniversary of the dance company.

Neenah Paper
How does this selected image fit into the book’s narrative?

Design Army
This image is the opening of the book. It portrays the Artistic Director of the Ballet (Septime Webre) upon a large clock symbolizing the rabbit from Alice in Wonderland. In his opening letter Septime alludes to the Wonderland and unexpected twists, turns and leaps that the ballet has made over the years – and it really sets the tone for the rest of the book.

NeenahPaper
What were two or three of the most challenging aspects of this particular photo shoot?

Design Army
On this shot darkness that was our obstacle. We were shooting in an abandon warehouse where the city stores abandoned bicycles. We had to place the sun (aka the HMI Lights) on the roof shining down through a skylight. And of course we had to tear apart LOTS of bikes to create the surrounding “gears”.

Neenah Paper
Did the performer perform this feat of physical artistry live? Was there any Photoshop retouching done?

Design Army
There was not a lot of retouch on this image and we shot MANY versions. We even built a unicycle on site as an option. Ultimately we went with post that shows Septime in a running/race pose; again to symbolize the The Rabbit in Wonderland who could never be late for a very important date.

Neenah Paper
Where was this shot taken

Design Army
This was shot on 7th and S St. NW at the old Wonderbread Factory. We did several other shots at the same warehouse in different locations of the building.

Neenah Paper
How long did the shoot last?

Design Army
This shot took a while to build. Much time was taken ripping bicycles apart. I would say from start to finish it was a 3+ hours. Luckily we did not have to clean up the set when we were done – we just left it there for the next creative to discover!

Neenah Paper
How many crew members, roughly?

Design Army
On every shoot we had at least 15 to 20 people. This included Design Army (Pum and Jake) and photographer Cade Martin and his assistants. The light crew made 3, and the EFX’s crew was 1 and RV driver and a producer; the hair and make up team was always 2 or 3, and then the dancers varied.

Neenah Paper
How many final take of the “live” shot?

Design Army
We shot around 300+ frames.

Neenah Paper
Any other interesting thing about this that you could add for our readers?

Design Army
AS you can see from the behind the scene pics, it was a lot of work to set this shot up. Making things look random is not easy!

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