My 9 year old son Merrik acted in a commercial for his dad this week. Well at least his fingers did. He was on a studio set to make a commercial for CHOC Children’s Hospitals for about 3 hours at Thunder Studios. During that time he worked with Molly Schiot, enigmatic live action and animation artist, to get his part down just right. Molly was patient and helpful. I could tell her visual process was alive inside her mind the entire time-she was tuned into every aspect of the controlled chaos on the busy set. Merrik was fascinated with the entire operation: from his dad’s comic strip-like drawings that illustrated the idea being manifested to the RED camera on it’s dolly. Merrik encouraged his fingers “act” in front of the lens of the lens while watching them on the screen every chance he had between takes. He also made sure to take time out to check out the craft services provided and pretty much was powered up on donuts and chocolate all day.
He spent most of his time jumping a Tech Deck type skateboard over a frog and a trash can, over and over and over. He did pretty well doing the entire storyline in one take but eventually he had to do each segment on it’s own so that he could concentrate on the details of keeping the board in line with the thing to be jumped, maintaining a good speed and hitting the trash can at the right place to knock it over so that the trash fell out just right. I was really impressed with his staying power through it all. After that scene was a wrap he had to put on a cast that was fit to his arm several days prior then cut off again. This part was easy after being under such intense concentration for the last segment. He just had to push his fingers across the table with a green screen for the background. The entire commercial is going to be animated in post after all this work with certain elements being dropped in later on.
It makes me so happy that my kids are being exposed to the artistic process in different ways. From my process with them-shooting to processing to printing-to my husband’s process for creating commercials and print ads using illustration and the computer. Even if they end up in finance or something boring at least I know they will be able to appreciate how much there is to a creative profession.