They started with this.
I whipped up the above artwork for my friends building the set of Roald Dahl's Willy Wonka, last month's musical staged by the Torrance Theatre Company and one I was also cast in, playing the part of reporter-to-the-Golden-Ticket-winners Phineous Trout. The artwork would be applied to large 5' x 3' boards installed at the top of the proscenium of the Armstrong Theatre and illuminated with animated magical effects during every show.
Now whenever I'm in a show, I like to try to do something creative and special for the cast, to hand out on opening night or closing night. For this show, I had to consider something I could produce for about forty cast members and about half as many more crew members, something that wouldn't get in the way of me missing (too much) sleep to get them sixty-odd pieces done and looking pretty.
In my last show, 12 Angry Men, I made a card with a wheel that can be turned to reveal jokey verdicts through a cut-out window and a simple pop-up card that I handed out to the cast and crew on opening and closing nights. They turned out well enough and everyone got a kick out of them. I also had fun making them, and they turned out to be fairly simple to do yet were impressive to receive. (Pats myself on the back.)
So immediately the idea of again doing something involving paper engineering came to mind. I browsed through some books on paper engineering I own for inspiration and also to see what would be simplest to produce for a cast of thousands! Ok, sixty people. But I didn't want this to feel like I was making enough for thousands.
After I finished the Golden Ticket art, I occurred to me that not only was that the perfect graphic element to share with everyone, but also that half my graphic design time was theoretically done if I was able to use it in whatever I came up with! (On top of taking the time to brainstorm, design and make these whatevers, I still had rehearsals to go to too! So time management was a bit important to me.) I decided I wanted to do something a little more exciting than the simple pop-up I did for 12 Angry Men. And quickly the idea of opening a card to reveal a real Golden Ticket popping up at them became my focus and my goal.
My biggest challenge being a novice paper engineer was how to make it pop up! But a little trial and error building white model mockups aided me in figuring that out fairly quickly. Next up was designing the graphics for what would appear on the rest of the card, what would appear behind the Golden Ticket that popped up and what would the cover say to set up what they'd find inside. I was again able to save some time by re-using the gears from my Golden Ticket art to use in the background spread of the inside. And since this was coming from the reporter in the show who introduces himself to the audience by saying "This is Phineous Trout!", the concept for the cover arrived quickly too.
As the art was getting done, I printed them out to mockup some more white models to see how it was looking and also to make sure the placement of the Golden Ticket didn't block my text and message in the card. Once I signed off on my own graphic design, it was off to the local craft stores to find just the right kind of gold paper to print the Golden Tickets on, because Golden Tickets need to be gold (duh) and sparkly! (And because I could then print them as black and white art, it would save me a hell of a lot of money on toner too!)
Thank God for Scrampers, a scrapbooking supply store that was the only place I found with just the right paper I was hoping to find! I also bought a box of Avery 5 1/2" x 4 1/4" Note Cards for the base cards; pre-scored and perforated-to-size was another time-saver I banked on. And since I already had white card stock at home for the pieces going under the tickets to lift them up - card stock being sturdier than thin copy paper - I just needed toner - lots of toner - and I was ready to print, cut and score.
Below are images of my final artwork and shots I took during construction. I didn't have time to produce anything for opening night, so I was glad I got these done to hand out on before the show on closing night. I was very happy with the way they turned out. Thankfully, so were my very talented castmates and the backstage crew who worked hard throughout the production.
Check out my portfolio to see other paper engineering projects I've done for fun!
All About Me
A fan of Star Trek, Star Wars, Harry Potter, Batman, comic books, Blu-rays, Disney, soundtracks, taking pictures, theatre and...Barry Manilow!