Kicking the Bucket


Working under a tight budget? Construction materials for your ideal colossal set piece to expensive? Not enough space to build, work or store large set pieces? Well your not the only one. These are many of the same issues I come up against when trying to recreate scenes set forth in my storyboards/animatic. But of course ideas on paper tend to have a little trouble translating themselves into real-life. In my case I needed a down shot of the Hollow Boy approaching the entrance of a stairwell. The following photos are the steps that I took to create the stairwell using sort of an unconventional object.

Materials used: Foam board for the stairs, aluminum wire for the
stair rails and of course the bucket for the stairwell.

1. The glorious bucket with the Hollow Boy for
size comparison.

2. Roughing out the position of the camera,
doorway and stairs inside the bucket.

3. Setting a reference line where the steps are to
be positioned.

4. Placing steps according to reference line.

5. Rough lighting and paint.


 6. Digital paint mock-up.

7. Final wall paint.

8. Final floor paint, stair rails and final lighting.

 9. Hollow Boy animation.
(Shot separately and to be scaled down in final scene). 

10. Final scene with stairwell and Hollow Boy digitally composed
in the same frame along with minor cosmetic changes.

So as you can see with a little experimentation and imagination it's possible to get some pretty interesting results just using objects found around the house. It definitely saved me from building a huge set piece that would have had to have been in proportion to the Hollow Boy's actual size. The bucket was the perfect size and shape, it only needed to be scaled up which ended up working perfectly in post.