When Hector Sanchez , the creative director of Austin Monthly, contacted us about doing the August cover, it took us a second to think through how to respond. The mass shooting in an Orlando night club had happened days before and that was weighing heavy on our minds. We talked it through with him and when he told us the story was an unbiased look at both sides of the argument, interviewing people both for and against campus carry going into affect at The University of Texas this year, we said ok.
The image he wanted was simple but powerful. A handgun with the barrel becoming the UT Tower.
If you know the history of contemporary mass shootings in the US, you know that one of the first was committed from atop that same tower we were putting on the cover. Not only that, but the campus carry law was to go into effect on the 50th anniversary of that very event, where Charles Whitman shot 49 people, killing 16 of them.
GQ came to us with an article about the future of football, and one writer’s theory that football will not become less violent, but actually more violent in the future. So we were asked to imagine what this more violent future might look like. Menacing spikes on the helmet, barbs on the shoulder pads, players with brass knuckles, and razor wire at the end zone was where we went. This was an amazingly fun set and costume to build. Thank you to makeup artist Tara Cooper for making our player’s skin look phenomenal!
And here were some of the out takes that did not make it to print, but we love the way they turned out.
We looked at all kinds of different spikes to find the most menacing. The end solution…..spear fishing tips! All ground down by hand. And yes, they were sharp!
Last, here’s some behind the scene images from the day.
In May, WWD called with an idea for a cover story, but due to their quick turn around were unsure whether it could happen in time. They wanted to cast a bust of a woman with a worried look on her face for a story about consumer confidence. We’re always up for a challenge so of coarse we said yes.
Thank goodness we have the best assistants ever. Katy slicked back her hair and sat patiently for almost an hour while i covered her face with a casting compound and then plaster support. The result was just what the magazine was looking for.
When the phone rings and it’s Armin Harris from Fortune, the conversation usually starts with “So we had this idea… can you guys make it happen?”
This time is was a tornado of ramen type noodles for a story about Nestle’s PR flub with Maggi 2 Minute Noodles, their brand of instant noodles popular in India, and the rumor of lead contamination.
The tornado was made with a wire under structure that the noodles were than woven around. Then we flung noodles, liquid, and veggies around the tornado. The studio smelled like curry for a few days afterward.