The September/October issue of Popular Science is out and we’re once again super honored to be able to say “Hey, we took that picture!”
The outside shape of the watch was actually a composite of two different watches, but the inside “space” part, was actually shot in camera. We spray painted an abstract cosmos on seamless, then spread the gears and planets out over a 10 foot span in front of the background to get the feeling of depth and space.
Beside the cover watch, we also made (and destroyed) a concrete alarm clock that was covered in vines to represent the passage of time. And also got to work with some fun trippy poster art and lava lamps for a feature opener about string theory. The cashier at Half Price books was amused when Robin headed to the register with arm loads of string theory quantum physics books. I think he knew they would never be opened.
Sometime a creative brief lands in our inbox and even if we are beyond booked and busy, the art ask is so good we just can’t say no. Thus was the circumstances when we opened up an email from Karen Williams at San Francisco Magazine early last May. From the moment we saw the art memo we knew we wanted to do the job. Thankfully they ask with plenty of time in advance so we were able to make it happen a little later in the month. Both Karen and the Art Director Clark Miller wanted something different from what they had done in the past. They wanted humor and a quirky nature, the color pallet was a fun place to play, and they were super receptive to our silly, funny, slightly slap stick concepts. With Ali Wong being on the cover, we landed on the idea of incorporating classic comedy prop items into 4 different section openers plus an overall art opener for the “Best of Scan Francisco” feature.
Thank you to our killer hand model Myan for playing in our silly world. We are over the moon about how these images turned out. I smiled all day just looking at the chicken pot pie. That is also the most baking I (Robin) have done in years.
And here are all the images in layout. Clark did an amazing job on the design! so happy to be a part of it all.
We are beyond excited to be able to share one of the studio’s biggest undertakings to date!
This spring we were approached by a stellar creative team from Droga5 who wanted to collaborate with us to develop 4 ultra stress tests to test the strength of the new Dixie Ultra plates. These tests would be used in both a print and social campaign, so motion was part of the package. The kicker, all these tests had to be done for real. No Photoshop trickery. And they wanted video of each.
The creatives had a list of 8 possible tests in mind, but to narrow down to 4, we were going to need to get to work with pre-testing. Could the plate hold 2 lbs of seafood one handed? How much jello could we drop from how high and have the plate still catch it? Where do we get a volcano with fire and lava that would actually get hot, like 500+ degrees hot?
After a week of testing, trying different jello recipes in different shapes and sizes, calculating how many hot plates we could plug into the studio with out causing an electrical disaster, and a visit from the fire marshal, we had our 4 tests narrowed down. The Rodeo Test, Jello Bowling Ball Test, Volcano Test, and Double Boiler Test were the winners. Next up, it was time to turn our studio into what looked like an industrial testing facility.
We can’t say enough about how amazing our small team is and how hard they worked. The sets were all created by Robin, Nick and Katie on a tight budget, sourcing materials from Habitat Restore and spending many hot and sweaty hours in the lot behind the studio custom finishing cement board, ceiling tiles, and bending conduit. Our phenomenal producer Elizabeth Spiva found the most perfect mechanical bull named Boss and a legit cowboy to ride him. And food stylist extraordinaire Tina Stamos killed it between the perfect cowboy steak, beautiful lobster boil, and the tallest chocolate lava cake imaginable while staying within in a 2 lb weight limit. Thank you to everyone who helped us make these crazy ideas come to life.
First off, here’s the cowboy, by far the funnest of all the tests. And yes, everyone got to ride the bull at the end.
Next we dropped a pound and a half jello bowling ball onto 6 jello bowling pins. Yes, we really made jello bowling pins. No, it was not easy to make them stand.
Our third test was a molten chocolate cake over a volcano. Adam Jorgenson and the team at Big Dog Pyro went above and beyond to incorporate all our crazy asks into this construction. We wanted glowing lava, and smoke, and fire, and heat, bubbles, and it all needed to sit neatly on a 4′ table top.
Last test was holding 2 lb of Lobster boil over a double boiler. Thank goodness we got 20 hot plates boiling with out crashing our electric panel!
And finally, here are lots of behind the scene pick from the process. Again, we want to thank everyone who helped make this crazy idea a reality and thank you to Droga5 for trusting us with such an amazing assignment.
Another fun cover story for Popular Science. The weird weather issue challenged us to make fire pillars, rainstorms and blizzards. Thanks Thomas Payne and the Popular Science art department for the amazing collaboration!
Loving how the Texas Monthly cover came out! A few gallons of milk and cold pressed juice + eggs and veggies = an epic mess in our studio. Thanks, design director, Emily Kimbro for the excellent assignment!