Over at NBC.com’s Dunder Mifflin Infinity game, people compete in “branches” on various tasks.
Task #26: create a video set to a short clip of Hunter’s ‘That One Night’ song, as featured on The Office episode, Dinner Party.
This entry, created by Cathy (aka Clockwise), completely blew me away.
A short Q&A with Cathy follows.
Q. How did you decide on this particular medium?
A. Since we weren’t allowed to use images from “The Office” in our video, I decided to use puppets to recreate some of my favorite Michael and Jan moments. I originally considered sewing hand puppets but I decided that it would be too difficult to get them to show enough detail (clothing, facial expressions, etc.). So instead I made my puppets out of pieces of craft foam glued to popsicle sticks. The craft foam is available in lots of colors and I could draw on it to add the details I wanted.
Q. Are you a graphic artist professionally?
A. No I’m not. I minored in art in college but only managed to fit in two studio art classes — the rest were art history courses. I enjoy drawing and do the occasional doodle but I spend most of my free time doing crafty projects including sewing and knitting. I have a blog where I post all my craft projects: Cathy’s Crafty Cattery (countingclocks.blogspot.com).
Q. How did you decide which scenes to include?
A. I spent a lot of time “researching” — in other words, watching every episode I could remember that showed or discussed a Michael/Jan interaction! I made a list of scenes and then narrowed it down to the ones that I knew I could recreate. I picked a few things that we had seen in the show (Sandals, the elevator kiss), some that had only been mentioned (Michael in the schoolgirl outfit, Michael sleeping on the bench), and one that I just made up (smelling the Serenity candle). I needed some way to tie them all together so I came up with the Schrute Farms scene.
Q. Are there scenes you shot, but did not include in the final video?
A. I was able to fit all the scenes that I filmed into the final video, though I did shoot many, many retakes of each scene! Because I was filming and controlling the puppets at the same time, it took a lot of tries to get each scene right.
Q. Which scene was most difficult to shoot?
A. The elevator scene was the hardest to film. I had to make Jan kiss Michael, quickly prop her up against the wall, then reach around the back of the “set” and close the elevator doors from both sides. Everything kept going wrong! Jan would fall down, Michael would fall down, Michael would get stuck in the doors, the doors wouldn’t close at the same speed … I had to film it 12 times before I finally got it right!
Which prop was most difficult to create?
A. Drawing the exterior of Schrute Farms was hard since I was trying to make it look like the real thing. But the elevator was probably the most difficult prop to make because of the sliding doors.
Q. How many hours total did it take you to create this video, including all the research?
A. I would say about 30 hours. I know I spent several hours a day for a few days researching and planning, then I spent 8 hours a day for 3 days doing the construction and filming.
Q. Anything else you would like to add re: the making of the video?
A. I would like to thank everyone who took the time to let me know that they enjoyed my video. It means a lot to me that so many people appreciate all the work I put into it!
Thanks, Cathy, for taking the time to answer these questions! And again, congratulations on a fantastic job!