Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Behind the Scenes: the VLKF Graphics Department

Our regular readers will no doubt recognize the graphic at the right which originally appeared with our Corrections article dated August 23. It was, in fact, one of our most popular articles of the last year, and may currently be under consideration for several major awards.

What you may not realize is the enormous amount of manhours (and womanhours!) that goes into each and every graphic that spruces up the website. Let’s take a moment and walk through the process of building a Very Little Known graphic.

Firstly, our cracker-jack Creative Team brainstorms a concept for an article. Maybe something about puppies? Or Mel Gibson? Global Warming?

Once they've got the rough idea, the Graphics Department kicks into high gear. For the "Corrections" article, a photoshoot was set up with our staff photographer Lisa, her assistants Ted and Mike, and our gaffing, lighting, and coffee-making intern Tiffany.

This particular shoot was set for Studio B due to its complexity and lighting issues. As you can see, Studio B is far more spacious--and it has a ceiling fan! You'd be surprised how often THAT comes into play. Remember to ask about the time we had Robin Williams in Studio B. Now that was a story!

As always, craft services went above and beyond the call of duty.

Then we brought the IT guys in to set up the wireless monitor for the screenshot. Our faithful programmer Kurt stayed up all night creatinig a “digital” mock-up of the screenshot, since—of course—the graphic didn’t even exist yet!

The lights were set. The equipment was rented. The backdrop was down. Finally, it was time for the magic to begin!

Lisa insisted on working with our lovely, long-time hand model, Gwynnyth Llewellyn. Unfortunately Gwynnyth suffered a tragic deli-slicer accident last year during a Quiznos shoot, cutting off her right thumb and endangering her career.

Gwynnyth came to terms with this, but many of her clients were not able to broaden their minds to the possibilities of an OtherlyAbled hand model. But this was no obstacle for the brave VLKF crew!

Our Photoshop department swung into action and seamlessly merged a rather famous thumb with Gwynnyth’s mangled hand. Can you indentify the digit in question? That’s right! It belongs to Tony and Emmy award-winning actress Bebe Neuwirth!

So that’s the Very Little Known history of one little graphic. Total cost: $14,800. But it was worth every penny.


Anonymous said...

I would like to say this was genius work by jon black-too bad there is a strange relationship between the amount of work put into an article versus the response.
dismal jimmy

Jon Black and Britt Bergman said...

Dear dismal jimmy,

Thanks for your comment!