I do some work for an interfaith group called FaithCounts.  They promote the importance of faith via social media.  A few months ago, they came to me asking if I could do something based on a quote by Blaise Pascal–“In faith there is enough light for those who want to believe”.

For ages I’ve really, really wanted to create something based off of “The Ice Book,” a mini traveling theater with paper cutouts and projections.  Now I had my chance!

It began with an animatic:

Fun, right?

The challenge now was to make it real-life.  We began by recording the people on greenscreen, and then designing the paper cutouts in photoshop and illustrator.

We took the pen-traced layers of the scenes, and sent them to a paper cutter machine.  (Contrary to what the piece shows, we did NOT cut these out by hand…are you crazy??!  Haha)

Then separated the layers with foam board and put them in frames, backed by double-matted mylar.

With a borrowed projector, we took the greenscreen bits we filmed and projected them against the back of the picture.


We ran into some problems, though–particularly with the light.  It grows in each scene, which meant that we couldn’t get a consistent exposure.  While it looked cool in real life, on camera the paper was either totally black, or the projection completely overexposed.

We realized we had to film the scenes three times, each time a different camera exposure…then composite them together in After Effects.  Lots of masks were involved.

Then, we were ready to film again!

…And then composite again.  Phew!

Here’s how it turned out.

This was such a blast to direct.  A big thank you to everyone who helped ^_^