Sunday, July 30, 2006

Cardboard Cottage

I started roughing in the cottage walls this afternoon by cutting pieces of scrap cardboard to size.

I chopped and taped the flats together and worked out how the wall panels would slide apart for filming. I cut in windows, including finally building out a large bay window that I had a lot of difficulty figuring out. The standard three-sided bay is currently sitting across two of the cottage wall facets to a nice depth but I'll want to revise the wall placement as where it is flattens out the corner too much and just makes the wall look too broad. The ratio of scale between the tree and the cottage is off a bit. Fixing it should be a simple matter of moving a panel or two slightly inward. I have no idea how to construct the roof. I'm looking closely at my handy reference pictures but my challenge is how to make a comfortable roofline for the cottage without taking too much of the tree's height away in the process. The tree by rights should probably be about 15% larger but I haven't the heart to start it over. I'll work it out--and film from more flattering angles.

Having the Rana puppet stand-in has been a huge help as I could use her to gage the scale of the cottage area.

Next steps: Once the cardboard panels are in position, I can glue on Styrofoam on both sides to size and trowel on various plaster compounds.

Flubs: As the wooden dowel pegs break off with a snap as I remove the panels from the holes in the set floor... I'm replacing them with (shorter) metal rods. Taa Daa!


  1. Hey thats look pretty good! What material are the tree trunk and limbs made of if I may ask?

  2. Hi Ya, Jack! Hey thanks, the tree trunk started out with steel pipe uprights and plumbing flange fittings bolted to the set, shaped chicken wire over that, and so far 5 layers of 100% starch papier maché over that. After another several layers, it will be fully finished with tinted and textured plaster "bark". The branches were either smaller pvc pipes or real tree branches (gathered from streets after a huge wind storm about 5 years ago) or a combination. they too will be finished with a flexible patching compound and wonderfully real looking oaks leaves in various sizes and shades of green. "Leaves" of books will also be cut out and incorporated in the finished tree.

    Thanks for asking! Cheers!


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