(above) - This is a screen-cap from the fourth season of the primetime network television reality series ABC's "SuperNanny," where I worked as the production's Art Director. I worked directly with the show's Director, Producers, and
Talent in order to
efficiently problem-solve and adapt my department to the production’s ever-changing needs. You can see one of my many "House Rules" signs in the background.
As the head of the Art Department , I was responsible for continually achieving the highest
quality finished product possible in remarkably short turn-arounds while remaining under-budget. I quickly and effectively conceptualized and dressed sets
when Super Nanny's techniques called for full-room makeovers, as well as for family meetings with three-camera set-ups. In addition, my responsibilities including creating and maintaining the continuity of all of the show's many props used for techniques throughout filming, while also being on-hand to greek the plentitude of "uncleared" items that the show's families commonly used during daily life, and to make sure that only cleared items or greeked products appeared on screen when at all possible.
Other responsibilities included "masking" wires and surveillance cameras in the interiors and exteriors of houses with anything from simple paper-tape and paint, through to tarps, mesh, and faux (or real) greens.
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I will be adding more photos and videos shortly as I sort and compile a year's worth of footage from my work on the show, but here are a few select examples for the meantime.
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Less than 25% of what I make actually gets used as a technique, and about 25% of that, if
not less, will even run the gambit of being used in a final episode of Super Nanny.
Because of that, not only do I have a ton of leftover props that will never be
used, but it means that a lot of the time I am creating props under extremely tight time-constraints. Alas: last-minute changes are simply the anticipated norm.
(above) - "Privilege Removal" Cards : This would be a "last minute" set of props. Little images done on the fly in Copic Marker and then hastily cut and affixed to cardstock and the like and then lettered up. Absolutely standard fare as far as props go, but it is little projects like this where I'm thankful I have the artistic skill to quickly pull them off.
(above) - Racing "House Rules" : I pitched a racing "theme" for one episode (since the kids are really into racing cars, and we actually got an Indy car/driver to be involved with the episode awhile later, unbeknownst to us at the time), but this is the "House Rules" for that family. It was made with foamies, paint, marker, and tape on foam core. The black "asphalt" was actually left blank, and that's the mom's own writing underneath (not my own).
(above) - "Naughty Bench" : One of Super Nanny's trademark techniques involves a sort of "time out" spot called the "Naughty Spot." For this multi-child family, she instead requested a Naughty "Bench" and so I crafted this wooden bench for use as a featured prop. I even put in some celtic wood trimming in order to make it look more "furniture"-like.
(above) - "Doing Time" - Naughty-Spot : This is another variant of the "Naughty Spot." For this particular family, we chose a "Police" theme for many of the items I made because the man of the house was a policeman. Therefore, instead of a "Naughty Spot," we decided it would be appropriate to use the phrase "Doing Time" and to go with it, I created am oversized "badge" to hang over the "Time Out" spot to make it look more official. Some of the paint here was metallic gold, and reflected much like a real badge would.
(above) - "School Zone" : Simple "warning" sign leading into a room I rearranged and redecorated to help the students in question have a more "official" place to study.
(above) - "Oriental Balloon Dragon" : From simple to complex! This is a featured set piece I designed for a technique where the family wrote their frustrations on the balloons in permanent marker, and then popped the balloons with pin-tipped fencing swords. I tried to make it very bright and large enough the family (and crew) could play around and under it. The legs were also handmade and painted.
(above) - "Chapman Communication Stick" : This unused prop was meant to vaguely mimic the Native American item of the same name. I ended up using leather, suade, faux fur, and a variety of playful trimmings.
(above) - "Gold Reward Cards" : These simple props were made for an unused reward system and were created in Adobe Photoshop CS2 in record time so that they could be laminated and finished off as if they were "real" credit cards. I even included a fake magnetic strip along the back, and a writeable section below for each teen to sign.
(above) - "Dangerous Kitchen "- Technique Still : This still is from an unused series of stills the Segment Producer and I staged in order to accent unseen dangers around the house.
(above) - "Homework" Book : This book-shaped sign outlined some homework rules for one household's little girl (who loved pink, purple, and ponies).
(above) - "House Rules" - "Family Puzzle" : The people on this oversized board are actually made of many laminated, easy to assemble puzzle-pieces that I handmade (and pain-stakingly cut out) for the family to assemble. I was extremely pleased with how the "puzzle" turned out, but for longevity, it was desided it would be best to affix the puzzle-pieces to a backing for permanent mounting in the family's household.