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Behind the Scenes

The Making of the Deforest 2020 Holiday Card

Every year, the team at Deforest Group collaborates to create a holiday card that is truly memorable and special. This year, being presented with special challenges due to the pandemic, we created a “video card” to send to our clients, prospects, vendors and partners. Because this was a new kind of holiday undertaking, we thought you’d like a little behind-the-scenes peek at how it came to life!

To kick it off, our entire staff contributed ideas as we brainstormed what the video card concept would be. The chosen concept utilized ideas from several members of the team — blending stop motion photography, video, and an actual printed greeting card.

Building blocks of our message

We began to work with our food stylist to select what candies would achieve the look we were after. Scale and legibility were key factors to be taken into consideration.

You may be wondering ‘how did they get the candies to form the letters so perfectly?‘ Technology. At Deforest Group, we utilize technology to improve our workflow and processes, as well as our creative output. We used an overlay of the layout coupled with a “live feed” of the camera, which showed up on our photographer’s computer. Our food stylist also had the “live feed” on her iPad on the set so that she could see exactly where the candies needed to go in order to match the perfect placement our designer had imagined.

Due to the fact that our food stylist wanted to use round candies for the famous Deforest ‘d’, we needed a solution to keep them from rolling while on set. The solution? sandpaper! Each and every candy was sanded down on the bottom to keep it in place.

When creating stop motion imagery, a storyboard is important. We actually begin the shooting process with the final scene. We shoot the movement of the candies, one frame at a time. In a backwards sequence, so it is critical to map out a clear plan for the movement in advance. This particular stop motion ended up being 55 separate image captures!

After we had the final frame of the stop motion shot, our designer then laid out the postcard and mocked it up to move to the video set. Lighting, angle, and arrangement were all taken into account to transition from ‘real’ candies to a printed card. With the video footage, stop motion captures, and all assets in hand, our editor went to work on creating the final video cut. Here’s how it came out!


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