I don’t have kids just yet, so I can’t say from experience, but it seems one of the benefits of having a child is the ability to feature the adorable little guy or gal in creative photography projects. Examples abound: from Queenie Liao’s wondrous naptime photos, to Nagano Toyokazu’s series My Daughter Kanna.
Now, another great project has popped up on our radar. This one is called Cardboard Box Office, and it’s the result of a parenting duo’s creativity, an excess of packing materials and the addition of a baby boy to the family.
Cardboard Box Office is the brainchild of parents Lilly and Leon, who recreate scenes from famous movies using only household objects and their incredibly cooperative baby boy Orson. The resulting photos are uploaded to their website and Facebook page where fans can follow along with the little family’s weekend adventures.
As they explain on the site’s about page:
The project began after finding that we had accumulated both a lot of cardboard boxes (due to moving to a new country) and a baby (due to giving birth). With our social lives drastically altered we decided to find a way to make some of those housebound weekends a little more fun.
When we got in touch with Lilly and Leon, they were kind enough to give us enough information that we thought it would be best to include it verbatim rather than abbreviating it. So below you’ll find some of our favorite Cardboard Box Office creations, as well as our little mini interview:
PetaPixel: How did you guys come up with this idea?
Cardboard Box Office: We came up with the idea when wanting to take a creative family photo that depicted the general mess and disorder of our new lives as parents. That photo was The Life Domestic (above). It proved to be really popular and made people laugh so we decided that since we were now at home a lot more, and had a lot of cardboard at our disposal, we may as well start creating a few more. And it went from there.
PP: How do you stay inspired? It can’t be easy to consistently come up with creative ideas.
CBO: It can be hard to come up with a film each week. Essentially they need to be films that have either an iconic set, costume, or vehicle. If it doesn’t have at least two of those elements it’s generally a no-goer. Action, adventure, and horror flicks are perfect. Lilly really wants to create a rom-com but we have yet to think of one that would make a good photo. Suggestions from readers are more than welcome!
We have certain rules that we have made for ourselves to keep with the homemade element of the photos. For instance, Photoshop can only be used to improve light and colours, and sometimes adding but not for manipulation of the image. Everything you see in the photos was created as you see it. We often use those old tricks of low angles and forced perspective to give an illusion of height and scale in what is quite a small living space. We feel that relying too heavily on Photoshop would defeat the entire purpose of the project.
PP: What kind of gear do you use? How do you set up each shot?
CBO: We use a Nikon D80. Our tripod is in storage in another country and we haven’t gotten around to buying a new one. So for every shot we have to use whatever is at hand to sit the camera on. This ranges from stacks of books, to coffee tables, to clothing racks. This can become infuriating and is probably an extra challenge we don’t really need. Hopefully we get a tripod for Christmas.
PP: It looks like your little one is a good sport, any challenges you’ve run across?
CBO: Orson is incredibly co-operative during the shoot. He does get a bit cranky sometimes but is only ever in the scene for about 5 minutes and is back to playing afterwards. In that time we reel off a handful of photos using either a timer or whoever isn’t in that week’s scene to be in charge of taking the photo. Due to the forced perspective complexity of Apollo 13 we had to take Orson’s and our photo separately and combine them afterwards. That photoshoot was a logistical nightmare. We learnt a lot from that. Mainly: don’t try and be too clever.
PP: What are your plans going forward?
CBO: Going forward, we are just going to keep doing what we’re doing every week until one of us cracks and says no more. We just hope it isn’t Orson. Without him we’re just an odd couple playing make-believe.
To follow the Cardboard Box Office family’s adventures, or if you have an idea for a movie scene you think they could recreate for the site, be sure to visit their website and follow them on Facebook. This one is worth a bookmark… at least until Orson ‘cracks and says no more.’
(via Laughing Squid)
Image credits: Photographs by Lilly and Leon/Cardboard Box Office and used with permission.