December 15, 2007

GIVING PROPS TO HAIRSPRAY

Last Summer I gleefully mentioned that one of my illustrations, as well as a package design I did for the S.S. Adams Prank and Magic Co. was supposed to appear in the 2007 version of the movie Hairspray. Thankfully, both did indeed make the cut (albeit briefly) and now that the DVD is in my collection I can share some screenshots of the outcome (so that you may know when to cheer aloud while viewing the film with your loved ones).

The first glimpse can be seen in this exterior shot of the Hardy Har Hut. S.S. Adams products bearing my designer's touch line the windows...

(as per usual, pics enlarge when clicked)

The faces that the set designers painted on the upper windows were based on this S.S. Adams rack header...


Viewers get a nice clear view of the Sword Thru Finger magic trick as it hovers above Amanda Bynes in this shot...

If you care to know more about the packaging, here's the story behind it.

On to the illustration. I've described the fellow above as "what I thought it might look like if Jim Flora had illustrated a cover for '60s-era Esquire magazine if it had done a feature on S.S. Adams." The image and its color scheme were incorporated into the Hefty Hideaway marquee. It is seen in exactly three shots, amounting to probably less than four seconds of screen time...

#1
#2
#3

So, did my illustration also influence the "real" Mr. Pinky's plaid suit?...

There's no way to know. But this fact won't stop me from telling everyone "Yes, I pretty much tailored Jerry Stiller's wardrobe."

Later on, an entire rack of product has the honor of sharing the screen with Michelle Pfeiffer and the always laudable Christopher Walken...


Walken demonstrates a genuine S.S. Adams Joy Buzzer...


Ms. John Travolta throws a rubber chicken right next to the tower of classic gags...


A few more items (Coin Con and Mystic Smoke) are stashed in the stock room...

One of the movies few anachronisms was the use of self-inflating Whoopee Cushions which were not developed until decades later...


Though I can't complain because my Adams packaging obviously didn't exist back then either.

And lastly, my name actually shows up way, way at the tail end of the credits. We're talking after the music ends and even after the Dolby and MPAA logos and all that...

It's a bit screwed up because the Adams logo is not courtesy of me. It was supposed to mention the illustration, but at this point I'm just thankful they didn't misspell my name.

So there you have it. I'm quite thankful to have this minuscule involvement in Hairspray of all films because I really enjoy watching it (even more than the original) and it's just oozing with fun and joy which are two things that I strongly endorse. They really did a tremendous job putting it together and they captured the era in a way that few movies have. (I say this as if I were alive in 1960.)

So after obsessing about it for a lifetime, I have finally become a piece of obscure minutiae in our popular culture.

Feel free to patronize my film (as I like to refer to it.)...

12 comments:

iamchief said...

This probably a stupid question... how are you capturing the screenshots? Are you playing the DVD on your computer, then pressing "Alt + Print Scr"?

Pardon my ignorance please.

Master Wu said...

Fuqua, Well done my tiniest, incubating preemie.

I was just screening your film with Frank Black and Shag, at our T.V. Tuesday get togethers...

The CDP. said...

Congrats; good for you!

Flashfink! said...

I've been avoiding this version of HAIRSPRAY because of a phobia I have of remakes of films that I really like (I blame it on Dino De Laurentiis!), but you've just convinced me to be a man and face up to my fears.

Kirk D. said...

iamchief- the standard capture command doesn't usually work on playing DVDs so on PC I use Power DVD and its Screen Capture button. On Mac (as seen in the post) I use a little program called Snapz.

Wu- please tell FB and S (as I call them) to stop bothering me. I'm not returning their messages.. ever.

thanks cdp. No.. good for all living things.

flashfink- based on some of our past exchanges the set design alone will probably be enough to make you like it. And of course it was filmed in Canada so there ya go! The only two things I missed in the remake were the beatniks and the carnival at the end.

Max the drunken severed head said...

I'm with flashfink-- I'll have to face down my anxiety about seeing Travolta in a dress and watch your movie, Kirk. Congrats!!

My cinematic worldview may never be the same.

I hope you someday meet Jerry Stiller wearing a plaid jacket, and the nerve to approach him.

Todd Franklin said...

It would be cool if you ended up with that Mr. Pinky sign. Maybe the studio will sell a bunch of their props on ebay.

Monster-Maniac said...

Congratulations!

Sue said...

But you're mentioned ahead of Canada Dry! Yay! Congrats. Your design work is outstanding. The original Hairspray is one of my all time favorite movies ever, but after seeing your screen shots, I'll give the remake a try. But nothing can compare to Divine as Edna Turnblad. Pure movie magic.

Kirk D. said...

As readers of this blog I think you all will probably enjoy the flick on some level, but then on the other hand you might just sit there cursing me under your breath, so watch at your own risk!

I thought that Travolta's performance was somehow quite non-creepy. To me it really felt more like a shut-in mom than some flamboyant drag queen.

sue- From now on I shall always demand top billing over Canada Dry. I gotta have standards.

todd- I should have taken a trip to canada. I'll bet it went straight into a dumpster.

-idogcow said...

Late to the party, but congrats all 'round!

Kirk D. said...

thanks idogcow! I happily accept all congratulatory remarks no matter how timely.