TV Behind the Scenes

Sweet Inspiration: Where the Wild Things Are

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The thing I dreaded the most about Illustration crits in college, was constantly being pegged for someone with a “childlike style”.  It was never stated in a positive way- or at least that was how it felt. The truth was I was kind of caught in the middle with my style and in the realm of children’s books I could only aspire to draw like the greats who always came to my mind- the incomparable Dr. Seuss and the incredible Maurice Sendack… These were illustrators who seemingly drew effortlessly while their imagination operated the pencil or pen.

Maurice Sendack’s drawings actually scared me as a child and it was only later in life that I grew to admire his work greatly. In an interview with The New Yorker he was quoted as saying “I am trying to draw the way children feel,” and that explanation kind of said it all. I was so sad to hear of his passing yesterday but inspired to many of tributes and responses to the news everywhere. There was even news of a “Wild Rumpus” tribute being held in Brooklyn.

In 2009, the Martha Show’s Halloween special was inspired by “Where the Wild Things Are“. The movie had just come out and there was lots of buzz behind it, but when we brainstormed inspiration for the show we recollected the original storybook characters and scenes. Martha’s Halloween Show sets were always transformative and incredible, and the “Wild Things” set was one of my very favorites.

Here are some behind the scenes photos from that very inspired show!

Blown Up Maurice Sendak sketch

A few signature Maurice Sendak sketches were blown up and mounted on foam core

set changover

The set changeover happened over a few days...

where trees for our kitchen set forest were made leaf by leaf

...where trees for our kitchen set forest were made leaf by leaf (Crafter Kirsten Earl)

stalagmites and stalagtites

...and we learned the difference between stalactites and stalagmites... (Stylist Kait Taylor and Lead Crafter Hosanna Houser)

Kristin sewing w monster

Wild Thing monster eyes peeked at us while we worked... (Crafter Kristin St. Clair)

Anduin and Kitchen Monster

...and glowing eyes presided over... (Production Designer Anduin Havens)

a monster boo-ffet...

...a monster boo-ffet...

Wild Things Worms

"Wild Things Worms! Yum!" (Stylist Javier Avilla)

Trees in the kitchen

The set transformation...

Craft Room Cave

...was amazing!

The true topper to the staff “Wild Thing” fun though, were the furry monster masks made for us by Crafter Aaron Caramanis

Sarah, Nora and Josefa with masks

As we put them on...

Calia, Kristin, Me in wild things masks

we were transformed too!

Martha Stewart Wild Thing costume

Martha's costume (as always) was incredible, even with a "Wild Thing" boot malfunction!

The Martha Show Staff, "Wild Things" Set, Halloween 2009

The Martha Show Staff, "Wild Things" Set, Halloween 2009

Thank you for the inspiration, Maurice Sendak- even if, at times, it was a little bit scary. Your stories prepared us for all things in life… the good and fun, the bad and scary, and the incredible “wild rumpuses”.  Xo Dani

 

 

 

 

 

 

That’s A Wrap!

Crafter, Kristin St. Clair and Stylist, Chip Glynn

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DBF back of pass

My Martha credentials with one of my favorite fortunes ever!

When people ask me “What was it like to work with Martha?” my answer is always the same… It was amazing, challenging, creative, bonding, all hours, fast paced and the buzz and energy of the job was like at no other place. Working on The Martha Stewart Show was one of the best experiences of my life. From the first day I walked into Chelsea Studios, NYC, it felt like home. The similarities to my co- workers only solidified the family feel… (YOU arrange a bowl of apples on the counter until they are just so too?! You also hoard strange and random “craft materials” in bins and boxes because you never know when you might need them?! It’s not only me?) Being surrounded by a team of such creative people in every aspect of the job- food, producing, camera work, directing was incredibly inspiring. The things I learned there I apply to my life daily.

After seven amazing seasons the Martha Show wrapped yesterday. I cried a few times thinking about it, leading up to it, day of and was actually sort of relieved I didn’t have to be there on set at that last take (even though in that case crying at work would be completely acceptable!).

Martha Show Wrap Party sign

Martha Show Wrap Party sign at the entrance of EN Japanese Brasserie, NYC

I was honored to be invited to the wrap party. When one door closes another opens… and in Martha’s thank you speech to us she reminded us of that and promised that her upcoming PBS “Cooking School” Show is just the beginning.

Martha's Speech

"7 Seasons of informative, inspiring, how- to content..." How amazing!

…And so even though parts of us were sad that it felt like the end of an era, we cheered and posed for pictures and congratulated and toasted each other for a job very well done.

Here are some fun photos from the party…

Kitchen manager Nikki Elkins, Lead Crafter, Hosanna Houser, Kitchen Chef Nora Singley, Crafter and Florist, Aaron Caramanis

Kitchen manager Nikki Elkins, Lead Crafter, Hosanna Houser, Kitchen Chef Nora Singley, Crafter and Florist, Aaron Caramanis

 

Crafter, Kristin St. Clair and Stylist, Chip Glynn

Crafter, Kristin St. Clair and Stylist, Chip Glynn

 

Robert and Fran

Lead Stylist, Robert Diamond and Supervising Producer, Fran Brescia

 

Stylist and Bestie, Tamara Dilworth, Lead Food Producer, Greta Anthony, Stylist Molly McGuire, Aaron Caramanis

Stylist and Bestie, Tamara Dilworth, Lead Food Producer, Greta Anthony, Lead Stylist Molly McGuire, Aaron Caramanis

 

Me and Anduin Havens

Smiling with Anduin Havens, (amazing) Production Designer and Art Director

 

While posing for a staff group shot, I snapped this photo in front of another staff photo

While posing for a staff group shot, I snapped this photo in front of another staff photo

 

EN Japanese Brasserie food- beautifully presented and delicious!

EN Japanese Brasserie food- beautifully presented and delicious!

 

EN Japanese Brasserie fried chicken

...especially the fried chicken!

 

Striking a pose with Robert, my fave person to chat fashion with!

Striking a pose with Robert, my fave person to chat fashion with!

 

Audience Coordinator, Laura Coppola and "the best warm up artist in the biz", Joey Kola

Audience Coordinator, Laura Coppola and "the best warm up artist in the business", Joey Kola

I did pretty well in the crying department at the party… until I saw Assistant Producer, Noel (Noellie) Rosselli with this sign. I was glad we both managed to hold it back and smile. Noel started the “glittered wrap sign tradition” a few years ago and its inspired by the cue cards the producers use behind the cameras on the show. Of coarse the season final wrap card of the Martha Stewart Show would be glittered! Every year after we made one and this was the final…

Assistant Producer, Noel (Noellie) Rosselli with the sign she made tradition...

That's a wrap on fabulous party!

 

Justin Batey, Production Coordinator (or as I like to call him- answerer of all questions) directing everyone to the afterparty

Justin Batey, Production Coordinator (or as I like to call him- answerer of all questions) directing everyone to the after party

 

Camera Man, Ron Rigoli, Food Producer, Courtney Knapp, Stylist, Kelli Bishop

Camera Man, Ron Rigoli, Food Producer, Courtney Knapp, Stylist, Kelli Bishop

For all you Martha “superfans”, check out this amazing Martha Show slideshow created by Stephanie Fitzhugh (of the Martha Show promotions department)! Cheers to the Martha Show… Cheers to 7 amazing seasons… I can’t wait to see what’s next!  Xo Dani