We made "Roadkill Jamboree" with the consideration that the band would largely be playing in one spot. Stanley is mainly the only character that actually moves throughout the set. This would allow us to keep to just one set later 1 ½ sets since our set is fairly big and our space is small. Our puppets ranged from 12”-30” large so we had to be quite big to compensate for that. The stage measurements were 72”x37” with the height of the full set is around 40”. The scale we tried to stick to was 4”=1’ scale which is the largest scale that I have worked on.
The set was made over the course of 2 weeks with 3 helpers. Before I go into what I did I would like to give credit and highlight the talents of Alex Taddei for the base guardrail fabrication and Honor Hennings and Kamilla Labylina for the awesome rust treatment they did on the cans. The can labels were also designed by Sophia Wagganer.
I am not the best drafter but this set definitely needed to be drafted to create. I hand-drafted the individual elements of the set. The most important to draft up the guardrail since we’d be handing those measurements off to Alex for the guardrail fabrication.
The Base Floor
The base is made of the cheapest plywood money can buy from Home Depot. Our deer puppet Rodney Danger is part hand puppet so we also cut a hole into the plywood for our puppet actors to stick their hands up into the set.
The plywood was then covered in a mixture of gravel and glue, which was then sprayed
and painted a matte back on dry. The rest of the set, not including the back wall, was then covered in dirt. I had our producer Megan get the dirt for me since she lives near a park and there were many fun conversations of “I need more dirt please, can you get more dirt?”.
The Canyon Wall
I go to college in San Jose but I am originally from San Diego so I made sure to take a bunch of reference pictures of the grapevine while my boyfriend and I drove home for Thanksgiving. I wanted the back wall to be fairly steep largely due to space and money constraints, plus the back wall would be covered by the guardrail anyways so it was okay for it to be fairly steep.
The back wall was made from chicken wire since it is sturdy enough for what we need but it is still flexible enough to be sculpted into a few rock formations. The chicken wire was then covered in paper towel paper mache and then over that mache, we did a sturdier newsprint mache over that.
While that was drying I cut some rocks of various sizes out of foam. I later painted the foam with a base layer of white. After that, they were painted the desired rock colors.
Once the mache was dry and the rocks were glued on I painted the mache parts a dark brown. Once the rocks were also painted at that point I then took a dirt and glue mixture and rubbed it down the wall, this helped bring the dirt texture up into the wall without having to put too much on it as the weight of the wall was a concern at this point.
I used various brown mosses for the foliage but I also custom-made dry grass foliage with Honor and Kamilla. In order to make this dry grass foliage you that floral wire and wrap it in some hay hot gluing as you go. Then you take some long strands of hay and glue the edges to the top and bottom of your wire wrap. After making a few of these wire strands you bunch them up and fold them in half. You wrap the base in a long strand of hay and then you have yourself some dry grass foliage.
Once we received the guardrail base from Alex, Honor and I weathered the guardrail by painting on fake rust and then taking the dirt glue mixture and rubbing it on the posts. I later went into a black wash to help give the bottom of the posts a dingier look.
The tires in the set were weathered in a similar way to the dirt glue mixture. It was a great way to make them look dirty but not get the puppets dirty when we place them on top of the tires.
As I mentioned, I made a half set without the main set. This half-set was a road extension that we needed for a few more graphic shots. It was made in a similar way to the asphalt part of the main set. With a combination of gravel and glue mixture, plywood, and spray paint.