When Black Friday’s over, have you ever wondered what happens to the unsold toys left on the shelf? Tom Jenkins & Simon Sharp, aka Sharp & Jenkins, have produced “Happy Place”, a short film exploring the fantasies of unsold toys. Filmed in the UK and Nevada, USA, “Happy Place” shows a radio controlled Maisto Rock Crawler travelling to a far-off destination to engage in off-road action and on-road racing. Happy Place follows on from the viral success of the Google Streetview film Address Is Approximate and projected car chase The World’s Tiniest Police Chase.
Making Happy Place
Happy Place was shot in-camera over six months. Forced perspective scenes, such as when the car sees other giant toys in the desert, were achieved by placing real toys right next to the camera, sometimes touching the lens. To prevent them being out of focus a pinhole photography technique was used to provide an infinite depth-of-field. Tiny round metal discs, with a pinhole punched through the centre, were stuck behind the camera lens. Normally this wouldn’t allow anywhere near enough light into the camera, but by using the new Sony A7s DSLR Tom and Simon could use its sensitivity to capture what light came through the pinhole. This technique allows little things placed on the camera lens to look huge. A DJI Phantom drone was used to film in the desert. At times the drone was hand-held above the ground to make use of its gimbal.