I built a screen-accurate background for The Chiodo Bros studio’s claymation intro for The Simpsons.
I was an in-house fabricator for The Chiodo Bros when they were approached by Fox to make a Gumby-inspired claymation intro for episode 358 of The Simpsons: “The Girl Who Slept Too Little”. The Simpsons Couch Gag is a hallowed American institution, and I set out to build a set that was as accurate as humanly possible. The interesting challenge was that the couch gag was designed for 2d animation, and translating it into a 3d set involved a lot of forced perspective trickery.
I used a lunchbox to switch between the production couch gag plate and our live feed of the set to mock up foamcore stand-ins of the props to get their details and outlines exactly right. I took measurements from these mock ups to construct the set out of renshape, sculpey, balsa, styrene, and wire. I also got to step into Marge’s shoes a bit – painting a tiny replica of the sailboat picture that hangs above the Simpsons’ living room couch.
I also did some casting, sanding, and finishing on the Simpsons themselves. The characters were sculpted by Steven Chiodo, painted by Charles Chiodo, and animated by Kim Blanchette.
You can watch the whole intro here.