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Rage Against the Rock'em


There's a starman waiting in the sky

He'd like to come and meet us

But he thinks he'd blow our minds

There's a starman waiting in the sky

He's told us not to blow it'

Cause he knows it's all worthwhile

He told me

Let the children lose it

Let the children use it

Let all the children boogie

- David Bowie


It's not often I get inspiration from eBay but when I came across this vintage set of Rock'em Sock'em robots I was mesmerized. Not that I need justification for all my purchases but buying a toy from the 1960's? I mean, what would the neighbors say? I might be ostracized, cast out from my swank Miami click. Ok, admittedly I was never really part of a swank Miami click but I still needed a reason, a cause, sound justification!

Then it hit me, I can use these for a fashion editorial shoot! Exited about my genius revelation, I shared it with my wife.

Her: Dead pan stare.

Me: Well?

Her: idiot.


If she had said, "We'll maybe that's not the best idea you've had" or just a simple "meh" I may have abandoned the idea and never looked back. But now, the gauntlet has been thrown down!

Naturally, the only real way to show off my new purchase would be in the Sci-Fi genre. However, not wanting to evoke a similar response to my wife, I knew I needed come up with an inspirational mood board to sell the idea to my team.

The other challenge is clothing. Luckily at the time, Miami swim week was about a month away. I tasked my stylist to find swimsuit designs that would support our story. Beach Bunny and Red Carter came through in a big way. My Producer (wife)

set up a casting with Next Miami to find our tough, sultry, robot crushing, bad ass Samurai warrior.


I am so clever that sometimes I don't understand a single word of what I am saying.

~Oscar Wilde


Shoot day. Cup of coffee in one hand, storyboards in the other, no one has canceled. I remember sitting on my sofa very satisfied with myself, thinking it's really great when everything just falls into place. And when I say falls, I mean the producer worked tirelessly on every detail to make sure there was no shoot day drama. However, this relaxed state was short lived as the weather person quite vindictively and someone sarcastically said "Expected high today 102˚"... and I'm pretty sure she flipped me the bird before cutting to commercial.

The assistant hair stylist graciously helped to keep the model from melting between shots. All in all it was a great shoot, and everyone had the decency to stay conscious.


The bulk of the work is done and I hate everything (it's my process). I weed through several hundred shots and begin the process of matching robot to warrior. This is where the internal dialogue switches to, "hmm, these shots are actually not so bad, maybe I didn't waste everyones time."

Now, to make a bright red piece of plastic into a somewhat believable alien robot.

I knew texture and weight would be the characteristics that would sell this visual. It was important that the surface exhibited signs of space travel. I really wanted it to appear heavy. After doing quite bit of work layering textures and effects, I was finally somewhat satisfied though never completely (it's my process). ~

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