The SLEEPY HOLLOW BOOK
Alex Kurtzman, the creator of the TV show “Sleepy Hollow,” invited my friend Stephen Berkman to photograph the cast of the show using his traditional wet collodion process. Alex loved the result so much that he wanted the images presented as a book that he could give to the cast and crew as a holiday gift. He had this idea two weeks before the wrap party. That’s the point when I came in.
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Half the time, clients call me far in advance of events and release dates, so we have ample opportunity to explore the most extravagant thing we can do together. The other half involves doing the best you can in a very short amount of time. Those jobs are aircraft carrier landings – the margin of error is very small, you make it look as graceful as possible, but it’s getting the plane on the deck safely that counts.
When the Sleepy Hollow team called me I was a little worried about being able to deliver a design in less than two weeks, but I thought, “Yeah, I can do that.” My brain needed another minute to grasp that they wanted 200 bound copies of the book within that time.
This is when all aesthetic choices are guided by the question: Can we get that done in time? Stephen had brought me in on the Tarsem book years ago, and he shot this great portrait of me, too. We knew how to work together. We had only a dozen photos to present, so Stephen suggested we go with a big format. Big pages look impressive, they don’t cost an arm and a leg, and they’re still relatively fast to produce. I knew Typecraft would be able to make it happen.
I decided on thick, solid black paper for the cover. There would be no printing. We’d simply emboss the SLEEPY HOLLOW logotype on the front. It added a bit of production value, and the embossing could happen while we were still working on the pages and the printing. Instead of sowing the pages, we’d simply staple. It’s not quite as pretty, but again – 200 books in two weeks.
The whole thing was a race to the finish line, with a few bumps andscrapes along the way. It was made more difficult by my contracting the flu on press day, but Stephen stepped in and brought the whole thing across the finish line. The final piece looks great, and lets Stephen’s otherworldly images shine! The design isn’t as ambitious as I’d like it to be, but there are times when you have to forego the aerobatics and just land that plane.