NOVI STARS BEHIND THE SCENES On Their Awesome Dollhouse Commercial Set

Hey everyone! I was researching Novi Stars recently, and I was lucky enough to stumble across this gem. It is the process of how some miniaturist artists in Los Angeles, including the incredibly gracious, talented, and just plain nice Victoria Cloyes (who also happens to have her own Stop Motion animation show called “Me, The Puppet”), made the set for the Novi Stars doll commercial. I am re-blogging it with permission from An Artist’s Pride blog.

Novi Stars Commercial! Behind the Scenes

September 11, 2012

Hello everyone!

I just discovered that the commercial spots I worked on a few months ago are up online!  I was fabricating little sets for this new line of doll called Novi Stars, and you can find it all over now at Target, Toys R Us, everywhere!  Here are a few of the videos!

I thought I’d show you some of the things I fabricated for these elaborate miniature sets.  If you watch the adds, you see the dolls “land on Earth” in the middle of this crazy electric city scape.  We (I was one of 4 people working on the city) started with these basic foam core forms, and then covered them with styrene squares to create a cool texture.  These are the two I did below.

I was working with some tremendously talented people.  Adam Lawrence was our fearless leader and art director, and Jed Voltz and Will Potter were fellow fabricators.  After all the buildings were done, and after we added a few pre fab buildings from a prop house, the boys got to work covering it with this crazy amazing (expensive) electric tape.  Will created all these purple drips to fall down the buildings; it all looked super cool.  Here are all the buildings on set, with a few of the little pets in the street.

I’m especially proud of a few sets I worked on.  These were the set pieces for the stage set.  Going on only a concept sketch, I guessed at the dimensions and geometry, and created these shapes out of styrene and foam core.  Then, they were painted and lit.  Here they are in the shop:


… and here they are all lit up on set.  We added some speakers, and Adam built this giant light box of a stage to add drama.  It looked so fantastic!  I always love when sets get lit, most satisfying part of the process!

Here was a desk I built, again only going off of a sketch in a concept drawing.  (aka, no measurements or dimensions of any sort, only a doll to use as reference.)  I first did a mock up in paper using scotch tape, and then when it looked right, rebuilt it with styrene, using milky plexi as the table top.  This was a very complex undertaking, as all the geometric sides Really didn’t want to conform to a flat top and bottom, haha.  Here’s the paper mock up:

… And here it is on set!  I think it looked really fun all painted and in the boutique.  More on set art department, Michelle Green and Lindsey Sulski, helped out with the rest of this set, creating the little chair and desk, among other things.

Finally, my favorite piece was this crazy triangular dresser.  The geometry on this thing was Quite the challenge, as it is leaning forward, And is tapered, And has drawers.  Half way through making it in white styrene, the powers that be decided they wanted the whole thing to light up in blue plexi.
It was an enormous hurdle, as it is Much more difficult to accurately cut and nest thick blue plexi, than it is to cut and nest thin white styrene.  I had to do 3 mock ups, ultimately.  One in paper, one in foam core, one in styrene and then the final version in blue plexi.  Mind you, this was being built on set, on folding tables, with the AD and Director and everyone else watching and pointing at their clocks, haha.
Very high pressure, but hell, who am I kidding: that Of Course, made it super exciting because then it was a game with a deadline.  My heart was racing, and I was making sure to focus on every single stroke of the xcto blade, lest I should lose my focus and a finger all in the same moment.
This set also included a blue plexi light up wall, and a revolving tie rack “rotating closet”.  Michelle and I were geeking out the whole time at the adorable little outfits, which were excellently constructed and extremely fashion forward.  Seriously, they were cute.  Here’s a before and after shot!  Ps, Michelle made that chandelier, and I loved it so much, I asked if I could bring it home.  It’s hanging in our shop.

Woo!  This is a long post, but it was a super fun and exciting project, on which I met just a ton of great people.  Thanks for checking it out, and be on the look out for tomorrow’s Me, The Puppet entry!

How fantastically awesome was that?! Seriously?! I want to do this for a living. Don’t forget to check out more of Victoria Cloyes’s work at and at her website She freelances too, so if you need anything cool done, you know where to go!


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