Universal Studios usually does a seasonal event called the Grinchmas, over in their Islands of Adventure theme park. They deck the whole park out with fake snow, Christmassy decorations and refit all the roaming characters with holiday attire. They also have themed shows, appearances by the Grinch and a lot of Dr. Seuss themed goings on in the ‘Seuss Landing’ portion of the park. Sounds pretty cool (as far as theme park Christmas go) however due to legalities there will be no Grinchmas this year. Awwww.
Reason being Jim Carrey owns the rights to the movie portrayal of the Grinch (the mannerisms, the voice the expressions etc) and doesn’t want anyone else using them. In addition to all other Seuss rights and book likenesses, Universal own the rights to the look and style of the movie-Grinch, however cannot legally have him ‘act’ like the real life version. This means now shows, no songs and dance and no talking to park guests. So their Grinch is pretty much out of commission, which makes ‘Grinchmas” kinda moot.
However they have decided that they will still advertise a holiday event, but not go to the same efforts as Grinchmas did in the past (before Carrey’s legal entanglements). The Grinch will be there, but he wont talk, or act like the Grinch from the Ron Howard film. Instead he will simply pose in an enclosed photo-stage for pictures with guests on a one-on-one basis. Amazing Pictures has landed the contract for the event and guess who is doing the graphical backdrop for the green screen? Yup. I am stoked. While all I am really contributing to the event is the graphic that will be dropped in over the chroma set behind the Grinch, it’s still a pretty cool opportunity.
I designed a backdrop that resembles the Ron Howard, live-action Whoville but didn’t use any official artwork in its creation, to avoid any possible legal entanglements for us. The final piece features a swirly mountain overlooking a Christmas town. Plus a nice fog that surrounds the guests, giving the flat picture a more dynamic feel…in theory (we haven’t tested them yet as they just began erecting the Grinch stage today). The final has been approved by the Universal higher-ups (which is a big deal as they are usually incredible nitpicky) and is offically out of my hands. Once the event starts (Dec 8th) I’ll see if I cant finagle some sample shots for posting.
If you look at anything that has the Grinch brand on it besides the movie poster you only see the Grinch’s hand, never Carrey’s face. Either that or it’s a cartoon version of the Grinch. Meh, whatever. I just think its fun to say that my work is directly affected by legal entanglements with Jim Carry. Makes me feel connected.