Friday, November 25, 2011

The cow jumps over the moon

By now it should be pretty clear that everything in Goodnight Moon moves or comes to life. The paintings are no different. For the cow jumping over the moon, we needed to cow to jump out of the frame three times and return again each time. 
this is the, terribly uninteresting view from the back side of the wall. Here you can see that the dowel attached to the cow is leaned against a piece of angled 1x2 and attached to the wall with a bolt. 
Jumping the cow out of the frame was just a matter of pivoting the dowel around the bolt.
We didn't want the cow to back up into the frame though, so once we got to this point we kept going until the dowel was pointing straight down. (it's hard to see in these pictures, but the 1x2 was attached to the back flat, and there was a gap between the 1x2 and the front flat the allowed the dowel to swing through). 
To get the cow back into the frame, the run crew uses the 1x2 as a guide to slide the cow smoothly into place. Once it is at the right height, they simply slip the pivot bolt back into its hole and the cow is ready to jump again.

The final time that the cow reappears in the frame, she has just successfully jumped over the moon and has been given a gold medal to celebrate her bravery. During previews several kids asked the director after the show why the cow didn't have her medal when she returned to the frame. Answer: because it hadn't even occurred to us. So after the show I whipped up this quick medal. 

I folded a piece of plumbers strap to fit over the cutout, covered it in white Gaff tape, with red and blue spike tape for stripes, and added a felt furniture glide painted gold. 
The piece slides easily over the cow's neck while the cow is out of the frame between scenes. 

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