Building a staircase step-by-step for On A Scary Scary Night

Translating my two dimensional sketches into three dimensional sets sometimes proved to be quite a challenge for the model making team. In this example, the challenge was to create the interior of a spiral stairwell with an unusually steep perspective.

Careful measurements are taken by Michael Lokensgaard (left) and Mike Galvin (right). The model required precise calculations as the staircase is made with a forced perspective to enhance the illusion of depth.

Randy Gilman carves a floral motif on the staircase column. Like most of the models in the book, the column is made out of high density polyurethane foam, which is easier to carve than traditional materials.

Once the staircase is complete, Dan Helt (left) and Mike Galvin (right) make certain the stairs are correctly positioned. The camera is set in place and is connected to a computer monitor. This allows me to preview what the camera is seeing and make adjustments before taking the final photograph.

Because in this book, the readers are being lead on a journey, the lighting of the scene helps drive the story. Here, a glow of light at the top of the staircase provides a visual hint of the next step in the readers ongoing adventure.

Up a Scary Stair ©2008 Walter Wick,
from Can You See What I See? On a Scary Scary Night