Every so often someone will send me a message asking if I have any mobiles that are ready to ship. This is usually because the mobile is meant as a gift and the customer needs it asap.
In this particular instance I got an email from Stephanie on Tuesday, March 22, asking if I had any mobiles ready to ship. I let the potential customer know I didn't, but that I could make one pretty quickly if it wasn't too complicated of a mobile. The next day, Wednesday, the same person wrote back letting me know that she loved my Spiral Crane Mobile, and wanted something with that sort of fullness. She informed me that she was working on the NBC TV show Chicago PD and the mobile would be for the show.
WHAT?!?! Now I had to make it happen! My husband grew up in Chicago and in 2007 we both moved to Chicago and lived there for 2 years, so we have always had a fondness for shows/movies filmed there - Chicago PD is one of our favorites.
The time frame in which the mobile had to be completed was extremely tight but I thought it would be doable as long as I was able to use a pre-made chandelier ring I had and my stash of pre-folded cranes. I asked Stephanie if it would be okay using that ring and the variety of extra cranes I had stashed away from previous mobile orders. She said I could use both, and even said I could throw some prints in there too.
I brought out every single crane I had folded from 6x6 inch and 4.5x4.5 inch papers, and then folded about 100 more cranes for the project. I arranged the cranes in a general order of blues and greens at the top progressing into yellows, then oranges, and reds and purples at the bottom. With the use of the wire frame and every single extra crane I had stashed away, I was able to get the entire 160 crane mobile completed and shipped in two days!
It wasn't easy, and I have to admit, my heart was racing all of Friday up until the moment the mobile was finally dropped off at the FedEx site. On Friday afternoon I did panic a bit when I thought it wasn't going to get it done in time. I was even thinking up scenarios of how I could drive it or fly it to the set because I wouldn't be able to ship it that day. It was certainly the most stressful of all the TV/movie mobiles I've ever worked on, but it was also a unique experience that tested my ability to think and focus under extreme pressure - something that would come in handy in the next two months as I prepared for another massive project.
Once the mobile was shipped and I could breathe again, all there was left to do was to wait and watch the episodes. Would the mobile show up in the house of a victim, or perhaps the home of one of the main characters? Would it show up in a public place like a store or restaurant, or would the editor cut it completely out of the scene? I know these sorts of jobs are very iffy, and that the mobile might not even get used at all, so I didn't want to get too excited about it before I actually saw it in the show.
On May 11th, almost two months after the mobile was ordered, it finally appeared on Chicago PD on Episode 20 of Season 9, "Memory." The episode opened up with the camera focused on the mobile hanging above Officers Burgess and Ruzek as they sat in the office of Makayla's therapist. The camera panned down the mobile and to the three characters as the opening credits faded on and off the screen.
It was amazing! I was thrilled with the way it was incorporated into the scene, and how well it went with the decor of the bright and colorful office space. Such an honor, and such a special way to use my art. Thank you Stephanie for appreciating my art, and for having faith in my abilities to get the mobile done in time! It was totally worth the stress! :D