Fat Little Reindeer's Mask Nightmare Before Christmas

Loaded 23 December 2020.

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This is a dual-puropse video - primarily as a Christmas message to all and sundry, but also just the fun of the story and the making.

Getting the right "tone" in a pandemic

I was wanting to do another fun video and Christmas message and had worked up "The General's" rendition of the well known "The Police" song and was going to pair that with him butchering another song that could be misinterpreted as looking forward to 2021.   But I never quite got going.   Plus I was hankering to get the Fat Little Reindeers out for another adventure, and that didn't fit with this first idea.

Then the Northern Beaches of Sydney turned into an unexpected COVID-19 hot spot and it looked like Chistmas might be going down the gurgler, encouraged by the NSW Government's bizarre reluctance to mandate masking in public places.   Bingo.

It took a surprisingly short time to write the script, which grew and grew, but, at the end, works.   And only a first draft and final to get to the shooting script.   The voice-track was laid down with few glitches and I could borrow quite a lot of footage from the FLR's first adventure to pack out the visuals.   Easy!

A recap on the Fat Little Reindeer

Travelling in Vietnam in January 2012, I had seen for the first time the toddlers' jump-on inflatable animal toys ... in a range of animals including reindeer and I knew I had to have one.   Infuratingly, we kept glimpsing them while on-the-go but never saw any in the markets or stores where we stopped.   And then finally in Siem Reap, Cambodia, we found a store that had not one, but two red reindeer.   They were shop-soiled and a bit tired but two FLRs are two FLRs!   And so, on what was literally the last day of our tour, I finally scored my FLRs - they have been an important part of the family Christmas since.


I was never clear what genre this vid should be, and it did vere quite sharply to the "dark" at the outset.   I also risked being political and over-long in what I wanted to do after the story's end.   But, as it turns out, it's not too long (I did axe some elements) and the audience seem to universally agree it's a comedy, so comedy it is.

Credits and Technical Snippets

This is the first vid I've not bothered with putting in my somewhat daft "Credits", mainly because I elected to not spoil the Christmas message at the end.   So ...

  • There's a number of still shots scabbed off the internet and largely unaltered apart from cropping and aspect.
  • There's also a few that have been heavily photoshopped.
  • Otherwise all the visuals are my own work.
  • Three creative commons sounds from Freesound.org are used. 195596__mikaelfernstrom__thunder01 (and what great thunder it is!), 486554__gleith__moose-elk (because I couldn't source good reindeer noises and they weren't very sexy anyway), and 546934__trezz77__beehive (which was fantastic).
  • The Police exerpt from "Don't stand so close to me" is used without permission.
  • The Ave Maria is a creative commons rendition by Tim Schuberts.

And technically the production went fast and smooth but for one small glitch in my video edit software, which would corrupt 2 to 5 semi-random frames in throwing the final video.   I got around this by creating a second, simple, edit that was the produced movie with a good frame pasted over any corrupted frame, so it appears the corruption is some artefact of the complexity of the production edit.   Ho Hum.

The usual cast of programs are need for a production like this - audactiy for sound edits and recordings - paint.net for image manipulation - shotcut for video compositing and editing - and notpad++ to write the web pages.


I do hope you enjoy "Fat Little Reindeer's Mask Nightmare Before Christmas".