Saturday, November 27, 2010

Hey, I STILL Know Him!

Diary of a Wimpy Kid character Greg Heffley made his debut as a balloon at this year's Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. While I'm happy for author Jeff Kinney and all, I probably wouldn't have posted this clip if it weren't for a couple of moments around the 42-second mark:

That's my (and Jeff's) Editor Charlie waving at the camera, dangerously leaving his wife, the Lovely Rachel, to hold down the balloon by herself while he basks in his network television close-up. I wasn't able to watch the parade live but recorded it just to catch the Wimpy Kid balloon, and was rewarded with this bonus Thanksgiving greeting from my friend Charlie. "Hi" back at you, Bud. Feel free to pass this video around the office.

If you're interested in how the balloon got built (I am!; who wouldn't be?), Abrams Creative Director Chad W. Beckerman posted several photos and videos about it. Here's a blog post about Jeff fine-tuning its design (from which I nicked the photo below) and here's one showing the parade rehearsals. In all seriousness, I think having a balloon in the Macy's parade is a terrific piece of Americana. It only occurred to me on Thanksgiving morning that if I'd pleaded and whined and flown myself to New York City, I bet I could've pulled some strings (heh!) and gotten work as a Wimpy Kid balloon wrangler. Maybe next year. Congrats to Jeff and Charlie.

Jeff (left) and Editor Charlie inspecting the clay model from which the balloon was scaled up. (Photo by Mr. Beckerman, stolen with impunity.)


ronnie said...

OMG this is so awesome! I watched part of your Yanksgiving Day Parade (of course, in Canada, it wasn't a holiday - we had Thanksgiving in October) and was amazed by the balloons. This is a wonderful glimpse into the "behind the scenes" process.

Brian said...

Fantastic - thanks for posting this! Unfortunately, we made the mistake of watching the coverage on CBS, which was horrible in every respect (especially because they couldn't be bothered to show the balloon teams!).

Fortunately, my sister DVR'd the NBC coverage so we got to see Charlie and Rachel beam in full HD glory. Nice to have it in this format. Thanks again!

Brian Fies said...

Ronnie: we know, we know: earlier harvest. I find the balloons fascinating and am glad you did too.

Brian! So nice to hear from you, glad you liked the clip. All our best to you, Karen and Adam.

Mike said...

My grandchildren are most impressed that I know a guy who knows The Guy.