It’s that time of the year when everyone goes completely crazy. Preparations for one of the biggest Lindy festivals in Zagreb were in full swing, I was over my head with various projects, but for some reason I decided to throw myself into making a photo booth for the festival.
Every decent Lindy festival has at least one official photographer, a cameraman and a photo booth – it’s usually a decorated place for taking group photos, accompanied with the label of the festival in the background, and a few event associated props to make images more fun and unique.
Streetcar named Lindy festival has grown into a rather big festival, so making a proper photo booth was a must. The main theme was a tram, obviously, so there were a few ideas thrown at us, like, let’s have the tram driver’s hat, or the whistle, or something like that. But then it hit me (or Goga, I’m not sure anymore, because lately we compete who will have the craziest idea) – let’s make the front side of a tram! In the actual size! With windshield wipers and everything! Challenge accepted
(It was a good thing they named the festival after something not that big, so it can fit in our front yard.)
The festival budget was already stretched out, so we needed to think outside the box and try to obtain the best effect with minimum resources.
After I made a rough draft of it in my head, we had to think about making the framework. Janko was generous enough to donate his 50-year old wooden roof slats and cut them roughly to size. Yes, they looked old and horrible, but I figured out that when we sand the surface layer, it will look decent enough.
Luckily, this time I had some help. Besides Janko, let me introduce Josip and Oleg to you. I’ve managed to find the most ridiculous photo of them, but don’t let it fool you – they are both master Cad designers and excellent craftsmen.
The first thing on our task list was to sand the junk from the wood by hand, without using the power-tools. The thing is – we were working in front of our garage, so I didn’t want to make neighbours mad by making this cloud of dust, which, otherwise, would be unavoidable.
The frame was cut and screwed together. To make the assembly quick, I decided to use door hinges so it can easily be connected and disconnected. I also used the old BMW headlight that was scrapped from my Frankenpri project.
We decided to use thick cardboard for the panels, and after we stapled them, Josip appointed himself the role of the master painter.
He carefully marked and protected everything and then painted the whole thing, first in blue color, and then he applied the first set of graphics the next day.
This was the first assembly with the cardboard panels in place, and you can (barely) see how the paint was sucked into the cardboard and made a slight mess along the edges.
And now, Josip being a crazy perfectionist person (like me, so I can’t blame him), couldn’t stand this messy line, so he basically ripped everything off and started painting the new cardboard from scratch. First in blue, and then the white details – but this time without the insulating tape, just a man and his ruler.
Still don’t believe me? Here he goes again.
This time it was a game of precision and patience.
Josip wasn’t the the only one who painted, Oleg was doing his part as well.
The booth was nearly finished and functional, but since I always like to go one step further, I decided to mount a bunch of accessories on it, like this fully working control panel for the front light, turn signals, a fan and of course, a windshield wiper, so that people can interact and have even more fun with it. Also, we made a panel with a logo on it that lights up when the button is pressed.
After drilling some leftover switches from the past projects, I started to wire them. They were all different and a bit corny – so liberating!
It was like making a simple car wiring, the budget version. We were building the whole thing for a few hours after work each day, for about five days.
For those who are not so much into electronics – that wasn’t very difficult, although it can seem a bit confusing.
Here you can see the mechanism made out of wood and piano wire, so the wiper can be activated.
The booth had its debut in the Crystal Ballroom of the Westin hotel in Zagreb. Not bad, I must say! When we finally put it together, it looked really great – and judging by the reactions of the visitors, all this work was totally worth it. People fooled around and this was exactly what we were trying to achieve. Thanks Mihaela Krznar for the photos!
Just guys at work.
A view from the tram and a few details – as you can see, everything is properly marked
And here’s a short video of the Tram photo booth in action. Make sure you don’t miss it next year!