Blast from the past! In 2006, my friends were shooting a Cthulhu Pet (think Chia Pet parody) commercial video to submit to the Lovecraft Film Festival, and I was totally on board to help with props and special effects.
Creative brief? Create a Chia Pet-style planter that the cultist character will present as a special gift for their favorite cult leader. It needed to be able to support sprouts that “grow” on the planter, as well as a hole leading to a receptacle for the “growing liquid.” I also designed the packaging to be shown next to the planter.
The planter itself was created from polymer clay. The tentacles needed a wireframe armature base in order for them to keep their shape. Generic brown buttons were perfect for the eyes. I drilled a hole for access to the glass jar I embedded within the planter to capture the liquid that would be poured on the top. The creature made it out of the oven okay, although the tentacles were *super fragile.* They held up during filming, but cracked not long after.
The packaging graphics were designed in Photoshop, printed out, then attached to a box from the kitchen recycle bin.
My partner Aaron still has the Cthulhu Pet and its packaging on his desk. It makes me smile to see it.