Daniella Fishburne | Madame MadFish


Behind the Scenes with the Mad Hatter

Images used in the making of the Mad Hatter.


Did you know where the phrase "mad as a hatter" came from? In the 19th century, mercury was used in the production of felt, which was used in the manufacturing of hats. Due to long-term exposure, hatters would often develop symptoms of mercury posioning, such as tremors or mood-swings, that would make them appear "mad" to others. Thus, the phrase became popular as a way to refer to someone who was perceived as insane.

Well, this image nearly drove me insane! Much like the Mad Hatter himself, creating this image was a whirlwind of chaos. We tried using a smoke machine for the first time, which caused the smoke alarms to go off. Oops! (my dog was not happy with me after that)

Then we had to reshoot because the props weren't exactly right the first go round.  I wanted my version of the Mad Hatter to be different than anything else out there, which is hard because we already have a preconceived notion of what he's supposed to look like. But I thought he should be dark and sinister, unlike his Disney counterpart.  Hopefully we pulled it off! And a very special thank you goes out to my husband for playing the part. Plus he was a real trooper when we  had to make props. Watching candles burn is fun, right?!?! lol

So, why is a raven like a writing desk? I haven't the slightest idea! But here's a video showing all the layers involved in the creation of this image. It's as madding as the the crazy riddles that the Mad Hatter is constantly spouting out! This is my first time making a video like this, so I apologize if it's a little blurry. I'm sure I'll get the hang of it one of these days.