Artem Case Studies

Get Santa - Santa's Sleigh A Christmas Film by Christopher Smith

‘So the sleigh was the star attraction on the film. Looked great and everyone was really happy with it. It held up well throughout the filming (especially since we had it crashed in a tree at one point!) Thanks once again for all your hard work.’

Matt Gray, Art Director

Artem was asked to build the central prop for the Christmas film, Get Santa: Santa’s sleigh!  The film, starring Jim Broadbent as Santa, follows a father and son as they team up to save Christmas, having discovered Santa Claus asleep in their garage after crashing his sleigh.

We knew that this sleigh had to a) look fantastic b) be robust enough to hold passengers and survive the filming process and c) fit various requirements of the script, such as by being attachable to a rig to enable various effects.

The Artem crew worked relentlessly over a period of five weeks to create the spectacular Christmas vehicle. Based on the design brief from the client, we used our own CAD (Computer Aided Design) technology to draw up a sleigh that kept as close as possible to the client’s vision, at the same time as assisting us with the technical possibilities.  

Once the design was complete, construction started with CNC, cutting components using our 3-axis machine to form a robust, base structure onto which we could attach additional components. The large, curved elements of the sleigh body were produced in GRP from 3D patterns cut in polystyrene. This process utilised our multi-axis KUKA Robot arm, to produce accurate tooling, ready for hard coating and moulding. Fabricated steel elements, including the runners and stainless steel detailing, were then attached to the sleigh.

Once the larger pieces of the sleigh were put together, we were able to focus on further details, including:

- Replicating cast iron fixings in lightweight plastic 

- Upholstering a comfy faux-leather chair

- Fitting working lights

- Creating the dashboard, complete with quirky artefacts and control buttons labelled, for example, ‘fast’, ‘faster’, and even ‘carrots’ (we presumed for reindeer emergencies!)

The side sections of the sleigh were clad with real wood veneer, embellished with CNC timber scrollwork, while the centre section was given a high gloss, durable 2K paint finish.

The client was delighted with the outcome, and so were we!  Not only does the sleigh look great in the film, but it has also been used for press shots and was taken on a glitzy night out for the film’s premiere in Leicester Square. 

Just looking at the pictures gets us in the Christmas spirit - even if it does remind the technicians of all their hard work!

See if you can spot our sleigh in the Get Santa film trailer.

  • Film
  • CNC Machining & 3D printing
  • Electronic Design
  • Models & Miniatures
  • Props
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