At the time, I was looking into having a re-born doll made. Think: ladies that craft hyper-realistic baby dolls and then treat them like real children. Its some kind of cross between the sculptor Ron Mueck (see below) and a quilting bee.
Anyways, after some discussion, turns out it take about as long to make one of these dolls as it does to make a real baby. So, not really within the “we need it yesterday” time frame for theatrical productions.
We basically needed many different baby options that we could cannibalize to make the ideal baby. I found a website that manufactures the re-born style dolls, and another that sells parts and paint kits for making them yourself. The final baby did not end up being ready made, but the manufactured one came in some of the most amazing packaging i’ve ever seen. Behold:
The whole thing made me think of the theory of the Uncanny Valley — a technical theory which posits that as human like robots, characters, dolls etc get closer and closer to looking like actual humans, theres a moment of revulsion (ie. a valley), which comes in somewhere around a corpse. Think: talking dogs and the characters in “Up” are cute, a hyper-realistic baby strapped to the inside of a cardboard box is not. It is, in fact, uncanny. On that note, the same company also makes miniature versions of these dolls. Check it out:
… Yep. So, the final result on Baby was a hodge-podge of several different dolls, with custom paint work on the face. This meant that my boss spent several days in her apartment surrounded by baby parts, and eventually had to BAKE the head (its a heat-set paint). Talk about a bun in the oven! Heres the one we ended up using. Enjoy!