Production of the calendar
Initial discussions about the calendar started in November 2005 when Sonja Bernhardt contacted Julia Lewis from Lewis Media after seeing a calendar produced by the firm.
In the first production meeting in January 2006 between Sonja, Julia, photographer Chris Marr and graphic designer Jane Long, some early concept designs were discussed. These included a "reality vs fantasy" concept with two images of each model, a journalistic "at work" style, a Varga girl style and the screen goddess style.
Movie star concepts were tabled for a Lauren Baccall, an Audrey Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe as well as modern screen icons and characters such as Lara Croft and Charlie's Angels.
A call was put out for models and at the next production meeting (including makeup artist Leni Bounas) their requests were considered and approved or alternatives suggested depending on the likeness of the model to the character and the ability to recreate the scene.
Pre-production began in earnest in February sourcing costumes and props. Many of the required items could not be found or were once-off items and needed to be created from scratch.
Shooting began in March and took seven days, stretched over several weeks, with many of the interstate models coming in the same week. Dinner at Jade Budda Bar, Brisbane was organised as a welcome and introduction night for everyone.
Most of the scenes were shot in the Elite Photographics studios at Indooroopilly with the exception of the Dr No scene, which was shot at The Spit at the Gold Coast and the Thelma and Louise scene, which was shot at Mt Coot-tha.
the images were completed the final images were chosen and background
images shot or sourced. From here they were handed over to Jane for image
Each image was massaged and edited, in many cases multiple images were spliced together.
In the now infamous American Beauty scene, the studio height didn't allow enough distance to capture the full height of Sonja in one image at the angle we needed. The lower half of her body was shot separately and spliced together with the top half. The mix of roses and tech items were also shot separately and tiled into the image.
Initial draft proofs were then sent to models and sponsors in early June for approval and another round of editing ensued.
Final digital proofs were then produced and approved before handing over to the printers, Inprint Group Pty Ltd.
Pre-press proofs were created and approved before the final approval to go to press was given in July.