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David Copperfield's 50th Birthday Present - COMPLETED!

For David's 50th birthday on September 16th, 2006, I was hoping I can count on the fandom's help to make an extra-special birthday present for David...let's all give David OUR autographs!!! That's right, I wanted to put together an album, full of full-page pictures of Copperfield fans with a birthday note/letter on the back!

From May to August, I have received 77 entries from fans all over the world who sent in beautiful pictures and messages for David (See below for thumbnails of all the entries)!  I prepared each entry by laminating the photo and the message back-to-back, and the idea was to add an introduction page, a table of contents, and then a front and back cover page to complete a huge book.   I soon realized that the laminated pages are much larger in size than the cover page, intro page, and the table of contents I, I had to go and laminate those pages also to make all the pages the same size!  That's right, THERE IS NOT A SINGLE PAGE THAT IS NOT LAMINATED :)   The plus side of this is that David can take this present with him and read through all your photos and messages as he's taking a bath or when he's in his pool, LOL.

Well, some small "issues" soon surfaced....First problem - since all the entries were laminated, the pages are very heavy and very thick.   When I brought all the pages to the company I originally wanted to use to bind it into a book, the price for binding them into a hard-covered book skyrocketed to a point I can no longer afford out of my own pocket.   So, I had to just use the services at a local friendly Staples store to bind the pages together.

Second problem - Since the pages were so thick, a book of 80 laminated sheets added up to about 3 inches of thickness, for which they had no way of binding together.  I spoke with the store manager for about 20 minutes and the only option he can offer is to punch holes and put them all in a binder...which I didn't want to do.  So, I made the decision on the spot to divide the gift into 2 books, each 40 pages.  

Third problem - Since the present is now divided into 2 books, I had to redesign the original cover and come up with a matching cover for book #2.   The original idea was to use a collage of photos for the cover, so now, I had to make 2 collages, each one representing the photos included in each book.  The front cover is actually 2 pages - the graphics were printed on a transparent page and then laid on top of a textured page of white paper.  This gives it an effect that the photo collage and the works are actually "floating" off of the cover...I don't think the pictures here do it gotta see it to appreciate it :)


**NOTE: The collage for each cover was generated by a graphics software tool I have that automatically takes a group of selected pictures and makes a collage out of them.  The pictures were all randomly selected by the program, so I had nothing to do with whose pictures are on top, whose are on the bottom, etc.   THE ONLY EXCEPTION WAS THAT I "CHEATED" A LITTLE ON THE COVER OF BOOK 1 SO THAT BOTH MY GRANDPARENTS' PHOTOS ARE ON TOP.  Other than that, I played no favoritism at all amongst all the other entries.

Here's a little peek at the table of contents, the intro page, and a page of a few messages without any photos (blurred out for privacy reasons):

Well, thanks to everyone who participated and made this project a terrific success.   At this point, it doesn't look like I will be able to make it to Las Vegas to give it to David in person, so I will be mailing it to the Las Vegas warehouse directly.  I wish I can see David's face when he sees these books, I'm sure he will love it :)    If I get any feedback from David or the crew, I'll post it here as well.

Again, a huge THANK YOU to the beautiful and lovely "Eclipse" for such a great idea!

Here are the 79 entries I have received for David's present. TO PROTECT EVERYONE'S PRIVACY, I am only showing very small and very blurry thumbnails, without identifying any of them. Those of you who have sent me photos should be able to confirm your own entry even with the blurry quality, and everyone else can see just how many people participated :) The photo and letter for each entry have been carefully laminated together, back to back, and those that did not meet the size requirements have been scanned/printed to the correct size.

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