© 2014 Darren Braun Photography by Darren Braun

Mission to Mars | photography by DARREN BRAUN | Texas Monthly March 2014

Darren was called on to photograph Rob Thomas, the creator of cult-favorite TV Show Veronica Mars, for Texas Monthly.
The recently-released movie version has a great story behind it.

When on television, Veronica Mars had passionate fans and was beloved by reviewers, bloggers and Mr. Thomas’s Hollywood peers. But an $8 million dollar contract and a hit series wasn’t enough. The show was canceled during its third season with story lines left dangling.

Rob, a native Texan, headed home to Austin with his wife and kids. The idea of making a Veronica Mars movie to wrap up the series’s unfinished tales was always on his mind. But, as Peter Travers of Rolling Stone hilariously put it, “Warner Bros., which owned the series, practically yawned in his face.”

Hyped up by the continued enthusiastic fan base, Rob and the show’s star, Kristin Bell, turned to Kickstarter. They raised $2 million dollars in 10 hours, ultimately ending up with almost $6 million for production.
And boom! Veronica Mars, the movie, is now at a theater near you.

Darren tells us about his marshmallow photo shoot…

The Texas Monthly art director knew i could pull off a ridiculous looking set in a small amount of time so the Photo Editor called me up and came to me with a loose idea of a marshmallow room in Rob’s home office.

From Texas Monthly’s Instagram : @texasmonthly

In the 1st episode of Veronica Mars she was called a “marshmallow” by one of the other characters. The fans took this as a sign and started calling themselves “marshmallows.”

I knew piles of marshmallows would be too time consuming to pull off at someone’s home and potentially damaging to the nostrils of anyone in the house for at least a week! We ended up renting a studio in Austin and I built the set with my assistant.

The tricky part was getting the mounds to stay in place. There may…. or may not be…a combination of hot glue, spit, and sweat holding the set together. I wanted to get the shot in camera so we dedicated most of our time to building it.
In the end there was hardly any retouching.

Darren Braun on set with Rob Thomas and Marshmallows

From Texas Monthly’s Instagram : @texasmonthly

Was there a marshmallow fight on set at the end? S’mores?!

Oh god no! It was more like how fast can we clean the studio, have a wrap drink and get the stench of a few thousand Marshmallows out of our nostrils.
I never want to smell another marshmallow again!

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