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the brightest and the best [Nov. 27th, 2007|10:51 pm]
[Current Location |vancouver, BC]
[Current Music |martin denny - "misirlou"]

in addition to a truly spectacular cast and crew, "the middleman" is lucky to be working with some amazing companies - today, and for the next few days, we are joined by the fine men and women of the jim henson creature shop, who are providing all of the animatronic ape action for the pilot episode.

as those of you who read "the middleman" comics know, the plot of our first story concerns a renegade scientist who uses genetically engineered apes to take control of the city's underworld. from the get go, team middleman agreed that animatronics was the way to go - but it has been a challenge to find purveyors of animatronic apes...

...i know, you'd think that animatronic apes would be readily available for all film and television production at all time. i know i did...until this production taught me the highly valuable lesson that this is a highly rarefied field with a very few skilled practitioners.

also, because so many of the apes and creatures used for film are built specifically for individual projects - and that the latex used to make ape heads, hands and feet has a tendency to deteriorate quickly - even those who do this kind of work for a living tend to not have camera-ready apes just waiting to go.

(and, by the way, building an ape from scratch was a non-starter...the cost would have been well into the six figures and out of the reach of an upstart production like ours)

which is why the jim henson creature shop has been a godsend to "the middleman," it is an honor to be working with this world-class organization...and i am pretty certain that this is the first time in their history that one of their photorealistic creations has worn a tony soprano-like track suit, sat at the bar of a gentleman's club and ordered his lady to get him a banana.

so everyone wins!


From: (Anonymous)
2008-06-17 03:52 am (UTC)

Animatronic Gorilla by Jim Henson Creature Shop

I'm watching the first ep of Middleman right now. Right after the gorilla segment I googled and found your page. I had a feeling Jim Henson's Creature Shop did that ape-face. The amount of control and fluidity, particularly for the lips, was very good. Too bad the later voice-over was done poorly and detracted from the great facial manipulation. I've seen the Creature Shop work up-close a couple times, and it's freaking astounding.
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