Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Chensational Puppets on The Eleventh Hour (CTV)

Talk about an old story. Truth be told I really wish I had been blogging during the whole thing, but I am forced to give a post report on this great experience. In November 2003 I was contacted and asked to show my puppets for a possible job for the Gemini Award winning Canadian drama called The Eleventh Hour on CTV. I remember meeting with Executive Associate Dave Hayman and showing him a few of my puppets.

Later I received a phone call asking to show the puppet to the director/producer. A few days later I made my way back to the offices and I waited in a room with my puppets. I was nervous. I mean here was the director/producer of this big budget (in Canadian terms) television show and I had to show him my puppets. I tried to relax and think about what I was going to say. I sat at the end of this giant boardroom table and I had moral support from my (now) wife Stacy.

After a while Dave Hayman came in with three people. He introduced each one and their job descriptions. I was a little more nervous. I didn't realize that I had to pitch myself in front of four people. Slowly more and more people came in. All with impressive titles, "Art Director/Head of Department", "First Assistant Director", "Costume Designer", "Set Decorator", etc. The parade of people was unbelievable. Finally, David Wellington the Creative Producer/Director came in. In all it would seem that there were about fifteen people sitting at this long table waiting for my pitch.

I did my thing, pointing out why I thought my company was the best for the project. When I was done David asked me a few questions, tried on a puppet, thanked me for my time and quietly led the procession of people out of the room. I sat there a little worried and stunned by the whole thing, but a few minutes later Dave Hayman returned and informed me that I was hired.

What a thrill! The episode was titled The Revenge Specialist and I was asked to build two weird looking bunny puppets. As a side note, the episode was nominated for a Gemini award for the acting talents of Waneta Storms in her role as Isobel Lambert, Producer.

To build the puppets I worked from illustrations designed by Nelvana Animation. The episode was about a popular children's television show (starring these two bunnies) under investigation for inappropriate actions by the creators of the show. I puppeteered for the episode along with fellow puppeteer Jay Williams.

It was an awesome experience. I hope to post more about it sometime in the future.


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