2008 has started off well with a Superbowl spot featuring some of our animatronic critters for Toyota Corolla. Our animatronic Badger family - a mother badger, with three nursing babies and a second, snarling mother badger puppet - help dramatize the comfort and quiet of the new Toyota Corolla. Not long after creating them, we rented one of our animatronic Badger puppets for a Wisconsin Lottery spot.
We are honored to have had the opportunity to work with the Surfrider Foundation (www.surfrider.org); a nonprofit environmental organization dedicated to preserving ocean ecology and access to our beaches. We created a new Walrus costume for them, that defies a rude private beach guard by taking off with his beach patrol jeep and running over a 'private beach' sign with it. And we enjoyed another beach location, racing all over Avalon bay in Catalina with our Shark Fins for Aviva Insurance.
In our new makeup work for 2008, we have been continuing the Beast makeups campaign for Del Taco, as well as creating an Old Age makeup for Captain Lawrence Brewery. We created a wild 'Muttonhead' character with extra long, Floppy Arms a wig and wild mutton chops for a zany Embarq commercial. We have been working with an amazing local photographer, (www.stephenberkman.com), who uses nineteenth century technology to create his 'Ambrotypes,' aged daguerreotype style photographs allowing us to witness the countless provocative, sometimes shocking mysteries of nature. We have been creating many makeup effects for a series of photographs for a new book Stephen is working on. Other makeups we have designed and created this year include eight Cavemen for a Samsung commercial for Korea.
We are proud to have worked on "Tropic Thunder."We created the Panda that Ben Stiller struggles with-involving the creation of two different animatronic Panda creature suits, a regular one and a completely black version of the Panda bear for the fight scenes in the dark. We also created Ben Stiller's outrageous Panda wardrobe, some slimy silicone rubber Leeches, and some tiny Mosquitos for Nick Nolte to catch and eat.
For the new Disney film, "Bedtime Stories," we had to go even further than just making realistic parts of animals, we had to make parts that would fit on actual animals. In this case, the script called for a guinea pig to gain weight and to have dreadlocks. We devised a furry Guinea Pig Fatsuit, as well as a set of Guinea Pig Dreadlocks, mounted on fine spring wires, with just enough tension on them to hold them on the guinea pig's head, without bothering him. The real challenge in creating animal wigs and prosthetics is not making of them, but more importantly, making them in such a way that the the animals will put up with wearing them.
We created animatronic Feed the Pig character masks and gloves for feedthepig.org. The people who sponsor Feed the Pig at AICPA (the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants) liked our Pig character so much, we were commissioned to create a Feed the Pig character mask for all 50 states.
In order to dramatize how well Washington Mutual supports its customers, we created two oversized welded steel frame and fur Kangaroo Pouch Rigs, large and strong enough to hold people in them. These rigs were bolted down to motion control rigs run by Don Gray from Effects In Motion and bounced vigorously up and down, to simulate the motion of jumping kangaroos. They were shot on green screen then the live actors, bouncing up and down in our kangaroo pouch rigs were composited on to CG kangaroos created by Method Studios.
We created Dog Paws and a snout that were mounted in front of the camera to simulate a dog's point of view for Purina Pet Food. We created a very exotic looking frozen Devilfish for a Capital One commercial. For a few Cold Case episodes, we created grisly, Mummified Corpse remains; our Grim Reaper costume was used in a White Castle commercial; we created a mechanical Cyclops character mask, with gloves, feet and chest for Hormel; we created a Piggyback Clowns costume for Sonus that creates the illusion that one person two short clowns riding piggyback; and we also rented out our popular eight foot long Giant Ant this year to two different commercial productions. For the movie "Cirque du Freak," we conjured up some realistic, nasty, electrostatically flocked Dead Rats, that filmed in Louisiana.
We were chosen by the popular game show, The Amazing Race, to create some soft stunt Gnome sculptures used in a climbing contest, to represent Travelocity's sponsorship of the show. We built a couple of posable Cow Forms for the new Chick Fil'A calendar due out next year. We also provided the popular series Lost with our ultra realistic, floppy White Perch.
Our animatronic Grizzly Bear costume continues to be very popular - we traveled to Mexico City for another Sleep Rest Mattress commercial; and we also rented our animatronic Grizzly Bear costume for a Carmax commercial, where it wrestles with a Canadian Mountie.
We rented our Seal puppet for a Burger King spot about a guy who is rewarded for saving a seal with their new BK Broiler hamburger; for Cingular, we rented our Dinosaur: we rigged and rented our Gorilla costume for a commercial in Columbia, where a Gorilla take a shower; and we rented our Frog for a VW commercial.
For the latest music video for the Fall Out Boys, we created four Peelaway Mask effects. We created some wild inflating Frog Neck Makeup effects, an animatronic Peacock Wig effect and some Inflating Chest effects for an Amstel Beer commercial for Holland.