2010 started off with us creating and puppeteering a set of mechanical Elephant Legs for an amazing Accenture commercial involving a surfing elephant. Our legs were shot in the tank at Fantasy 2, filmed from underwater to show real, practical elephant legs churning down into the water as the elephant paddles out to catch a wave. The elephant up on the surfboard was very cleverly achieved by shooting real elephant standing up on dry land and washed over with with huge water splashes, then composited into ocean wave footage on a CG board. We also used the Elephant Legs later this same year for closeup shots in a Western & Southern commercial.
We are proud of a family of three Playmobil Doll stunt suits we created for an impressive Traveler's Insurance commercial. The suits were very accurate, and - they needed to be very tough to endure the simulated effects of being shaken around inside a dollhouse by a gigantic young girl. A human sized doll house was created then mounted on a giant mechanical gimbal and the actors wearing our suits were tumbled around inside it. We went to great lengths to insure that our suits were safe in these conditions and we are happy to say that no one was hurt.
For England's Zoltar Studios (www.nikeshaman.com), we created four Sports Shaman costumes for a Nike Sportswear exhibition tied in with the 2010 World Soccer Games. The suits were highly ambitious and creative, utilizing extensive silk screening, custom machine printing, and custom printed vacuum forming.
For Titan Insurance, we designed and created the Titan Bobblehead, the 'spokes bobblehead' icon for Titan that can be seen in commercials and also on billboards all across the country. We also created another company icon, the Chinese General 'spokes-statue' for P F Chang. For ESPN, we sculpted an oversize, exact likeness, sports mascot head of Lee Corso.
Our highly popular, fully animatronic Grizzly Bear costume was chosen to star in a series of commercials shot in Sacramento for Thunder Valley Casinos, showing our Grizzly Bear hitting it big and enjoying himself at the poker tables and slot machines. We also traveled to Mexico City with our Peptosaurus Rex costume, to show the massive kinds of damage that can be wreaked upon a (miniature) city when customers don't get the great service they are used to at Banamex. We were glad to get called back a second time to shoot a commercial for the Minnesota Lottery with our Badger puppet, this time composited in as a team of two over aggressive Badgers playing tennis. Go Badgers. We also provided the closeup puppet arms from our Grizzly Bear suit to match real grizzly bears in two separate McDonald's and Honda commercials.
We created two Baby Bird puppets in a nest for Gushers, along with an oversized Gushers candy for the main character's eye in the spot. For Fruit By The Foot we created a single, massive Muscle Leg, for a guy who loses a bet and must hop up and down on one leg until his buddy says he can stop - and his buddy doesn't say he can stop for years, until they are adults...
For a Travel Wisconsin commercial, we created a Stegosaurus back and other prehistoric props. We provided our White Rhinoceros and other Rhino body parts for a Bayer Asprin spot where different blindfolded women at different parts of a rhino try to guess what they are touching.
We created an extensive character makeup for the huge Troll in a GameStop commercial, plus a Tear away Arm effect, illustrating the lengths two mothers will go to, wrestling over the last Troll game in the store. For a second Game Stop commercial, we provided a mechanical Third Arm for a boy who want to show extra enthusiasm for the third video game his father has bought him. For Boost Mobil, we created some makeup effects - a Stunt Arm that gets bent back in the way it is not supposed to go, and a 'bad' wig that flies off to one side of the actor's head. Our Octopus was used on an actresses' head for the third time now, this time, for the Minnesota Lottery. Our Robots helped to create a robotics laboratory set for the popular ABC tv series, Castle.
We traveled to New Zealand with our Alligator puppet, whose mechanisms were rebuilt so he could jump up and grab a guy's arm for another one of the amazing and ambitious (all done practically, folks!) Old Spice commercials. We also brought our Piranha puppets for the spot. In keeping with the provocative, perverse, and inspired spirit of The Bill Mahar Show we created a very special award- The Stupidest State Award, a gold and granite trophy depicting a man with his head up his ass. Literally.