2011 started off busy with three good sized projects all happening at once. We created three animatronic Chameleon puppets and two animatronic Frog character puppets for Big Lots. For Lowe's we created a big animatronic suit character, the Imaginary Friend, who advises a young boy on the colors to paint his room.
When two kids use Fisherboy Fish Sticks as goggles to look at their parents through, they magically see their parents as two big Goldfish and Catfish costumes we created. We also created an animatronic, kicking, flapping, barking Big Fish version of of their family dog, complete with collar and dog tags.
Our great stock of ready to go animals and animal puppets continues to be of great use to productions - we rented out our Squirrel to Tony D'Orio Photography, our Dolphin for Living Social, and our Frog for a Hertz commercial.
In the realm of exotic makeups, we reproduced an intricate Hair Map in the chest hair of an actor, for a commercial for the Call of Duty video game. We also created a highly realistic James Dean Mask and a severed head effect for a film project for this year's Venice Bienale in Italy.
We were very happy for the opportunity to work on HBO's big hit show True Blood, providing one of our big special effects - but we are going to need to keep the nature of it a secret for now, until the episode airs this summer...
We created two new Bird puppets to be the parents of our existing Chicks in Nest puppet for a Nestle's spot shot in Mexico. We combined our Demon mask and our Grim Reaper cloak to create a new monster character for a video game spec spot, and we made a new Creature Arm for a Comcast Xfinity spot. We also rented out our demon mask with other monster heads for a commercial.
We have an extensive and still growing inventory of ready made animals, aliens, robots and props that are in constant use - this year we rented out to many productions - our Alien Masks, our Rainbow Trout, Elephant Trunk, and Squirrel; and our Android.
The flexibility of our animatronic Deer puppet came in handy for a dark Activision commercial, showing our Deer puppet shooting other deer in their new videogame, Big Game Hunter.
For Samsung we created a number of highly detailed Miniature Buildings and People in HO and different scales, one with a backlit rooftop pool with functional sidelights, a building with a moving exterior elevator, hot air balloons, and offfice and elevator interiors. For the shoot, we packed up all the miniatures and flew to the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry (an amazing museum, which is well worth seeing), where they were filmed in front of a massive HO scale city that is part of an exhibit there.
Wrapping up the year, for the famous San Francisco Giants baseball player, Brian Wilson, we created another of our exact likeness, oversize Mascot Head. We created a futuristic wardrobe, transparent ‘techsuits’ for a trade spot. For the mun2 channel, we created a furry Logo Puppet. For the new Disney show, “Ant Farm“ we rented our Walrus suit. We created a big Tree puppet for Nintendo that had to be durable enough to survive being pushed over for multiple takes.