MOOSE - Mechanical Puppet.
One- 44 inch tall moose head.
Soft foam, fur, fibreglass and glass eyes.
Head turn and Mouth.
Our Moose head was originally made to fall on Brendan Frasier's head in the live action movie version of DUDLEY DORIGHT. We created our Moose head to be strong but as light as possible. The head is light weight fiberglass with fur flocked over it, and the antlers are hollow, cast with very thin fiberglass. Since making it, we have turned it into a puppet, adding a mouth open/close mechanism so it could talk in a commercial. We almost got to add a moose body to our moose head when we were working on Sean Penn's INTO THE WILD, but alas, it was not to be. A moose body did get added to our moose head eventually in one of our following projects, though it did not come to pass in the way we thought it would happen.
For our FARMER'S INSURANCE commercial, 'Swing Set Standoff,' the script called for a moose to interact with a swing set and actually get tangled in the swing chains. We had our puppet moose head, yet there was no time to make a full, mobile puppet moose body. The production kept us on the project and we worked with them to solve this issue. We built a very mobile wheeled rig for our moose head, one that could hold the moose head up at the height and position of a real moose's head. Our rig was light and nimble enough for us to move the whole head around quickly, thrashing around with the swing set and rearing up very quickly. A visual effects company filled in the moose body in post, doing an amazing job of blending to our real moose head puppet. So the spot benefited from the best of both worlds. The great success and impressive achievement of this FARMER'S INSURANCE commercial affirmed our conviction that visual and practical effects are not competitors. Used together, they are a powerful team. And the best work in Hollywood today is being done with a combination of both visual computer graphics effects and practical special effects.
MOOSE - Credits
DUDLEY DO RIGHT (Universal) 1999. Hugh Wilson, director.
FARMER'S INSURANCE 'Swing Set Standoff' commercial.