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Magazines, Television and Print Ads
A Magazine Cover and a Sales Brochure Featuring our Marionettes
Although live performance has always been our focus, our puppetry skills have been called upon for work in other media as well. In print, our marionettes have been used for a magazine cover and a sales brochure.
For television, Kurt manipulated the marionettes for a very popular television commercial for the Mall of America. In a nutshell, the commercial showed toys leaving their department store window to catching a cab to the Mall of America. All three of the main characters, a toy soldier, an angel, and a rocking horse, were marionettes. The toy soldier and the rocking horse were rented from Bob Kramer's Marionettes in St. Louis. An unfinished marionette that Kurt had on hand was costumed as the angel. The marionettes were operated against a green screen and were then added to the scenes with the live actors via computer. Kurt had to restring the marionettes to ten feet to allow them to be worked from a scaffolding set-up in front of the green screen.
Rocking Horse from
Bob Kramer's Marionnettes
Kurt Operating the Angel
In an attempt to make the strings easier to remove in the editing process, the producers requested that the marionettes be restrung with mint dental floss, so they would disappear with the green screen technique. Oddly enough, the dental floss worked just fine.
The actual shoot involving the marionettes took thirteen hours. Since Kurt was the only puppeteer involved, he had to operate each marionette separately for each scene. The majority of the thirteen hours, however, was spent waiting through the tedious process of setting lighting and other technical details.
The resulting thirty second commercial was used during the 1995, 1996, and 1997 holiday seasons.