Saturday, November 8, 2008

Team Smithereen Water Puppets

Although the new Dan Clark Company/Wildbrain/Jetix Europe stunt puppet show Team Smithereen employs digital green screen compositing, and sophisticated computer animation, the creative team behind Team Smithereen is dedicated to doing the puppet stunts practically.


For a swimming sequence, the crew submerged a large green screen in the pool at the Team Smithereen production house in the Hollywood hills. In this photo, director of photography, Ivan Corona shoots the puppet swimming with the Hi-Deff camera safely enclosed in an underwater camera bag. Team Smithereen puppet captian and puppeteer, Sean Johnson wears a green screen suite, and performs stunt puppet Thrill Kat diving into the pool.


In this shot, Team Smithereen director of photography Ivan Corona reviews the last take, and puppet captain and puppeteer, Sean Johnson poses with Team Smithereen stunt puppet, Thrill Kat.


Television puppetry requires the use of a monitor, so that the puppeteers can see what they are doing. The Team Smithereen underwater stunt sequence made the use of a monitor impossible so every shot needed to be checked immediately to make sure the performances were spot on. In this shot, Team Smithereen director of photography Ivan Corona, puppeteers and puppet captains, Sean and Patrick Johnson, camera assist Marleen Schlawin, and Team Smithereen show creator and director, Dan Clark review the last underwater take.

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