Behind the Scenes of "The Muppet Movie"

minor muppetz

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Beauregard said:
Awesome. Last time I looked at Muppet Trivia there, there was hardy any except a couple of pieces I put there. Also a couple of goofs I included in VMC.

Someone I know has soem cool Muppet Caper trivia, but I'm not revealing it yet, since it is his place to do so. :wink:
there has been a lot of trivia added there recently. however, I just looke dback there, and I was wrong. Tim Burton was there, not Steven Spielberg.
 

Was Once Ernie

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minor muppetz said:
I have read that it was john landis, although I believe I have read that steven spielberg was also in this sequence. Why did a director perform in that scene anyway?

Do you know why Jim Henson didn't include any of the earlier Sam And friends muppets in that scene?
We have a winner! It was John Landis ("Animal House"). He, like so many of us, just wanted to be a Muppeteer. It pays to have the right connections.

I would guess the Sam & Friends characters were just too old and fragile to let strangers handle them.

:stick_out_tongue:
 

Was Once Ernie

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minor muppetz said:
Do you know/ remember if Caroll Spinney performed Big Bird in that scene, or if he wasn't availible for that scene?
Carroll Spinney was not there. Whoever was in Big Bird was really good, except he kept making Big Bird say nasty things. The main Muppeteers seemed to know him, though, because they made comments about him using his name. (That's how I know it wasn't Carroll Spinney... they called the guy in the suit by name.)


:stick_out_tongue:
 

Fozzie Bear

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Yeah, see, I could see John Landis doing that since he's used Muppet references and performers in just about all his movies. And to think: Had he succeeded as a performer of the Muppets we might have a totally different kind of movie in Blues Brothers, etc!!
 

MrsPepper

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Wow, what wonderful stories. Thank you so much for sharing them with us. That must have been a blast!
 

Was Once Ernie

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Added Bonus Story!

maxdrive, over on the thread "How the Muppets Operate", reminded me of something else that happened.

Before we ever did the first rehearsal with bare hands, Jim taught us all the Muppets' method of making the characters talk.

The trick is, as you open the mouth, you jut your hand forward and slightly down at the same time. What this accomplishes is it makes the bottom jaw appear to be opening like a real mouth. If you hold your hand still and open and close the mouth, it looks like the top of the head is opening up and flipping back.

Try it with your own hand and you'll see the difference.

maxdrive said it was called "The Henson Punch". I had never heard that before, but it could be. The movement is a sharp jab, kind of like a quick punch. But it could also mean "punch" in a show business way... like something that has punch or pizazz. Now that I think about it, I like the latter definition better. It gives their characters punch or sparkle.

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Kimp the Shrimp

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It was hard to see what you meant with my hand s i had to grab a puppet and i put a muppet movie in to see the motion very intresting you never p/u on that stuff if your not looking
 

Fozzie Bear

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I didn't know the JHC termed it the Henson Punch, but I do know it's a practice all puppeteers should be using as far as making the puppets talk. Something I've taught puppeteer-wanna-be's in classes, too.

Another such thing that a friend of mine whose sister did some work of some sort long ago with JHC said that you also want to add some particular things in the puppetry. Ie, "Bob" is one syllable, and we all mostly want to open the puppet's mouth at "bob" one time; however, they want to see more life--Now, YOU say "Bob." Notice when you finish the name your mouth has an extra movement to it? For that (maybe) quarter of a second your mouth is still in movement, so when you perform a puppet and say something like "Bob", give the mouth a little more movement at the end of the word.

Tilting the head some when it's not talking and paying attention gives it more life, too; as well as eye-focus. Never let the eye focuse leave the audience (except in cases like where the puppet is looking in the air or something as scripted), and also keep the puppet focused on its speaking partner, looking each other in the eyes.

I think I just went into a blabber-fest of info there...taking things off topic again. Sorry.
 

Was Once Ernie

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Fozzie Bear said:
For that (maybe) quarter of a second your mouth is still in movement, so when you perform a puppet and say something like "Bob", give the mouth a little more movement at the end of the word.
Sometimes that's the case, but the opposite can also be true. In the case of multi-syllable words, you can occasionally cheat and only open the mouth once for two syllables. If you are "artistic" enough, it will read as if the puppet is moving its mouth for all the syllables. Otherwise, the mouth just flaps too much, especially on large-mouthed puppets like a lot of the Muppets.

Okay, now I'm off-topic, too. Next time: Part Three!


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BEAR

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Was Once Ernie said:
Sometimes that's the case, but the opposite can also be true. In the case of multi-syllable words, you can occasionally cheat and only open the mouth once for two syllables. If you are "artistic" enough, it will read as if the puppet is moving its mouth for all the syllables. Otherwise, the mouth just flaps too much, especially on large-mouthed puppets like a lot of the Muppets.

Okay, now I'm off-topic, too. Next time: Part Three!


:stick_out_tongue:
Everything you are all saying about the articulation of the puppets mouth is true. And I know what you mean about the multi-syllables as well because i observe this and practice it myself. With that word "artistic", you never close your mouth so the puppet shouldn't either. The mouth should just be moving with the syllables but never closed. And yes, I have always heard it referred to as the "Henson punch."
 
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