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I think his fingers are 'gimmicked.' Basically a string is connected to his fingertip and then runs through the finger and down the hand to the control rod. On the rod, the puppeteer just has to pull the string. I think someone had a video of a gripping hand that works on this principle, but I don't remember where it was.
I only watched it once through, but my initial thought is that his first finger and maybe thumb is cable controlled through the arm rod which has been conveniently removed in post production. They probably planned on editing the rod/s out from the beginning either for aesthetic reasons, or based on the fact that the rods were probably thicker than usual to house at the most two cables for independent movement of the thumb and forefinger.
Just a guess.
Hey shtick...lot of questions lately...care to share what you're working on?
Spoke to Richard, the puppeteer, about it this evening. Apparently it was a seperate cabled arm, they detached and joined at the shoulder, with a handgrip with ringpulls for each of Flats' fingers at the end of the rod control to his wrist.
I know this isn't usually done, but I'm trying to give my new puppet as many
features as possible, including the ability to "smoke" a real cigarette. In order for that to happen, he needs to be able to hold a cigarette he's asked for, ergo the flat eric question. I'm still in the planning stages but this should be cool.