2016: the story so far

Welcome one and all - this is the first of my news posts from me directly and I'll try to keep them up to date. But I thought I'd begin by describing my year so far. And what a year! It began with a really delightful shoot for a Google Android ad based on the idea of Rock, Paper, Scissors. It was created by Conor Finnegan and Nexus Productions with puppets by Gary Jackson at Scary Cat Studios. I was part of a team with super puppeteers Daisy Beattie and Susan Beattie along with Gary bringing these little chaps to life.

It was a really fun shoot (freezing cold too though you wouldn't know to look at it - they literally had to melt snow off the streets of Watford to get that sunny California look) and I'm very proud of what we made. It aired in the States during the Oscars and made quite an impact. And resulted in Android tweeting this little bit of adorableness!

The other big news of the year came courtesy of Anderson Entertainment - Thunderbirds creator Gerry Anderson's company. After a very successful Kickstarter campaign last year Gerry's son Jamie Anderson was finally able to film the pilot for a new TV series: Gerry Anderson's Firestorm! Following the story of elite agents Sam Scott, Nagisa and Commander Drew McAllister it combines bunraku-style rod puppetry with cutting edge practical effects, miniatures, and incredibly sophisticated animatronics to bring a new type of TV puppetry to the kind of kids who would have LOVED the original Thunderbirds, Captain Scarlet and Stingray.

Again, I was lucky enough to work with an incredible team of puppeteers headed up by the incomparable Andrew James Spooner and with fellow former War Horsers Ben Thompson and Emily Cooper, Strange Hill High/Newzoids alumni Lesa Gillespie, Tim Cherry-Jones, Kim Scopes and Samantha Arends, and former Muppeteer Tony Lymboura. Andrew also managed to unearth a picture of himself, Tim, Tony and me on the Muppets Most Wanted set! You can also see Daisy and Susan Beattie in that photo too along with most of the great and good of UK puppetry! I'm in the middle on the right...

In the meantime I've been repairing puppets for Les Enfants Terribles, teaching workshops for the National Theatre, doing R&D for Mervyn Millar at Significant Object and for Cydney Uffindel-Phillips as well as working towards other new projects. All in all it's been a busy 2016 so far and I'm excited to see what happens next!

I'll be sure to keep you in the loop. Until then feel free to have a look around the rest of the site and to drop me a line.

Mikey


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