As a stop motion animator there’s nothing worse than being midway through a shot and slowly realizing that the puppet feels wrong. So was the case late Sunday night when, about half way through a routine shot, the leg of one of my puppets seemed to be getting loose. As I struggled to continue the leg went from loose to useless and I eventually had to abandon the shot to see what was going on. Turns out the weld in the hip had given way. You expect certain faults to occur from time to time but this break was particularly difficult to fix without inflicting some major damage to the puppet. This is mainly because my puppets are entirely foam rubber and replacing armature parts is a lot trickier than if you’re working with a foam and fabric puppet. I can’t just undress them. As it was I needed to cut the puppet nearly in half in order to access and replace the defective part. His long coat, which has made animating a living hell from frame one, now helps to conceal the scares of my work which I take as a small victory. He’s back on the set now, ready to go and his hip fells marvelous.

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