I’ve never used replacement mouths for dialogue and was surprised at how little information there was to be found regarding methods to blend facial seams. In the end I did some very basic cloning. That’s fine when the puppet is stationary but I imagine it will be a little trickier when he’s turning his head and/or walking and talking. While I’d say this test was somewhat successful I don’t foresee using this technique to any great extent on this film.


It’s not easy coming up with an original monster. I’ve been thinking about what I wanted IT to look like for awhile and because IT CAME FROM BENEATH THE SEA inspired this film it seemed natural that an octopus would be my jumping off point. However, I wanted to stay clear of anything that looked like Davy Jones from Pirates of the Caribbean, or any version of the Kraken. I wanted to avoid anything that resembled the hundreds of concepts for H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu and I did not want an oversized crab, lobster or similar crustacean. I did want something scary. I wanted to exaggerate the overall presentation in the same way Frank Frazetta did in his artwork, and I wanted something that hinted at the Creature from the Black Lagoon. There’s very little octopus left in the final design but after several weeks this is where I landed.


I normally don’t do motion tests on my skeletons before covering them with foam rubber which is not the smartest plan I’ll admit. Because my work space and animation space are one in the same it can be a bit of a challenge to set up for animating when I’m fabricating but I really wanted to play with this armature before going any further. It’s so much easier animating when you can see all joints. I’m a bit rusty but she moves pretty well for a first attempt.


I’ve never had a four-legged co-star in one of my films. I’ve avoided them in the past because they can be a bit of a pain to animate but I needed a foil for my main character and a dog made the most sense. I don’t usually sculpt over a finished armature because I like to leave myself the option of changing my mind when it comes to scale and/or design but with this puppet, I needed to be sure the sculpt fit the skeleton. I ended up machining a lot of pieces but the final assembly feels good.