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Again with the Eyes

Discussion in 'Puppet Building and Performing' started by HeartlessGiant, Oct 25, 2004.

  1. HeartlessGiant

    HeartlessGiant Active Member

    Alright. I'm sure everyone here has had enough of listening to people yammer on about how movable eyes are done...

    ...but i don't care.

    Anyone know how MahnaMahna and Floyd's eyes work? I may be starting a small 3-4 person puppet troupe and one of my characters is to be a monster and i'd love for him to have similar-type eyes. Any advice is appreciated! :D

    P.S. I really do care. But i need the tips.
  2. Buck-Beaver

    Buck-Beaver Well-Known Member

    Have you searched the forum? This subject has come up many times before.
  3. HeartlessGiant

    HeartlessGiant Active Member

    I did a quick search. I found threads ABOUT his eyes, and i found threads regarding other KINDS of working eyes, but nothing specific on how to make his eyes in particular.

    Any help?
  4. Melonpool

    Melonpool Well-Known Member

    This is just a theory, but I think that the eyes themselves must be made from 1/8 - 1/4 thick foam, either covered or dyed to match Floyd's head. Basically, they're made up of two tubes that will hold their shape in the open position, but easily will compress with little or no pressure.

    The inside of the tubes is covered or dyed black and a bit of feather or boa is around to further obscure the fact there is in fact no eye.

    Now, the mechanism is anither thing. Floyd is obviously not radio controlled (since he's had these eyes since the early seventies), and even though some mechanisms are worked via an air bladder system, I don't think Floyd's one of them, since he can independantly wink either eye. Also, there was no separate control in Jerry's rod hand while he operated Floyd at Muppetfest, so it's obviously being controlled by the hand that's inside Floyd's head.

    I figure there must be some sort of metal, plastic or filament system the goes down onto the mouth palette that Jerry could work with one of his fingers while controlling the puppet. When his finger went down, the eye would compress. When his finger released, the springiness of the foam would make it return to its original shape. I figure that it's more likely a mechanical apparatus (like a piece of l-shaped meta or plasticl) rather than a string or monofilament, because a string seems harder to control and more likely to break under the abuse that "The Muppet Show" must have put on each puppet.

    Any puppet builders out there agree/disagree?

  5. Show and Tell

    Show and Tell Well-Known Member

    I might be wrong but I always just thought it was something simple like having two fingers on top of the tube eyes and two fingers on top of the top mouthplate. Then the thumb under the jaw. :sing:
  6. Buck-Beaver

    Buck-Beaver Well-Known Member

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