1. Welcome to the Muppet Central Forum!
    You are viewing our forum as a guest. Join our free community to post topics and start private conversations. Please contact us if you need help with registration or your account login.

  2. Sesame Street Season 48
    Sesame Street's 48th season officially began Monday August 6 on PBS. After you see the new episodes, post here and let us know your thoughts.

    Dismiss Notice

Frank Oz at BAM May 16, 2012

Discussion in 'Muppet Headlines' started by MelissaY1, May 7, 2012.

  1. Pinkflower7783

    Pinkflower7783 Well-Known Member

    Man you're so lucky you went to this!!! Talk about being in the presence of a legend. I'd probably be too star struck to talk to him!
    panmanthe2nd likes this.
  2. PuppetKristin

    PuppetKristin Member

    Alrighty folks! The theatre was nice and full. Frank gave an introduction to the movie, told us he'd not seen the movie in it's entirety in about 15 years so he was about to enjoy it with us. I was sitting next to Tau Bennett (you probably know him as the kid from Being Elmo) who had never seen the show before EVER! What a way to experience it!

    The audience was great. They applauded for the opening credits, they applauded the musical numbers, and as soon as Steve Martin showed up on screen everyone went wild!

    After the showing Frank came down with Chris Farley (the editor of Speakeasy for the Wall Street Journal) and they began discussing the film. They discussed the ending, original and otherwise, he told everyone how they had shot the original ending but then scrapped it when it hit a brick wall with not one but two test audiences. He actually gave a lot of credit to Dave Geffen for most of the movie. He gave credit to Geffen for the initial idea, all of the casting (except for Ellen Greene which he takes full credit for), and even the idea to re-shoot the ending.

    He gave a fun story about how he initially turned down the job of directing the movie because he couldn't see how it would be better than the show. A few weeks later, he thought about the three girls, who in the show only go side to side. He said he had a breakthrough when he realized he could "bop" them into anywhere in the scene. Fire escapes, alleyways, etc... That's what made him accept the offer for the movie.

    He pointed out the fact that there are no long crane shots and everything was nice and tight. He said that's what gives the film his energy. He said there were almost no special effects in the movie (other than a few "zaps", the cartoon bird, and the subway that runs past in the song "Skid Row")

    Then he started talking about puppets. He said the bigger puppets were so heavy that there was no way to actually move them fast enough to lip sync at full speed. They shot in three different frames per second. One was for just the plant, one was for Rick, and one was for Rick and the plant. When they shot Rick Moranis and the plant together Rick had to go in super slow motion. He explained how there were twenty puppeteers controlling the biggest Audrey II underneath the floor. The lip movement wasn't CGI at all. Again, there were no special effects (something he stressed a few times.) He also explained that the plant growing at the end of "Grow For Me" was forced perspective.

    When the questions started there were a few about "how to make it in this line of work." He claimed he was just really lucky and was in the right place at the right time. He also said he never wanted to be a puppeteer at all but a journalist.

    Then I got to ask my question: I asked if, in light of the potential remake, he thought enough time had passed that they would be able to use the original ending. He went on a small tangent about how he was not involved in the remake, how they needed to keep the spirit and the energy of the original, and how Joseph Gordon-Levitt would make a great Seymour. He eventually did say that he hoped they would use the original ending.

    As for the reports that he was "hanging out" in the lobby. He mentioned in the Q&A that he had friends in the audience. As he was introducing "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels" a half an hour after Little Shop ended he was talking with them in the lobby. I was respectful and didn't bother him.

    Here's how close I was! It was super fun!

  3. Pinkflower7783

    Pinkflower7783 Well-Known Member

    Wow that is awesome and your so lucky you got to go. Frank has gotta be one of the most awesomest people ever. Right up there with Jim Henson! What a legend! Thanks for so much for sharing with us.
  4. MelissaY1

    MelissaY1 Well-Known Member

    Thank you SOOOO much for posting the gist of the discussion, and the event itself, and wow, you were in the second row? Awesome!! It was great reading about this and the techniques involved, because this not only my favorite film so far that Frank has directed, but one of my favorite movie musicals.

Share This Page