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"I Am Big Bird: The Caroll Spinney Story" documentary in development

Discussion in 'Henson People' started by Phillip, Mar 23, 2012.

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  1. Muppet fan 123

    Muppet fan 123 Well-Known Member

    It might be because I'm in Canada. That's usually the reason.
  2. Cindy

    Cindy Moderator Staff Member

    Wow that trailer made me so emotional. It felt like this could be a goodbye of sorts for Caroll. I really hope it's not, but I guess all good things must come to an end. The good news is it looks like someone is taking great care and love to produce this film and I can't wait to see it.
  3. Byn Always

    Byn Always Active Member

    Well that stinks. Canadians don't deserve to see Elmo??? Unfair.
    Muppet fan 123 likes this.
  4. zns

    zns Well-Known Member

    I don't think it is anything to worry about. The article says that Caroll has no intention of stopping so there should be nothing to worry about. When the release date comes out, I will be happy.
  5. beaker

    beaker Well-Known Member

    Wow...from the website sounds like an insane amount of archival footage. So glad this is happening.
  6. KirbTreelo05

    KirbTreelo05 Well-Known Member

    Ohmygosh...that trailer made me wanna cry. :cry: I'm defiantly seeing this.
  7. CaseytheMuppet

    CaseytheMuppet Well-Known Member

    This has a weird sense of sadness yet utter happiness... I must see this! :wisdom::grouchy:
  8. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    I agree, the trailer was rather heartwarming and touching... I loved seeing just about all of the Muppet cast gathering around him and smothering him in a group hug, but I also loved the little personal candid moments with him and his wife Debbie as well.
  9. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    Isn't it ironic how Spinney wrote an autobiography first and then Clash did, but the documentaries are in reverse order? Also, Spinney's autobiography was a lot better, and I'm more excited about his documentary... I don't have too high expectations for Clash's, and I sort of expected that for his autobiography. Maybe I'm wrong and Being Elmo will be a lot better (the books flaws, in my opinion, was that he spent as much time talking about his personal life as his career, and when talking about his career spent most of it focusing on Elmo, making a number of notable ommissions), maybe it does have a lot of info and footage of his other characters. I've read it has a clip of Richard Hunt's Elmo, that makes it sound a little worth it (I hope it's not just the balloon-popping bit that showed up in an online video about Clash that was posted recently).

    Also ironic that the news of this came just a few days after that interview with Spinney that was posted.
    SkeetScootSquat likes this.
  10. muppetlover123

    muppetlover123 Well-Known Member

    i can not wait too see this
    KirbTreelo05 likes this.
  11. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    I kind of agree, I enjoyed Caroll's book moreso than Kevin's... Kevin had a number of nice anecdotes and stories and such, but somehow, Caroll's was a better read, I think.
  12. Speed Tracer

    Speed Tracer Well-Known Member

    That clip of Carroll bungee jumping is incredible.
    Yorick and KirbTreelo05 like this.
  13. mo

    mo Well-Known Member

    SkeetScootSquat likes this.
  14. KermieBaby47

    KermieBaby47 Well-Known Member

    Caroll's film is going to be legendary, just like the man himself! Can't wait.
    Yorick likes this.
  15. Phillip

    Phillip Administrator Staff Member

    Copper Pot Pictures just posted the following Q&A with answers to fan questions about the upcoming project.

    Great question. Right now, we’re in the midst of production. We’re targeting a mid-late 2013 festival run with a nationwide theatrical release to follow.

    You guys ask great questions! As you must know, making films costs lots of money. One of the ways we are financing and promoting the film is through the use of Kickstarter. Kickstarter is a crowd-sourcing website that helps artists raise money from individuals in exchange for products or experiences and has not only helped raise $45 million for film projects, but also financed three documentaries on the Academy Award shortlist this year. It has truly become a great way for documentaries to get made. When we launch the campaign in the upcoming months, its success is going to rely entirely on the mobilization of the Muppet fanbase and thankfully, we have loads of cool incentives to get the ball rolling. We’ll be announcing all of them at a later date, but we can say that among them will be a copy of the film (essentially a pre-order), an original illustration by Caroll and an opportunity for a group video chat with Caroll.

    LOTS of people have said that they want to see this in their local theater. We can’t release details yet, but we’re in discussions with several distributors. We promise you this: we’re doing our part to make sure it gets the widest release possible. Of course, for those that want to guarantee they’ll get to see it, the Kickstarter campaign will offer a chance to pre-order the film.

    Copper Pot Pictures is made up of Clay Frost, Chad Walker and Dave LaMattina. Chad & Dave are going to direct and produce together with Clay also on producing duties. You can read more about their background HERE, but know this: they love Muppets (and Dave interned at Sesame Workshop back in the day).

    Caroll and his wife Deb are amazing archivists. There is no way we can possibly list all the amazing stuff we have here, but some of our favorites that they’ve shared with us include behind-the-scenes footage (shot by Deb) from Follow That Bird, Big Bird in China and A Muppet Family Christmas. The stuff is unreal.

    We love Being Elmo. The truth is that when we first reached out to Sesame Workshop in June of 2009, the first thing they said to us was that the delightful Constance Marks had already been working on a Kevin Clash documentary for several years. The revelation didn’t deter us. We looked at it, as we do many things, through the lens of a sports analogy. Just because someone made a documentary about Roger Maris doesn’t mean there shouldn’t be one about Mickey Mantle: sure their time in pinstripes overlapped, but their lives, careers and accomplishments were vastly different. We felt the same applied here.

    Some of the more astute Muppet fans have pointed to the line in our trailer that cites Caroll as the last of the original Sesame Street puppeteers. They cite the work of legends like Fran Brill and Jerry Nelson, both of whom still work with the show, and, of course, Frank Oz, who is synonymous with the Muppets. We are fans of all of their work (and every other name bandied about). But, as filmmakers, we are drawn to the fact that Caroll was one of the three puppeteers on the first season of the show (the other two obviously being Mr. Oz and Jim Henson). Ms. Brill and Mr. Nelson’s tenure began in the second year, so that’s what we meant when referring to “original.” Mr. Oz does still occasionally perform on the show, but, as the Muppet fans surely know, Caroll is a regular performer. Our intent wasn’t to overlook these (and other) remarkable Sesame Street puppeteers, rather, the line in the trailer was meant to be a tip of the cap to Caroll’s Ripken-esque run on the show.But thanks to the fans for keeping us honest!

    Since we started this production, we’ve frequented Muppet message boards and websites–not as posters, just as observers. We know the passion that people feel for Sesame Street. It’s crucial to us that we get this film right. We want to make sure it’s the film that fans want to see. We want to shed new light on Caroll’s remarkable life and show you even more reason to love the man behind the bird. So please, keep emailing us, keep posting questions and let us know what you want to see. We want this to be an interactive process that engages the fans throughout the making of the picture. Get in touch! What do you want to see? Hit us up HERE.


    minor muppetz and KirbTreelo05 like this.
  16. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    Well I certainly hope this really will be distributed in a wide range of theaters, because I really want to see this... heck, I really wanted to see Being Elmo, but it wasn't in any of the theaters in my town, so I'll have to wait and see Being Elmo as a part of Independence Lens, assuming it hasn't aired already and I missed it.
  17. Phillip

    Phillip Administrator Staff Member

    Being Elmo airs on Independence Lens on Thursday April 5 in prime time on PBS.
  18. Creative Times

    Creative Times New Member

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  19. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    Wow. So the Spinney's have had their own behind-the-scenes footage from Follow That Bird? It's a shame Carroll didn't let them use that on the Follow That Bird anniversary DVD.
  20. Lucky Creek

    Lucky Creek New Member

    I had the amazing good fortune while standing in line to Bungee jump at the Kawarau bridge near Queenstown NZ on a drab February 26, 1992 afternoon to chat to the tall fellow next in line. "Where are you from?" he said, I said "Canada". "My wife is from Quebec" said he and I was introduced to her. I asked "What do you do?" "I'm Big Bird, I have the best job in the world. I work six months and take the rest of the year off." It was Carroll Spinney. Wow! He did a brief Big Bird monologue which caught a lot of attention. He went off the bridge before me. I remember every minute like it was yesterday.
    fufumuppet, Borples, Yorick and 5 others like this.
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