CRAFT: NEWS - Creature Shop expands into production

Jim Henson’s Creature Shop has joined forces with the production company, Culture Films, to set up Cultured Creatures - a commercials production company catering specifically for advertising agencies and their clients who want to make commercials featuring animatronics, puppetry and advanced special effects.

Jim Henson’s Creature Shop has joined forces with the production

company, Culture Films, to set up Cultured Creatures - a commercials

production company catering specifically for advertising agencies and

their clients who want to make commercials featuring animatronics,

puppetry and advanced special effects.



The new company will be run by John Stephenson, the creative supervisor

of Creature Shop, with Camilla Williams and Phil Contomichalos from

Culture Films. They plan to offer a service that encompasses the entire

ad-making process, from script-writing through to post-production.



’The biggest problem is making something for a commercial without the

level of involvement from day one that gets the best results,’ said

Stephenson.



’All too often, creative ideas get spiked before they even make it to

Creature Shop’s door or Creature Shop is approached too late in the

day.’



Williams, a former producer for Rose Hackney, set up Culture Films in

July with Contomichalos. The company represents directors including Jon

Canning, Ross Cramer, Kevin Godley and Andrei Konchalovsky, and has

already shot ads for Safeway.



Until now, the Creature Shop has been used only as a facility. Now, as

Cultured Creatures, it will offer a total production service. ’Once

there’s awareness of what we can offer, we are confident the industry

will really start exploring our potential,’ Stephenson explained.



The Creature Shop has worked on a range of high-profile films including

the Dark Crystal, Babe and the English Patient, as well as servicing

numerous commercials. It made the Sugar Puffs Honey Monster and has also

worked on campaigns for Harp, Heineken, Smirnoff and Weetabix and

recently made the Penguins in Penguin Biscuits’ ’pick up a person’

campaign.



Williams emphasised the importance of knowing which director is best for

a particular job: ’It’s not just a matter of getting a technical

director; often you need a comedy director to get the best performance

out of an animatronic or puppet.’



Culture Films and Creature Shop will still operate as independent

companies as well as combining forces for Cultured Creatures

projects.



Cultured Creatures’ first job is a commercial for Duracell, which is

sponsoring extra time in next year’s football World Cup.



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