Puppets in live action films/series - Art Department or Other Crew?

  • 2
  • Question
  • Updated 9 months ago
  • Answered
(  This is a spin-off from the earlier thread: https://getsatisfaction.com/imdb/topics/puppet-animation-credits-clarification )

In live-action puppet films/series (also applies to animation), what is the correct department for the actual puppet makers (designers/fabricators)? I'm basically talking about the person who makes the actual puppets (and who's not necessarily also the puppeteer, nor even part of the set). In this case the person is simply credited as "puppets".

I (now) noticed that there are many puppet-related credits in both Art Department and Other Crew. Example (there are several others related to "puppet/s", though):

"Puppets" (Art Department) = 455
"Puppets" (Other Crew)  = 912

Shouldn't there be some consensus where to add them? Thanks.
Photo of Eboy

Eboy

  • 1520 Posts
  • 1893 Reply Likes

Posted 10 months ago

  • 2
Photo of Michelle

Michelle, Official Rep

  • 12544 Posts
  • 9245 Reply Likes
Hi Eboy -

To clarify, credits listed under the Art Department should only be for work of the puppet creation, whereas, the work for performing/controlling the puppet should be listed under Miscellaneous Crew.  We will only move these credit categories if we are certain of the work performed, so if you are aware of specific instances where these credits are incorrectly categorized, please submit the applicable credit corrections through our online Update form for our editors to take a look.
(Edited)
Photo of Nikolay Yeriomin (Mykola Yeromin)

Nikolay Yeriomin (Mykola Yeromin), Champion

  • 2688 Posts
  • 3460 Reply Likes
To add to what Michelle said in some case puppeteers are also listed in the Cast section and therefore might be eligible as Cast credits. Example: The Muppet Movie (1979). As most of the Muppet Performers were listed in Cast, some uncredited puppeteering credits were added to cast, as well. 
Photo of Eboy

Eboy

  • 1520 Posts
  • 1893 Reply Likes
Puppeteers doesn’t really belong to Cast-section, unless they’re clearly meant to be visible on the screen. In my case the puppeteer’s body (nor hand) is never visible on screen.


I have no insight of the Muppet Movie, though, but I believe they used several techniques. Maybe the film is an exception:


”Before this, no film had a hand puppet act with its entire body appearing on-screen.”

(Source: Wiki)
(Edited)
Photo of Nikolay Yeriomin (Mykola Yeromin)

Nikolay Yeriomin (Mykola Yeromin), Champion

  • 2688 Posts
  • 3460 Reply Likes
I'd argue that in many instances puppeteering is a crossover between special effects and acting. It is, basically, acting in terms of animating the movements. Plus many of the muppet performers provided voices simultaneously. Then again, the closer it is to acting, the closer it is to cast section in the credits and in the case of The Muppet Movie it is actually in the cast section.