Slimy Piece of Worm-Ridden Filth
February 11, 2015 10:01 AM   Subscribe

Life Inside Jabba the Hutt: "After interviewing puppeteer Toby Philpott at great length over Skype I decided to go a step further and create a mini documentary about his work on Jabba the Hutt for Return of the Jedi. This led me down many paths. Here is the result." (via tested.com)
posted by bondcliff (12 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
 
I was expecting a different but similarly-titled article authored by Klatoonie paddy frog.
posted by leotrotsky at 10:05 AM on February 11, 2015


I love how they use male dolls in the smaller models to show how humans will fit in the finished puppet!
posted by cherryflute at 10:24 AM on February 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


So cool to hear some of Jabba's original dialogue: "I was killing your kind back when it meant something to be a Jedi."
posted by furtive at 10:24 AM on February 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


It still doesn't explain why he laughs like Ed McMahon.
posted by Invisible Green Time-Lapse Peloton at 11:13 AM on February 11, 2015


I know it's movie magic, but to see just how stuck-together a lot of it is, and the result of the artistry with which all those bits and pieces come together always gives me a thrill.
posted by xingcat at 11:26 AM on February 11, 2015


It still doesn't explain why he laughs like Ed McMahon.

Given the "A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away..." bit, it's Ed McMahon who laughs like Jabba the Hut.
posted by aught at 12:38 PM on February 11, 2015


This is my kind of post - fearless and inventive.
posted by AndrewStephens at 1:29 PM on February 11, 2015 [2 favorites]


It still doesn't explain why he laughs like Ed McMahon.

There's a lot of people who would pay a lot of money just to see the guys operating Jabba toss out a "Hey-yooooo!" I include myself in that cohort.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 2:48 PM on February 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


Multiple thoughts.
  • I am appreciative and grateful this documentary was made and released.
  • I wish the interview had been conducted with an eye at the sound graph. It's distorted and a tiny knob turn would have removed that.
  • Jabba may be one of the most expensive puppets made, but I am pretty sure the crown goes to Audrey II from Little Shop of Horrors. (I'd give it partially because it's a series of puppets, but I suspect that even if you limited it to the "Mean Green Mother" puppet, it'd still hold.)
  • These Henson alumni/circle of folks do the same great puppeteering thing the muppet puppeteers do during productions - insisting to be referred to as an entity - when the director calls out a question and the "Jabba" raises both hands (that's two people!) to indicated "yep, got it".
  • Yet another verification that some of the greatest parts of George Lucas' Star Wars films seem to have been done without his awareness or with him actively disliking it during production.
This documentary shares a lot of the same aspects as a Star Wars documentary I loved seeing, which intercut (expertly) interviews, bonus features, radio and promotional recordings, and the original film to produce an almost "annotated" movie. It's a monumental piece of work, but the name escapes me. (I'm sure others here have seen it.)
posted by jscott at 5:31 AM on February 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


In case anyone doesn't know what I'm talking about, there's footage out there of Sesame Street and Muppet Show productions, where they call cut, and while production goes over notes and crew are preparing the next take, the puppets will turn and talk to each other informally, like actors waiting around. It's the most surreal thing.
posted by jscott at 9:00 AM on February 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


jscott: "This documentary shares a lot of the same aspects as a Star Wars documentary I loved seeing, which intercut (expertly) interviews, bonus features, radio and promotional recordings, and the original film to produce an almost "annotated" movie. It's a monumental piece of work, but the name escapes me. (I'm sure others here have seen it.)"

Do you mean Star Wars Begins?
posted by Chrysostom at 10:50 AM on February 16, 2015


...while production goes over notes and crew are preparing the next take, the puppets will turn and talk to each other informally, like actors waiting around. It's the most surreal thing.

A friend of mine has interviewed Carol Spinney, and has also interviewed Oscar the Grouch - except in the Oscar interview, she wasn't interviewing Spinney. She was literally interviewing Oscar about the biz. She said she forgot Spinney was even there, and was arguing with Oscar when he became a difficult interviewee. Because, well, he's a grouch.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 11:05 AM on February 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


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