Ron put info blurb here
The Emperor puppet went on to return us to South Africa to shoot a spoof of 'March of the Penguins' (as if it were shot by Jerry Bruckheimer ). Killer penguins and missile launchers were fun, but the craziest part was we were shooting in the White Sands desert with the sand dunes doubling as snowy Antarctica. It was 120 degrees and the cast of humans were wearing Parkas and full snow gear.
The Emperor Penguin was originally created for a Metro Zoo commercial. The extremely effective cable controlled puppet was trying to sneak into the gorilla exhibit. During the build and testing day the original gag had the penguin wearing two coconut shells like a monkey mouth and a palm frond skirt like Baloo the Bear from the Jungle Book. It was hilarious ... and unfortunately ... eventually cut for the simpler, penguin just walking.
One of many trips to South Africa to Film with Mark Bissons - Mad Films and Director Kevin Donovan.
The Penguins were a trip of "Firsts".
First time in Africa, first time working with real penguins , first time learning to scuba dive while puppeteering, first time being secured to the ocean floor with crane weights to counter choppy seas...
Now that I think of it, it was the very first time (and the last) I have been strapped to the ocean floor while breathing through a tube, in what turned out to be actual 'Shark Infested Waters' while dressed like a Seal with a Penguin on my hand.