Monday Morning Inspiration: A go to to Jim Henson’s London Creature Store

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An animatronic camel from a Volvic water business (picture: Daniel Benney / Medium.com)

Jim Henson’s Creature Store in London was one of the famed particular results studios within the historical past of movie and tv.

Though based mostly in Los Angeles right now, The Creature Store traces its roots to a short lived London workshop Jim Henson set-up in 1978 to develop puppets and creatures for his 1982 fantasy The Darkish Crystal. Owing to a mixture of tax incentives and a deep pool expert native craftspeople, London was a well-liked hub for costly, effects-heavy science fiction and fantasy filmmaking within the Nineteen Eighties. Because of this, when work started on Jim Henson second fantasy characteristic Labyrinth he had hassle rehiring a few of his Darkish Crystal crew as a result of they have been engaged on different tasks. Possible impressed by George Lucas’ Industrial Mild and Magic, he determined to stop that from occurring once more by making a everlasting studio that will completely make use of a crew of artists and technicians to provide creatures for his tasks after they have been in manufacturing, and spent the time in between hiring itself out to different producers in want of its experience.

British designer / illustrator Daniel Benney grew up within the Nineteen Nineties and 2000s obsessive about puppet making, and managed to snag a possibility to go to the legendary workshop in 2003, only a few years earlier than it completely closed in 2005. He lately shared a small treasure trove of snapshots from his go to on Medium, and it supplies an exciting glimpse of one of the well-known puppet workshops of all time.

The model of the Creature Store Daniel visited in London in 2003 was really its second location close to Camden (it was initially positioned in a former postal sorting station close to Jim Henson’s home in Hampstead Heath). As you’ll be able to see within the images, the services have been slightly extra “tough and prepared” than its present digs on the nicely appointed Henson lot in Hollywood (see earlier publish), however it’s unbelievable to see so many iconic animatronic creatures in a single workspace, nearly prefer it was a dwelling museum.

If you need to be taught extra about Jim Henson’s Creature Store, I extremely advocate studying Matt Bacon’s No Strings Hooked up: The Inside Story of Jim Henson’s Creature Store, which was printed in 1997 whereas the London Creature Store was nonetheless energetic, and extensively paperwork the primary 20 years of its historical past.

Due to Daniel for sharing these nice images that seize an necessary piece of particular results and puppet historical past!

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