Ready? Here we go:
This project was a very last minute thing. In fact, the timeline on this was probably the fastest turnover I've ever done – from concept to final film was three weeks exactly!
So there was no time to experiment, and no time for mistakes. Thus, the day after I came up with the idea, I was already making puppets.
First up, was the Snickers Bar, which was never supposed to be in the short in the first place.
The original idea was for a horror trailer about killer Halloween candy. But, realizing that my time was limited, I decided to cut everything down to the bare minimum – however, as Dad and I talked it over, we just loved the idea of the Snickers so much, that we had to put it in.
So, the bar was made of upholstery foam, wire, and a liquid latex skin, which was then glued down and painted with PAX paint. I purchased a real candy bar (ate it) and lined the wrapper with foil so it would stay in place.
That was the easy part.
The "Caramel Crab-Apple" was the real trick.
Seeing how I had no real plan, and did't have access to the usual materials (like foam latex or other molding materials that I'm comfortable with) I ended up MacGyvering it.
The puppet was made from a hollow plastic ball, coated in Super Sculpey, where the face and other details were sculpted by my dad. The clay was baked/hardened, and other details (and fixes) were made with epoxy putty.
The legs were made of wire and molded in Echoflex silicone.
Now, I've only worked with silicone once before, and I'll be honest with you, it was a disaster.
So naturally, I was scared to try it again. But as I said before, the clock was ticking, and ordering foam latex would've taken way too long to arrive in the mail – so I held my breath and remarkably, the silicone worked.
In fact, I had just enough to finish the apple, and not a bit more.
The legs, then, were affixed to 3 inch aluminum plates. Both of which were lined with magnets – once the legs were pushed completely through the holes, they would stick and were stable enough for animation.
The Crab-Apple on set. Filmed on a green screen, comped into the pre-filmed background.
He was rigged from below with a small ball & socket piece attached to a tripod.
Lastly, I took a day for sound design. I recorded things like celery cracking (when the legs first break through) – drumming on a wood table (for scampering) – hissing, cackling, etc.
Everything was mixed in Premiere Pro and uploaded right before Halloween!