Jim Henson's Creature Shop Challenge (2014) s01e02 Episode Script

Return of The Skeksis

1 Previously on Jim Henson's Creature Shop Challenge.
Josh you win this week.
Good one mate.
The way you two work together was really pretty appalling.
Your work on the face was very unbelievable.
The eliminated creature designer is Chaz.
This week.
Characters from The Dark Crystal.
I'm geeking out hardcore right now.
Whoa! She's not getting it.
- Whoa.
- Oh, my God.
I'm trying to hold it together.
We're having a last-minute malfunction.
I didn't quite understand why it was there.
That would be a big problem.
Are you punking me? I walk into the creature shop, and there are three skeksis just chillin' right there, and my brain starts to explode.
A skeksi is the villain of the movie The Dark Crystal.
It's the new coolest thing I've ever seen in my life.
The entire world that Henson created started with the world of The Dark Crystal.
Holy smokes, like characters from The Dark Crystal.
Right here in the shop.
You know, what are they gonna have us do? Good morning, creature designers.
I'm surprised.
Well, it's week two, and nine of you are still in contention for the chance to work full-time right here in Jim Henson's Creature Shop.
As you can see, we have a few skeksis here from the original 1982 classic movie The Dark Crystal.
The Dark Crystal was the film that created the team that would eventually become the creature shop.
My dad and Brian Froud, when they designed these skeksis, were trying to create villains that were reptilian and birdlike.
They are the villains that were the keepers of The Dark Crystal.
Your creature brief this week is to create your own skeksis that have been banished to a faraway land, and they've now been called back to the castle so that we get a chance to see how they've changed and evolved during their time away.
The fact that we are given the chance to design a skeksis is more than I could ever ask for.
It takes a lot to get me to geek out on things, and I'm geeking out hardcore right now.
It took the designers months to create and build these beautiful skeksis.
You guys will have three days.
Three days to do a few months' work is absolutely crazy frickin' insane.
You'll be working in teams of three to maximize your time.
The teams are assigned at random, and they are Robert, Melissa, and Josh.
Next we have Ivonne, Russ, and Tina.
Oh my God.
I can't believe Russ and Tina are together again.
Tina and I had a little bit of a bumpy ride in the first week.
- One piece - Yeah, and I'm just adding is the way it should have been designed.
But that's really boring.
I'm a big girl.
You could have put your foot down.
- Who the [Bleep] cares? - Falling apart right now? - Yes.
- Is that a big girl? But I'm actually pleased to work with Tina again.
It gives us a chance to redeem ourselves.
And that means our last team is Ben, Lex, and Jake.
- Yes! - Okay.
Join your teammates.
Each team has a unique landscape that your skeksis has been banished to.
Oh.
I'd like one member from each team to come forward and select your envelope that has your environment in it.
What's in it? Each team will be joined by a professional puppeteer to help perform your skeksis.
But unlike last week, all team members will also be performing during the screen test to help bring their skeksis to life.
Yes! - Yes.
- Oh, my gosh.
But, remember, even though you're working as teams, Brian and the judges will be critiquing your work as individuals.
The judges and I will be looking at sculpting and painting, mechanization, and costuming.
This week's master is The Creature Shop's head of fabrication, Julie Zobel.
- Good morning.
- Good morning.
- Hi, guys.
- Whoo! Yeah, good morning.
Julie's many credits include George of The Jungle, Dinosaurs, more Muppets than you can imagine.
She really knows her stuff when it comes to fabrication and costuming and finishing.
She'll be on hand to guide you through your build.
I know who Julie Zobel is.
I've seen a lot of her work online, and I'm excited to get to work with her.
Brian, the judges, and I will see you and your skeksis at the screen test.
- Good luck.
- Over to you, Julie.
Good luck, guys.
Thank you.
Let's see which landscape you got, and let's get to work.
- Open it.
- Frozen wasteland.
- Frozen wasteland.
- Oh, that is sweet.
They're mainly gonna be big creatures.
You know, think about a wooly mammoth.
What do you think about working tusks - into the head? - That might be nice.
First step of this process is to sketch out your design.
When you're designing an animatronic, you have to pay careful attention to the shapes that you wanna build because you're gonna have to recreate them.
Our skeksis is a skeksis that's been banished to a frozen wasteland, and while he's there, he couldn't really survive, so he's at the end of his life when he finds a large, dying creature in the snow, and he uses every piece of this creature to help him survive.
I will definitely be good at trying to make things move.
And I'm gonna sculpt the face.
- So you'll do the sculpt.
- Okay.
All right.
Decaying forest.
- Sweet.
Okay.
- Love it.
They all have the same kind of cowl behind 'em.
- Uh-huh.
- But make it more of a - Like branches.
- Branches or something.
That's what I was gonna draw.
Definitely, like, mushrooms, moss.
Our skeksis has been banished to this rotting, gross, nasty forest.
And it's kind of transforming his body as well.
And because of that, he has plant life growing on him like moss and mushrooms.
I really don't mind doing the costuming or fabric.
I'll do the other small creatures.
Do you want to do the sculpture? - Sculpting the head? - Yeah, yeah.
- A desert.
- All right, then.
Ooh! Yeah.
We have arid desert, and that's gonna be so much fun.
I love that kind of color scheme.
I know I can sculpt quick as [Bleep], so - I'm happy to let you sculpt.
- Okay.
This week is very important for Russ and I to show that we're very competent artists I think we we should really bring in the vulture 'cause we got desert.
Yeah.
The back story of our creature is that he's been banished in an arid desert, and so his body has actually adapted to that particular region.
Larger nostrils because it's a cooling process so - Yeah, yeah, yeah.
- There's a lot of squinting.
There's a low brow to help shade his eyes.
He's got really cracked, dry skin.
I can do some of the mechanisms.
I'm not afraid of servos or anything.
- Okay.
- Russ is working on the sculpt.
Ivonne is a very talented foam fabricator, so I'm glad that leaves me open to be able to show off my ability to mechanize things.
I'll get on that, then.
Okay.
Get started on that.
- It's like this leathery - I like that.
The plan for the build is to first sculpt the head of the skeksis.
Once you have a solid design down, you can get a sculpting armature, like a core, and sculpt over top of it with clay.
God, I love this stuff.
Clay is my buddy.
- It's lookin' great.
- Thanks.
You can actually bust out amazing sculptures very quickly with clay.
And then you take the blowtorch, and you heat the surface, and it's starts crackling and popping, and you got a rough texture of leather, and you can just dig into it with these lines and create these fascinating wrinkles.
What do you think about the sculpt? Um, what don't I think about it's amazing.
I'm in my zone now.
I feel comfortable, I feel like this is my challenge to win.
I thought it would be easy for - Oh, I see.
- Something to be here.
While Jake's sculpting, the next stage was to get the basic body shape built.
The way that the creature's performed, we're going to have a professional puppeteer wearing the backpack, which has the main frame, and there's going to be somebody right up behind them controlling the arms.
I've got joints.
With this type of creature, I know that we're gonna need an inside skeleton.
Have that kind of drape over so that it hides you if you have to move or do anything like that.
And it kinda dawns on me, there's two performers in this suit.
There's twice as much heat.
So immediately, I start thinking, "how can I keep shape and get the airflow?" 'Cause I wanna do kind of like a hoop skirt for him from the bottom.
That way, if you scrunch down, it still maintains shape.
So I put ribbing in there with plastic piping and some foam strips.
By making this creature lightweight, I'm ensuring that our performer can do everything possible to translate the actions of this creature onto the screen test.
I'm just debating if I should include this motion or just the finger curl.
I've noticed that Tina gets scattered.
Once you figure out the chest size and stuff, I know how long to make the arms and I would love this to be theoretically, like, part of the shoulder pad.
She gets really excited over everything.
I love this 'cause it's very much like a bird's shoulders.
For the project to go successfully, Tina needs to be focused on the one task, so when the next task comes in, you can hop on that.
The lip snarl, and then I put "et cetera," in case we're feeling ambitious and wanna make him emote more.
Oh, my God.
I'm incredibly worried about time right now because Tina's all over the place.
I'm trying to hold it together.
As long as the radio's functioning and the servos are functioning, and when the skin goes on, - everything is great - Yeah.
Then we move on to the next thing.
- Exactly, but that's why - Right now, that's what you need to focus on.
And if w well, yeah.
This is a perfect recipe for disaster.
Coming up on Jim Henson's Creature Shop Challenge I'm really nervous because we're having a last-minute malfunction.
One of the other groups has a little creature.
It's gonna look like we copied them.
- Three days.
- We have three days.
- I-I can do a lot in three days.
- Yeah.
This week's challenge is to design a skeksis from The Dark Crystal.
Not one that we've seen before, but one that has been outcast to another land for hundreds of years.
And when you pour that into the top, that'll look pretty good.
Guys, this is, like, the best team.
We get a decaying forest.
I couldn't think of anything better to integrate into our creature.
A little latex for the texturing, a light, like, really thin foam on the bottom.
Due to the time crunch, the best approach to the hands is using foam and attaching cables to the tips of each finger.
So it'll still have that give.
The cables will be run down to a glove that I'll wear, and as I move the glove, it'll move the cables.
Josh has done a really good job busting that out.
Josh's hands are pretty good.
They're all way fatter than mine.
I'm the only one that did it with tubes.
But I wanted the method that would make them the skinniest and the most shrunken because our skeksi, underneath all of his clothes, is very emaciated and dried out and mummified.
All right, guys, tools down.
- We're out of here for the day.
- What? Let's go.
I know, right? Day two.
Yesterday we got the sculpt done really fast, and Jake did a great job.
I think my whole team is really focused, and there's not a lot of talking.
We're just working a lot and getting it all done.
Day two in the shop is mostly gonna consist of all of the technical aspects of the project.
I started to sculpt some accessories to go along with our character.
Ben is handling the mechanization, and Lex is working with the costume.
Today we have a lot to do, but I think we can get it done.
I'm gonna put the eye mechanism together.
Josh is going to work on making the body look more like wood texture to kind of recreate what you would find in a decaying forest.
We're also gonna finish the body, making sure that the shape is what we want and that there's enough room for the two of us.
I think if we can get all of that done today, I think we'll be in good shape for tomorrow.
I wanna get those arms out of the way, but, um Yeah, go for it.
It's day two, and I realize where we stand.
Tina's still trying to figure out the hands.
All right, this is the middle one.
Needs fine tuning.
And she's doing the animatronics.
Russ is gonna be doing the painting.
My goal for the end of the day is finish mounting everything together and hopefully put on the mechanics.
We wanna get everything done tonight so that tomorrow we have enough time to tweak.
- Hey, how are you? - Hi.
Hey, Julie.
Julie Zobel is our master today.
It's incredibly terrifying because she's the one that restored these skeksis that we're looking at.
She knows these guys, you know, inside and out.
Tell me which landscape you got, first of all.
- We got frozen wasteland.
- Frozen wasteland.
He's developed some things that help him soak up more sunlight - Which comes up in - Great.
Great, good mechanization.
Are you doing anything with the eyes? You're not required to do multiples, but Yes, I am doing eye blinks, eyebrows, and I have a hand here that I made.
Wow.
You've got quite a lot going on here.
- Yeah.
- I want you to think about how many people are having to choreograph - moving together - Of course.
Because I don't know how much time you have to choreograph in your rehearsal.
Ah, yeah, don't know.
Keep these things in mind as you proceed, and have, maybe, choices if it's too much.
Okay.
First I need to know which landscape you guys have.
Decaying forest.
Tell me how your creature is going to reveal that he's lived in this world for 1,000 years.
He's very decayed on half of his face.
Even his right eye is going to be milky.
Okay, and the staff is Here's the staff and the hand.
And we have joints right here that we're gonna put this through.
These will be permanently attached to the wood, except for this finger, where he can move.
I'm a little concerned about everything that you have planned on this side - Oh, okay.
- With, you know, a finger movement, staff, strapped to your arm, puppeteering right behind a guy.
You may want to simplify that side.
Julie's a master.
She's made hundreds of creatures.
Of course we're gonna listen to her and take her advice.
So we're gonna have to knock out some projects that was gonna take more time to simplify it.
- Thank you so much, Julie.
- Thank you so much.
Thank you.
- Hi, guys.
- Hey! - How are ya? - Ivonne and Russ and Tina.
Tell me about the landscape.
His landscape is the arid desert.
Yes.
And so it's really, really hot.
We decided to go with a little more of a vulture look for him.
Mm-hmm.
So that's why we got the big hump, and this is gonna be his collar of feathers.
And how is it mounted onto the performer? - It's got a backpack.
- It does have a backpack, okay.
Is it possible even for Tina for you to step in and show me how you fit into that - Sure.
- Around the performer? These are gonna be connected, so I'll just be putting them on in there.
Okay.
I'm a little concerned about, uh, how much space is there for you to move those arms around.
Believability is something Brian likes to see.
Yeah.
There's a lot of work to do.
- So what's next? - Putting the eyes into this.
We want our skeksis to really come to life for our screen test.
Aside from just doing blinking eyes, I'm taking on the extra responsibility of doing eyebrow movements, as well as a little bit of a nose snarl.
Once I have that done, and I put the head on, and I can see that it's working I'll just tag it and see if the eyes are working I'll do eyebrows.
Nice.
Compared to doing foam fabrication, doing mechanic stuff is extremely intricate, especially if you have a servo.
A servo is a mechanism in which a remote control communicates with that will move, and when it moves, you use it to pull a wire, which can in turn move something on the face of the creature.
There's just a whole bunch to think about, of how to put it together, because if your servo is pulling from the wrong angle, you're gonna get an expression that you didn't intend, and he's gonna look a little weird on camera.
Cool.
I like it.
Whoa! I guess the epoxy did not hold.
I don't have a lot of experience with servos, but I thought enough that I could piece it together.
But never under this type of time constraint.
I looked over.
Tina's still trying to figure out the animatronics, but she's not getting it.
So, um Whoa.
My brain was kind of going to mush working on them.
I don't know how she had it in there.
I see that Tina has inappropriately attached the mechanisms for the eyes.
If we can't fix this, our eyes are just not going to work.
This is a nightmare.
Coming up on Jim Henson's Creature Shop Challenge We're having a last-minute malfunction.
There's a risk of the skeksi head falling off during the screen test.
I didn't quite understand why it was there.
That would be a big problem.
I would probably send it back to design.
Are you punking me? Whoa! I guess the epoxy did not hold.
Tina's still trying to figure out the animatronics, but she's not getting it.
Whoa.
I'm just gonna take over the servos.
Okay, you're gonna take care of those.
Yeah.
Russ is taking over the animatronics out of necessity.
The painter is now doing animatronics, and now I'm stuck doing the fabrication by myself.
I'm really frustrated because our creature should have been better than it was at this point.
That's it, everyone.
Tools down.
Time's up.
Bye, skeksi.
It's now day three.
It's the final day of our creature build.
We're a bit behind.
I'm the costuming person out of the three of us, but I have to wait till certain things are done.
I can't start draping until the body's done.
I can't, you know, make the glove for the hand till the hand's made, so we're at the point where we've got to get the rest of the costume together.
Hot glue gun? Hi, Ivonne.
Hi, Russ, Tina.
Hi.
So let me see how everybody's doing today.
I'm a little concerned about this.
We're going to do a quick paint on it.
This was the most important part, and we got it done, so - Okay.
Okay.
- It's good.
Detail and finishing will be so desperately important for your - Yes.
- For your judging.
We only have a few hours left, and I feel really good.
Comparing to last week, I am feeling amazing.
This is the first time in this competition that I really feel confident and like I could win this thing.
You've got a very dark thing here, and I understand, based on your world, but don't forget that the camera for the skeksis will be focusing on him, and you want - A lot of contrast.
- Your work to be visible.
Since all four of our team need to be able to puppet something - Hey.
- Russ and I were laughing about this idea that, well, where would he get his water source from? We joked about, "oh, he found this little creature, and he has to drink its pee.
" And so we have a small, little, squirrel-like desert monkey that will pee.
That's still pretty squirty.
I knocked out the fastest little critter I've ever made.
It gives Ivonne something to puppet, and I'm hoping that they'll get a nice reaction out of people.
One hour left, guys.
Hurry up.
You're, like Ah, he's cool, man.
Josh created this whole second creature that we were going to have puppeteered.
We found out that one of the other groups has a little creature.
It's going to look like we copied them.
We're going to try and fit him on there because all of your teammates need to be performing.
And when it comes down to it, we kind of don't have a choice.
So it's really risky.
Nice.
Okay, creature designers.
Time's up.
Your build is over.
Tools down.
See you at the screen test tomorrow.
- Good luck.
- All right.
- We're free! - Let's go.
Good job.
We can sleep! I think Russ is just exhausted and worried.
It's very stressful.
Honestly, I think we're the ones in jeopardy.
I'm not sure that our costume reflects desert enough.
But gotta hope for the best.
Ready, ready, up.
Can we sleep now? Like, can can that be something we do? Today is our screen test.
- Melissa.
- Melissa.
Nice to finally meet you in person - and not on paper.
- Yeah, right.
So we only have one hour to rehearse with our professional performers.
What are your thoughts about what How he's performed? This is going to be the first time Robert is in the suit interacting with the person who is puppeteering the head.
His voice is gonna be kind of - Raspy.
- Vocal chords gonna be rotten.
Yeah.
- I dig that.
- It's perfect.
That's it right there.
The way we've got it rigged right now is I'll be controlling one of his hands.
You'll have the head.
Our puppeteer that's given to us will be the head and the voice of our creature, and there will be someone behind them controlling the arms.
Additionally, I will be on a radio, a remote control, controlling eye movements.
How much time did you have to put this together? Three days.
I'm excited and really nervous to see this thing in front of a camera, on a set.
I just hope it all goes smoothly.
- Oh, gotcha.
- You under the skirt.
- Great.
- There we go.
- Super light.
- Seeing our performer makes me feel a little better, but I am just Super nervous.
Anything can happen on set.
Something can come unglued because of the heat.
The puppeteer can trip.
Okay, now the finger will flex better.
I didn't even realize that was all closed up.
I really hope he makes it across without any problems.
Ahh.
There's a water bottle for one of you guys.
- Wow.
- So he gets - Oh, cool.
- So it's right behind you.
Lower hand, Lex.
Lower the hand.
Yeah, good.
Yep.
Um, what do we I'm really nervous because we're having a last-minute malfunction and an oversight that we hadn't thought of.
With the head on it for the amount of time that we might need them to.
I'm afraid I-I'm gonna start to to lose the head forward.
- It's gonna slide off - Right.
On these fingers.
It is the biggest head of all the three, and it's also probably the heaviest, because it had the most servos in it than anybody else.
A little bit concerned.
Ring the screen test, there's a risk of the skeksi head falling off.
Oh, my gosh.
We turn around, and we're face to face with The Dark Crystal itself.
My heart's beating a little fast.
It's kind of nerve-wracking.
Did you guys know this was here? Holy smokes.
Creature designers, welcome back to The Henson sound stage.
The screen test set behind you is inspired by the classic Jim Henson movie The Dark Crystal.
It's pretty cool, huh? - Yes.
- Yeah.
Amazing.
You know that this is actually the original dark crystal? And all these props are the original props from the movie.
- That's awesome.
- You'll be working in teams of three, but the judges will critique you individually.
Let's say hello to your judges.
First, one of the most respected creature designers in the entire business.
His work has appeared on everything from Star Trek to Star Wars.
Please welcome Kirk Thatcher.
Hi, guys and gals.
Thank you.
Next, a creature fabricator whose experience includes Jurassic Park, Terminator 2, and The Chronicles of Narnia.
Please welcome Beth Hathaway.
Hi, guys.
And, of course, chairman of The Henson Company and our head judge, Brian Henson.
Good to see you guys.
Each team will be joined by a professional creature performer to help bring your banished skeksis to life as they return to the castle.
Now, remember, the judges are looking at how well your creature has adapted to the inhospitable landscape.
I'm feeling that our group is ready.
I'm nervous.
Anything can happen.
I really hope our puppeteer can pull this thing off.
Let's start the screen test.
Screen test Josh, Melissa, Robert.
- Take one.
- Mark.
Action dolly.
Action creature.
Skeksi, rawr, hmm.
It feels like you're part of the movie, and it's real.
It came to life with the atmosphere that we were in.
Hmm.
Yah! I can't believe that such life has been put into this creature that we made.
And to really feel like there was something alive onstage was just unbelievable.
Being in the costume with the professional, it's a little weird because you're thinking so much about the mechanical aspect of what you're doing, but it is something that I'll never forget.
Cut.
Back to one.
Screen test Russ, Tina, Ivonne.
- Take one.
- Mark.
Action dolly.
Action creature.
Our skeksi looked amazing, but even with the aid of the puppeteer, our skeksi is not as glamorous as the other two.
I'm manning the radio controls, and I'm flipping the switch for the eye mechanism, and there's nothing moving.
This is a disaster.
All I can see is the inside of the costume, and I'm moving the arms and praying they look right.
And I just have to trust that whatever I'm doing works for the camera.
Yes! Ha! Cut.
Back to one.
Screen test Jake, Ben, and Lex.
Take one.
Action dolly.
Action creature.
The head that we created is obviously a little bigger than the other skeksis, so we had to do a couple of modifications to the inside to keep her hand from slipping out of it, and that works quite well.
Ahh! Skeksi, mm.
Every effect that we worked into this creature is happening.
It felt like we were part of The Dark Crystal.
Ahh.
I'm inside my skeksis, and it's all about feel.
I can't see anything.
Trying to be really careful not to knock anything 'cause I'm not sure how far out the arm goes, and I can't tell.
Cut.
Robert, Melissa, and Josh, can you tell us the name of your skeksis and its story? Well, we had decaying forest, and his name is Skeksith.
I sculpted the head, I painted him, and I did all the mechanics.
I also made this little cowl thing for him.
I did the hands and the hand mechanisms.
I also did a plume that moves up and down.
My major contribution is I did the whole under-skeleton.
I did all the sewing and fabric work, and then puppeteering this.
Oh, yeah, I created this little bugger too.
- Yeah.
- Do you have a name for that? - Chicken Bug.
- Chicken Bug, okay.
- Yeah.
- In terms of the criteria, he totally looks like a skeksis.
I don't know that it necessarily says "decaying forest.
" But I like the plumes.
I'm seeing the red, and that pops really nicely.
- Good job.
- Thank you very much.
- You're welcome.
- Josh, you did the hands.
Excellent proportions.
You mentioned, though, that you had a movement up in the cowl.
- Right.
- I didn't see it.
See, there it is.
- Oh.
- Okay.
Kind of wished it was a stronger movement.
Robert, my biggest concern was the ruff around the neck because it didn't look like clothing, and it didn't look like his neck.
I did like your use of wet and dry, because it was in high key but very low light, and so those little shiny spots really picked up.
Melissa, how heavy is your skeksis? - Not at all.
- Really good.
And he's been holding it up long enough now that I know it's lighter than a real skeksis.
- Yes.
- It's really impressive work.
All three of you working together.
The creature has really gelled.
Chicken Bug? It it's interesting, 'cause it's a simple little gesture, and on Dark Crystal, all the little bugs that run around, they were windup toys that we stuck feathers to.
I thought that was a nice extra that you threw in there, and I thought it worked.
I feel like our team is probably the strongest.
The fact that I didn't get any negative comments means I did it right.
I put a lot of me into this challenge this week.
I'm super proud.
Thank you, Robert, Josh, and Melissa.
Thank you.
Russ, Ivonne, and Tina.
- His name is - Skektaro.
I had to practice my, uh Skektaro.
Our skeksis was banished to a arid desert, so we wanted to make sure that we incorporated some things that were desert-plentiful.
I sculpted the head, prepped the under-skull, and I did most of the painting.
I did the foam fabrication and the dressing.
I drew all the patterns.
All of us decided on the fabric and just went off with the sewing machine.
I did the arms.
I made the little creature on the side.
I painted the eye and hooked up the servos for that.
I think he's beautiful, but he's kind of listing to the side.
We purposely assumed that, through the brightness of the sunlight, he's constantly trying to keep his eye Okay.
Okay.
Tina, you were inside the suit? - Yes, I was the arms.
- I like the hands.
I think they're nice and creepy and spindly.
I just would like to see them move a little bit more.
Ivonne, this is a very clean creature to have come off the desert if he just walked many miles.
To me, everything could've been distressed further.
I have a few questions, Russ, about the head.
Now, that's sculpted and cast and foam.
- Yes, sir.
- I think it was a tough choice with the deep-set eyes.
His eyes, you really can't see if they're opening or closing.
- Can can we see, though? - Do you want to do it? Can your creature look up a little bit? Oh, it's not working.
What's up? Did it turn off? It's just a design If you're gonna go with really deep eyes, you gotta make it a big move.
Can can we see it, though? Oh, it's not working.
What's up? - There was some crunching.
- Oh, I think he got battle damage in the process.
- Okay.
- Okay.
- It was working.
- I never saw any movement.
I don't know if it broke while we were shooting.
- I think we got one blink.
- And what's the back story on this little critter? That is his buddy.
He helped him find his first water source.
And the peeing mechanism What happened? Did the leg cock and everything? No.
He bounces, but it looks like it got a little hung up.
This is any puppeteer's worst nightmare.
Our skeksi is not at full potential.
We did our best and gotta hope for the best.
Thank you, Russ, Ivonne, and Tina.
Thank you.
Jake, Ben, and Lex.
Our skeksis is named Ska-geth, holder of the orb.
He is from a frozen wasteland, and he is sent there because he made the staff, and it was too powerful.
He's just been around for so long, old enough that he's evolved different anatomical structures from being so weathered in such freezing, blistering winds all the time.
He finds this big creature in the snow, and he kills it with the staff.
I sculpted and painted the head, as well as painted the eyes and built the staff.
I mechanized the entire head, both blinks as well as a nose movement that kind of gives him a little bit of a sniffly snarl.
Oh, wow.
And then I also made and mechanized the fin that comes up when he can have the sun hit it and get warmed up quicker.
I'm basically responsible for most of the costuming.
I did a lot of the design.
I built most of the creature that's slung across his back.
In terms of him coming across as being from a frozen wasteland, spot-on.
He looks like he's got a fresh kill on his back.
And, Jake, I think the eyes have a lot of life.
I would say he does have a birdlike quality, but I like it.
Here's my concern as a director It's almost impossible to see both eyes.
If you actually point the face at the thing that you're talking to, I don't believe it can see it, 'cause the eyes are so pulled around.
I would probably send it back to design.
Ben, the mechanism on the eyes, I didn't know that they moved that much.
I'd been trying to do a quick blink kind of thing.
I don't want to say, "hey, there's servos in here.
" Right.
Uh, the wing.
That was R.
C.
? No, that's actually cable-controlled.
- Okay.
- And I was down here, and when he rounded the corner, I pulled the cable and brought the spine up.
This, to me, shows when you work together really well, it translates.
It definitely has a unity.
This is gonna be a very hard one for the judges.
We've got more moving parts and animatronics than anybody else.
95% of what I wanted to put in the skeksi is there.
And for three days, that's a great accomplishment.
We're happy with the character, and we feel that he is an extremely cohesive creature design.
Thank you, Jake, Ben, and Lex.
- Thank you so much.
- Thank you.
Thank you, creature designers.
The judges have a lot to discuss, so you can wait it out in The Henson screening room, and we'll call you back shortly.
- Blah.
- I don't think I'm ever not going to be nervous.
Well, what's nice about having these judges is they don't just say, "that looks weird.
" That was nice.
Pointing out the eyes being too far apart, I don't think we ever thought about that.
Oh, that makes perfect sense, you know.
Wow, so that was pretty impressive.
Everybody had something that they did a really good job on.
It's tough.
This is gonna be tough.
Let's start with Robert, Melissa, and Josh's skeksis named Skeksith that had been banished to a decaying forest world.
Josh was responsible for that plume that didn't really work too well.
The movement needed to be stronger.
So talking about Josh's work, I liked a lot their little creature.
- Chicken Bug.
- The interaction with the skeksis I thought was very good.
Robert I'm gonna zoom right in on the head and say, that's a skeksis.
I'm with you.
You could put him straight on a movie.
The only weakness I would give him is, uh, ruff under the neck Is it costume? - It's a little nebulous.
- Melissa I mean, talk about an unsung hero.
The fact that that thing probably weighed 15 pounds was a miracle.
The only slightly negative for Melissa is the shape itself wasn't quite Distinct, yeah.
As distinct as it could have been.
Let's talk about Russ, Tina, and Ivonne's skeksis.
When he first came out, like, wow, that's a skeksis.
Let's talk a little bit about Tina.
I thought the hands were conceptually really good.
Mechanically, the hands didn't really work.
The eye mechanisms didn't really work.
And then she did Kitty.
If I were on a show, and they brought that out, I'd be like, are you punking me? Like, really? - Russ? - I liked his sculpting.
Yeah.
Could've used some more color, I think.
His skills are up there.
I think it was a bad choice to pit the eyes so deeply.
Ivonne I don't know that I was that impressed with the shapes that were going on.
This one, to me, was all about art direction.
The fabric looked like he spent a summer in Palm Springs.
I would expect him to be more withered and to have less clothing on.
Let's move on to Lex, Ben, and Jake's skeksis.
The "Ska-ga.
" Overall, when it walked out, I got frozen wasteland.
Ben did the nose.
I didn't actually see that nose move.
I didn't see it move, actually.
- Yeah.
- It was too subtle.
I liked his wing on the back.
I didn't quite understand why it was there.
You build something like that and say, "it's for heating your blood when you're in the light," nobody's gonna read that.
Let's move on to Jake.
I thought the staff and crystal were a great job.
I think where it hurt was the sculpt on the face.
The eye focus, that really was a huge problem.
- You can't see both eyes.
- No.
And so you don't know what he's looking at.
Lex did the costuming.
I think that back piece was really genius.
The ribs, yeah.
I loved the spine, the way it came down the center of the back.
Overall, it didn't look like a bunch of pieces.
No, the form was there.
As a team, they did a good job, which, obviously, we've learned is important.
We added one day, added one builder, but it really impressive.
They're all so good.
I mean, everyone has really good skills.
So I think we're all in agreement, then? - Yep.
- Yeah.
We should bring them back in.
Creature designers, one of you will win this week's challenge, and one of you will be eliminated.
Creature designers, one of you will win this week's challenge, and one of you will be eliminated.
Robert, Melissa, and Josh, Ben, Jake, and Lex, the judges were really impressed with both your skeksis, and it was a close race for the winning creature.
But ultimately, only one received the highest praise.
Brian? Both teams' skeksis were really fantastic, and this was a tough choice.
But in the end Robert, Melissa, and Josh, we felt your skeksis was the strongest.
We thought your design was coherent.
We believed your back story of the decaying forest.
We thought it was a great little extra, the creature that you put in.
We were very impressed with the sculpting And the eyes.
So this week's winning creature designer Is Robert.
Whoo! Thank you very much.
Good job.
Thank you, guys.
The Dark Crystal is one of my favorite movies, so I will remember this day forever.
Thank you.
You did great work.
- Thank you.
- Congratulations, Robert, and all six of you.
We're going to see more work from all of you next week.
You can return to the screening room.
- Thank you.
- You all did great work.
Yes! I won.
As a fan, it's so surreal at this point.
Dude! So good.
- If I was gonna win one - Oh.
That's the one I wanted to win.
These things are so iconic.
I'm very, very lucky, and I will remember this for the rest of my life.
Russ, Ivonne, Tina, the judges were least impressed with your skeksis this week, and that means one of you will be eliminated.
Brian.
Tina, although your hand design and your teeth were good, strong choices, the mechanisms generally either didn't work or worked minimally, and the monkey cat creature was not a strong design, did not look alive.
Russ, although we thought your sculpting was fine sculpting, the decision to make the eyes so deep that there was really no way to get light in there was not a good choice.
Ivonne, although there was a lot of impressive fabrication, aesthetically, the choices weren't as strong as they could've been, particularly in the tortoise shell, the lack of distressing on the fabrics.
The creature designer eliminated tonight is Tina.
Ivonne and Russ, you'll get another chance to show us what you can do.
We'll see you next week.
Thank you.
You can return to the screening room.
Nice working with you.
Tina, you're clearly very talented, and, again, particularly in this challenge, this was very hard.
We're really sorry to be eliminating you.
We wish you the best of luck going forward.
Just thank you for this opportunity.
Thank you so much, Tina.
Keep it up.
I will.
It's all I do.
- Good luck.
- Thank you.
I'm walking out of this competition, and I'm really sad 'cause I've invested so much to be here.
- Hey, hon.
- Have fun, guys.
- Aww.
- You did some awesome stuff.
I think you're a really great artist, and I think that you didn't get the opportunity that you should've.
- Yeah, you're right.
- Thank you.
But I have so much ahead of me.
I have projects I've set aside to do this, and I'm happy to go home and work on them at my own pace.
You'll be seeing a lot of cool stuff from me in the future, that's for sure.