“SpeakBeasty” Episode 155: “I’ve Got So Many Strings”
Have you ever wondered how the Fantastic Beasts films made the creatures’ movements seem believable and natural? Well, there’s a whole team behind that. On this latest episode of SpeakBeasty, hosts Amy and Ann are joined by special guest Robin Guiver, who was the supervising creature puppeteer for the first two Fantastic Beasts films.
During our exclusive interview, Guiver fills us in on how his team of puppeteers and movement actors found ways to simulate magical creatures so that the actors had something tangible to interact with on set. Some creatures, such as Frank the thunderbird and Teddy (a.k.a. Pastries) the Niffler, had rudimentary puppets built to act as their stand-ins during filming, which were later replaced with CGI.
For Frank, the puppeteer team built a head to scale so that Eddie Redmayne could stroke its beak and have the correct sight line when looking into the creature’s eyes. Guiver and his fellow puppeteers would then “play the role” of Frank, creating his movements and reactions to touch. For the Niffler, Guiver remembers making a beanbag sack scuttle across the set.
Guiver shared many memories and stories from his time working on the Fantastic Beasts films. This is an episode you won’t want to miss!
This week’s podcast question is “Is there a creature from ‘Secrets of Dumbledore’ that you would like to know the creative process behind?” Send us your thoughts and theories at SpeakBeasty@gmail.com, or reach out to us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram!
You can find our show on Patreon, where supporters are treated to bonus content, exclusive merch, and early episode releases, among other perks.