Giant Bunraku-style puppets are brought to stunning life by a team of puppeteers in this amazing Lexus commercial, Steps.
Ad Week reports that it was directed by Daniel Kleinman, who is probably best known as the designer of every James Bond opening sequence since GoldenEye excluding Quantum of Solace (a fact that I think just further solidifies his reputation for having excellent taste).
Both puppets featured in Steps were designed digitally so that their shells could be 3D printed (the puppet’s rods and underlying structure were made of light weight carbon fibre). The result were two puppets standing over 11’0 tall that weighed under 7 kg.
The performance of the puppets is extremely well choreographed, but actually fairly conventional. The core weight of each puppet was supported by a central puppeteer using a backpack/shoulder harness. Another puppeteer was responsible for controlling a puppet’s head and torso while two others performed its arms and legs. The result is a testament to what can be achieved by traditional puppetry techniques with good, old fashioned real-time puppetry.
This is supposed to be the first in a series called Amazing in Motion. So bravo Lexus, please keep making things like this.
Special thanks to everyone who sent this in!