There is still a lot of interest in the “Giant Marionette in Reykjavik” viral videos that surfaced on YouTube back in September. Most people have suspected that it was faked, but the question remained as to exactly how it was done and who did it. My first thought was that it was computer animation, but in fact it was just a regular, old-fashioned marionette built by Tony Sinnett and performed by Canadian-born UK puppeteer Ronnie LeDrew (I should mention that neither Tony nor Ronnie were my source for this information; the information came from other people involved in the project).
The puppet – which was a fairly standard size marionette roughly a foot tall – was shot against green screen and composited in to background plates shot in Reykjavik with DV cameras. Strings, controllers and helicopters were added using computer graphics. The whole thing is the work of a London-based ad shop, although I haven’t been able to get the name.
There you have it, mystery solved!