Firstly the narrative in the book was adapted into a short script and in groups we were given a selection of scenes to work on. We had to use paper as our primary material, to make 3D and 2.5D puppets. A circus exterior was built at a 1:25 scale for exterior scenes and then a larger panel of interior circus tent was made as a backdrop for the puppets inside the circus. Most of the effects were carried out in camera whilst shooting, such as shadow puppets and transparency backdrops and the puppet maneuvering. We also shot some of the action on green screen so we can experiment with some special effects in post production.
We had a great team of cinematographers who shot the film on a Red camera with a special 'snorkel' lens to get up close and personal with the miniatures. Here's a collection of a few of the pics I took behind the scenes as it all unfolded over our two days of shooting.
The Big Top
A tuba player... his cheeks puff in and out.
The strong man in puppet action
The team of puppets that make up most of the cast!
Ready to operate the bow-and-arrow Indian.
Standing by to operate a series of puppets on perspex over green screen.
The tent interior backdrop - paper with a fabric roof.
A giant fly!
A paper road with a zip being fed through the mouth of a car front...
Behind the scenes... a group twirling effort.
Final touches and a cute paper hat.
A charcoal street-scape on a transparent background, for the shadow puppets.