Chat: Sean Masterson & Tim Mieville
Chat: Sean Masterson & Tim Mieville
Moderator: Tim? Sean?
SeanMasterson: We're here!
TimMieville: Yes indeed
SeanMasterson: He's actually got four arms
Moderator: <truthseekr> : Sean--while some of our guys on the board like to think they have 6 arms (sorry could resist)--what's it like to actually operate a creature that does?
SeanMasterson: But it takes 7 puppeteers to make him move "naturally"
Moderator: <AerynSunVx> : This is for Mr. Masterson and Mr. Mieville, about how long does it take to rehearsh your parts for the shows?(ie-hand movements, timing)
TimMieville: Unless it requires dramatic action, very little
SeanMasterson: Not enough time!
Moderator: <Gmmas> : Sean and Tim: do you do any of the other non-humanoid creatures on Farscape? Can we expect to see more non-humanoid characters?
SeanMasterson: Yes we do any of the animatronic characters
TimMieville: I was lucky enough to be inside Jothev in Four
SeanMasterson: Yes and there are new aliens coming up this season.
Moderator: <Kieriahn> : For Sean and Tim -- did you have any input in the overall design and/or feasibility of operating Pilot and Rygel?
SeanMasterson: Hi. No, we talk to the directors prior to a shot, but design is strictly from the creature shop
Moderator: <valleyofstags> : Mr. Masterson and Mr. Mieville... How much of the movements of your characters are generated by the puppeteers and how much (if any) by computer?
TimMieville: Any movement that you see starts with us. We use the computers to edit the head movements -- and the expressions
SeanMasterson: There's very little CGI except to erase us from a frame
Moderator: <WarriorWoman> : After a hard day of puppetiering, what do you guys do for fun?
SeanMasterson: We drink alot. I don't know. The pub!
Moderator: <ceallaig> : who came up with the idea of Pilot, and when did he become 'operational'?
TimMieville: Remember if you work with puppets you're probably pretty sick!
SeanMasterson: Pilot was always in the script I think. Rockne created him I believe
Moderator: <SciFi-Chic9> How do you guys get along with the rest of the cast? Do you speak with Ben, Anth, Claudia, etc?
TimMieville: Generally it's a pretty relaxed set. If you read the chatroom you may have some idea of the behind the scene atmosphere.
SeanMasterson: We all go outside for cigarettes togther and all
Moderator: <Sojushisan> : Is it heavy work operating a puppet like Pilot? He's a big guy!
SeanMasterson: Yes. Very heavy and very hot. Imagine how hot it is inside Pilot. Barry loses weight over the season
Moderator: <Sojushisan> : Settle a bet - Where is Pilots nose?
SeanMasterson: Approximately halfway between his mouth and eyes. Maybe he needs more close ups
Moderator: <Canis-Major> : Sirs, do your puppets operate by remote control like most "big" puppets?
SeanMasterson: No. Both of ours are connected by cable. We do have a few remote versions but the batteries drain quickly
Moderator: <Dabee> : Love your work, guys...I was wondering, if anyone plays pranks on each other..either the puppeteers with each other, or between the human cast and puppeteers.....also, has anyone been hurt working with the puppets..again, either the puppeteers or human cast (not that the puppeteers aren't human!! LOL) Thanks a lot! and Merry Christmas
SeanMasterson: No. We've been lucky. The most anyone has been hurt is toes run over when a puppet is on a dolly.
TimMieville: Pranks can cost you beer. We avoid that
Moderator: <StarPaw> : what are those things on the underside of Pilot's claws for?
SeanMasterson: The biggest prankster is Anthony. But they aren't suitable for an all ages audience
Moderator: <bache> : How does one get a job like yours and what does one need to learn beforehand
TimMieville: Patience is a virtue. Most of our crew started with puppets in theater.
SeanMasterson: We were approched after we worked on Babe.
TimMieville: Working in other studio jobs is a way in
Moderator: <dw-mckim> What characters have you operated in other productions? (Bravo on Pilot - my fave!)
SeanMasterson: We were all involved in Babe and a host of shows for kids down here. I'm pretty sure you haven't seen them.
Moderator: <thetas> tim,do you feel that making rygel urinate in one episode makes people realize one reason that puppets like the muppets aren't just for children?
TimMieville: Yeah. I'd have to say that we are very happy to do scenes like that
Moderator: <StarPaw> : and what about the brown Rygel snot?
TimMieville: He's waiting for his big love scene though...and waiting...and waiting
SeanMasterson: He's doing alot more spitting this season!
Moderator: Uh oh...
SeanMasterson: We're spitting on Aaron this afternoon!
Moderator: <WolfOfTheMist> : I loved namtar. He seemed to be very complex in his movent movements. Was he harder to make that the other puppets?
SeanMasterson: As for movement, he had a person inside on a pair of stitlts. It was diificult for Adrian, but not for me, I just operated the face
Moderator: <PK3> : Rygel has been referred to as a slug. Is he suppose to be an ailen type of mollusk?
TimMieville: He'sa Hynerian period. A highly deveoped species. He strong, proud, and good looking. He may eat mollusks
Moderator: <PhantomComputer> : Are there any movements too difficult to attempt with Pilot or Rygel?
SeanMasterson: Working with any puppet there are limitations
TimMieville: Rygel can't touch his toes, but he's out of shape I think
Moderator: <WarriorWoman> : I hear that chicks like guys who work with puppets because they are good with their hands. Any truth to that?
SeanMasterson: I have yet to meet them
Moderator: Some of them are in this very audience...
TimMieville: We've both gots wives and kids and they love us using our hands around the house. Especially vacuuming
Moderator: <SciFi-Chic9> : Hi guys! okay, at FaDoP, we have debated everything, from the origin of Leviathans and Pilots, to, like Soju said, where Pilot's ears, nose, etc are. Also, the most burning question...Pilot's teeth. How does he clean them in space, when his claws don't seem to be able to hold a tooth brush or floss! Can you shed some light on any of these questions? Thanx, and hope you guys have a Happy Holiday!
SeanMasterson: Have a Merry too.
TimMieville: That's a secret You didn't hear it here!
Moderator: <Sojushisan>: When you operate Pilot and Rygel - Do you FEEL like them? Is puppeteering similar to acting in the sense that you take on the character and become him?
TimMieville: Juding by the reactions of people on the set when we're working, yes we do
SeanMasterson: Yeah, we do emote greatly for the camera.
Moderator: <M-E>: Do you guys have extra Rygels or Pilots incase one of them is damaged?
TimMieville: For the first series we have three different Rygels. We have basically one Pilot and he's in the shop frequently for updates
Moderator: <Canis-Major> : Sirs, how many years have you been puppeteering? What age did you start?
TimMieville: Speaking for myself. I started in '88 when I was 26
SeanMasterson: I left University in '79 and I've been doing it since then
Moderator: <MegL> : To Tim or Sean: Are you originally from Australia, or did you move there to work specificlly on Farscape?
TimMieville: We're both natives. I was born in Sydney and Sean is from Perth.
SeanMasterson: Beer guzzling, shrimp eating natives
Moderator: <liloleme> : Hi! Is there anything you'd like to see happen on the show?
Sean: I think I'm gonna be stingy too! Sorry about that
Moderator: (Thanks everyone for your patience. Must have been a Y2K hiccough!)
Sean: All I can say is there are some very good eps coming up
Moderator: <OboeCrazy> : Thanks for chatting with us today! My question: If there was one aspect about Pilot's character you would realy like to explore, what would it be? I'd love to know more about his past!
Sean: As I said, we have an ep coming about his origins
Moderator: <skye> : Who of the cast and crew is most like Pilot and Rygel??
Sean: Most like Pilot... That's tough
Moderator: <SciFi-Chic9> : I know this question is asked at every chat, but I just can't resist. Do you guys visit the fansites? And are you Familiar with the FaDoP, Friends and Defenders of Pilot?
Sean: Yes. We all visit and we all are
Moderator: <StarPaw> : Why do Pilot and Moya fear fire? And is the puppet itself flammable?
Sean: Yes, the puppet is flamable
Moderator: <ceallaig> : OK, the infamous question that has to be asked, gents -- boxers or briefs?
Sean: For Pilot?
Moderator: <FarscapeFan> : how longs does it take to tape one episode?
Sean: We're currently on a 7 day main shoot schedule with 3-4 days for 2nd unit work...Roughly
Moderator: <WarriorWoman>: What is the most difficult thing about working with puppets?
Sean: The most difficult thing for Rygel and Pilot is the five puppeteers have to work as a unit. So if one of us is feeling ill or not up to speed you have to work as a team and put that behind you
Moderator: <Paris> : What is Pilot made of, Sean?
Sean: Foam rubber
Moderator: <PhantomComputer> : Pilot's face is so expressive. Is "he" modeled after any one in particular? Or even more than one person?
Sean: No. Not that I know of. You'd have to ask the Creature Shop that one
Moderator: <skye> : Did you two audition for the parts ? How do you go about auditioning for a puppeteer job?
Sean: Yes, I did have to audition
Moderator: And our final question for the night --
Sean: Just keep with it
Moderator: We know he was.
Sean: Merry Christmas!
Moderator: And we're looking forward to talking to him after January 15!