Way back in the early days of Zombieinfo.com, (November 17th, 2008 to be exact) I posted this:
Now I give you the man behind the genius we see above…
Interview: Matt Ficner: Sculptor, artist, instructor, painter, designer, performer, inventor, musician, puppet master, Reiki master, digital visualist, photographer… and many other titles. Jack of ALL trades…ALMOST covers it!
ZI: Hi Matt! Thank you so much for taking the time to speak with us… I usually start off by asking people to ‘tell us a little about themselves’ so let’s do that: Tell us about your background in the industry and a few of the projects you’ve been involved with:
Well, I have been working in film and TV for the better part of 20 years now. I began working with professional puppeteers while I was still in high school. Once I graduated, I began working full time primarily as a puppet builder and puppeteer. That soon evolved into production design, character creation, writing, editing, camera work and so on.
I have been fortunate to be involved with projects for the a lot of fantastic companies including big name studios as well as small industry start up companies. I was a puppeteer for The Jim Henson Company and Warner Brothers on “Brats of the Lost Nebula” . I have also done some production design for a number of BBC Worldwide projects. One of those shows was “Ace Lightning”. I am VERY lucky with the fact that my talents and skills have let me be a part of a variety of projects
ZI: Of course, we here at Zombieinfo.com are really digging on the ‘Creepy Puppet Project’ (especially all the zombie stuff- who knew?) With all of the things you do with that, such as editing, producing, acting, puppeteer, writing, and of course directing… do you have a favorite job?
I cannot say that I have one job in particular that I enjoy above all others. It is the entire process of creating something that I truly enjoy. It is the process of taking an initial idea and manifesting it into something tangible that I must say is the ultimate thrill.
ZI: So, when you design a new character, what defines the look? What about the personality, or does that come first?
The birthing process of a character is different every time. Sometimes, a character idea will come to me first and I then sketch and sculpt out the design. Other times, I simply get lost in the process and am surprised by whatever creature or creation comes out at the end. I also tend to observe people and draw inspiration from everyday interactions that people have.
ZI: Do you have a personal favorite character you like to work with?
I cannot say that I have one particular favorite character. Again, like the creation process, it is more than just one element that is ultimately the singular thing that I like. I think that just performing any puppet character is rewarding.
ZI: Time for our ‘standard’ question… what do you prefer: Fast or slow zombies?
Slow zombies have more personality I think. They hobble along in their merry way… it is quite charming.
ZI: Aside from the ‘Creepy Puppet Project’ what other things are you working on?
At the moment, I am working on a TV series in Toronto. It is a family show, so there is not much in the way of creepy puppet characters. But, I DO play a fun raccoon character that I built. Rodents are fun to portray.
As always, I do have a number of other things smoldering in the background. Some zombie and horror movie projects are in the works. I also have some other TV design and development projects bubbling away.
ZI: Anything you’d like to ‘plug’?
I will be doing some fun stuff in August of this year for the Puppets Up International Puppet Festival in ALMONTE, Ontario. I am producing the evening Puppet Jam Cabaret. It is for an adult audience. It is a show that allows puppeteers to let loose and get raunchy. It is a great spectacle for those who like something unconventional and avant-garde.
ZI: Thanks for taking the time, we all look forward to the next project… keep up the great work!
Thank you for your time to chat with me! Please keep checking out my YouTube channel, subscribe and rate the videos. The more views I get, the more ammunition I have when I talk to the network executives!
CREATIVITY IS KEY!
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