TCS Creates a Crazy Turkey puppet for Universal's "5 Year Engagement"


Sometimes, you spend a bit of time on a film, and your performance gets left on the editing room floor. Thankfully, with the inclusion of Special Features on DVD releases, the public is still able to see what might have been! Director Nicholas Stoller (The Muppet Movie) directed Jason Segel and Emily Blunt in the 2012 Universal release "Five Year Engagement". For a scene in which Segel's character hallucinates on mushrooms, Stoller and Producers Richard Vane and Rodney Rothman hired Rick Lazzarini and TCS to create a crazy Turkey that comes to life in the middle of Thanksgiving Dinner. Comic and Actor Brian Posehn had to enroll in Puppet Boot Camp for this role, as he was drafted into the Lead Puppeteering Role, with Rick Lazzarini serving as Animatronics Supervisor and puppeteering backup as Posehn's Wing Man. Literally!

The Turkey puppet itself was a silicone creation, molded from a sculpture that relied heavily on the donor form of a real turkey. The neck was modified to be a hand puppet, with crouton-spitting capabilities, as well as leg and wing movement. Done very traditionally, puppeteered from beneath with a hole in the table and no CG, Posehn and Lazzarini cracked up Segel and Stoller on set.

Alas, along with several other great scenes, this particular one was dropped to keep the pace and timing flowing. Nevertheless, DVD review sites took the time to mention this extra, saying, in the case of Rachel Cericola: "Two of the best pieces are short, however. Segel and Stoller manage to work their love of puppetry into something called "Turkey: The Making of".

Here is some more footage of our work on the film:

And here's an excerpt from the scene edited from the film:




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