Thursday 11 January 2018
Their puppet antics have won legions of fans with their sideways look at 2017 – and now Fuzzfeed has turned its attention to one of Hull’s leading companies.
Fuzzfeed, which has been created by multi-award winning Hull filmmakers MyPockets, is releasing a series of five short films featuring the antics of feisty KCOM engineer John and his new apprentice Lewis as they discuss work, life, the universe and flying cars – but mainly flying cars.
Sally Snelling, of MyPockets, said she was delighted to be expanding the Fuzzfeed universe which had previously been shown on BBC3 before focussing on Hull teenagers’ experiences of UK City of Culture year.
She said: “The original idea was to get the kids to talk about things happening as a way of encouraging people to go and see 2017 events. We had them discussing everything from the Made in Hull opening ceremony to the Blade and, my personal favourite, the Turner Prize.
“It’s been great to now get the chance to work with KCOM because they really made us feel part of the company - and because KCOM is such a major part of Hull it made us feel connected to the city too. It was great to meet the people who work there because they’ve all been so positive and up for making something fun and entertaining.”
Sally, who runs MyPockets with husband Peter, added that recording adults talking about life added a different dimension to the Fuzzfeed films.
“It’s good to be able to do something with grown-ups because it’s more of a challenge. They’re naturally more guarded about what they say so when they do say something funny or you hit on a sweet moment it has all the more impact.
“It was particularly good working with John and Lewis, who provided the voices for our puppets, because they made a great double act. John was very much the fatherly figure and Lewis is quite sweet. It’s a kind of Fletcher and Godber-type relationship from Porridge.”
KCOM team leader John McMillan who voices John, said: “At first I thought what have I gotten myself into, it took a couple of sessions before I got used to being recorded, but then it was just good fun and we had a laugh with Sally and Peter.
“They made it very easy for us to relax and be silly, and after seeing their work on Youtube it was obvious that we were going to be in for a treat, it was well worth the experience.”
John admits seeing himself in puppet form took a bit of getting used to.
He said: “I had a good laugh when I first saw the puppet. It’s very similar to myself although I’d like to point out I’m not blue in real life. I was more annoyed that the puppet had better glasses than me.
“I have to say though that after speaking with the puppeteers, it’s obvious that a great deal of time and effort has gone into making them, I would like to thank them for that.”
Apprentice Lewis, said: “I enjoyed working with Fuzzfeed. It was certainly different and I never thought I'd enjoy it as much as I did. When I saw my puppet I was surprised by how much they resemble myself and John.”
To bring John and Lewis’s felt alter egos to life MyPockets recruited two acclaimed puppeteers; Mark Whitaker, whose has recently worked on Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and Marc Parrett, whose magical creations can be seen in West Yorkshire Playhouse’s Christmas version of The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe.
John and Lewis were recorded chatting about a range of subjects before their voices were dubbed onto a pair of puppets, made by Marc Parrett, which were then filmed on location in Hull and at KCOM’s Carr Lane offices.
The first of the five, two-minute films, entitled The Interview, will be launched on Monday, 15 January, with the others released one per day during the coming week. A teaser trailer is available to watch now at www.kcomhome.com/fuzzfeed
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