Moving From Physics to Puppets

Question:\r\nWhat did you aspire to be when you were young?


Brian Henson: When I was in high school... I was always an \r\nartist, I always\r\nwas doing film, filmmaking things and animation things and sculpture.  I always very much enjoyed arts and it\r\nwas so central in my family... my mother was also an art teacher, as \r\nwell as\r\nfounding the Henson Company with my dad... there was a lot of art going \r\non in our\r\nhousehold.


But\r\ncurriculum-wise,\r\n I was drawn to the sciences and specifically to physics, and I\r\nreally enjoyed it and I think for a little while there, I was really \r\nthinking\r\nmy schooling would be in physics, that that was something I loved, and \r\nthat,\r\nprobably though, by the time I was 17, I already knew that I was \r\nprobably going\r\nto go into film.  At that point, I\r\nthought probably special effects, something like that, and indeed, the \r\nearly\r\ndays when I was working with my dad, after I left school, I only went to\r\n less\r\nthan one year of college, and then I was transferring, and then I \r\ndelayed my\r\ntransfer, and I did a movie, and then another movie, and then I never \r\nfinished\r\ncollege.


But\r\n initially\r\nwhen I was working with my dad, it was in special effects puppets with \r\nradio\r\ncontrol and motors and puppet effects. \r\nThe first big thing that I did with my dad was the bicycle \r\nsequence in “The\r\nGreat Muppet Caper,” where Kermit and Piggy are riding bicycles in \r\nBattersea\r\nPark in London and that was a complex marionetting and cranes driving \r\nthrough\r\nthe park, it was a complicated scene, and I did that with my dad.  And so I was already sort of mixing my\r\nscience physics enthusiasm with entertainment and directing and \r\npuppetry.


But,\r\n yeah,\r\nprobably the time I was 17, certainly by the time I was 19, I knew that \r\nshow\r\nbusiness was where I was going to end up, and I had my sights on being a\r\ndirector.

Recorded on April 8, 2010

A science background helped Brian Henson create his first scene ever in "The Great Muppet Caper."

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