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Brian Henson

Brian Henson is Chairman of The Jim Henson Company and an award-winning director, producer, writer and performer. Most recently, he created "Stuffed and Unstrung," an off-Broadway puppet-based variety show geared[…]

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

Question:rnWhat did you aspire to be when you were young?

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Brian Henson: When I was in high school... I was always an rnartist, I alwaysrnwas doing film, filmmaking things and animation things and sculpture.  I always very much enjoyed arts and itrnwas so central in my family... my mother was also an art teacher, as rnwell asrnfounding the Henson Company with my dad... there was a lot of art going rnon in ourrnhousehold.

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Butrncurriculum-wise,rn I was drawn to the sciences and specifically to physics, and Irnreally enjoyed it and I think for a little while there, I was really rnthinkingrnmy schooling would be in physics, that that was something I loved, and rnthat,rnprobably though, by the time I was 17, I already knew that I was rnprobably goingrnto go into film.  At that point, Irnthought probably special effects, something like that, and indeed, the rnearlyrndays when I was working with my dad, after I left school, I only went torn lessrnthan one year of college, and then I was transferring, and then I rndelayed myrntransfer, and I did a movie, and then another movie, and then I never rnfinishedrncollege.

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Butrn initiallyrnwhen I was working with my dad, it was in special effects puppets with rnradiorncontrol and motors and puppet effects. rnThe first big thing that I did with my dad was the bicycle rnsequence in “ThernGreat Muppet Caper,” where Kermit and Piggy are riding bicycles in rnBattersearnPark in London and that was a complex marionetting and cranes driving rnthroughrnthe park, it was a complicated scene, and I did that with my dad.  And so I was already sort of mixing myrnscience physics enthusiasm with entertainment and directing and rnpuppetry.

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But,rn yeah,rnprobably the time I was 17, certainly by the time I was 19, I knew that rnshowrnbusiness was where I was going to end up, and I had my sights on being arndirector.

Recorded on April 8, 2010