On September 9, 2019, creature performer Nick Kellington tweeted on Twitter about performing in the climactic battle in The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance. With his kind permission, I share his story here:
“In sequence shown in this gif, director Louis Leterrier asked me to sprint as fast as I could across the full length of the set in the #SkekMal suit. The air was thick with dust clouds from the SFX explosions going off as I passed them so was tricky to see where I was going plus I had to avoid the large weapons and spiked armour wielded by the other #Skeksis and deep trenches in the set that the puppeteers stood in. All this in a very heavy creature costume with limited visibility. It was exhausting but I absolutely LOVED IT!
“One thing I took inspiration from, was that for take after take, Louis was running the gauntlet with me, carrying and operating the steady cam just ahead of me, travelling BACKWARDS! (Shades of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers) Louis is just brilliant and I loved working with him!
“As a slight addition to this BTS story, at the end of this GIF when SkekMal bowls Rian up the steps, due to me wearing the costume hands which don’t allow me to bend my fingers and grip properly, when I threw him, I could get Rian to hit the steps but not with as much violence and momentum as Louis Leterrier wanted. So up stepped Lead Puppeteer @victor_yerrid to help out. What you see in the finished sequence is Rian leaving my/SkekMal’s hand and then it cuts to Rian crashing into the steps which Victor performed. It looks great!
“Incidentally the same thing happened with SkekMal and Hup in the Circle of the Suns sequence. I start the throw and Victor finishes it. I did get Hup onto the balcony on 2 out of 3 takes but Victor’s landing obviously must have been prettier! Poor Hup and poor Rian!”
See here for Nick’s account of his first day of operating the Hunter.
See here for his account of SkekMal’s fight with the two Gelflings.