On Twitter, creature performer Nick Kellington disclosed several behind-the-scenes details about his character, SkekMal the Hunter, from The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance.
October 30, 2019:
“4 BTS facts courtesy of Mechanical Designer, Ady Parish: My SkekMal head was built in about 3 weeks. It only used 9 servos to power the face Was programmed on a Taranis x9d radio control unit. And the tongue was CGI.”
October 12, 2019:
“I remember being totally blown away by how beautiful this spinning shot was. DOP Erik Alexander Wilson always did an amazing job but this was particularly breathtaking. After we’d filmed it, it was being played on repeat on the studio monitors. I just watched it again and again, spinning round and round. It was hypnotic. I also recall thinking that it was perhaps one of the most beautiful shots I’d filmed on any series. Technically it had been a tricky shot to set up with a massive spinning camera on a huge extending crane. It wasn’t particularly difficult for me (other than the weight, heat and pain of the costume which is expected) but poor Neil Sterenberg (Rian’s Puppeteer) was hanging off a platform, puppeteering upside down all day.
“When I grabbed Rian by the neck I could feel Neil’s arm inside moving around. Gelflings are around the same size as a child and it felt so disturbing as he struggled, gross!
“I think this was also my first scene with #TheChamberlain (who is puppeteered by Warrick Brownlow-Pike @WarrickBP). It has often been mentioned how fabulously Warrick puppeteers #skekSil but he also performs the voice on set as we’re filming and I have to say, Warrick TOTALLY nails that too.
“For some reason I don’t get my ‘Additional Puppeteer’ credit on Episode 5 ‘She Knows All the Secrets’ which is odd when our scene opens up the episode. Still I can’t grumble, I’m just happy I got to play skekMal (with Kevin Clash puppeteering his face)
“Cheers for reading and take it easy.”
See here for Nick describing his scenes of the Hunter attacking a couple of unfortunate Gelflings.
See here for SkekMal bowling with Gelflings!