Need suggestions on how to construct a Moa bird for a feature film. PLEASE HELP

I'm writing a screenplay surrounding a Moa bird and i need help/suggestions on how to construct it with a fully moving head and neck. I was thinking of molding some chicken wire for the body and covering it in feathers or a feather like material but if anyone knows any other or better suggestions please let me know. I'm also trying to figure out how to make the neck rise up and move as well as the head to pivot from left to right. I also need suggestions on how to make the head, beak and eyes of the bird. I don't have much knowledge of puppet rod controls so if anyone does and would like to help it'd be greatly appreciated. If there's anyone out there who knows of anyone to help please send them my way. My email is [email protected]

Thanks,

Best,
Demetrius Hill 

Also here's a link to my Film page on youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCxgtjR2ZDZIzDROz4J-P3NQ/featured


Here are a few pictures of exactly what i'm looking for-


 

Comments

  • Chris EllerbyChris Ellerby Los Angeles Admin
    For something like this you may want to create multiple versions of the character depending on what shots/coverage you need.  

    For example, closer shots could have the head/neck be a hand puppet, while further shots may need rod/wire puppeteering.

    I'd storyboard out everything so you know the specific shots you'll need, and what behaviors you expect from the character, then work towards those goals.

    /Chris
  • Thanks i'll draw out the storyboard. I was going to keep all the shots of the bird from afar seeming i'm currently not to confident showing up close shots. The only shots as of now are three to four wide shots of the bird lifting its head up out of knee high grass. I was aiming for the bird to be around teen feet tall. I'm curious to know what would be a good approach on the wide shots without the bird looking like Mr. Snuffleupagus. 
  • Chris EllerbyChris Ellerby Los Angeles Admin
    edited May 17
    For such a large character you may want to do a combination of rod control and having some of the weight held up by suspension cables.  It would require removing the rods, performers, and possibly rigging from your shots though.

    Sounds like a good challenge though!

    /Chris
  • Awesome, thanks for the feedback. Would you know of anyone in this community that i could discuss the building process with? Or someone that could give me details on how to construct it? Prop building is no where near my area of expertise.
  • Chris EllerbyChris Ellerby Los Angeles Admin
    We may have some community members that would want to chime in, but that's up to them.  You may be able to find help locally by reaching out to any community art or theater programs to see if they know of local prop builders or fabricators.  Otherwise you can post your concepts here for a bit of feedback on design/execution.

    /Chris
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