Puppet Categories

edited February 2021 in General
Can someone explain the different terms used for on screen puppets? Stunt puppet is pretty obvious, it looks like they aren't capable of motion and are just used for quick background stuff. But what exactly is a hero puppet?  And is there a term for a puppet where you can swap faces/mouths? I'll attach pictures to better describe what I mean.
Post edited by Chris Ellerby on


  • A hero puppet (or prop) is one that is seen in close-up shots.  They have the most detail and are often interacted with directly.    Stunt versions are lightweight or flexible variants made to be safe or light for extended handling. 

    For example, a stunt pistol might not actually be used by a stunt person but rather would be held by an actor for any shot where the weapon does not need to fire, depict loading/unloading, or appear in a close-up.  This saves actors from holding heavy props all day and saves hero props from being handled excessively. 

    Then you have background props that are similar to stunt props but can be very simple or crude.

    Swappable faces are more common in stop-motion puppets, but I don't know the specific terminology used for that.  Maybe someone here does?

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