Artem Case Studies

Three Celebs and a Baby Flame Television

Artem threw themselves into what was undoubtedly a challenging brief with confidence and enthusiasm. With any pilot, it is inevitable that the demands will change continually, yet the team couldn't have responded better. The fact that they managed to construct a second baby that looked remarkably different to the first for our second shoot - and in only ten days - was a testament to their adaptability and efficiency.

Barbara Altounyan, Director of Programmes, Flame Television

Artem Ltd. was commissioned by Flame Television to develop and build a life-size animatronic baby boy for their forthcoming factual entertainment show Three Celebrities and a Baby for Five. The programme tests the parenting skills of Colin and Justin from Five's How Not To Decorate, and supermodel Caprice.

Never one to turn down a challenge, Artem embarked on a brief that included producing a self-contained animatronic baby with happy, sad, chuckling and sleeping facial movements, a vocabulary of gurgles, shrieks and endless crying sounds and three fully working bodily functions; peeing, pooing and vomiting. All of these functions had to be operated by remote control in order to leave the celebrities to it as much as possible. The baby had to perform continuously over five days and nights with onboard batteries lasting a minimum of 12 hours. To add to the challenge the bodily functions needed to have realistic odours.

Acute lack of space was the main problem. Standard radio control switching relays were replaced with custom designed low power operating circuitry to free up space. Ultra thin lithium polymer batteries were used to increase the length of operation and a specialist odour manufacturer (yes, they exist!) was commissioned to brew up safe, but authentically repellent liquids, which were then coloured and thickened as per the clients requirements.

Artem's sculptors and mould-makers worked closely with the engineering department to ensure that everything fitted and was under the minimum strain when moving. The baby was cast using an ultra-soft/flexible silicone onto a jointed skeletal armature.

It was finished with layers of specially formulated, hard wearing, silicone pigments and each hair was individually punched into the baby's scalp - during the course of the programme the baby had to endure constant washing and grooming.

The usual compressed deadline (two months from conception to delivery) focused every department in the building, as each successive layer rested on the work of the last.

  • TV
  • Animatronics
  • Electronic Design
  • Mechanical Rigs
  • Sculpture
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