Artem Case Studies

The Bad Education Movie The Bad Education Movie Ltd

'Working within budget and in a limited timeframe Artem created 2 fantastic swan puppets for one of the film’s most prominent scenes - a detailed head and neck rig and a whole articulated dummy bird. Their research and development was good and communication was clear. On set the Artem team was consistently professional, efficient and responsive. They modified the puppet to match the live swan's colouring very well. They also puppeteered the swan with character. They were a  pleasure to work with throughout the project.'

Thorin Thompson, Art Director

Spinning off from the popular TV series, ‘The Bad Education Movie’ stars Jack Whitehall and sees his character, Alfie Wickers, the worst teacher in the country, take his class on a school trip to Cornwall. Despite Alfie’s determination to make it the best school trip ever, it goes off the rails almost immediately, featuring drunken parties with Alfie’s old school friends, strip clubs, and – with our help – an extremely aggressive swan. 

The brief called for our swan to attack Alfie Wickers (Jack Whitehall), biting on to his, er… ‘private area’, after one of his students scares the bird with the flash of a camera. The swan then gets into a bit of a flap – literally! – as Alfie also panics and starts to spin around on the spot.

To achieve this, we created one full-size swan puppet for the wider shots – which could be attached to the actor and operated by an arrangement of poles and fishing lines to allow for wing movement – and a separate neck and head rig for close-up shots. Our puppets needed to match the appearance of the real swan used in the scene, with our swans taking over for the action shots.

Two Artem technicians attended the location shoot in Cornwall to operate the swan.  Adam Sawatzki, one of our technical masterminds, commented: ‘Once we got over the bizarreness of the situation, we had a great day on set operating our swans and trying to get the best possible shots. We knew we had to bring our puppets to life as realistically as possible in order for the comedy of the scene to come through.’

You can spot our cheeky swan in action – getting somewhat up close and personal to Jack Whitehall – in the trailer for the film, which you can see here.

  • Film
  • Animation & Puppets
  • Animatronics
  • Mechanical Rigs
  • Props
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