One of my friends (a lawyer) was having a career crisis. He did a short course that promised to reveal his ‘ideal career’. The result was puppeteer. I told him that it was probably wise to keep his day job. Obviously Kevin Clash didn’t have a friend like me.
The surprise hit of this year’s Sundance Film Festival is Constance Marks’ documentary Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey. The film’s subject is Kevin Clash, the man and voice behind the most famous Sesame Street character ever, Elmo.
As a teenager growing up in the seventies, Kevin Clash had very different aspirations from his classmates – he wanted to be a puppeteer. From the outset, he had his sights set on being part of Jim Henson’s team, the masterminds behind Sesame Street and The Muppet Show. Clash shares his inspirations and tells of the obstacles he had to overcome in order to make his hobby a profession.
Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey combines archival footage with material from the present day and provides rare, behind-the-scenes looks at Sesame Street and the Jim Henson legacy. The film is narrated by Whoopi Goldberg and won the Special Jury Prize at this year’s Sundance Film Festival.
The Australian release of Being Elmo will be managed by Madman Entertainment – no word on dates yet but we’ll keep you posted.