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Being Elmo: A Puppeteer's Journey
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Narrated by Whoopi Goldberg, BEING ELMO: A PUPPETEER'S JOURNEY follows Clash's remarkable career, while also offering a behind-the-scenes look at Sesame Street and the Jim Henson Workshop. As a teenager growing up in Baltimore in the 1970s, Clash had very different aspirations from his classmates - he wanted to be a part of Henson's team, the creative force responsible for delivering the magic of Sesame Street on a daily basis. With a supportive family behind him, Kevin made his dreams come true.
Featuring interviews with Frank Oz, Rosie O'Donnell, Cheryl Henson, Joan Ganz Cooney and Clash himself, filmmaker Constance Marks's insightful and personal documentary tells the story of one of the world's most adored and recognizable characters and the visionary behind the icon.
Top Customer Reviews
Clash was an unlikely puppeteer, but went at it with diligence at an early age. Confident, yet he faced the scorn of his classmates in school who questioned his "playing with dolls." He took risks, asked questions, and was humble throughout.
The craft of puppet making is looked at as Clash had meetings with Sesame Street's expert puppet maker Kermit Love (no relation to the frog), who took him under his wing as both a craftsman and as a professional learning show business. Also examined is how Elmo was taken from a lesser character almost removed from the show by his previous puppeteer, to being the most popular Muppet.
We meet Clash's supportive parents, his early employer who knew he had someone special, and various Sesame Street people who explain what makes Clash's work different. We see him train puppeteers for the French version of the show, help a young girl who is much like him, and Clash himself in extensive interviews.
What does this have have to do with art? Watch how lifelike Elmo is, and how deliberate every movement and vocalization is. He is not a mono-personality entity like Punch or Judy, but a complex, rich, yet specific persona. There are unexpected layers, nuance and strategic quirks. Beyond the sing-song childlike laughter, Elmo is as complete of a person as a puppet can be. Kevin Clash is the reason why.
While comparing him too much to the finer arts would be amiss, the challenge to think about the completing of our work through our audience's reception is clearly there. Clash knows who is audience is, and what he wants to communicate through his character.Read more ›
This is, perhaps, not the most sophisticated documentary that you're likely to encounter in terms of its technical presentation, but its simplicity and heart are what distinguish it. There is quite a bit of footage from Clash's youth to incorporate into the film as he took his puppet-making passion to a public local stage from an early age. From community events, to local TV, to Captain Kangaroo--every step of Clash's journey drove him closer to the goal of working with Jim Henson. And just as interesting as the pursuit of this initial dream is when he takes a cast-off Muppet on the Street and makes history.Read more ›
Hey, even if you don't have kids you need to watch this inspirational documentary about a kid who had a dream and despite his limits like shyness, a low income household and being an african american boy in America, got to the very top of his game. Not by being an aggressive entrepreneur or a cocky go getter like the worldly belief, but being a good hearted, kind and perseverant person with a very clear goal.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
My students and I loved this dvd, it was cool to see how his passion connected him with the opportunity of a lifetime.Published 8 months ago by Amazon Customer
This is an interesting but ultimately not very illuminating documentary about Kevin Clash, the performer behind the phenomenally successful Elmo from Sesame Street. Read morePublished 10 months ago by David Bonesteel
Wonderful story. Inspiring for youngsters who have unconventional interests. We love The Street in our house, and we miss Clash's genius. The show isn't the same without him. Read morePublished 16 months ago by L. Newman
If someone you know loves Sesame Street and is over 10, this was a fantastic gift.Published 16 months ago by AmandaN
Uplifting, magical and SO COOL! Elmo does it again! Kevin's life teaches us all we need to know about the value of family, friends and mentoring and the joy and success we can all... Read morePublished 17 months ago by YK
If you Love The Muppet's this is a must have dvd. highly recommend it.Published 22 months ago by Alejandro Ruiz Pelayo
Kevin has talents and had them early on. Great story of a man who had parents who believed in him early on. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Robby Moore
How Elmo became to be, great! I'm an art teacher and this is a great video for art careers. I use it a sub video and the my students loved it.Published 23 months ago by Alan Francis Peralta Ordona