The Age newspaper reported today that a 7-metre tall life-like version of King Kong is being built in a West Melbourne warehouse.
The Creature Technology Company, originally formed to create the dinosaurs for the arena spectacular Walking With Dinosaurs, is now making the enormous Kong for a stage play, King Kong Live On Stage, set to open at New York’s Radio City Music Hall in 2011.
Kong, who is being built in the 9,000 square-foot facility, will consist of 70 small motors and will be remote controlled by puppeteers.
If you can picture a 7-metre tall King Kong being flown from Melbourne to New York when completed, you may also get the picture expertise for this sort of project was not available from within the US.
A recent announcement from the University of Melbourne to merge the Victorian College of the Arts into the mainstream of the University, may greatly impact professional puppetry training in this city. The University claims the VCA’s puppetry course consisted of the equivalent of three full-time students, and has therefore been suspended. The axe looks near.
The Creature Technology Company general manager, John Barcham, says “Melbourne is in the running to become the world centre for animatronic design and puppetry, but it won’t happen if they remove the (VCA) puppetry course” (The Age, 19/09/09).