Guests for October 25, 2020

Ep #28 Puppet Heap

Paul Andrejco

Paul Andrejco is the founder of Puppet Heap, an internationally recognized character design studio in Hoboken, NJ. 

Working alongside top artists in his field, he creates characters for a wide variety of media including film, television, theater, and all kinds of new media.  Puppet Heap’s clients and partners include such names as the Walt Disney Company, Fox Television, and Sesame Workshop.

Michael Bush

Puppet builder, wrangler, and puppeteer with Puppet Heap since 2009.

Danielle Obinger

My title is Muppets Coordinator. 

I like to think of myself as an air traffic controller – know where everything is, keep all the planes 

in the air and don’t let anything crash! The most important thing is to keep the information flowing between Disney and the puppet builders, costumers and prop makers. I coordinate most closely with Peter MacKennan, the Production Supervisor. Peter is much! more is savvy about on-set needs, puppet protocols and idiosyncratic puppet issues. He is often on-set and I remain at PH, but we are in constant contact.

A big part of my job is maintaining and updating the database of Muppet “assets”. There are more than 2,200 boxes stored off site and the contents need to be accessed quickly and efficiently.

I started working with the Muppets in 1980. I was hired, sight unseen – resume unseen, to build costumes for The Great Muppet Caper. I soon became the Photo Stylist and later the Photo Librarian (while continuing to do the occasional photo shoot). Iconic Muppet images I helped to create include: Hallmark cards, Sesame Street Viewmaster reels, most of the Miss Piggy calendars, The Kermitage Collection, Muppet Magazine, Got Milk? ads (both Kermit and Cookie Monster),Miss Piggy’s Baked Lay’s Potato Chip print ads (photographer: Richard Avedon!) and thousands of other photos.

Peter MacKennan

Puppet Heap Senior Artist – Production Supervisor 

Peter has worked for over three decades in the fields of visual arts & entertainment, almost always with character based properties and puppets. 

He has held positions at Great Jones Studio, Jim Henson Productions, Sesame Workshop, HIT Entertainment and Puppet Heap.

Peter has worked in pre-production and on set on numerous Muppet appearances, television and feature films including Muppet Christmas Carol, Muppet Treasure Island, The Muppets!, and Muppets Most Wanted.

He is the recipient of 2 Emmy Awards for his work on Sesame Street (seasons 19-25)

Peter holds an MFA in Painting and printmaking from Yale University. For more on his personal artwork follow him on Instagram.

Daniel Martin

General Manager

Starting at Puppet Heap 5 years ago with a creative and technical background, Dan runs day to day operations and has helped implement new technologies such as 3D by design, 3D printing and laser cutting into the generally traditional field of puppet building.

Mary Brehmer

Mary started her creative career at the Michigan Thanksgiving Parade, working on floats and designing and building inflatables.

After moving to New York, she supervised the sculpture department at Spaeth Design for 5 years before starting to freelance.

For the past 25 years Mary has freelanced for The Jim Henson Company, Puppet Heap, Laika, SNL, Parsons-Meares, and Spiffy Pictures, building and wrangling puppets and building costumes. She has credits in 9 feature film, several television series, and has received 4 Emmy award nominations.

She is happy to now work full time at Puppet Heap, but can’t resist an extra free lance project now and then.

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