Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey

April 05, 2012

by

Constance Marks

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About the Documentary

Every day, millions tune in to Sesame Street to see one of the world’s most adored and recognizable characters — a furry red three-and-a-half year-old monster named Elmo. Yet, with all of Elmo’s fame, the man behind the icon is able to walk down the street without being recognized.

Meet Kevin Clash.

As a teenager growing up in Baltimore in the 1970s, Kevin had very different aspirations from his classmates — he wanted to be a puppeteer. More specifically, he wanted to be part of Jim 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.

Combining amazing archival footage with material from the present day, filmmaker Constance Marks explores Kevin’s story in vivid detail and chronicles the meteoric rise of Jim Henson in the process. Narrated by Whoopi Goldberg and including interviews with Frank Oz, Rosie O’Donnell, Cheryl Henson, Joan Ganz Cooney and others, this insightful and personal documentary offers up a rare, behind-the-scenes look at Sesame Street and the Jim Henson legacy.


The Filmmaker

Constance Marks

Producer and Director Constance Marks is an award-winning independent documentary filmmaker who began her filmmaking career over 30 years ago as an assistant editor for the renowned cinema verité pioneers, David and Albert Maysles. Her previous films include Return to Appalachia, Let’s Fall in Love: A Singles Weekend at the Concord Hotel, and Green Chimneys. For Being Elmo, Marks teamed with Producer Corinne LaPook, Director of Photography/Producer James J. Miller, co-director/editor/writer Philip Shane, editor/writer Justin Weinstein, and composer Joel Goodman.

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