Portland’s Andy Furgeson, aka Red Yarn, is the man behind the creation of The Deep Woods, and today’s video feature for the song, “Rattlesnake.”
What you will love about it: Its charm! There is a very real, heart-warming feeling about this video that resembles the vibe of many of Jim Henson’s productions (Emmett Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas, The Muppets, Fraggle Rock). Furgeson’s demeanor and refreshing candor brings an authenticity to the scene leaving the audience feeling as though they are invited into the scene as opposed to simply being presented with it.
As the video opens, we are introduced to Red and Bob Rabbit who kickoff the song with a wicked beat and engaging dance movements that will light a spark in the imagination of children who will be compelled to stomp and clap along. As the song builds, more and more critters come out of the woodwork to join in the jamboree. They even welcome in the mean snake who has been terrorizing other animals throughout the song.
What you should know: This video is the first segment of Furgeson’s grant-funded ‘Deep Woods’ TV Pilot. The pilot tells the story how Red Yarn first discovered the Deep Woods, befriended the critters that live in the forest and started a traveling band with them. The only way the Deep Woods will survive is if the children of the world remember these old characters and the folk songs from which they came, so Red decides to help the critters by going on the road together. The “Rattlesnake” video depicts the first time Red plays music with the band.
Behind the Scenes: A huge creative team came together to make this pilot happen. 12 puppeteers worked to bring the puppets to life while Jeff Speetjens (digital artist for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II, as well as Green Lantern) collaborated and served as director, production designer, Joseph Silva was cinematographer and editor, and Ryan Bruce served as art director. You can view the names of the entire crew at the video’s YouTube page.
Want to learn more? Of course you do! Check out my interview with Andy Furgeson which goes into further detail about what The Deep Woods is all about and how it was born out of Furgeson’s interest in American folklore with a special focus on the role animals played in old folk songs. There’s some really interesting stuff here!