I Got to Pretend I Was Cast in ‘Kubo’

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Yeah, I was a theater geek. When I was in middle and high school, some friends and I even started our own theater troupe called Clockwork Visions. Aside from some community theater and a few local cable access spots, nothing ever came of it. That doesn’t mean I’m not still a big ham at heart. So when I was offered a chance to have myself edited into a scene from Kubo and the Two Strings, I jumped at it.

Here’s my “starring role” in Kubo:

Making the Scene

Kubo did not use a life-size person for the film version of this scene. Here’s a little more background on LAIKA’s stop-motion puppets. However, LAIKA did use computer graphics for Kubo, and they did film portions in front of a green screen in order to do things like add backgrounds.

Here’s how the massive puppet looked when they filmed the scene in Oregon before adding any digital effects:

The large puppet used in LAIKA's Kubo.
The large puppet used in LAIKA’s Kubo. Photograph by Marziah Karch

For this event, they had a basic greenscreen stage set up with marks for us to stand on. We stood in line and memorized our line. Here’s a picture of a different blogger doing this ahead of me. She’s also blonde, so it’s close, right? If I’d have thought about it, I’d have asked someone behind me to take a picture when it was my turn.

A blogger gets ready to shoot her scene at the Kubo and the Two Screens press event.
A blogger gets ready to shoot her scene at the Kubo and the Two Screens press event. Photo by Marziah Karch.

You can see that they’ve set up lighting, a camera on a jib, and an editing system. They mic’d us and had us stand on the platform on our mark with the direction that we should deliver our line and then look surprised and run off camera when they gave us the cue. We were also instructed not to raise the sword prop too high or else it would end up out of frame. So with those instructions, we each got our chance to act like we were actors.

It may not have been the real deal, but my inner teenager may have screamed until she passed out from excitement.

Kubo and the Two Strings will be in theaters on August 19th. Here’s GeekDad Will’s take on Kubo’s press day.