Copper Pot Pictures In Contract To Document Life Of Big Bird Puppeteer Caroll Spinney In I AM BIG BIRD
Caroll Spinney, the 78-year-old puppeteer who has played Sesame Street’s Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch for 43 years, has signed an agreement with Copper Pot Pictures, giving the company exclusive rights to produce a feature-length documentary about his life. The company has also launched a Kickstarter campaign to support the production of I AM BIG BIRD.
I AM BIG BIRD is a feature-length documentary about Caroll Spinney, who has been Sesame Street’s Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch since 1969… and at 78 years old, he has no intention of stopping. Think you know everything there is to know aboutSesame Street ? You don’t. You might know that Frank Oz turned down an offer to play Big Bird, but you probably don’t know that until a last minute change of heart by NASA, Big Bird was supposed to go to space aboard the Challenger. Or you may know that Oscar the Grouch got his voice from a cantankerous cabbie, but you’d be surprised to learn that a fire in his trash can almost led to Caroll’s untimely demise. Caroll’s stories are the stuff of legend. He has been a constant presence in our lives for over 40 years, his path weaving through American history like that of Forrest Gump. His time inside the Bird has taught him about the world and about himself. I AM BIG BIRD will peel away the instances in Caroll’s life that inspired his creation of characters that influenced generations of children. And, as the yellow feathers give way to grey hair, it is the man, not the puppet, who will steal your heart.
Watch the trailer below. For those who grew up with Sesame Street, have some tissues at the ready. As the preview says, “Big Bird guided you through childhood.” So he did.
While Caroll has been with Sesame Street since it first aired in 1969, he still has no plans to retire. “People always ask Caroll why he’s still doing it after four decades,” said Dave LaMattina, who is co-directing the film with Chad Walker. “I AM BIG BIRD will answer that question by exploring his extraordinary life.” The film will include footage from Caroll’s extensive private video archive, which captures behind-the-scene moments with family, Jim Henson and others. I AM BIG BIRD has been in development since 2009 with the full cooperation of Sesame Workshop.
Copper Pot plans to raise over $100,000 during its 30-day Kickstarter campaign and has already reached a quarter of their goal since launching yesterday. Kickstarter helps artists raise money from individuals in exchange for products or experiences and has raised more than $45 million for film projects. Copper Pot will offer rewards for pledges of $1 to $10,000, including a copy of the film, a private dinner with Caroll, a video chat with the puppeteer, and a signed illustration from Caroll.
To kick off the campaign, Copper Pot and Muppet fan group “Tough Pigs” will screen exclusive clips from the film and the Spinney archive at Nitehawk Cinemas (136 Metropolitan Avenue, Brooklyn) at 12 PM on Saturday, July 21st. Copper Pot will also be releasing exclusive footage via Twitter (@Copper_Pot) through August 14th. For more about the film or Kickstarter campaign, visit www.IAmBigBird.com.