Thursday, October 03, 2013

Faz Fazakas 1918-2013

Word is coming from the network of Muppet fan blogs that Franz "Faz" Fazakas, Muppet engineer, has passed away. He did a lot of work on the mechanics of various Muppet productions. That long shot of Emmet Otter and Ma rowing their canoe? Him. Big Bird's and Sweetums' mechanical eyes? Him. The rats scatting in the kitchen in The Muppets Take Manhattan? Faz. He also did a LOT of work on Fraggle Rock (particularly the Doozers, always my Mom's favorite part of the show) and on The Dark Crystal, a film I only just watched on Blu-Ray last week. He's the man who made me terrified of the Skeksis when I was a kid, and utterly fascinated by their mechanics as an adult. He also was responsible for the facial mechanics of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Faz was responsible for some of the greatest and most enduring illusions of life ever created by the Jim Henson Company. He had the kind of job I desperately wanted when I was a kid.

Thanks for everything, Faz. I've enjoyed your work my entire life.

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