We’ve all seen Roger Titley’s puppets, models and animatronics countless times before in our favourite ads. We just haven’t known it was him and his associate artists responsible for making the creatures come alive. The dung beetle who performed as part of the 2010 Fifa World Cup opening ceremony? One of his. Vodacom’s bungee-jumping baby? Yup, that too.We wanted to find out how one gets into this very intersting, challenging and creative line of work. Roger filled us in.
Between 10and5: Please let us know your official (or unofficial) job title.
Roger Titley: This keeps changing. I suppose it was Puppet related effects for film and Television. It is now more like Live performance creatures and workshops.
10and5: If you studied, what and where did you study?
Roger: Studied graphic fine art at PE and Cape tech. completed 1981
10and5: What does it take to do what you do?
Roger: A certain amount of talent and a lot of discipline.
10and5: Your favourite piece that you’ve worked on to date?
Roger: A TV commercial 20 year’s back that involved elephants hatching from eggs.
10and5: The strangest thing you’ve found yourself doing in the name of your job?
Roger: Creating crop circles in the mielie fields around the town of Reitz in the Freestate.
10and5: What’s the most difficult part of your job?
Roger: The deadlines are a killer. Trying to get that quality finish that you would like in the limited time available.
10and5: What do you love about your line of work?
Roger: Every time the phone rings for work there’s a new and very different challenge from the last one.
10and5: What did you want to be when you were growing up?
Roger: I was lucky to excel in art enough not to be lured down any other road. As a kid there was never a question that I would end up doing something in the creative world.
10and5: Advice to those who want to follow in your footsteps?
Roger: Keep challenging yourself. Never be happy with working to old formulas. Love what you do. Don’t use drugs and stimulants; they may be a short term solution but will definitely be a long term disaster!
10and5: Your dream brief?
Roger: To create a show using puppetry and local undiscovered talent that will make South Africans smile and cry with pride at the possibilities of this amazing country.