Chat with Laurie Maher – Soul of Madame Tutli-Putli (Oscar nominated animated short)

Feb 20, 2010 Update: Good news, Madame Tutli Putli (the full film video) is now online. Watch it and see for yourself.


If eyes are window to the soul, I think filmmakers/creators/fathers of Madame Tutli Putli, Chris Lavis and Maciek Szczerbowski, will agree with me that Laurie Maher is the soul of Madame Tutli-Putli because they share the same eyes (Laurie’s).

I have previously blogged about my love of Madame Tutli-Putli. Today, I have the great pleasure to chat with Laurie to hear her sharing some of her experiences and excitement of working the Oscar-nominated Madame Tutli-Putli.

First, here is a brief bio of Laurie,

Laurie Maher has a degree in fashion design and has worked in the fashion industry in Toronto, London and Prague. Her first film role was in the comedy short How Audley, which she co-wrote and co-directed. She also starred in the feature length film, Sleep Always, which was awarded Best Feature at the 2005 New Jersey International Film Festival.

You can listen to my audio chat with Laurie Maher in mp3 format (or you can download or stream the interview here). We talked about many things like,

  • how Laurie came to the role of Madame Tutli-Putli,
  • how a short term much smaller scale involvement turns into a wonderful and creative 4 years project,
  • the attention to details and Laurie’s personal touch in giving a soul to Madame Tutli Putli (not only with Laurie’s eyes, but her movements, mannerisms, custom designed costumes, hat),
  • how Laurie worked with filmmakers Chris Lavis, Maciek Szczerebowski, and special visual effects magician Jason Walker.
  • the delicate and time consuming process of creating the beautiful looking eyes of Madame Tutli-Putli (for more of Jason’s magic in adding Laurie’s eyes to the stop-motion puppet, see at Jason’s site with some really neat technical videos)
  • the multiple takes to get the needed shots (sometimes as many as 25 takes) for the film,
  • and many other things including Laurie’s plan for the big Oscar night tomorrow.

As I told Laurie, in my heart, they have already won the Oscar with all the beautiful and ground breaking work that have done together. Great job.

P.S. This video and article about Laurie in TorStar are not to be missed.

P.P.S. As I listened to my chat with Laurie again after the interview, I couldn’t help but noticed and realized how much dedication Laurie, Chris, Maciek, Jason and the team have put in to make this film beautiful and great. Upholding a great tradition of wonderful NFB films (special hat tip to NFB producer Marcy Page).

I am inspired by Laurie when she talked about the detailed preparation she went in to prepare for the original assignment, a short project, which turned into a 4 year collaboration and an Oscar-nominated film. I think many artists and entrepreneurs can learn a lesson here as one never knows if a “small project” may become a “Oscar-nominated” piece of work.

Good luck to the team. I hope you win and bring a golden boy home.

Laurie, thanks again for a wonderful chat today.

P.P.P.S. Here is the Madame Tutli Putli trailer,

4 Responses to Chat with Laurie Maher – Soul of Madame Tutli-Putli (Oscar nominated animated short)

  1. susanna says:

    I’m so excited for everyone who worked on this film. I’ll be watching the Academy Awards tonight on the tellie and will be keeping my finger’s crossed that Laurie’s film will win.

  2. kempton says:

    Thanks Susanna for your comment. I am excited for the gang and hope they do well.

  3. […] you watch Madame Tutli-Putli, you can have a read and listen to my “Chat with Laurie Maher – Soul of Madame Tutli-Putli“. Laurie’s eyes and mannerism were used by filmmakers Chris Lavis & Maciek […]

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