Mr Flibble Talks To... Direct Approach
It was the season where Rimmer got hard (ahem) and Starbug got blown to smithereens. It was the season that lost Red Dwarf and mislaid Holly. It was also the season that Andy DeEmmony directed - Red Dwarf VI.
23 March, 2001
Andy de Emmony
Mr Flibble's right hand provided by
Andrew Ellard

How did you get started as a director?

I started as a sculptor - that's what I did my degree in - and initially started at Spitting Image sculpting, but I wasn't as good as everybody else. I was okay, but there were some brilliant caricaturists there, and I ended up art directing, doing the photography. Then - in the cash-rich 80's - they sent me off to film school. I did a multi-camera directing course and then directed eight or nine series of Spitting Image.

That's where Rob and Doug came from - it spawned a lot of comedy talent, and I've gone on to work with a lot of people from that: Father Ted, Red Dwarf... I'd worked with [Chris Barrie] as a voice artist before I worked with him on 'Dwarf.

Would you direct puppets differently to live actors?

In the same way that Red Dwarf is technically quite tricky, so was Spitting Image. You are limited to the angles you can shoot, you need masking. Spitting Image was fast and furious, very straightforward really. You couldn't be very pretty with it, because you had to shoot it all in a day, really.

Did you end up directing the puppets rather than the people?

No, actually. I did once work with Gordon the Gopher, and the guy operating him wouldn't talk to me, I'd got to talk to the f**king gopher, which was bizarre. [On] Spitting Image all the puppeteers were stood up, the puppets were raised in the air - so you're on ground level, on eye-level with them rather than with the puppets. And we didn't let anyone get too poncey on Spitting Image... (Laughs)