The Puppet Film Maker: Genevieve Anderson

January 4, 2012

A kid with bloody knees and mismatched clothes who makes mud pies. I love knowing that this person grew-up to be a Puppet Film Maker…


what do you do?
I produce for video artist Bill Viola.  We are currently working on a piece for the Saint Paul Cathedral, London.

why puppets?
They are a perfect distillate of life form – inert by nature and animated through intention and focus and love. They are imaginary beings – they allow us to dream of life outside of day-to-day functioning.  They incite a magical way of thinking.

what were you like as a kid?
mud pies, bloody knees, mismatched clothes

typically, how long do you spend on a project?
Forever, or as long as it takes.  I started Too Loud A Solitude in 2003, finished a 17-minute version in 2007, and am working on the feature presently (after a four-year hiatus to have a child and get my masters).

what’s the hardest thing about your job?
Endurance. Maintaining belief in a project- it’s the only thing that keeps it going.

where do you find your inspiration?
In the in-between spaces, where meaning in not yet defined, but life is entire and perfect and full of possibility.  Specifically, my books; my garden, when things actually grow (always a miracle), the circus (the poor variety); deep, untouristed Mexico. Mistakes, when I have the courage.

who are your all time favorite puppets?
Typical, but the work of the Brother’s Quay – hand-made, divining beautiful forms from things found in the trash, abstract, dreamy.  Also Jiri Trinka.  Jan Svankmajer, for his glorious Eastern European madness.  There are so many.  Handspring Puppet Company, from South Africa…

if you could excel at a different career, what would it be?
Farming, or being a cobbler – something simple and without great ambition.

what’s your dream project?
The one I’m working on now, but funded.

what are you working on now?
An adaptation of Bohumil Hrabal’s Too Loud A Solitude made with live-action puppets and some animation.