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Sunday, 14 May 2017

A MAN IN A MONKEY...ISH SUIT

During The Christmas Season in most western and predominantly Christian countries, many large stores and companies make an extra special effort to come up with the most original and exciting adverts they can for their products and services. What has this got to do with Bigfoot you say? well in late 2016, Argos, a large British store chain, released its Christmas Ad offering in the form of a group of brightly coloured ice skating Yetis racing through a snow covered town, collecting and using the seasons store featured products. 

The costumes and animatronic faces were created by the special effects team from the James Bond movies at a cost of £30k per Yeti. The expressive faces and movements of the actors wearing the costumes was wonderfully convincing and really brought the Yeti to life in a comical and entertaining way. There was however something very wrong with this expensive and awesomely original Yeti creation and that, was its fur.

The Patterson/Gimlin film shot in 1967, almost 50 years prior to this recent professional Hollywood quality production, shows perfect musculature and movement, the hair is realistic and seems to be part of the body and attached to the skin; and the creature itself, whilst standing around 7 ft tall, has been proven to move in a way that no human can emulate. In reality, it is large scale professional productions such as these that show the utter implausibility of amateur filmmakers or even professional ones producing a convincing fake Bigfoot suit, let alone the unlikely prospect of them convincing the general public with it. You can make the face and the hands as perfectly convincing as you want, but the fur will always let you down. Even for large scale CGI projects, when dealing with animal fur they only ever animate a small portion of it, preferring to keep most of the animal out of focus due to the complexity and difficulty of producing a convincing example of animal fur/hair. 


£30k Yeti suits created for popular British Christmas ad.
(notice the undefined figures beneath the fur,
not even the slightest hint of shape or musculature.)
It is this very obvious difficulty that really adds credibility and weight to the Patterson/Gimlin footage  and others like the California Redwoods Bigfoot. 

First and foremost it is not possible to animate both naturally moving hair of varying lengths and to show musculature moving beneath it, or create a suit that shows both naturally flowing hair of varying lengths and muscle movement, as can be seen from this ad. Secondly, it is an expensive hoax to perpetrate, even if you do pull it off, and the financial return is unlikely to cover the cost of the Hollywood special effects team you had to hire to produce it. 

In conclusion, people who capture these creatures on photo or film, spend most of the rest of their lives being hounded and mocked for their often 'unintended' discovery and those who try to fake their footage, at close quarters at least, often do not produce anything even close to our colourful yet unconvincing ice skating Yetis', in this now beloved Ad of Christmas past.


Written by Andrew McGrath

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