Sergeant Major Zero in a Music Video?

Glass Onion’s Don’t Be Afraid

In the Summer of 2014 Sergeant Major Zero from Terrahawks was revived by Richard Gregory to star in a music video for Glass Onion. We asked Chris Clark – lead singer of the band – to tell us about the music video, and why he wanted a zeroid to feature in it!

The Eighties…

I’ve always been a bit off the wall with my video projects, but earlier this year, I convinced most of my close friends that I’d actually gone insane, when I told them I aimed to make a low budget music video, featuring a dozen iconic kids TV characters!

I really wanted to shoot brand new footage of original puppets, so I set about my research – Who owned these things nowadays?! How do I get permission to feature them? Well, one chap who I managed to track down was the very charming Jamie Anderson and Terrahawks was most definitely on the top of my wish list.

Reviving Zero

A short while into our conversation about the project, it became apparent that, although Jamie liked the idea, it may not be too easy to find a working Terrahawks puppet (a problem that arose all too often when contacting people about the video – Cosmo and Dibbs, Gilbert the alien, Wizbit and Orm and Cheep are all now sadly deceased)! The idea of a CGI version was briefly mentioned, but I think we both knew that it had to be the real thing. Enter Richard Gregory, animatronics expert extroadinaire! It turned out that Richard owned an original ‘Sergeant Major Zero’ prop and that he might just be able to do enough to get the 30 year old puppet working again…And do you know what? He did! All the old mechanisms were working, once again (well, we had to add the lights in post production).

The Shoot

I had decided that blue screen was going to be the easiest was to shoot with Zero, so we could get him to the right scale and control his movements properly. So, one day in July, we all met up in a secret glamorous location (a village hall near Swindon) and set about capturing the first new piece of Zero footage in about 30 years! Wow, what an honour for an unsigned, independent nobody!

There were 5 of us at the shoot. Richard, Jamie, Myself and two members of my excellent crew, Dan and Rich. 5 grown men, suddenly Children again, having a whale of a time, bringing Zero back to life! It really was quite a magical feeling and we all had far too much fun!

And all too soon, the shoot was done. We had a celabratory pint, and went our separate ways. But there was still much to do. Shooting the location parts of the Terrahawks came with a whole new set of problems, including a windy day and a painted excercise ball, accidentally trespassing on a Farmer’s land, and boiling hot weather which overheated our camera! Please do watch ‘the making of’, to see what I mean! But most importantly, Watch ‘don’t be afraid’ by ‘glass onion’ and see Zero helping to save the day, once again!

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