Puppet painter from BR works on ‘The Boxtrolls’ _lowres

Photo provided --Brett Carville

Former Baton Rougean Brett Carville, a 2012 Ringling College of Art and Design graduate, worked behind the scenes on the recently-released animated film “The Boxtrolls.”

The film is based on the children’s novel, “Here Be Monsters,” by Alan Snow.

Carville’s job with the film was as a puppet fabrication assistant. It included work in the armature and costume departments, and puppet painting, as part of a team of seven artists.

“We paint(ed) basically everything on the puppets except the replacement faces,” Carville said. “Every character in the film has a certain amount of duplicate puppets so the animators can film multiple scenes with the same characters on different sets simultaniously. Our job as puppet painters (was) to create a unique paint job for each character and then replicate it over and over and over, for 200 or so puppets.”

The LAIKA, LLC-produced movie follows a young, orphaned boy raised by underground cave-dwelling trash collectors who tries to save his friends from an evil exterminator. It features the voices of Ben Kingsley, Jared Harris, Nick Frost, Richard Ayoade and Tracy Morgan.

“The Boxtrolls,” which is still in theaters, has grossed $46 million thus far. But while Carville won’t see residuals from the production, it has proved quite the resume boaster for the young illustrator, he said.

Carville began the year-long project with LAIKA in 2012, shortly after his college graduation. Best known for “Coraline” and “ParaNorman,” LAIKA is an American stop-motion animation studio specializing in feature films, commercial content for all mediums, music videos and short films.

Carville, a former Catholic High School and St. Aloysius Talented Artist, continues to work as a puppet painter at LAIKA. He also works in freelance illustration, stop motion puppet fabrication and as a concept artist and visual storyteller. His current project is the writing and illustration of his own graphic novel titled “Life of Craig.”