Jim Henson Creature Shop President 78

David Barrington Holt, who founded and ran the first Creature Shop on the West Coast for the Jim Henson Company, has died after more than two decades with the company. He is 78 years old.

Holt died March 13 of complications from cancer at his home in Los Angeles, his son Chris Holt announced.

Holt founded Henson Co. in 1986. Began as Deputy Supervisor of its Creature Shop in the UK and was promoted to Creative Supervisor. He moved to Los Angeles in 1993 to establish a Creature Shop and produce the 1991-94 Disney-ABC series. Dinosaurs.

In LA, Holt creatively oversaw shop operations including puppetry, animatronics, effects, artists, administrative matters and R&D, and developments in the field of real-time 3D CG animation.

He was instrumental in developing the Henson performance control system, which allowed a single actor to operate complex, computer-controlled puppets in the same manner as a physical one.

As a creative supervisor, Holt worked on films including Indian on the shelf (1995), Phantom (1996), George of the Jungle (1997), Dr. Dolittle (1998), Jack Frost (1998), Snow Dogs (2002), Stuart Little 2 (2002), Cats and dogs (2001), Scooby Doo (2002) and Country bears (2002).

Born in England in June 1945, Holt graduated from the University of the Arts, London with a BA in Industrial Design in 1963 and was later recruited by the Royal College of Art and British Rail.

He owned and ran his own clothing boutique alongside renowned British fashion designer Thea Porter and built a reputation as a designer, photographer, model maker and restorer of mechanical antiques. His clients include the London Science Museum, the Greater London Council and the Institute of Mechanical Engineers.

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In 1984, Holt founded Hero Models, which provided models, miniatures, and hero effects for television shows, movies, and commercials. During that time, he returned to school to get certified as a psychotherapist and ran a practice until he was scouted by Henson Co.

While still devoting time to his psychology education, he was commissioned by London's Science Museum to build a working model of a Thames flood barge, which remains on display to this day.

Following his 23-year journey with Henson, he spent three years consulting for Walt Disney Imagineering R&D, where he helped transform innovative animatronic characters into technology for public exhibits. He later worked and consulted for companies such as Chiodo Brothers, Insutung Media, 11:11 Creative and Reisman Models.

Holt „could design and build an animatronic rabbit that you'd swear would take a carrot out of your hand, or a model train that, if you were really young, you could go on the adventure of a lifetime,” his son said. .

Survivors include his wife, Svetlana, whom he married in 1990.

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