Claremore's Josh Smith will get a chance to land the job of a lifetime as a contestant on "Jim Henson’s Creature Shop Challenge" premiering March 25 on cable's Syfy.
The 27-year-old creature costumer and prop builder, who lives in Minot, N.D., is one of 10 creature designers who will compete on the show for a prize worth up to $100,000 including the opportunity for a contract working in the world-renowned Jim Henson's Creature Shop.
Challenges on the series will explore all aspects of the creature design field, from sculpting and animatronics to full-body creature creation, according to press information.
Evaluating the designs are judges, led by Brian Henson, chairman of The Jim Henson Company, and including creature fabricator Beth Hathaway ("Terminator 2," "Jurassic Park," "Batman Returns") and creature designer Kirk R. Thatcher ("Star Wars: Return of the Jedi," "Dinosaurs," "Muppets Wizard of Oz"). They will be evaluating the creatures for overall creativity and originality, technical execution and how well the creature designers bring their creations to life. During each episode, the creatures will be featured in a screen test in which professional puppeteers will showcase the creatures’ ability to perform.
Serving as mentors are world-renowned designer Peter Brooke, mechanization and animatronics master John Criswell and fabrication and artistic specialist Julie Zobel. The three are longtime Creature Shop artists.
Smith, who is working as a graphic designer for a casino in North Dakota, told Syfy his military father always wanted him to join the armed forces, but he asserted his own artistic passions.
His biography on the show's show's website says, as a child, Smith spent hours creating creatures out of tin foil and paper. His designs began as things he saw in films that inspired him, including "Jurassic Park" but he went on to create his own original beings. It says his claim to fame is a nine-foot-tall Diablo costume he created for a convention.
Smith has a bachelor's in Studio Art and considers fabricating to be his strength. Molding is his weakness but if a challenge requires it, he intends to innovate, according to the biography.