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M3GAN director explains how they pulled off viral dance scene

M3GAN director explains how they pulled off viral dance scene

It was a pretty complex operation

M3GAN director Gerard Johnstone and puppeteer Adrian Morot have revealed how they managed to pull off the viral dance scene.

The horror flick centres on AI robot M3GAN designed by robotics expert Gemma (played by Allison Williams) to become a best pal and protector for kids. You can check out the trailer here:

When Gemma unexpectedly becomes responsible for her niece Cady (played by Violet McGraw), after her parents both die in a car accident, she gives her niece a M3GAN prototype to look after her.

However, things take a dark turn when M3GAN becomes self-aware and is dead set on protecting Cady at any cost.

The movie has been a huge hit with audiences - and one scene in particular has made a lasting impression online: that creepy dance scene.

But how did they manage to get M3GAN to dance like that?

Well, you may or may not be surprised to learn that M3GAN is actually played by two people - 12-year-old Amie Donald is the girl in the suit, while Jenna Davis, 18, voices the character.

M3GAN is also made up a mixture of puppets, animatronics and visual effects.

M3GAN's dance scene went viral.
Universal Pictures

Speaking to Variety, supervising puppeteer Morot said: “We had six or seven different puppets that were capable of doing different things. We had some of the head moving, eyes moving, the moving torso, and there were a couple that were capable of a full computerised range of movements.

“For every shot where she would be seen walking in full or dancing in a corridor, that would be Amie wearing a mask that, if need be, would be then animated to have lip movement or the eyes moving.”

And although the scene is possibly the most memorable of the movie, Johnstone has admitted it wasn’t quite what he had in mind.

He told Variety: “I had in my mind more of a ‘Soul Train’ thing. A shimmy.”

12-year-old Amie Donald was inside the doll costume.
LANDMARK MEDIA / Alamy Stock Photo

But in an interview with NewsHub, Johnstone revealed he gave free-reign to Donald - who just so happens to be a national dance champion - and her choreographer.

"I have to hand it to them, that's all them,” he said. “Those crazy moves, I don't know where they came from, but I'm very grateful.”

Williams, who was an executive producer on the movie as well as playing Gemma, admitted the team had initially created their own memes to get horror fans interested, but it turned out they needn’t have bothered as the trailer went viral all on its own.

She said: “We had internally come up with memes to distribute, but we didn’t end up needing to deploy them, because people started making their own. You can’t even dream that big when you’re doing something like this. That was just such an exciting day. It was proof of concept.”

Featured Image Credit: FlixPix/Alamy Stock Photo/Universal Pictures

Topics: Film and TV, Viral