First Practical Long-Grin Phase 1, the Head


     In 1984, the Long-Grin Saga was already a huge and expensive undertaking, even for a major studio. Nevertheless, as director of production for Cine-Media International, and with the support of its president and CEO Bond Johnson, Travis hired Billy (who about the same time created (and performed in), Mr. StayPuft for GHOSTBUSTERS), to make a model of Long-Grin's head that we could show to potential investors. The reasoning was simple. If he could show a mock-up of the dragon that studio executives and/or investors could see, touch, and with which they could have their pictures taken, it should help convince them that LONG-GRIN was as feasible as it was exciting.

     Travis and Billy had several meetings to discuss all the elements required in the design of the dragon's head, including the critical elements required for the dragon to "speak," and with the aid of puppeteers, display facial expressions that would be properly interpreted by an audience. BIlly began work on what became a 17-part mould. The model was not intended to be operational, but designed to allow for the servos and wiring required when the show went into production. What you see on this page is what Travis saw on the first day he went to see Long-Grin in Billy's studio.