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His Dark Materials at 
Thames Con

How to make a Daemon …from script to screen, creating the daemons of His Dark Materials

Thames Con presents a very special and very exclusive 'making of' Masterclass. For the first time since shooting the scenes, Joe Tandberg, William Todd-Jones, Eliot Gibbins, and the HDM puppets are reunited to show you how they brought the Daemons to life! Suitable for ages 6+. 


Video Courtesy of Framestore & Bad Wolf productions. 

What to expect

In this 60 minute Masterclass you will learn how reference puppetry came into existence and gain an insight into the puppet and creature FX industry. Plus you will have the chance to act out a scene from the show!

What will we cover? 

  • Establishing the rules - how many, how often, do daemons pooh?

  • Creating the methodology - every department will be involved.

  • Bringing together the CFX team - very wide ranging skillset

  • Puppets, proxies, pixels!


Part 2

  • Building a bear - physical interactive elements 

  • Shooting a scene with Iorek

    • Painting Practise previs

    • What CFX provided 

    • Shot by shot explanation

  • The broadcast result

It's not every day that you get to be a Panserbjørn but at Thames Con you can! Audience participation optional. 

Todd on Iorek (002).jpeg

Who will be teaching the Masterclass?

How do I book onto this Masterclass?

The Masterclass is £10.00 per Adult (16 yrs+), £5.00 per child ages 6-15 yrs and is available to all Thames Con attendees. Masterclass tickets can be purchased below.  You will also need to purchase an entry ticket to the convention here. The Masterclass will take place in the Auditorium of the Cornerstone  Arts Centre on Saturday 28th October 2023 at 12:00pm. More information about Thames Con 2023 can be found here. 

Ioreks farewell.jpg

William Todd-Jones shares his thoughts on one of his favourite scenes 'Iorek’s Farewell’


"The parting of Lyra and Iorek: the moment at the ice bridge where Iorek has to let Lyra go on without him, to face the dangers of the path ahead, …he can no longer be her protector but has to leave her to her destiny. The parting is poignant, personal, intimate… Lyra runs her hands over the puppet version of Iorek’s scarred muzzle & kisses him goodbye."

As many people know, at Thames Con we are big fans of puppetry and practical effects. Visual FX are incredible in what can be achieved but having something real and tangible to interact with helps to deliver a performance that feels authentic. 

Ioreks farewell close up.jpg


With special thanks to Framestore, Bad Wolf, William Todd-Jones & Eliot Gibbins for providing these behind the scenes images. 

Ticket Terms & Conditions

  • Masterclass tickets are non-refundable once purchased

  • We do not feel that this workshop is suitable for under the age of 6. 

  • Please not there may be loud noises and flashing images

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