terça-feira, 23 de setembro de 2008

Puppet And Stuff Puppetry Forum

Over the last couple of weeks we have started participating on the Puppet's and Stuff forum. Cicero, Nice and I have found it to be a great community of puppeteers and puppet makers who are very welcoming to interested parties. You will find people there of all levels of puppeteering, from the professional to the beginner. There are quite a few people there who are interested in Christian puppetry. Check it out!

Latest Video Efforts

Here are the latest videos we have done that have been shown on our local TV station. We have one more "in the can" that will be shown at an as yet undisclosed date.

Buga Buga: Rock and Hole

This video introduces a new cast of characters, the Buga Buga tribe. Their language consists of the words "buga buga", and they illustrate biblical principles through their capers. If you have any doubt as to what they are illustrating in this video, check out the reference at the end.


This one is just a little comedy bit that aired before the Buga Buga clip. It is based on one of my favorite Smothers Brothers routines. Below is a translation:

Junior: Hey Max.
Max: Hey Junior
Junior: Is it my imagination, or do I smell chocolate.
Max: It's not your imagination, it is really chocolate. I fell into a bucket of chocolate this morning.
Junior: You fell into a bucket of chocolate?
Max: Yes, an enormous bucket, full of chocolate. It was terrible.
Junior: I can imagine. And what did you do?
Max: I yelled "FIRE!"
Junior: Hang on...you fell into a bucket of chocolate and yelled "fire"?
Max: That's right.
Junior: And why did you do that?
Max: Because nobody would have helped me if I had yelled "CHOCOLATE"!
(rim shot)

Back to Posting

Ok, I keep meaning to post here, but life just keeps getting in the way. There has been a flurry of puppetry related activity here, however, and so we have a lot of content that could go here. Hopefully we will be able to be more consistent from here on out, and post more material for believers seeking to make a difference through puppetry.

Last weekend we administered our sixth puppetry school here in Brazil. It was a raging success. Cicero, our technical director, put together this little promotional video featuring photos and clips from last week's event. Enjoy.

sábado, 10 de maio de 2008

Jornal da Cidade Feliz: Desafiando a Bússula

Here is our latest production. In this edition of the Jornal da Cidade Feliz Junior and Manu talk about the movies "The Golden Compass" and "Facing the Giants".

Jornal da Cidade Feliz: Desafiando a Bússula

Here is our latest production. In this edition of the Jornal da Cidade Feliz Junior and Manu talk about the movies "The Golden Compass" and "Facing the Giants".

domingo, 4 de maio de 2008

Our "First" TV Appearance

Actually, we did about five over a year ago...but they are pretty primitive. We have spent some time and cash to make these new vignettes a little more "high quality".

In watching the following performance, we noticed that we need to work a lot more on the interaction between the human and the puppet, and also raise the quality of our lighting. I was also not completely satisfied with the final result of the interaction between the two puppets at the end.

We have worked on correcting these issues, and hopefully you will note a difference in next-week's posting (which is almost completely edited already!).

This episode deals with a "missing link" that was discovered about a month ago in Rio de Janeiro. Manú (the girl) and Júnior (the puppet) talk about it in light of what the Bible has to say about creation. In the end, Júnior allows as how he thinks he has discovered a missing link, and displays a photo of Chico. Chico is none too pleased.

If I get some time, I will try to makes some captions so you can understand all of what is said.

After months of preparation, false starts, and scheduling conflicts, I am thrilled to be in regular production again.

sábado, 15 de março de 2008

Henson's Place, Part Three

In the absence of material of my own to post, I am posting the long-overdue third segment of the "Henson's Place" documentary, with my own pithy comments.

"Watch the duck!"

The footage of the early programs shows that, even though limited in technical resources, the attention to quality was still there. Christian puppeteers--including yours truly--need to remember this.


So I have on my computer the latest--and by far the best--segment our team has ever done. One problem--I can't put it up here until it goes on TV. And it won't go on TV until we get some more filmed and "in the can". And because we can only count on our cameraman 25% of the time, only God knows when that will be.


quarta-feira, 27 de fevereiro de 2008


This is a cross post from our ministry blog. We are finally filming again at the Cidade Feliz.

First, we went to the First Baptist Church, where filming was in progress for "Reason to Live", which is the "parent" program that hosts our Cidade Feliz segments. There we did a little promo spot, announcing the return of the Cidade Feliz program.

Promo Spot
Nice readies Júnior, and Pastor Francisco readies himself for the camera.

Pr. Francisco and Junior
Júnior and Pastor Francisco

Pastor Francisco Fabiano (pictured above) is the host of the "Reason to Live" TV program, which is a ministry of the First Baptist Church. We are very grateful to them for giving us space on their program.

After filming that little spot, it was on to the seminary, where we set up our green screen and filmed one episode of a segment called "Cidade Feliz News".

Camera Man
Setting up the camera

Sound Man
Sound table

Manu and Junior
Manú and Júnior clowning around

After resolving a few glitches with equipment, we were able to film the episode. Currently the film is in post, scheduled to air a week from Saturday. This first segment tackles the evolutionary concept of a "missing link". Tomorrow we will be filming another couple episodes.

Cicero, our production assistant, took some footage on his digital camera against the green screen. I used it to practice my chroma key technique. Below is my very first attempt.

quarta-feira, 20 de fevereiro de 2008

Green Screen

A few weeks ago we made the decision to do any future taping of our program with a green screen. One problem: we did not have a green screen. Cicero and Nice to the rescue. These two dedicated members of our team took an idea that I drew (scribbled) for them and ran with it.

This was the result:

Green Screen

Our first camera-call in over a year will be tomorrow, with our brand-new green screen. Here is Nice with her character, Junior, testing out the screen.

Green Screen and Puppet

Hopefully after tomorrow I will have pictures of the filming process, as well as some helpful links that show how to film with a green screen. I have the links right now...I just don't know which ones will be helpful.

quinta-feira, 14 de fevereiro de 2008

Henson's Place, Part Two

At long last I am posting part two of the Henson's Place documentary--along with my own astute comments on aspects which relate to puppet ministry.

The difference between the first concept of a puppet and the final result is good to note.

I was fascinated by Henson's comments on what it is about puppets that fascinates children.

Note the effort that goes into developing the various personalities of the puppets in Sesame Street.

Think running an effective puppet program is easy? Check out the "job description" given by Mrs. Henson in describing her husband.

terça-feira, 29 de janeiro de 2008

Character Puppets

God has blessed us with the friendship and collaboration of a very talented couple--Cicero and Anice--who are busily making the puppets for our filming project. I was just at there house, and got to see a few of the finished products:


Some of these guys are still in development, but I am getting excited about the results.


This is my brother Daniel--who is here in Brazil to speak at a Carnaval retreat--interacting with Dr. Baltazar--our series villain. (Daniel is the one in the glasses)

sexta-feira, 25 de janeiro de 2008

Henson's Place, Part One

The following is a real find for the puppet community. It is a documentary which delves into the evolution of Jim Henson's Muppet empire. I first heard about it at Puppeteers Unite. It was posted by the same YouTube-er who brought us the Of Muppets and Men series.

The documentary comes in seven installations. I am going to post one a day for the next seven days, and make comments on some of the aspects of these documentaries that are relevant to using puppets in ministry.

Here is the first installation:

In watching the first part of the video, I cannot help but be impressed with how the Muppet industry "started small". They did not begin with big, multi-million dollar productions. Yet, from "a way to make extra money in college", it grew into one of the biggest entertainment companies in history.

It is also pretty neat to see that they got their start on local television--exactly where we are working. Of course, today there is also YouTube.

What Mrs. Henson says about "little tiny movements" is very important. It is those movements that give a puppet it's life.

Also, pay close attention to her talking about the potential of puppets to communicate.

The way they work the "human-arm" puppets has never ceased to amaze me. The amount of coordination needed for each hand to be operated by a different person boggles my mind.

One formula for their success: skilled puppeteers+skilled puppet makers.

Stay tuned for the other installments. There is a lot of puppeterring gold to be mined from these videos.

Human Puppet Interaction

One of the more dynamic aspects of a puppet presentation is when you have a human talking to a puppet. Check out the following video:

h/t Puppet Vision

Notice how the actress interacts with the puppets, not the puppeteers. She also displays the full range of emotions. Her performance enhances the lifelikeness of the puppets.