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.