10/19/2006

Pooppets! Pooppets! Puppets!

From time to time I enjoy mucking around with puppets. Sometimes they muck around with me, the little blighters do it right here on this blog. There's a lot of different types of puppets out there and except for the occasional human puppets all are a lot of fun to play with, but the hardest type of puppet to manipulate with true precision and realism is the Marionette. There's no 'cheat' in their movements as with other hard to manipulate puppets.

With claymation puppets you have time and a video-grabber to work on perfection. In ventriloquism, well, if you see the puppet turn his head real fast it's because the puppeteer is trying to distract you from noticing they can't stop their mouth moving on letters P or T. I won't go into the other 'hard' to use puppets but there are cheats to make the performances look good. But with Marionettes it's all right there in front of you and it's *expletive* hard to give an inanimate object human weight and movement especially at the end of a long flexible string. Try it, you'll see what I mean.

Anyway, I found this vid of an 'unknown' hollywood puppeteer. The puppeteer is absolutely frigg'n brilliant. Now, if only there was a story to go with his skill.

Take: 46

Blogger jamwall mused...

ANOTHER attack ad!!!!

will this ever end????

Thu Oct 19, 03:58:00 pm

 
Anonymous Rich mused...

Cowbell Dude!

Thats like sooo wrong. So wrong that everyone has to go and watch the politico ads on your site.

Go! Watch! Be free with the political process.

Crazy Americans

Thu Oct 19, 04:18:00 pm

 
Blogger Wendy mused...

wow. the movements were done so delicately that the puppet looked human. Skills

Thu Oct 19, 05:21:00 pm

 
Blogger delu mused...

I love puppets too. But i'm not skilful enough for making one of my own. Have you seen "Being John Malkovich"?

Here there are lots of handmade ones : http://www.flickr.com/groups/puppets/

Thanks for passing by the Libelurian Kingdom :-)

Thu Oct 19, 05:27:00 pm

 
Anonymous Rich mused...

Wendy of my heart!

Uh-huh! Dude with those skillz and he's playing on the street. It would be a crime but you know with finger movements that delicate he's in tight with the ladies.

That's why girls out there should date puppeteers. Giving that secret away for free. Take it to the bank!

Thu Oct 19, 05:30:00 pm

 
Anonymous Rich mused...

Hey Delu! Welcome! Thanks for dropping in, you know I take a walk through the Libelurian Kingdom regularly. It's a nice place. Everyone should do it some time, your latest picture is beautiful.

As filmy type person and a puppet fan I love Being John Malkovich, particularly the chimp with seperation anxiety. This puppeteer definitely influenced by Malkovich, but I think he's actually a little better than Phillip Huber who did that awesome scene at the start of the film.

Thanks for the link to the Puppet Group, I'll check it out.

Thu Oct 19, 05:40:00 pm

 
Blogger mizfit mused...

fantastic video and amazing work on teh puppet. for the first few seconds, i thought it was a real man. brilliant!

Thu Oct 19, 07:30:00 pm

 
Blogger ticharu mused...

Louis Armstrong was brilliant! I just wanted to mention that first.
Gosh Rich, you were a little hard on the pathetic spammer with feathers a couple posts back.
I have touched you with Ticharu dust...
And I was almost too scared to open the little picture you left on my blog, but it was a good laugh, ha ha, I'll get you...
Puppet was brilliant. I wonder who is controlling who?

Thu Oct 19, 10:21:00 pm

 
Blogger JLee mused...

wow! amazing...."it's ALIIIIIVE"
and he did it all whilst smoking a cig...

Fri Oct 20, 12:48:00 am

 
Blogger Arcturus mused...

I wish I could frickin' play these videos. The PCs in the computer lab I use in this public policy school just don't allow for it.

You probably don't remember ... seein' how young you are and on the opposite side of the planet ... a [flamboyantly gay -- which at the time was sort of a big deal] actor named Waylon Flowers. He died in 1988 of AIDS.

(Ironically, he was born on the same day as me, Nov. 26, only 30 years earlier, and on the very day Tina Turner was born ... but I digress.)

Anyway, Waylon Flowers had this wooden puppet (not a marionette, though) named Madam ... an old crone with a thin face, huge chin and big cheeks ... she was funny as hell ... and Madame even had a show, "Madame's Place."

It's not clear if Madame was buried with him or not (I read two different things).

Anyway, she was a double-entendre-dirty-talking, over-the-top funny ass puppet.

Re. saying the letters, I would've thought "T" is easy, but not "P" or "B."

Fri Oct 20, 08:26:00 am

 
Anonymous Rich mused...

Mizfit, yeah, it is pretty incredible stuff.

Do the 'real' men you know have strings?

Fri Oct 20, 10:03:00 am

 
Anonymous Rich mused...

Tich, Louis was the Man! I actually did think I was being a little harsh on the song by saying the guy needed a story. It's an excellent piece of music to go with the puppetry. I get off at St James station every day on my way to work.

Screw the spammer, as with all spammers she wont be back to read it. And the poetry... if you want to call it that...

Who is controlling who? It's an old but good question that I could ramble on about for an entire post. But a professor from one of the Sydney Uni's put it really well back in the 80's, "...puppet's are nothing to be revered or afraid of, they're empty, without the human there's nothing there".

Like with any instrument, the brilliance of any performance comes from the player being in complete harmony with their emotions and being practiced enough to emote through a physical device. That's what this performer is doing, his instrument is in complete harmony with what he is emoting. It's lovely to watch when someone gets it right.

The pic? Evil Ticharu, EeeeVIL.

Fri Oct 20, 10:16:00 am

 
Anonymous Rich mused...

JLee, I had to go back and watch it again. You're right, the dude's smok'n a butt! Now that's someone who's comfortable with their ability to perform. I can just see the guy at home in his loungeroom practicing, smoking cigarettes, and drink'n beers. I love it!

As to whether it's alive... read what I said to Tich. Not even Chucky was alive, evil yes, but not alive. And unkillable. Not to be confused with UN Kill Bill.

Fri Oct 20, 10:21:00 am

 
Anonymous Rich mused...

Arcturus.

The strange thing about that is I've heard of Waylon Flowers but not Madam. Strange because that's what appears to have made him famous. Weird. I'll check it out in more detail though, cheers.

PS. Not to start a conversation about it, but yes, we lost too many fantastic people from the 80's to AIDS. Who knew?

Fri Oct 20, 10:24:00 am

 
Blogger Squid Vicious mused...

Marionettes are he easiest things to control. All you have to do is...

Fri Oct 20, 11:39:00 am

 
Blogger Murp! mused...

SHUT UP SQUID! If the humans knew of the skill, there would be no use for politicians!

You cannot reveal the secret technique!

Fri Oct 20, 11:40:00 am

 
Blogger ticharu mused...

I was actually working on a Beat The Dutch track tonight with my best Louis Armstong voice in it. I think of his vocal style as a kind of throat singing, but that's not quite right is it? The sound is simular to my ears.

Fri Oct 20, 11:47:00 am

 
Anonymous Rich mused...

Uh-oh, Squids having arguments with his puppet again. You know what that means, Uh-huh, Murp!s been dipping into Wendy's medication again.

Psst. Tell me later Squid *wink* when Murp!s has finished chasing the cat with those hedge trimmers and passed out. Shit! Dude! Who gave Murp! hedge trimmers, that's almost as bad as the time he got his hands on staple gun.

Fri Oct 20, 11:55:00 am

 
Blogger Monkey mused...

I don't know anything about puppets, but this puppet was obviously quite talented.

Puppets Schummets.

Fri Oct 20, 12:00:00 pm

 
Anonymous Rich mused...

Tich, I think the tenor of Louis' voice is similar to the throat singers but the difference is that he has one tone whereas the throat singers have two. I guess the similarity is that he has that gravelly sound which occasionally permiates a note.

I used to be able to do a form of throat singing, the Bass kind not really high nasal kind which I think would be fun. It's a skill I accidently discovered when my girlfriend pointed out that I did a duo-tonal burp. Haven't done it in ages, the singing not the burp, I'd forgotten about it. I'll try it again this weekend.

Fri Oct 20, 12:03:00 pm

 
Anonymous Rich mused...

Now, now Monkey. Don't deny your inner-human. Actually wait. I've never seen your inner-human. It could be quite possible that you're not a puppet at all. Hmmm.

I have a fantastic video at home that was made in the early 80's called Puppet Schmuppet. It really is a fantastic video full of interesting stuff, including teenagers in 80's Australian fashion. It has one of my all time favourite puppets in it, there's a scene where 7 year olds have made puppets out of general household items. There's this super ugly one that is a green/blue rubber glove with a bow sticky taped to it's head. It's wonderful. The kid is so understated in his pride at this creation. I think I'll digitalafy that and show people, it's too cute.

Fri Oct 20, 12:10:00 pm

 
Blogger ticharu mused...

Get a recording of it and send it to Frappe! We'll make you star! Hippo sent me a little spoken word MP3 that I've turned into a whole piece. I'll try to have it on the net next week sometime.

Fri Oct 20, 12:22:00 pm

 
Anonymous Rich mused...

Ooooh Teeee-cha-roo! I'm already a star. A big ball of burning gas a billion miles from nowhere I mean.

I'll see what I can do. I've been wondering what to do for Frappe.

I look forward to the Hip new piece.

Fri Oct 20, 12:34:00 pm

 
Blogger b o o mused...

brilliant

Fri Oct 20, 01:32:00 pm

 
Blogger Diaries of a Lipstick Addict mused...

wow that was amazing!

Fri Oct 20, 01:58:00 pm

 
Blogger L>T mused...

Marionettes are fun but take alot of cordination(?)to do well. i always end up fucking with the strings & messing them up.
kids are the most fun to make puppets & puppet shows with. It's a simple craft & their imagination just takes off when it comes to make-believe.

Fri Oct 20, 02:48:00 pm

 
Anonymous Rich mused...

HeyHoo Boo

I haven't seen you in the Longest time! Hope you're doing well. Welcome to my new little corner of the blogosphere.

Fri Oct 20, 03:06:00 pm

 
Anonymous Rich mused...

Diaries of a Lipstick Addict, I'm trying to cut down to two or three tubes a day myself but sometimes I still go as high as six or seven. Particularly when there's a nice shade of apricot that matches my eyeshadow going around.

Yuh, the guys pretty awesome.

Fri Oct 20, 03:08:00 pm

 
Anonymous Rich mused...

l>t!

They are really fun, but I certainly dont have the dedication it takes to practice the coordination of the strings to be anything but terrible at them. Doesn't lessen the enjoyment though.

Puppeteering with kids IS BRILLIANT! Some of the characters they can come up with are wonderful, even if it's only because they get pretend to be something for 'selfish' reasons. Like "My puppet is the boss and can tell you what to do!" Hahaha, rotten little cuties.

As for imagination, I remember once playing with my niece in the garden and there was a watering can and two really big leaves my mum had cut off a plant. I turned the watering can upsidedown and putting the leaves at the sides pretended it was an elephant. (Puppeteering is this easy) We went on the most wonderful safari with the elephant around the garden. But the best part was when I said to her, "you know the best thing about this elephant?" When she didn't know I said, turning the watering can up the right way and taking off the leaves "It can turn into a watering can!". She believed it was an elephant so much that she was actually happily surprised that it could be a watering can.

Fri Oct 20, 03:20:00 pm

 
Blogger jin mused...

That was really GREAT!!!
I had a Dodo bird when I was a kid.
Couldn't make the damn thing move at all.

Now, real live men?
Yeahhhh....I can make em do ANYTHING I want!!!
;-)

Fri Oct 20, 05:01:00 pm

 
Blogger L>T mused...

Yeah it really is fun doing that sorta thing with kids. one of the most cool puppet shows I did with kids was a shadow play where you have cardboard silhouettes & a light behind a screen made out of a sheet. it's a japanese concept i think. very simple but lots of possiblitys.

jin, ha ha. that makes me think of how many guys i've known that i've seen do puppet tricks with their willys.
acually, i can't think of one that hasn't named it & made it talk. ;]

Sat Oct 21, 03:09:00 am

 
Blogger jin mused...

LMAO l>t !!!
:-D

So that's what you were doing in the Greyhounds cargo space?!!? I can see the novel now: "Memoirs of Puppet Tricks & Luggage"

(Yeah...as for naming it...ALWAYS watch out for guys that name it 'cobra'...I guarantee it's more like 'inchworm'!!! ;-)

Sat Oct 21, 07:51:00 am

 
Blogger ticharu mused...

Oh Rich, I hate to break your heart, but it could never work out. I think of you more as a brother, and I could never be tied down to just one Australian!

Sat Oct 21, 09:03:00 am

 
Blogger L>T mused...

Good lord! you remember the greyhound cargo space confession.
Boy is my face red!

cobra! hee hee ho ho that's a good one. Mr. chunky is like my least favorite.

Sat Oct 21, 12:22:00 pm

 
Blogger axx mused...

Loved this, so lifelike. Thought it was someone dressed up as a puppet at first!

I've just enjoyed Richard E Grants semi-autobiographical film Wha-Wha which shows him as a boy heavily into puppets, not much else to do in Swaziland then I s'pose!

Sat Oct 21, 05:15:00 pm

 
Blogger Monkey mused...

I want to see the Puppet Schummet video! I do!

I wait.

Sun Oct 22, 01:32:00 am

 
Anonymous Rich mused...

Jin! It's awfully nice to see a woman so confident in her abilities.

I have the same sort of skill, except I can get real dead men to do anything I want. Now that's some good puppeting!

Sun Oct 22, 03:00:00 pm

 
Anonymous Rich mused...

L>t, Shadow puppets have been used in lots of different cultures, and yes, they're pretty cool.

I've got a couple of super funky ornate ones made of leather. I got them from Indonesia while travelling. The shows themselves were based on stories from Buddhist texts. There were apparently seven different stories that they traditionally perform but as far as I could tell the story and the music was the same for each one. 3 hours of 'Clang, clang, clang, horns, clang, clang, clang'. Worth seeing once, ONCE!

PS. Name it and make it talk... Jeez, who the hell have you been dating?

Sun Oct 22, 03:07:00 pm

 
Anonymous Rich mused...

... that's as much time as I've got for now. I'll be back to answer a few more later. Hope everyone is well!

Sun Oct 22, 03:08:00 pm

 
Blogger L>T mused...

Oh come on. I know you have a name for it. Hmmm, Australian... let me guess. Shrimp on the Barbie? digeredoo????

Sun Oct 22, 06:14:00 pm

 
Blogger jin mused...

Heeheeheeeee....
digeredoo!!! GOOD one l>t!!!!
Then he can ask the ladies to....
;-)

Sun Oct 22, 07:06:00 pm

 
Blogger mizfit mused...

@rich~
hey, no strings attached here!
:P

Mon Oct 23, 12:42:00 am

 
Anonymous Rich mused...

Now, where was I...

Ah yes, Jin, l>t... You two are incorrigible. Can't even have a simple conversation about Puppets without you two getting all giggly and acting like teenages. Geez! I would no sooner name my big toe than any other part of my body! And it's spelt 'didgeridoo'.

Mon Oct 23, 10:22:00 am

 
Anonymous Rich mused...

Tich, *whew* that's lucky! It was a nice idea but not really that practical... and I've already sold the ring you gave me.

Hope you don't mind Bro.

Mon Oct 23, 10:23:00 am

 
Anonymous Rich mused...

Monkey, I had a look at it last night but wasn't able to digitise it as I was distracted by the lecture I recieved from my girlfriend about copyright. *grumble* Annoying librarians and their knowledge of copyright laws and sense of justice!

I'll see what I can do tonight.

Mon Oct 23, 10:27:00 am

 
Anonymous Rich mused...

I'm not sure what you mean Mizfit... sounds good though!

Mon Oct 23, 10:28:00 am

 

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