Saturday, April 16, 2005

Grumpy Tiger, Hiding Dragon

It was a while back, but I remember an old high school friend of mine contacting me and giving me the heads up that a friend of hers was interested in having some puppets built. Sure enough I received the phone call and agreed to meet Carmen Gillespie at a downtown coffee shop. She told me about this little independent film she was doing.

The concept was very simple. A little annoying dragon harasses a grumpy tiger and at the end of the film...well...I hate to ruin the ending. I guess I will leave it at that.

At any rate Carmen proceeded to show me the storyboards and the character designs for the puppets. I loved the dragon design right away. Carmen was yet another great client in that she also allowed me some artistic freedom when it came to the final designs of the puppets.

I really loved the idea of the short and I agreed to give her a great deal on the puppets, but I wanted to be a part of the production. She agreed to let me puppeteer and I went to work right away.

The dragon was very cute. Carmen Gillespie puppeteer the dragon. I was very impressed with the puppeteering abilities of Carmen. It is not often that people are so easily able to pick up the ability to puppeteer, Carmen nailed it.

The orange tiger ended up having a moving eyebrow mechanism built in to the design and was accented with two human arm gloves. The gloves allowed myself and another puppeteer to operate the puppet with realistic arm movements.

The black tiger was a nice challenge, because I was forced to keep careful notes with my first tiger puppet design. It was essential so that I could build the second tiger to the same specifications as the first.

When all was said and done the shoot was about two full days and was a great experience. As of now Carmen has not yet attempted to submit the film to any festivals. It is within the plans, but not just yet. As soon as anything happens with Grumpy Tiger, Hiding Dragon I will post information here.