Saturday, December 17, 2005

Introducing Chimp TV......or Not

Well I usually don't announce things until they are completed, but this is a situation that just developed and I think it is an unsual situation (and I have been waiting a very long time to annouce it). Over a year ago I contacted Blazin' Goat Pictures to have some footage that I shot edited.

The footage was the result of an impromptu video short. Everything filmed was improvisation and the person using the video camera had never used one before. The footage got me thinking and writing, and as a result I came up with the concept of Chimp TV.

I have been building puppets for this project for over a year (in my spare time) and I filmed additional footage in that time as well.

However, there has been a major setback. After over a year of waiting for the footage to be edited, the footage was accidentally deleted before it could be delivered to me. All that is left is this first clip that was put online.

Not to worry. My plan is to have all of the footage re-edited and try to get more videos completed.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Designing a Character

For me learning to build puppets has been an evolution of professional maturity. I like to think that looking back at my work I have seen my work evolve in a personally satisfying way.

At first, I just focused on the external asthetic of the puppet. If it looked good to me then it was a great puppet. Over time I have learned to see much more in my puppets. Someone once told me that a great puppet is one that you can look at and know the character without even seeing it performed.

I like to think that I take a good amount of time developing or understanding a character before I build the puppet.

When I first started building puppets I would just build. Sometimes without any idea of what I would get. There is alot of fun in that, however, to truly develop into a better builder I needed to be able to have a clear vision and then translate that into a three dimensional design.

That is when I started sketching my characters first. This troll puppet was an attempt I had at designing and then building a puppet from those designs. The first thing that I accept is that there are some things that were off with the final design. I also accept that this was just a step in my evolution. Let's face it I am not a professional illustrator and I still captured the essence of what I wanted.

The plan was to eventually have enough funds to hire artists to develop the quick sketches that I came up with until I had a polished character design from which to work with.

Sooner or later I would find someone whose art I respected and admired enough to hire for those illustrations. Until then I acknowledged that even Jim Henson did little sketches to get the essence of his characters. They even published a book about his doodles. When I look back at my sketches I realize that I actually like the look of them, and they really aren't that bad at all.