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Puppeteering projects from October

October was a busy month for us. Gary, Rosey, Scoot, and Carl all starred in a lip-sync video set to “Monster Mash.” This was the first time that I filmed the puppets in front of a physical “set,” or in this case a table in our kitchen which my wife decorated with a few Halloween knick-knack which helped to give the video the feeling that the characters were inside an actual lab (the props leaned more towards Magic than Science, but hopefully few people noticed that). This was also the first time that I added an audio track in editing. I had planned on cutting to different characters during the song, and I quickly realized that the music playing in the background wasn’t going to line up right if I showed characters out of sequence. The music track helped to maintain the continuity of the performance.

Gary played the mad scientist and wore a lab coat. The other characters didn’t dress up, appearing as only “themselves.” I was going to show more shots of the puppets dancing or singing backup, but I found that it was very tricky to get the mouths to line up with the singing, so I limited the number of edits that would be needed.

Gary also had a cameo into a Halloween special which was put together by another puppeteer. He sort of reacts to the events of the first part of the movie, and he really looks bothered. In this video, he plays a doctor and wears a doctor’s coat, with a stethoscope.

I took Marvin outside last weekend and recorded some video of him reacting to a pumpkin display in my community which included over 1,000 carved pumpkins. This was my second time recording and performing the puppet “on location” and I think it worked out okay. Of course, anytime I need to balance between working a puppet and getting the right shot, there need to be sacrifices.

I even tried an experiment with Marvin which was supposed to make it seem like he was saying to people on a departing train. There is a train engine, two train cars, and a caboose on display at the local Train Depot Museum, so I tried to make it seem like they were moving by running real fast to the left while Marvin was talking. It wasn’t great, but I thought it was at least amusing.

We’ve also tried our hands at live feeds over Facebook. This tends to be tricky, because it tends to be a one man show, and any time I need to make an adjustment on the computer I have to stop performing, which interrupts the flow of what Gary might be saying. This is something I’m trying to improve on. I currently have a green screen set up in my room.

I am anticipating that we will continue to perform live feeds and will produce one or two videos over the next couple of months as we get closer to Christmas.



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