Puppet Trailer Review is a riff on the same basic idea as MST3k. In the YouTube era no one has time for a full length film of course, so instead they’re wisely sticking to something more internet-friendly – movie trailers. They’ve also dispensed with the idea of having a somewhat hapless human co-host and are just going with a couple of snarky puppets.
Their first installment features the soon-to-be-released Fast and Furious 6. Hopefully, we’ll get to see more of these soon!
Glove and Boots announced today that they’ve hit 100,000 subscribers on YouTube. That’s a pretty amazing milestone and – aside from Potter Puppet Pals (which benefits from the popularity of the Harry Potter franchise) and Sesame Street (which is, well, Sesame Street) – no other puppet series on the web has amassed that kind of following. I think that the fact that they’ve done this from scratch largely by themselves is pretty amazing.
To celebrate they’ve produced this epic video, which clocks in at over two and a half hours long (!) and features every single one of their YouTube subscribers profiles scrolling by (I didn’t have time to watch the whole video this afternoon, but I’m going to take their word for it).
They actually hit 100,000 earlier this month, but it took them two weeks to make this video. I would not have the patience to make this. Kudos, gentlemen, kudos.
Jim Henson with his most famous creation, Kermit the Frog, on the set of The Muppet Movie in 1976.
I’m part of the generation that basically grew up on the work of Jim Henson.
The Muppets were a near constant presence in my house when I was young. We watched Sesame Street daily during the week and on weekends three generations of my family frequently gathered around the TV to watch The Muppet Show (and later Fraggle Rock). It was watching actual Muppet performers do a demonstration during a visit to The Art of the Muppets – which conveniently stopped in Toronto during production on Fraggle Rock – when I was five years old that partially inspired me to become a puppeteer. Although I never met the man, like so many other people, his work has really touched my life in a number of profound and meaningful ways.
Hakanaï is one of the more unconventional examples of a digital puppetry performance I’ve discovered (although, is there anything truly “conventional” about any form of digital puppetry?). It was created by the French Company Adrien M / Claire B, who describe it as a “haiku dance performance taking place in a cube of moving images projected live by a digital performer”.
The performance involves a dancer performing live, whose movements are tracked in real-time and used as the basis for an interactive, digitally animated environment that is projected around them:
Giant Bunraku-style puppets are brought to stunning life by a team of puppeteers in this amazing Lexus commercial, Steps. Ad Week reports that it was directed by Daniel Kleinman, who is probably best known as the designer of every James Bond opening sequence since GoldenEye excluding Quantum of Solace (a fact that I think just further solidifies his reputation for having excellent taste).
Both puppets featured in Steps were designed digitally so that their shells could be 3D printed (the puppet’s rods and underlying structure were made of light weight carbon fibre). The result were two puppets standing over 11’0 tall that weighed under 7 kg.
The performance of the puppets is extremely well choreographed, but actually fairly conventional. The core weight of each puppet was supported by a central puppeteer using a backpack/shoulder harness. Another puppeteer was responsible for controlling a puppet’s head and torso while two others performed its arms and legs. The result is a testament to what can be achieved by traditional puppetry techniques with good, old fashioned real-time puppetry.
Bravo Lexus. This is supposed to be the first in a series called Amazing in Motion so please, Lexus, make more things like this.