Have you heard of this Pinterest thing? It’s become awfully big here on the Interwebs.
Seriously, it’s big. Although a few people I know have yet to discover it, over the past year Pinterest has become the fastest growing social network of all time and, like a lot of people, over the past year I’ve been put in very real danger of becoming hopelessly addicted to it. Pinterest is a fantastic place to discover some incredible-looking puppets and has become my go-to site to do any kind of design-related visual research.
You can follow my “Puppets” board on Pinterest to see some amazing-looking puppets that I love (I’ve also got one devoted to Puppet Building Resources), but by all means don’t stop there. A simple search for “puppet” will take you hundreds of other puppet boards where you can discover thousands of puppets pinned by people from all over the world that are sure to keep you inspired for, quite literally, hours and hours.
The creative team behind War Horse – South Africa’s Handspring Puppet Theatre and UK theatre director Tom Morris – have reunited to create a new production of the Shakespearean classic A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Although the look of the show might appear to be a little unconventional at first glance, I think that the marriage of Handspring’s unique puppetry and a surreal, magic-infused play like Midsummer Night’s Dream is ideal. Adrian Kohler, Handspring’s Artistic Director recently shared with the UK’s Channel 4 his own thoughts about why puppetry is a good fit for this particular play:
“It’s such an elemental play…it’s all about nature and nature going wrong and climates altering and, because in a way the fairy energy is all upside down and fairies are fighting with one other, it sort of talks about the world we’re in today. We don’t understand what’s happening to our planet, the climate is changing. So it feels like that’s the subject we want to address and a non-literary medium like puppetry helps us develop into areas of the play which aren’t necessarily there in the text but are there in the content.”
Channel 4 also has a nice gallery of photos from the production.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream runs at the Bristol Old Vic in Bristol, England through May 4th. Tickets and more information are available on the Bristol Old Vic web site at www.bristololdvic.org.uk.
The Stan Winston School provides another quick look behind the scenes of Jurassic Park, this time with a video featuring mechanical effects designer Rick Galinson revealing the secrets behind the creation of the Dilophosaurus “Spitting” dinosaur puppet from the original Jurassic Park.
A really big show – literally – is about to debut in Melbourne, Australia.
King Kong is a live stage adaptation of the 1933 Hollywood classic. It features an incredible life-size animatronic King Kong designed and built by The Creature Technology Company, the brilliant workshop behind Walking With Dinosaurs and How To Train Your Dragon Live. (more…)
The Mill at Calder’s End is the next film in a planned series of “ghost story puppet films” by L.A. based special effects artist and puppet filmmaker Kevin McTurk. He describes it as a “gothic ghost story in the spirit of Edgar Allan Poe and H.P. Lovecraft.” It will feature the voices of horror legend Barbara Steele (Black Sunday, The Pit and the Pendulum) and Jason Flemyng (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, X-Men:First Class) and he plans to make it using a mix of Bunraku puppetry and old school in-camera special effects.
Kevin previously made the ghost story puppet film The Narrative of Victor Karloch, which has won several awards at international film festivals and is one of the best puppet shorts I’ve seen in the past few years. Kevin’s a very talented and extremely passionate artist whose previous credits include work on big-budget blockbusters like King Kong, Batman Returns and the Jurassic Park films (read more about that over at The Stand Winston School Blog). I got the chance to get to know him a little bit last fall when I moderated a panel on puppet filmmaking at Dragon*Con (also featured on the panel was Sam Hale, who recently funded his own puppet film, Monster of the Sky, via Kickstarter) and saw some of the early concept art and sculpture that was being done for this film. It looked amazing I’ve been really eager to see The Mill at Calder’s End ever since.
Kevin has already reached his initial fundraising goal of $32,000 and is now aiming for a “stretch” goal of $50K. He plans to use this larger budget to create more intricate in-camera effects, build more detailed puppets, and film using higher end cameras and lenses, as well as an enhanced sound mix.
You can learn more about The Mill at Calder’s End and the rewards that are available to supporters on Kickstarter. Help Kevin make this film happen!