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My Progress

Discussion in 'Puppet News' started by Melonpool, Jan 20, 2010.

  1. Melonpool

    Melonpool Active Member

    Yeah -- she was featured in the last 5 or 6 years of the comic -- she was a robot that was built to capitalize on pop music and just sort of stuck around.

    This is the prototype, using Polar Fleece and testing all of the mechanisms. I'm about 90% sure that I'm going to make a new one once the Antron arrives. He seam isn't all that noticeable if you use the Muppet stitch, but you can still see it running down the front of her face. If it was just that, I'd probably just live with it, but she also needs a little longer neck so her mechanisms aren't so cramped, so I might as well bite the bullet and just rebuild her.

    I'm making "throw around" rag doll versions of all the characters as well, so the Arctic Fleece won't go to waste.
  2. charlie bird

    charlie bird Member

    Cool I might want to do something like that if I develope a skript ,and I have enugh money for the prodject, space,and people .I've allways wanted to do a puppet film.
    I'm loooking forward to seeing you're new film.I hope every thing works out well.
    Thank you
  3. charlie bird

    charlie bird Member

    I was just wondering how manny people you have working on this prodject,and how on earth could you ever get enough money to fund the prodject,must of took alot of saving.I love the set you're building ,and the puppets.I've been very intristed in starting a show ,but I have no ideal where to start do you have any advice?
    Thank you
  4. Melonpool

    Melonpool Active Member

    I have a lot of really cool friends that get as crazy about my projects as I do. A lot of what I do is just blind devotion, being too dumb to quit and scavenging what I can to get it done. I have a looooong production schedule on this thing -- the nice thing about it is that it's afforded me over a year to get the script where I wanted it. And finding someone to take on the directing that actually knows what he's doing has been a Godsend.

    As for the puppets and the set -- that's pretty much just me spending all the spare time I can on it. Materials-wise I have maybe $300 invested in this film so far. I also try to trade services as much as I can, to keep the costs low. And the one thing I've learned is that the more excited I get about it, the more excited others seem to get about it as well. I think people have a real fondness for the heyday of the Muppets and they want to see something like that again. I don't know if my little project is that -- but if they see that in it, who am I to argue?

    The main advice I have (and one that I forget often) is to not let people tell you that whatever you want to do is impractical or impossible and just do the best you can. Once you do that. learn from your mistakes and improve upon it. Don't worry about making money -- just worry about doing the best you can and have fun. They tell me the money will come from that eventually... I'm still waiting for that last part! ;)
  5. charlie bird

    charlie bird Member

    Thank you so much I can't beleve you've only spent $300 ,awsome.I've been talked out of manny things by people that would have worked out atleast ok ,but I just setled.Sometimes it works out great ,even when I settle for something less advanced.Thank you so much for your'e help!Charlie bird
  6. charlie bird

    charlie bird Member

    I've been desighnning a bunch of different creature puppets ,sort of the style of the labriynth creatures.I plan on selling puppets to earn the money to start saving,wich might take awhile because I charge about $120 for each custom puppet order.The puppets I sell are more like cartoonish,muppet style puppets.I like puppet making so it's no problem though.I don't have a pined down topic yet ,but I've been thinking about it alot.
    thank you for your'e advice
  7. MuppetCaper

    MuppetCaper Active Member

    Who knows, you might be the next Jim Henson! Just keep at it and you will go far. I like your progress. Making decisions and taking the time to do it slowly makes things come out way better than you plan. So keep it up! :)
  8. charlie bird

    charlie bird Member

    What type of camera do you use? I saw on one of the recent videos that the picture was great,I realy don't think my camera is sutable for filming ,also what software did you use .Thank you
  9. Melonpool

    Melonpool Active Member

    I did buy a pretty high-end consumer camera about five years ago (the Sony HDR-HC1). It set me back about $1400, but there are a lot of better cameras on the market now for a lot less. I've had a lot of luck fooling around with the little "Flip" cameras that go for about $100. Ah, technology.

    The $300 I quoted was just for the set materials and the puppet materials that I've bought specifically for this project. I also have tons of leftover foam and fabric from the last 15 years of building that are finding their way into this project -- and I've scavenged about $500 worth of broken electronics parts from my work trash that I plan to decorate the sets with. I guess I should've said "$300 out of pocket," but let's be realistic -- if you're innovative and resourceful, you can make a great looking puppet film for considerably less than a Hollywood production can.

    I don't know if you saw my original 1994 film -- which was shot on VHS video. It was crude, but has moments where things really worked. I think now, 16 years later, I want to build on what worked and improve upon what didn't. When I was making films in high school, the only method of editing I had access to was hooking up two VHS recorders and recording the different takes together. Today, with iMovie and other relatively low-cost (or sometimes free) software, the sky's pretty much the limit.

    I mentioned it above -- and I totally believe it -- the worst thing you can do for a project like this is to listen to people that say it's impossible. It may sound stupid, but for the last 5 years or so, I've been consciously trying to regain the "I can do anything" attitude of my teen years. And I think it's working.

    As I got older, I became kind of cynical and listened far too often to things like "it'll never make money," or "why are you wasting all that time?" They're like poison to someone like me, and it's much more gratifying to make something than to always wonder if you could have, should have or would have. I think this was how Henson and Charles Schulz worked and I think it served them very well.

    I think that if you do the best you can with the resources at hand, you have nothing to be ashamed of -- or anything to limit you.
  10. charlie bird

    charlie bird Member

    Hi Melon pool your'e so much help and such an insperation.I Know what you mean by ussing what you can find for free,theres alot of old items that can come in handy when your'e doing a film I think that might be a good way for me to make my set ,I just don't know where to put my set.I am so exited ,I guess I need to go back in my folder and come up with how to tie all of my ideas togather what fits and what doesn't,and take my time.Thank you so much
  11. charlie bird

    charlie bird Member

    Hi melon pool I took another look at my drawings and original story line and decided to change it to a more realistic situation,that would be funner to do.And even though I have never made a latex puppet before I am a good sculpter and I have studied it enough to know how to make them ,even though alot of people here are more into the muppet style puppets I have decided to come up with my own style puppets for this film.I have done pretty well with that and I wish I could show the drawwings ,but my computer crashed.
    Thank you
  12. charlie bird

    charlie bird Member

    Trash heap set?

    I was wondering if anyone had an I deal on how to make a trash heap set. I don't know the best way to make this.I was thinking of making trenches and trap doors in the heap it might be done by wood to make the support'' over the puppeteers heads''And the structure with wire like fence wire used for protecting plants.And then adding what ever I should use to give it the efect of the trash heap.Any ideas would be mouch appreciated.
    Thank you
  13. Melonpool

    Melonpool Active Member

  14. crazy chris

    crazy chris Well-Known Member

    very VERY cool Mp

  15. Puppetainer

    Puppetainer Member

    It's coming along beautifully! I'm envious of your progress. I'm still building puppets, haven't gotten to the set building portion. So much to do...so much to LEARN! Keep up the awesome work, can't wait to see the first finished episode!
  16. MuppetCaper

    MuppetCaper Active Member

    WOW....looks like a professional set going on there. Looking forward to more progress! Awesome job guy.
  17. Buck-Beaver

    Buck-Beaver Well-Known Member

    I like the Star Trek-ish black lit displays. That's very cool.
  18. Melonpool

    Melonpool Active Member

  19. PaulyPuppets

    PaulyPuppets New Member

    I really like the look of your set and characters, MP. I especially admire your passion for your project. It's a huge undertaking, what you're doing. I know firsthand, as I too am usually a one man band when it comes to my puppet video projects. It's a great feeling when I'm done with a project. Looking at your progress vids, really hit home with me. Keep up the great work! I think ya got something there, bud ;).
  20. Melonpool

    Melonpool Active Member


    I remember an article that Buck wrote on Puppetvision (or maybe it was here on Muppet Central -- I'm too lazy to look) a long time ago about "taking puppetry to the next level." This little project is my attempt to do that.

    I'm getting kind of tired of the "two guys behind a couch" technique that a lot of puppet videos on the web seem to do. I know I've been guilty of it as well. If I've learned anything from the countless hours of vintage Muppet stuff, it's that you really don't have to hide puppeteers as long as you have a camera to frame them out. I think we as a whole could learn a lot from that idea.

    Anyway, I'll keep posting on this project as it chugs along. Super exciting!


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