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Open Source Puppetry Project

Discussion in 'Puppet News' started by ScrapsFlippy, Oct 1, 2005.

  1. ScrapsFlippy

    ScrapsFlippy Well-Known Member

    I know there have been a few attempts to put together some sort of a online puppet show with contributions from literally all over the world shot by the puppeteers who frequent this forum.

    I also know that so far, it hasn't happened.

    Well, I have a new proposal - Let's do an open source puppetry series.

    Basically, someone designs a very simple, easy to build puppet and posts the design somewhere in cyberspace. (ala the Consumer Monster.) Everyone out there builds their own and shoots some dv. Edit it, and put in on the web (maybe over at Google?)

    It'll be sort of like "Breakfast with Bear" or the Uncle Travelling Matt segments. Maybe have male and female characters with easy to duplicate voices. They could "travel" all around the world together or seperately and get into all sorts of hijinks.

    What does everyone think?

    (For an example for how this can work, check out Jenny Everywhere, an open-source comic character.)

    Whoever posts a design for the puppets first gets to name them.
  2. DannyRWW

    DannyRWW Well-Known Member

    Hmmm... I'm not a builder and I'm not so sure how to make video for online (though I know people who could help me with that part) but I'm game for the idea. Certainly if you have more puppets on hand (no pun intended) you could have them interact with your own characters. I also like your traveling matt comparison. We could have these puppets do tours of local attractions (I've been wanting to film a video of the milwaukee art museum with my puppet group)
  3. DannyRWW

    DannyRWW Well-Known Member

    Well I thought this was a great idea...but doesn't seem like a lot of interest.
  4. ScrapsFlippy

    ScrapsFlippy Well-Known Member

    I hear ya. This thread has been viewed a bunch, but not too many takers.


    Well, maybe I can scare up a simple puppet pattern (or two.)

    -- Scraps
  5. Muppetsdownunder

    Muppetsdownunder Well-Known Member

    www.puppetryfilms.com is an Australian site that will eventually have an archive of downloadable puppetry films.
  6. MrsPepper

    MrsPepper Well-Known Member

    For the record, I think it's a really cool idea. If I could build puppets (which I doubt I could), I'd totally try to do it. Don't know how succesful I'd be... :p
  7. ScrapsFlippy

    ScrapsFlippy Well-Known Member

    Well, the idea would be to create a very simple puppet pattern. Not something complex and heavily carved, covered in 12 different types of fur and fleece with eye mechs. I'm thinking Kermit the Frog simple. Two or three pieces of fabric that get sewn together and voila - it's the puppet.

    And really, there can be some varience. Looking at "Jenny Everywhere" again, she is drawn differently from strip to strip. As long as there's some loosely logical reason why the same character would look different, I see know reason to adhere to a rigidly set pattern. (To quote Kevin Clash from the Muppet audition here in LA - "Have fun. It's puppetry, right?") Maybe the characters teleport to their next stop (Los Angeles, Memphis, Tel Aviv, Australia, etc.) and get a bit "tweaked" in the process? Maybe some sort of Dr. Who-esque regeneration occurs between episodes? Who knows?

    -- Scraps
  8. MGov

    MGov Well-Known Member

    I would be interested in participating in this too.

    Is it something we want to put together quickly or plan it out more thoroughly?

    If we want to try it once quickly, see how we do, then we keep it simple. We could always make it more involved and do it again if we like the first results. Maybe we eventually pick out a pattern from our friends at Project Puppet, agree on the look and all make the same puppet from that pattern.

    Anyway, count me in too!
  9. ScrapsFlippy

    ScrapsFlippy Well-Known Member

    The quicker and easier the better. I think this is the sort of thing that can evolve (and gain complexity) as it goes.

    We maybe should lay down some ground rules, just so we're on the same page. Like, no profanity; avoiding the "three things you don't talk about in mixed company (sex, religion and politics)." That sort of thing. Anyone out there have any suggestions for parameters? They should be very loose guidelines.

    I hadn't considered something like Project Puppet!

    - Scraps
  10. DannyRWW

    DannyRWW Well-Known Member

    Oh I'm so glad there are more people on board with this project. I just have to find someone to help me make the puppet and to help me with the filming for online and I'm good.
  11. bezalel

    bezalel Well-Known Member

    Hey guys! I'd be happy to put together instructions and a pattern for a simple puppet, but first a solid character needs to be established.
  12. bezalel

    bezalel Well-Known Member

    Guess I killed the mood.
  13. gfarkwort

    gfarkwort Well-Known Member

    No I just think ppl were and are trying to think of a character:)
  14. MGov

    MGov Well-Known Member


    Male or female?

    Humanoid, animal or monster?
  15. DannyRWW

    DannyRWW Well-Known Member

    Hmmm.. I would say male would be a good. I like the idea of some type of moster (probably because I checked out that link with the consumer monster).
  16. gfarkwort

    gfarkwort Well-Known Member

    And monsters are easier to create than humans and animals.....just because theres no referance;)
  17. bezalel

    bezalel Well-Known Member

    Also, the materials used to build the puppet should be fairly standard, readily available materials. If the character is to be a monster, probably a short nap fur in a common color should be used.

    More importantly, though, what's the character's story? WHY is he traveling around the world? I think to just see the sites is a little weak. He should have a purpose, which could also serve as a basis for the plot of the video shorts. Is he searching for something? Chasing something or someone? There should be a central purpose to his existence.
  18. DannyRWW

    DannyRWW Well-Known Member

    ooo... how about he is looking for a long lost friend. Everytime he gets to a new place though his friend has moved on. Or we could have him on an amazing race type scavenger hunt. Or he's searching for the ultimate question to the ultimate answer to the meaning of life.
  19. MGov

    MGov Well-Known Member

    Two references for style of story: the "Incredible Hulk" TV show from the 70's. Not so much for the adventure part of it but for the idea that David Banner, in each episode, found himself in a new place.

    And the very old (I've never seen it but have heard about) "Route 66" which was two guys driving across the country in a Corvette, finding America.

    What he is looking for can be vague (a "MacGuffin" as Hitchcock called it) and each individual episode can be a stand alone story. If he is running for something or someone or looking for someone or something, then we eventually need to see those. Also, we need a motivation for him to stay where he is for the duration of the story. If he is looking for someone that just left town, why would he stay instead of moving on?
  20. MrsPepper

    MrsPepper Well-Known Member

    Question, would he be young?
    I mean, this springs from a concern of mine. I'm not gonna lie, I'm not a puppeteer. But I find this project really intriguing and I'd want to take a crack at it just for fun. ;) However, if I do end up trying, I'm a girl, so the voice would not sound much like a guy at all.
    I like the idea of searching, obviously that would give him a motive to search all over the place.

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