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Our own puppet characters

Discussion in 'Puppet Building and Performing' started by Erine81981, Oct 11, 2003.

  1. Puppetplanet

    Puppetplanet Member

    Hey MK!! I sent you two e-mails regarding that but I didn't get a reply! I thought maybe you were out of town or something.

    Anyway.... yeah! I think I might take you up on that offer this one time so I can play with the big kids too. :excited: Get a hold of me when your ready and we'll work it all out.
  2. Erine81981

    Erine81981 Active Member

    I just wanted to get credit for posting this Thread. I'm the one that kind of started this off. I just wanted to know If I have any say on some of the stuff that (that is if we get a good rep on this) I could help out on the Themes? I don't really care but since I'm the one to start off a Thread and then someone else to take over just isn't fare but thats just me. I'm proubley send something a tape to Buck that is if he has the stuff to get it on the Computer. I'll see what I can do w/ my and if my Bother-an-law has the stuff I might get him to help. I know I didn't begin w/ what were talking about now but I am the one that did start off this thread.


    PS: I don't mean to take all the credit because (whoever answered my first post should be the one to take most of the credit as well as Buck. Please don't think I want credit but I do want to help as much as I can. Thanks and have a plasent day.


    one more thing is it 30 seconds or minutes? I thougt someone said 30 minutes.
  3. mkelley

    mkelley New Member


    Mmmm, Michelle, didn't get either of your emails. That was my state mail server --maybe they were blocked or something (we've had lots of problems with viruses lately).

    Here's my home email: mike@kelleytown.com (note the two "e"s). Always reliable and I always reply within a day (if you don't get a reply, then I didn't get it -- as someone with a degree in communications I'm a *big* believer in always replying promptly).

    But yes, by all means consider sending me your video when ready and I'll convert it for you -- no big deal, I have *lots* of video editing equipment (was kind of my "other" job for quite a while, broadcast video).
  4. mkelley

    mkelley New Member

    Erine, I don't think Buck was trying to steal your thunder, just enable your vision. I can tell you for sure that I wasn't. The true bottom line is the art itself: no one will win any prizes for this, but we can all participate and have fun.

    And having a vision, as wonderful as that is, is not always what gets things done. There are dreamers, there are doers, and when the two hook up that's when things can really happen. Indeed, when you first proposed this I really couldn't see how it could be done until someone (Buck? I don't even know now) came up with the idea of a web-collaborative effort through video submissions.

    But Erine, this is the essence of collaboration: someone starting off with an idea, someone else adding to it, others adding or subtracting until you end up with something that is far more than the sum of the parts: this is called synergism, and in the end in a truly great collaborative effort you can't even tell where your own contributions leave off and others begin. In other words, you submerge your ego for the greater good.

    As for theme -- I threw an idea out there to advance the project, but I'm not married to it nor do I have a hidden agenda. I just want to get it going, and I've actually been involved in dozens of projects like these that die because no one is willing to step up to the plate. I thought Buck did just that, and now we need to move forward. If you want to suggest another theme other than "friendship" please do so right now, let's all get feedback and then let's DECIDE.

    30 minutes is *way* too long -- I think Buck suggested 30 seconds (or maybe I did -- I dunno, doesn't matter to me :>) but it really needs to be fairly short. I would not under any circumstances want more than 60 seconds: it's a lot of video for Buck to deal with and longer actually makes it easier (and we don't *want* this to be easy -- we want it to be a challenge). If everyone thinks 30 seconds is too restrictive I'd vote for 60 -- but once again, the key is to decide and decide NOW -- because a week or two from now and the whole thing will die out if nothing has been decided.

    Plus.. and this is big to consider... this is just a first pass. If it works, and we get some participation, we can always do it again, and the next version is likely to be even better. So I wouldn't worry about getting it exactly right just now, but worry about getting it started at all. On the next go around perhaps you'd like to host the site, or whatever, but let's just try this now and see what happens.

    I believe you're also raising a good point (one Michelle spoke to) when you talk about sending Buck a tape. If there are many here who'd like to participate but don't have the equipment to digitize their videos, sending a tape would be a good alternative. I can't speak for Buck, but I'd be willing to help in this regard, since I have the equipment to do this if he doesn't have the time or inclination. At the moment I can't do PAL, so that's a limitation (and while I haven't checked I'm almost positive Canada is NTSC as well, which leaves Buck out) but we can probably work around that one as well.

    My advice at this point is:

    1) We need to finalize a theme in the next couple of days (my suggestion is friendship, but let's hear others if people want something else)
    2) We need to decide upon the length of the video as well as the size in Quicktime or MPEG format (my suggestions would be 320x240 and 30 seconds in length)
    3) We need to have an address (physical) to send videotapes to (either Buck or myself or someone else who might volunteer).
    4) We need Buck to tell us when FTP access is available

    So... everyone chime in on (1) and (2) and when Buck next visits I'm sure we can decide (3) (and it looks as if it might be a week or two before (4) is announced).

    Fair?
  5. Puppetplanet

    Puppetplanet Member

    Hey MK, do you have any links of others that you have seen to give examples for us newbies who want to give this a try? I've never done anything like this, but of course, I'm always willing to make a fool of myself. :p


    I agree on 30 seconds though, I actually think the shorter the time frame allowed the easier because I've always been on the building end and don't have a whole lot of puppeteering experience so a short little "commercial" is good to get my feet wet...... I just wont wear shoes. Ha Ha ha ha.... ehm. :o

    Anyway, Friendship is a pretty good one to me.... yeah, I could do something with that. :excited:
  6. mkelley

    mkelley New Member

    I've never seen anything quite like this before, so I can't give you a link that's similar. Here's what I *wouldn't* do:

    www.puppetweb.com (and go to the Online Videos).

    These are all *way* too long -- and because they are all varying formats (and not on any single theme as the proposed project) the whole thing seems very unorganized and lacking focus. But there is some good puppet work there as well as puppet making, so at least the heart is in the right place.

    But assuming you stay within the time limit I wouldn't worry about looking foolish -- heck, with puppets sometimes foolish is good <g>.

    30 seconds will be good because it will get us all started, and is something that should be doable by nearly everyone. It will keep file sizes small, digitizing quick, and once all the videos are put together they will still stay short enough to watch all at once.

    So we have your vote recorded for time and subject matter -- keep those votes coming in and we'll soon have a consensus.
  7. Erine81981

    Erine81981 Active Member

    What about Halloween or any Hoilday coming up?
  8. Puppetplanet

    Puppetplanet Member

    Not really enough time to get everything set up for Sppok night. :p


    Thanksgiving would be fun to do thou, but wouldn't that put us all into a crunch too?

    Hey guys.... when were we planning to get this thing started? (a realistic guess)
  9. Buck-Beaver

    Buck-Beaver Active Member

    Interesting how one little idea grows....to answer the questions mkelley posed:

    1) We need to finalize a theme in the next couple of days (my suggestion is friendship, but let's hear others if people want something else)
    I think Friendship is good too...any dessenting voices? The Hallowe'en/holiday suggestion is a good one, but there's not enough time. Also, Thanksgiving is only celebrated in North America (and it's already taken place in Canada). Also, although I'm OK with it, some people also have historical/moral objections to Thanksgiving as well.

    2) We need to decide upon the length of the video as well as the size in Quicktime or MPEG format (my suggestions would be 320x240 and 30 seconds in length)
    I think that :30 seconds is a good start. We can see how it goes. I think :60 would be better, but the problem is that if you get twelve people participating you end up with a twelve minute video. You get thirty people participating and you've got the beginnings of a mini-series. My server can handle that, but it's going to be brutual for some people to view/download.

    3) We need to have an address (physical) to send videotapes to (either Buck or myself or someone else who might volunteer).
    Most people have computers with microphones built in or came with one. You can buy a decent webcam for $25 and it connects through a USB port, so no special video cards are required. The quality of the sound/video won't be great but it'll work.

    I'd be willing to receive videos, but they'd have to be in a standardized format (like VHS). Converting from PAL/SECAM is not a problem for me, but the best way for videos to be submitted I think would be online, otherwise there's going to be lag time of at least a week or two before they get posted so that is something to keep in mind.

    There's a neat site called The Puppet Forge that started up a few years ago but has never really taken off. While I think it's a great idea, the biggest problem with it is that you have to mail videos in. That's why I've never submitted my work to it - I just keep forgetting to burn a CD and mail it. I think that approach has really hindered the site's growth. I'm thinking we should do something more along the lines of ZED an experiment the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation has been running for a couple years now.

    Again, I'm not opposed to mailing videos in so as many people can participate as possible, but this problem is something to take in to consideration.

    4) We need Buck to tell us when FTP access is available ​

    Well, I have an FTP server up and running now, but my whole site was configured wrong by my hosting company so I am waiting for them to fix the problem, which should happen Monday or Tuesday. Once that is done we would be ready to go. I'd like to be safe and say we'd start on the 27th, just because I have a brutal week ahead of me and that will allow for enough time to get everything set-up properly.

    What does everyone think?
  10. Buck-Beaver

    Buck-Beaver Active Member

    I also should say that while it's flattering to be called "the #1 puppet answer guy around here" I think it's a bit of an overstatement! There are a number of folks who post here who are much more knowledgable than I am including rickly, butchcat and toastcrumbs among others. I think I just tend to post a lot.

    Also, many more puppeteers and builders are "lurkers" - they read the forum but don't post to it.

    Speaking of which, whatever happened to ScaryLarry? I miss that impish lil' wolf!
  11. mkelley

    mkelley New Member

    Yes, but you've said nothing to dispute my statement -- you *are* the guy who consistently answers the question. That isn't to say that others don't contribute, but you can always be counted on to not leave people hanging. Plus, I would also say that your frequent posts about upcoming events and jobs does a terrific service.

    I understand what you mean about dealing with videotape -- it's always better if we can avoid that -- but I also would hate to cut some folks out completely. Perhaps for this first go around we should accept tapes (VHS/Super 8/mini-DV and with return postage if people want the tape back) and then in the future require FTP'd submissions only. That way people can at least give it one try and if they find they want to participate again they can get the setup they need.

    If so, I'm willling to do any NTSC conversions needed -- folks can email me and I'll provide my address. Other than that I'm on board with everything anyone wants to do (and now I have to start getting my puppets in shape for a show :>)
  12. jediX

    jediX Active Member

    I'd volunteer my video capture and DVD creation services but it looks like everything's under control with you guys...
  13. Puppetplanet

    Puppetplanet Member

    Yeah, Yeah... that's why I thought it would be fun for me to do. *evil grin*
    I'm Native American and completely appalled at the public school system for trying to teach my child that we should all be thankful for the arrival of those dag-nabbin ships and their hostile take over of our home. They sweep the TRUE story of that event under the rug and make it look like the Natives were best friends with Columbus and his crew. Oh Yeah, we LOVED being forced out of our homes, our women raped, and entire race nearly wiped out. Ehm..... anyway... thats about as political as I'M going to get. lol

    (For those of you concerned that I'm raising angry childred *grin*, we DO celebrate being thankful of things we have in life and family during the entire weekend. We usually take a trip with the kids to something exciting in Orlando.) ;) ...... Hey, by the way buck, some interesting info..... My dad was born on the Maliseet reservation in Canada near New Brunswick.



    Are you talking about the 27th of THIS month being the deadline? Or is that the 27th of November?



    Oh..... my vote is still for friendship.
  14. mkelley

    mkelley New Member

  15. Puppetplanet

    Puppetplanet Member

    Ooooohhhh, Okay. I get it. It would be cool if this was an ongoing thing. I know it depends alot on keeping up group interest. I think it would help to do that if we continue to allow voting on the subject matter so that everyone gets a chance to participate in a theme that they are interested in.

    I do think that it should be kept organized though. Not a free for all with people sending in videos on anything at their whim. I think we should have a different theme every month or so.... and have a deadline for submissions for that theme and then move on to the next theme.


    Oh, it would be tasteful, in a dark satire kind of way. No puppets will be harmed in the making of any vidoes, I promise.... not even the white ones. *laughing* But, I think it's a strong subject matter for me and probably not a good idea to showcase a new project with strong political content the first time around.... might scare some newbies off. *evil grin*

    I agree! I'm getting excited about it already and my personal puppets are already packed away for the move! Now.... where did I put that box anyway?
  16. Buck-Beaver

    Buck-Beaver Active Member

    I think what is probably best is to have a theme per month, but allow people to do whatever they want with the theme within the time alotted. That should keep things focused and managable.

    If people just want to upload or share puppet videos of whatever they want there are already a number of venues on the web to do that like Atom Films, Zed, and The Puppet Forge. The goal here - I think - is to virtually collaborate on a free-form "experimental" film with segments contributred by all of us.

    Also, I think it's important that once submitted eveything will be in the public domain, i.e. no one owns the footage. Everyone would retain copyright over the actual puppets/characters used but the video can be freely copied and distributed. This is necessary for a varietry of reasons (legal among them). Public domain is the standard for this type of collaborative `net project anyways.

    I should probably either do some research on the legal issues or email my lawyer about it this week.
  17. Puppetplanet

    Puppetplanet Member

    *pokes head in*

    Psssst, interest hasn't been lost on my end.


    *gets tangled in curtain on way out and falls down the stairs*
  18. Beauregard

    Beauregard Well-Known Member

    I don't have a video camera.

    But, I'd have loved to be involved. I have a great puppet named Super Gran.
  19. mkelley

    mkelley New Member

    Yes, but surely someone you *know* has a video camera (everyone does, nowdays -- just ask your uncle Norman to borrow his). Or, as Buck says, you can get a web cam (although the res is pretty low they *are* cheap). Or rent a camcorder for an afternoon. Or, if you live in the United States, go to any public access station and use *their* equipment (sometimes you have to take a class or two to get certified, but it's all free).

    Don't give up -- there are always ways to do most anything you want to accomplish.
  20. Buck-Beaver

    Buck-Beaver Active Member

    OK, so I've named this little project "The Open Source Puppet Film Project." I'm sure someone can come up with something snazzier and if you do you are welcome to suggest a new title.

    I think I've got all my web site issues straightened out and the new forum is online so we should be ready to go. I am still trying to figure out what the best way for everyone to submit videos online is, but I'll have that figured out by the end of the month. The only catch with this is that anyone participating will have to register with the forum so we have some way to track people, which I think is reasonable.

    I've put together a set of rules (based on our discussion here and a few legal necessities) and posted a thread for this on my new forum, The BT Community. I've also posted a poll with some possible topics for November. If you'd like to suggest a topic you should be able to topics to the poll once you've registered. If for some reason you can't, just post the suggestion in the thread and I'll add it manually asap.

    BTW, if you were a member of the old Bear Town Forum on Proboards you'll have to re-register with the new forum since I wasn't able to import the old user database.

    Here's the user poll & discussion thread: http://www.bear-town.com/forum/index.php?act=ST&f=3&t=15&st=0#entry15


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