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Tell me honestly...what do you think?

Discussion in 'Puppet Building and Performing' started by KuhioAvenue, May 14, 2012.

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  1. KuhioAvenue

    KuhioAvenue New Member

    Hi Muppet Central Forum post-ers!

    I'm new at puppet making so I'm looking for feedback on my work. Here are some sample videos of my puppet building & puppeteering of characters...

    I'm currently auctioning the chameleon & sloth puppets on ebay to make some room in my wardrobe (currently being taken up by these guys) so they can be yours if you like 'em? They're listed with a link in the Puppets For Sale forum.​
    Thanks,​
    MK​
    jvcarroll likes this.
  2. scandell

    scandell Member

    Here is my review:
    Puppets 8/10 (10 being perfect, so 8 is a great score)
    Voices 2/10 (it may be the audio quality, but your voice sounds the same throughout the first three characters, I think you need to add some voice inflection and alter the pitch of your voice a tad more.) You need to be more strict with your voice. Do not get lazy with the voice for even a second! Your regular voice is peeking out too often)

    Just my opinion though.
  3. muppetperson

    muppetperson Well-Known Member

    Great puppets and I thought the voices were different.A couple of areas where you talked but didnt move the mouth.Duck down more, so you cant be seen.Overall, great stuff.
  4. Animal31

    Animal31 Active Member

    Love the Flory Monster puppet, what a great looking character!!!
  5. aaronmojo

    aaronmojo Member

    I think the puppets are super cute, which is a good thing. The voices are, eh, "okay," but the puppet design and building looks great.
  6. TheCreatureWork

    TheCreatureWork Active Member

    Okay here goes...
    Your puppet eye line is off at times- try to get a monitor when you perform or have someone look and tell you when your eyeline is good. Basically, if the puppet is talking to the audience (camera) he should be looking directly at the camera.

    You also have floppy head syndrome- when you talk with your puppet the bottom jaw should be moving more than the top of the head (your four fingers) shouldn't move as much. When you talk you should be punctuating the syllables with your thumb. I recommend not worrying too much on voices yet and focus more on lip sync.

    Hide your real head when you perform :)

    You also have what I use to suffer from... and that is when you perform your puppeteering arm to your hand tenses right up- the puppet should be "fluid" meaning your wrist should be relaxed and be much like a neck...if you aren't relaxed it shows in the puppet. It is hard to explain but I recommend conscientiously taking note when you tense up when you perform and try to curb it. It is a bad habit to get rid of but one that will make your puppetry less stressful on your body and the puppet more fluid. To test your "stress" simply have your puppet walk from point A to B the neck should have a natural "Bob or bounce" to it. You puppets necks are very tight. I also recommend shaking your arm out and focus on relaxing it before putting a puppet on-it helps me out a lot.

    Use the arm rods. There is a fine line between using the arm rods too much - having your puppet waving their arms all over the place and not moving them at all. Remember that your puppet is to be a "breathing living being" and when they are talking or reacting they should be doing the appropriate arm movements to demonstrate that. For example, when your sloth character is singing- one hand could be poised on his chest and the other reaching out to the sky as he belts out the tunes. I know you had the other puppet on your hand at the time but you can still hold the sloths rods with the other puppets mouth as you perform. Little subtle movements can create the audience to believe the puppet is real and that's what you want.

    Hope this helps some.
  7. CaseytheMuppet

    CaseytheMuppet Well-Known Member

    I dont think they were trying to be mean. You asked for your opinion, and they gave it. You do an excellent job with puppet making, (believe me, I'm horrible at it!) Don't give up! Puppetry shouldn't be a task, but fun! :)
    muppetperson likes this.
  8. KuhioAvenue

    KuhioAvenue New Member

    Thanks Casey. I think its my similar feeling that i'm not great at it combined with lengthy critiques of my work (that i wasn't expecting to be so lengthy in the negatives) that've made me feel even more like i'm bordering on craptastic at this whole puppet gig. How do i close this post now? Think i can do without the negatives now...
  9. Gerbert

    Gerbert Member

    Okay..
    All honesty,

    Your puppetry needs just a little work..
    Work on your lipsync,
    Get a webcam,
    and practice Monitor Puppetry..

    Now,
    On your Puppet Design,
    That chameleon dude was AWESOME in design, and character,
    Reminds me alot of Pepe.. A ladies man.. Err.. Prawn..

    Your sloth,
    Is amazing, personality wise AND design wise..

    Your Flory monster is REALLY close in design to Trekkie Monster,
    but beside's that, He's a awesome character, too..
    Loved that Oreo's joke.

    Now, That surfer puppet,
    Is downright AWESOME..
    I don't recall seeing alot of Surfer puppets ANYWHERE..
    This is a first,
    And the idea of making him outta a BEACH TOWEL is even MORE awesome..
    I didn't notice at first..
    xD

    Please man,
    Nobodies perfect at this.
    Don't give up,
    We're just trying to help you.
    I'm in it for the fun,
    and I'm not the only one..
    Do me, and all of Muppet Central a favor,

    PRACTICE, MAN.

    Thanks.
  10. Hey Bud,

    Wow, your puppets are really cool. I love the design of all of them. I've just finished making a kermit puppet for my son, and know how much work goes into learning to build on your first attempt, and I think you've done an outstanding job building the puppets.

    I'm not a puppeteer, I just have fun with my little boy playing around with different puppets, so I won't comment on your performance with the puppet too much, but I know my son would light up if you did any of those performances in front of him so from my perspective you've achieved a great outcome. I'm sure with practice you will get even better, it's interesting going back and looking at the early footage of some of the muppet/sesame street characters and there is a huge difference in the way the characters are operated earlier to later. You can see it a lot particularly looking through Jim Henson in early days to just before his death. His kermit puppeteering and voice were so much cleaner and more fluid later than they were earlier.

    I think it's a little quick judging you on your performance and voice so early as most puppeteers spend a long time developing the character's personality, voice, movements etc, so I think as a first go you've done a fantastic job. Can't wait to see how these characters develop over time.

    If you enjoy doing this, and are doing it for fun, then take the criticisms, learn from them and keep having fun. It's like anything, you can have fun, but the more you learn the more fun you will end up having.

    I always ask for comments when I make something, because to be honest, there isn't anything anyone on this board could tell me that would be any worse than what I have already told myself. The difference here is that you have a great opportunity to learn from those who do this professionally. What a great opportunity. These are people who have spent years studying, and learning how to do this. It's experience and guidance you can't buy. It's fantastic having these types of forums, and I for one, am eager to take all criticism on board so that each puppet is better than my previous.

    Good luck and keep up the great work.

    Greg
  11. TheCreatureWork

    TheCreatureWork Active Member

    What the?
    You asked us for a honest opinion and I gave it. It doesn't mean you suck and deserve to drop everything you have been working on thus far. If you read my post you'd find I said I did some of the things I pointed out about your videos. The point to all this is that Rome wasn't build in a day and neither is good puppetry. We all struggle to do great puppetry and practice to get better- I've had great puppeteers point out things about my puppetry and I used their comments to try to better my performance. I could have sat here and let you continue to repeat things you need to improve on, but I thought I'd help and "honestly" tell you what you need to work on. Am I sorry for posting what I did- no. I hope you take what I said into your performances and If you can't take constructive criticism then I suggest not asking at all, or titling your posts differently.
  12. Keeermit

    Keeermit Active Member

    if only we always got the feedback we wanted, you're lucky that people have spent the time to respond and try to help your performance, no one said you were terrible, just trying to give some helpful tips - all which were valid. I'm not that much of a performer these days but I am a builder - I was going to give you my opinion of your work as a builder but I don't think it will help from your response of the other guys trying to help you . But I wish you all the best and only do it if you enjoy it
  13. callmemilo

    callmemilo Member

    I think your puppet building is pretty **** good. I like the character designs, but I think the finish need as little tidying up here and there. Generally really nice puppets though.

    As for the performance, it feels rather rigid. You might wanna try animating your characters more, making them look like they're thinking, doing stuff with their hands and the way they move their heads and bodies. Maybe try to add more range and dynamism with the voices too, give them more lively personalities?

    You're also gonna wanna practise your lipsyncing and the way the mouth moves with certain words. Think about how you move your own mouth when you talk, and try to make it work with the puppet too. I find a great way to do this is just to practise hand movements without the puppet.

    Otherwise, I love what you're doing, keep it up and looking forward to seeing more of your videos once you've had more time to practise. :)
  14. bandit

    bandit Well-Known Member

    Phew! I'm gonna jump right in here and cut to the chase too. I just want to say a couple of things about this.
    1- I'm gonna agree with what's already been said here. You have skills when it comes to building puppets, most definitely. They look really good!
    2- How you wield your puppet can use work but that goes without saying.
    Any beginner is going to need practice so that's all good. NOW with all of this feedback, you'll know WHAT to practice. So its all good.

    If you do something that's close to your heart, you're always gonna run the risk of getting hurt when you aren't performing the way you would like. Be it art or sports or singing or cooking or WHATEVER it is you're aiming for here, you're always going to fall short of the mark from time to time. But so what? So that happens and so you pick up and you get on with it. You have to because you have to remember that most people who got anywhere in life probably heard "NO NO NO NO NO YOU STINK" a few million times before they finally got it right.

    But having said all of that...when we have a passion, it brings out passionate feelings. It can make one feel easily hurt. It's pretty dang brave to post something like this on a public forum and ask for people to tell you what they really think. It's GUTSY and that's great! I love it. But just be prepared for what comes at ya. Take it, own it and use it! USE IT!

    We as the spectators, however, have a part to play too. So...okay! things got a little outta hand but who among us here likes to fail? NO ONE! And then when we react, sometimes, can't be helped....we OVERREACT. It happens. Its stupid and it happens.

    Then everyone gets huffy, pride rises up on either side and before you know it, everything escalates to an all out war.

    Oh come on guys! Let's not be petty. Let's praise him for being brave....let's thwack him on the head for being wimpy about criticism....let's all shake hands and encourage him to do an encore performance where he puts all of this most excellent advice to good use!

    Who's with me!?
  15. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    This thread has served its purpose. In order to try and prevent further feelings being hurt from the direction of certain comments which had to be deleted, this topic will hopefully be locked now/soon. Thank you for understanding.


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