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TVTV Halloween Special... watch it quick!

Discussion in 'Puppet News' started by spcglider, Nov 1, 2010.

  1. spcglider

    spcglider Member

    hey everyone,

    Due to popular demand, we posted our 48 minute broadcast Halloween Special
    here:

    http://blip.tv/file/4314185

    We'll be taking it down soon, so go watch it fast! LOL!

    -Gordon :D
  2. Melonpool

    Melonpool Member

    Are the last four minutes missing? Did blip accidentally truncate the end?
  3. crazy chris

    crazy chris Well-Known Member

    very enjoyable! u guys do such an amazing and professional job! KUDOS!

    cc
  4. Erine81981

    Erine81981 Active Member

    I love it! My two favorites were the bat character and the sasquch (sorry for the spelling) I watched a little of one of the TVTV before but didn't get to watch all of it. But really enjoyed this. Hope to see a Christmas speical. That would be cool.
  5. King Rupert

    King Rupert Member

    I hope this is up later I cant watch at work but it looks great.
  6. Melonpool

    Melonpool Member

    I finally got to see the end (for some reason when I watched it through the direct link you posted, it would stall out about 4 mins before the end -- I watched it through the embedded player on your site and it worked fine). It was very ambitious and really came together well.

    The only criticism I have (and I'm sure my little project will have similar issues) is that some of the puppeteers do the "head flap" an awful lot. Bat Fink in particular was guilty of this. Kim Ho Tep tended to stare off into space a lot, too.

    I'd love to hear some behind-the-scenes stuff about the making of this. Did you shoot it as a single camera or multi-camera set up? Did you rebuild any of the core characters for the filming or were you able to reuse some of them from the regular TVTV episodes? How long was the shoot and how much of it was scripted/improvised.

    Again, good job!

    Steve
  7. Oscarfan

    Oscarfan Well-Known Member

    Did this actually air on TV? It was very good! I adore LeShock.
  8. spcglider

    spcglider Member

    Thanks Steve. And thanks for the kind words from the rest of you folks too!

    I have to note here that there wasn't a single person involved with this that got paid a dime for doing anything they did. Every single hour of time and every single iota of effort was completely volunteered. That's how its been from day one on TVTV. And I count myself among the luckiest guys in the world to have been able to gather this many talented and energetic folks to help create this thing. And keep it going.

    As far as puppetry goes, "head flap" is a symptom of having puppeteers who are not professional puppeteers, but folks with the gumption to give it their all. Some of these folks never puppeteered before in their lives. NONE of them save Charles and myself had ever worked with a monitor and camera before we shot our pilot way back in 2007. I'm a crappy teacher... mia culpa on that one.

    We shot single camera. All digital. Any more than that you'll have to ask the guys behind the lens. I'm the guy who handled stuff in front of the lens. Puppets, sets, props, etc. Michael and Troy are the guys who shot the action and directed.

    I did some face-lifts on certain characters. Dwayne got a pretty serious facelift. As did Von Bucket (though he's not been seen previously since we suspended Web Season 3 to do this). I gave LeShoc a new set of hands that didn't look so much like stubby chubby baby hands. Kim is brand new as well as Cryptomicus (the keeper). Kim's body was built by Andy Hayward. I added the detailing. My wife designed the costume. I had built Godzilla and Monster Zero for a sketch long ago but never used them. Miss Mansfield got a new pair of cats-eye glasses. But Furry, Archie, Boris and Batfink are exactly the same puppets we've been using for three years. If we get beyond Web Season 3, I intend to rebuild almost the entire cast. Furry is a right mess inside, but since I'm the puppeteer, I can deal with it. Our extra dude puppet that we call "Mad Man Mennows" ( the Titanic porter and Denver Airport Baggage Handler) was built by Liz Hara. The Shatner was designed and sculpted and cast by Hollywood make up guy Crist Ballas. I also have to mention Michael Huyck and Jason Thomas... guys who really helped an amazing amount. Michael Huyck is our incredible "right handy man"... he builds sets, sculpts, puppeteers, works on-set, etc. etc. And Jason turned out to be an amazing prop builder (he designed the sarcophagus for Kim Ho Tep). Beautiful work.

    Because of the all-volunteer nature of the endeavor, we had to shoot only weekends. By the end, we managed to squeek in a few weeknights for greenscreen and pick-up shots. But on the whole, it was weekends because everybody has day jobs. We started shooting back in June and continued all the way up through Jim Henson's birthday. Luckily, since we were working digital, Michael could edit individual scenes in between the shoots and work on the effects-heavy shots in spare time (of which there wasn't much since he was also directing).

    The overwhelming majority of the material was scripted. We usually rehearse just before shooting and then go to it under camera so there's always plenty of goof-ups for the blooper reel later. We try to keep ad-libs to a minimum because they make editing dialogue a bear. But sometimes there are good lines that just have to get used. Batfink's "That's just a gypsy riff to get you to buy a salve or ointment or...blah blah blah" was a controlled ad lib. We came up with that during rehearsal and it was funny enough to use when we shot. So it came back again when we shot the very end with Cryptomicus and Esmerelda. When Batfink says, "Its always paper..." that was an ad lib under camera that turned out really well. And when Furry says, "Dwayne? Dwayne! Omighod... I hope its not shark week." That was an ad lib too.

    I have to disappoint on the tabloid dirt front... we all got along amazingly well. No major blow ups or personality conflicts. There were tense moments and misunderstandings on occasion, but as a group, we're pretty cohesive. After a while, like a family, you have things that bug you about other folks... but we're all adults and can deal with that. Its normal life.

    -G
  9. The 11th UrRu

    The 11th UrRu Member

    Is this ever well done, wow
  10. Puppetainer

    Puppetainer Member

    AMAZING work you guys! I have dreams of getting my own little web show filmed and out there someday in the not-so-distant future. Give us 5 or 6 years and we might be up to your quality. I thought the quality of the ENTIRE production was excellent, especially considering the amateur/volunteer nature of the project. The sets, puppets, effects, lighting, camera work, editing, sound, writing, and performances were all top notch! You and your team did a fantastic job and you should all be proud. Keep up the great work.
  11. The 11th UrRu

    The 11th UrRu Member

    I thought the same thing puppetainer... so much so that I went searching around on youtube and came across a news report about how they make this show... this isnt 3 guys and a camera, a ridiculous amount of time and resources go into making this show.
  12. spcglider

    spcglider Member

    Well, actually, 11th Uru...

    We have a gang of about 20 people who help put it all together.

    -Gordon
  13. Buck-Beaver

    Buck-Beaver Active Member

    This is really quite an accomplishment; you've now produced not one, but two of these for broadcast TV. You should be very proud Gordon.
  14. spcglider

    spcglider Member

    I'm mostly proud of the fact that, together with some very good people, I've managed to put together something that people find entertaining. It certainly isn't all me by a loooooooooong shot.

    Everybody involved with the show goes all-in every time. You couldn't ask for a better gang of cutthroats and brigands. When we all get together its all about making TVTV as good as it can be. And then we laugh. A LOT.

    It really is no small sense of pride that I get from knowing I had an idea that turned into all this.

    I tell you... I think I've found my personal nirvana. Being under a puppet and performing on-camera is the closest to deliriously happy I've ever been (outside of my marriage, that is). Its just such an amazing experience when you get done and watch the footage. I used to get worried that I couldn't consciously recall doing some of the stuff (or making Furry do some of the stuff) on screen. Just little bits of movement that make him look alive or are particularly effective. I was concerned that it was me developing some sort of mental defect! But then I read a quote from Frank Oz about basically the same thing... the same thing happens to him sometimes. Sigh of relief!

    And that becomes the object lesson, I suppose. I eventually realized that there wasn't a place for me among The Muppets... even though Jerry Juhl had told me so many times over. So the only other option was to do it for myself.

    And now it remains to find a way to turn it into a real living. Which may also be completely up to me...

    -Gordon
  15. Onath

    Onath Member

    This is so true.

    Some people wait forever for something to just happen to them.

    Personally, I feel there is a much larger chance of getting your big break if you if you don't sit back and take a passive role.

    You and your crew have worked hard on this project and it shows. This kind of a top notch project can only lead to bigger and better things.

    Great Job on the special and keep up the great work.

    -Jon Little
  16. spcglider

    spcglider Member

    Thanks Onath!:)

    -Gordon
  17. spcglider

    spcglider Member

    In case you missed it, we've decided to keep the halloween special up indefinitely. So you can still reach it at the URL http://blip.tv/file/4314185

    -Gordon


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