File puptcrit/puptcrit.0509, message 426


To: <puptcrit-AT-lists.driftline.org>
Date: Fri, 30 Sep 2005 23:12:40 -0500
Cc: 
Subject: [Puptcrit] Re: Stop motion puppetry


Has anyone here ever tried stop motion
puppetry?   I've helped make one very short stop
motion scene with a crew of 10 for Comedy Central
and it was amazingly tedious.   Corpse Bride was
just overwhelming to watch.  The size of the feet
on many characters were so small ....like long
jointed pencil legs with almost no feet.    How
do you plant those feet on the stage stabilizing
the character seamlessly between frames while
making the necessary pose changes and head
replacements?  Too much to talk about....truly
impressive work.  I'll see this movie MANY times.

In regard to your query, Ax, yes, many, many millenia ago I helped in a stop motion picture.  I guess anything like this is puppetry to a certain degree.  The film I worked on was "Our Orchard Heritage".  Filmed in Lincoln Nebraska back in the late 60's or early 70's when I was (gasp!) in high school or early college!  Wowee!!!  It was a funky film which used real fruits and vegetables and we pasted cut out eyes and mouths on them to replicate the pre or post recorded voice overs.  I don't remember which we did first.  It's been that long ago!  The film received local acclaim and our PBS station has a copy of it and has actually shown in when it's a slow, snowy day in Big Red country.  I caught it about 5 years ago, I think.  We made teeny tiny rooms and props for this.  I even remember carving a record player/turntable out of balsa wood!  Yipes!!!  Could I ever see that small without bifocals?  The BIG scene was a battle between fruits and vegetables.  Took us a week to film in the film makers parents kitchen.  We had to kill off the grapes first.  They kinda shrink up and become eligible for chocolate covered movie food, if you get my drift!!!  It's a slow, painstaking process, but the final film turned out really artfully done.  I don't even remember the guys name who was in charge of this, or how I got involved.  But it was a unique project and I even got to do a mom's voice in the film.

I was lucky enough to see Corpse Bride at a sneak preview the Monday before it opened nationally.  It really blew me away!  Can't believe it's all stop motion.  Looked a lot smoother than that.  Nice, nice lighting and filming.  Fun story line too.  I'm going to be sure to buy that one on DVD when it comes out!!!

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