File puptcrit/puptcrit.0606, message 248

To: <>
Date: Wed, 14 Jun 2006 21:12:45 -0400
Subject: [Puptcrit] Marionnette controllers

Hi all. today we organised the auditions fro the two pro puppeteers we need for our puppet movie.

They were all very interesting, and we have one person already selected.
Some brought their own puppets, or some borrowed.
Two of the marionnettes we got to see were of real high quality, both in looks and movements.

The most impressive had a controller modified directly from a Ronnie Burkett and a Luman Coad designs. A fusing of the two. The result was astonishing in precision, and easy to use, once you know what you are doing, of course.é
This I think, left the vituoso all the space to concentrate on the performance, and "forget" about technique.
I wish I had had a camera to take pictures!
It was magical to see it operate!

Finally, I saw very up close, and even tried, puppets that were so well strung that there was little space left for wobbly movements, a dead giveaway for me.
A jiggly puppet, except for the cartoon caricatures, is always a big disapointment for me, and the reason I had believed for many years that there was no way a string marionnette was capable of subtley and grace. Boy was I wrong. But I had seen nothing really.  The curse of the innocent, or of the isolated in small towns...
Thanffully, I moved to montreal, when I chaged my career orientation.  Ltos of puppets here! This spring, when I saw Stickman performed by Basil Twist, I was converted! I want to make such marionettes, forget about simple stringed toys for now (I'll still do them for fun or for sidekick effects), I want a fine instrument.

On the pro puppets I saw today, the hands were strung on both sides, and I think at the tip, making a triangle. VERY stable, and the movement was almost universal, just like a true wrist joint. The wrist joint was a strap or a metal loop, on an axle, but there was some free space around it to let the hand rotate a bit from left to right.
each hand had its own . mini "cross-shaped" controller for subtle movements, and both were attached on a single string on a loop, making them solidary. One finger on the controller could lift any and both hands slightly, so that no hgand ever felt dead.
Of course, the full ranged movement was done with the pupeteer's other hand.

What are your favorite  basic movements and "options" on string marionettes?
How do you achieve them?

-Curious and hungry for more!

Mathieu René Créaturiste
Marionnettes, Masques, Etcetera...
Puppets, Masks, Etcetera...
(514) 274-8027
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