File puptcrit/puptcrit.0803, message 102

Date: Wed, 5 Mar 2008 09:19:50 +0000
Subject: Re: [Puptcrit] Principles of Puppetry

I'm afraid I have to agree with Jim here. There are many students on my
modelmaking course who are very knowledgable about SFX, but it doesn't make
them any better at what they do. The more talented ones just tend to get on
with it, being inspired not by study, but by simply whatever captures their
imagination, and having the common sense to to be able to honestly judge
their own work. I get annoyed at those who obsess with their research -
their work always looks like a rip-off of someone else's work (Jim Henson,
Tim Burton, etc). It's good to be inspired by others, but I believe good,
exciting work comes mostly from within.
Anyway, puppetry, like any art, is completely subjective. You can't write a
list of rules for something which is different for everyone - if I had a
personal list, number 1 would be "Be Original", yet it wouldn't make sense
to tell this to someone who wishes to make traditional marionettes, because
they would have their own set rules to follow to recreate the authenticity.
Puppetry is all about visual communication, something which should come
naturally to us, it is intuitive. At university, we had to take some lessons
explaining the theories of communication. Perhaps I am stubborn, but I found
these lectures tiresome and pointless - surely if you are in the business of
making models and puppets, one should already know how to bloody
communicate! Else no amount of study will help you.
Hope I didn't offend anyone.


> Jim Menke wrote:
> >Thinking of principals as we work and perform can take all the joy out of
> our profession. Sure we have to do good work but to obsessed by it can
> ruin
> it.  ----------
> Jim, I agree that obsesssing over and anylising everything can ruin things
> (been guilty of that), but as in most things, moderation is a must.
> Without
> studies, how can we rethink what we do, and make it better?
> Some of us go at it very mentally, some do it physically, learning by
> process.
> I seek balance, and for me, it comes only with a bit of both: study and
> doing.
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