How to Build a Puppet Video

Adam Kreutinger has just released a “How to Build a Puppet” video! This simple tutorial covers pattern making and an easy way to get a round puppet head pattern. Adam is a great puppet builder and the tutorial is awesome for first time builders who don’t have a lot of money.

CLICK HERE to see the video

Own a Piece of Thistledown History

Philip Hatter of Thistledown Puppets has a crowded workshop.  But, thankfully, that means he has a handful of original puppets available for sale.  Check them out here – kinda like taking a walk down Memory Lane.

In the midst of what’s available, at incredible prices, is a familiar face – Mr. Toad of Toad Hall, a top ten finalist in Project Puppet‘s Puppet Contest 2007:  Once Upon a Puppet Contest.

This is a great opportunity to get your hands on a Thistledown puppet (for a reduced price).  Check out who else needs a new home, and contact Philip Hatter to seal the deal.

Ruffus The Dog’s A Christmas Carol Public Screening

I wrote about Ruffus the Dog’s “revival” back in March. Well, the fine folks involved, have been working hard and are just about ready to have a public screening of their work on December 17th. It’s a half hour version of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” – as told by Ruffus and a host of other puppet characters: “Ruffus The Dog’s Christmas Carol”.

It was shot in high definition on green screen and all the sets are computer generated. The amount of work seems very impressive indeed. There are 4 original songs by our composer JP Houston (Big Comfy Couch) and the show features the puppetry talents of Bob Stutt (Fraggle Rock, Panda Bear Daycare), Karen Valleau (Sesame Park, Mr. Dressup), Fred Stinson (Big Comfy Couch, Panda Bear Daycare), Gord Robertson (Fraggle Rock, Panda Bear Daycare) and Ben Deutsch (Land O’ Hands) – with some additional voicing by Alyson Court (Big Comfy Couch, Resident Evil).  Creator Rob Mills added, “The whole thing has been funded by contributions through Indie Go-Go, a crowdfunding web site and a lot of sweat equity and favours.”

So if you want to see what the finished project looks like, be sure to go to the public screening at the Revue Cinema in Toronto on December 17th with box office proceeds going to support the Toronto Public Library Foundation.

They were able to get a second round of funding through their Indie Go-Go campaign.

It looks awesome.  My top hat off to all involved.

UPDATE:  Here is the final video for all to enjoy.

Christmas Critters by Thistledown Puppets!

Thistledown Puppets has released a Limited Edition puppet called The Christmas Critter! The puppet is only $79 and would make a great gift for anyone on your list! Act now before they go!

This is a limited edition—only 25 puppets are available, so it’s first come first serve.

How do you purchase one?

Simply fill out a Contact Form on the Thistledown Puppets site and you’ll receive a PayPal invoice (You must pay in full to reserve your puppet). All orders placed before November 18th in the Continental US will receive free shipping, so get your order in early. For those outside the US, international shipping rates will apply. When ordering, please include, your name, e-mail address, and shipping address.

All orders must be received before November 30, 2011. The puppet will arrive at your door in time for Christmas.

So what are you waiting for? Get your order in for your Christmas Critter today! Here’s looking forward to Merry and Joy-filled Christmas season!

Let’s Talk Science

Check out these two video shorts that I helped puppeteer for.  They were created for Let’s Talk Science and use an amazingly cool knitted puppet.  The shorts were co directed by Kathilee Porter and Marty Stelnick.  Kathilee is an amazing director and Marty is a fantastic puppeteer in addition to his directorial abilities.  Marty and I shared the puppeteering duties and I offered the voice work for the puppet (Marty was the narrator).  

Please feel free to go to the Youtube page and leave your thoughts on the videos.

Video # 1 Hair Dressing Mishap

Video # 2 Crash Course in Ramp Design

Enjoy.

Puppet Heap Playthings!

It should come as no surprise that I would be posting about Puppet Heap. I have before, and chances are I will again.  I truly love Puppet Heap’s style, the quality and the thought put into their productions, and now…their TOYS! Toy puppets, in general, do not  catch my attention, but Puppet Heap’s new line of hand puppets sure did! They are simply the most original toy hand puppets out there. Check them out…

So here’s the scoop…

This fall, Puppet Heap Playthings will launch their first ever line of hand puppets – Mother Hubbard Among Others.  The richly designed collection of hand puppets will be available in stores nationwide and on Amazon.com.

Puppet Heap Playthings is all about inspiring people to share through stories and play.  As such, the hand puppets combine traditional storytelling methods with modern technology to literally put the story in your hands. The first line of characters will be based on the Puppet Heap Moving Picture Company short films, “Mother Hubbard Among Others” and “I Knew an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly” (www.puppetheap.com).  Each puppet will come with a unique code that will unlock a secret window into that character’s world at the Puppet Heap Playthings website.  This rich online experience will deepen your relationship with the puppet characters and the world they live in.

You can pre-order your own Puppet Heap Plaything on Amazon.com, right now!

(This is just the first series of hand puppets in Puppet Heap’s new toy line. Two other series are in the works. I can’t wait for OMAR!)

All Puppet Players: Puppet Improv

I have been active in a good amount of improv over the last year.  It is no wonder why I’d like puppet improv.  Let me present All Puppet Players!  What I really like about APP is (not only solid improv) but also the way they use their all black outfits and oversized puppets in their performances.  I have seen a lot of puppet improv, and I personally really like when the puppeteer disappears into the background.  Also, puppets on stage (I feel) need to a good size, to effectively hold the audience’s attention (at least for me).

Check out their YouTube channel and watch some of their great puppet improv. Here is a sample of their “Puppets vs People ” format.

Sunflower Hour

I love puppet stuff and I am Canadian. So it would make sense that I might like what I have seen of Sunflower Hour, a Canadian film by Unpaved Films. The film is a “mockumentary” that follows four crazy puppeteers who are all vying for a coveted puppeteering job for a popular kids show. The question is, are any of them sane enough to be anywhere near a show for kids. Check out the trailer and see some excellent Canadian film making.

A great big “thanks” to Aisla for the heads up on this.

Invasion Report

These shorts have been produced by Hell Creek Entertainment here in Toronto, ON, CANADA.  It has a few of Canada’s best stand up comics who are trying their “hands” at puppeteering.  The series follows an alien newscast that outlines their eminent takeover of the planet Earth.  Their strategy?  Just sit tight and see what humans do to themselves.  See all four videos on Vimeo here.

On a side note, I built the puppets used for the shoot, trained the puppeteers and did some wrangling for the shoot.

First look at the new muppet movie

Here is the teaser for the new muppet movie due out at Thanksgiving.

Enjoy!!