Monday, August 10, 2009

More on workshops

Here are some snippets of the Teachers Summer Workshop from a couple of weeks ago (held at Plymouth Congregational Church, which is why you see a cross in the background). No, there wasn't piano music playing in the background in real life.

One of the tricky things about filming puppets with a visible puppeteer is that the focus is off. I teach that the puppet should make eye contact with the audience and the puppeteer should draw the focus to the puppet. When I remember to tell the videographer to come in close to the puppet when it's speaking, the filming works. When I forget, the videographer naturally gets a wider view and the illusion doesn't quite come off. Ah, well.


Mary said...

It's very interesting to see the wide range of ways people manage the puppets. Some get it, some don't. I'd never thought before that you can make the puppet move too much - too long, too often, and too widely through space. The guy with the fox did an excellent job.

What's with the food? It was a funny addition to the video.

Deb said...

Yea, what was with the art/food scene?
Seeing this many puppets and puppeteers made me realize that puppetry relies both on the puppets body movement and on its mouth movement, and that body movement sometimes substitutes for mouth movement. When Trixie was brushing her teeth and finding hair in her mouth she mimed it beautifully (and in her back and forth with you and the audience about it sometimes her swiveling head was all you needed to see to understand how irked she was). It was interesting to see how the workshop goers started out with their puppets bobbing to indicate speech and personality, and then how the bobbing stopped as the people realized their puppets were communicating through movement, just as people do (and who would bob up and down to express anything but excitement?)

Cool video.

PriscillaHowe said...

Thanks for pointing out the puppet movement. It takes a while for new puppeteers to relax and give the puppets natural movement.

This video was done by a student intern, who made the choice of scenes. The food/art was at the reception following the workshop, not at the church.

Sean said...

Cute little moment in time video. Did you get any usable video for a back of the room product?

Always fun to see Trixie work. :-)