Category - Technology

1
Gerry Anderson’s Firestorm – Kickstarter!!
2
Pee Wee’s Playhouse: The Complete Series comes to Blu-ray!!
3
Stan Winston School offering a 3 Day Puppet Building Course
4
Inside Jim Henson’s Creature Shop!
5
The Creature Technology Company Show Reel
6
The Wild Life
7
Remembering a Visionary
8
1884
9
Irvin Kershner, ‘Empire Strikes Back’ Director, Dies at 87
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Servo Marionette

Gerry Anderson’s Firestorm – Kickstarter!!


Jamie Anderson, son of late Gerry Anderson (Fireball XL5, Thunderbirds, Space 1999) wants to continue the work of his father by producing one of his father’s series concepts “Firestorm”.

As they describe on their Kickstarter campaign:

Firestorm was originally conceived and developed by Gerry Anderson in 2001 under the title ‘Storm Force’. The series was eventually bought by a Japanese production company and developed as an anime series. By the time it reached the screen it was quite different to the original series Gerry Anderson had envisaged, and we want to go back to those original concepts and develop them as a true Gerry Anderson production.

Firestorm will see a return to several elements that we think are essential for a real Gerry Anderson project:

Practical effects – yep, that’s REAL explosions
Physical sets
Beautifully detailed miniatures
and yes… puppets!
Harking back to the wonderful world of Thunderbirds, we’re calling this updated combination of elements: Ultramarionation.

Here are some of the beautifully crafted puppets being built by the talented folks at Mackinnon and Saunders (Bob the Builder, Postman Pat and Fifi and the Flowertots, to Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride and Wes Anderson’s Fantastic Mr Fox) Their Gerry Anderson connection runs deep – Ian Mackinnon had his very first paid job working on the 1980s pilot show Space Police, and the company was also responsible for the puppets in Gerry Anderson’s Lavender Castle.From concept maquettes, mould making and armatures to costume, hair and paint, their team will always go the extra mile to ensure the characters that are produced create the maximum impact on screen.

2014-09-12_Tokashi sculpting Sam

 

2014-09-15_Noel sculting McCallister 2

 

McAllister Front PRINT

 

Their Kickstarter campaign is chalked full for information and describes exactly what the funding will be used for. Please give to this amazing project!

Pee Wee’s Playhouse: The Complete Series comes to Blu-ray!!

Pee-wee-DVD-cover-640
If you were a child (or college student) watching TV in the late 80s, Pee Wee Herman, the cherubic man-child of Pee Wee’s Playhouse, was your patron saint of silly and fun. As a college student, I fondly recall rolling out of bed just before 10am on a Saturday morning to tune in for my wake-up call and weekly inspiration. Cool Cat, Dirty Dog and Chicky Baby were beat-poet, jazz musicians in the Puppetland Band, puppet fish swam in the fishbowl, while Randy, the bully marionette teased and terrorized. Of course, there was Pterry the Pterodactyl, Pee Wee’s ardent sidekick who loved to fly and play catch. There were several other resident puppets including Clocky, Globey, Magic Screen, the flowers, Mr. Window, Chairy and others. Pee Wee’s Playhouse incorporated everything you could love as a young puppeteer including claymation, animation, stop motion effects and wonderful humanette techniques. The psychedelic color palate and cast of characters were an artist’s dreamscape and, no-doubt, instilled inspiration for that generation of merry-makers and would-be puppeteers.

The entire series plus a glut of bonus gems will be available on blu-ray in US and Canada on October 21, 2014. If you were a fan of the recent Wayne White documentary “Beauty Is Embarrassing” with White’s brief focus on his days working on the Playhouse, the included bonus materials looks like a puppeteer’s and Playhouse fan’s dream come true.

From the Shout Factory official release:

Synopsis

TV Guide named Pee-wee’s Playhouse #10 of the Top 25 Cult Television Shows Ever!

All 45 wacky episodes, plus Pee-wee’s Playhouse Christmas Special, have been METICULOUSLY RE-MASTERED from the original film elements — and now YOU can see this ground-breaking series for the very first time in beautiful HIGH-DEFINITION!

Winner of an amazing 22 Emmy® Awards!

Scream along to the SECRET WORD with Pee-wee Herman and his pals — Jambi the Genie, Miss Yvonne, Cowboy Curtis, Reba the mail lady, Captain Carl, Magic Screen, Conky, Globey, Chairry, Pterri, Randy and many more! Aaaaarrrrrrrrr!!! I know you are, but what am I!?! Mecka-lecka hi… Mecka-hiney ho!

Includes Bonus Features:

– OVER 4 HOURS of brand-new interviews with the cast and crew, plus never-seen, behind-the-scenes footage—all part of TEN FEATURETTES, including:
– Building the Playhouse
– Opening the Playhouse
– Writing for the Playhouse
– The Look of the Playhouse
– Music of the Playhouse
– The Cast of the Playhouse
– Puppets of the Playhouse
– Animating the Playhouse
– A Very Merry Christmas Special
– Fans and Memorabilia of the Playhouse
– These featurettes include interviews with actors Laurence Fishburne (Cowboy Curtis), S. Epatha Merkerson (Reba the mail lady), Lynne Marie Stewart (Miss Yvonne) and John Paragon (Jambi the genie).
– Mark Mothersbaugh and Danny Elfman explain the music of the show and the Emmy award-winning production design team of Gary Panter, Wayne White and Ric Heitzman explain how the sets and puppets were imagined and produced.
– Animation Supervisor of all 5 seasons of Pee-wee’s Playhouse, Prudence Fenton (Liquid Television) talks about all the types of animation used in the program and animators Peter Lord and David Sproxton (Wallace & Gromit) discuss their contributions.
– Ve Neill, the multi-Oscar winning make-up artist talks about designing the make-up ‘looks’. Two of the shows writers talk about how the scripts were created.
– Other cast and crew explain, in fascinating detail, stories from the production of Pee-wee’s Playhouse. If that weren’t enough, many of the shows puppeteers and voice artists are interviewed about how the puppet characters were brought to life.

Article Written by: David Manley- Up In Arms

The Wild Life

Glad Black Bag’s newest campaign video presents The Wild Life, is a fake reality show featuring a cast of entertaining animatronic animals and one incredibly messy house. The campaign, created by Evolution Bureau, consists of impressive animatronics by puppeteers who worked on Jim Henson’s the Muppets.

Remembering a Visionary

Yesterday we lost a visionary…Steve Jobs.

Years ago I was very mixed up as to my role in puppetry and whether what I was doing (Puppeteers Unite! included) should continue. Then I came across Steve Job’s commencement speech at Stanford and everything changed for me.

I won’t explain what he said that literally changed my life, but it was very impactful. Every now and again when I’m feeling “uncentered” I watch this video and feel focused again. I hope you enjoy it too.

1884

1884 is a new upcoming animated film who’s Co-Producer and Creative Adviser is none other than Terry Gilliam.

The film is about a 1848 film which imagines what it will be like in the year 1884.  This alternative sci-fi world is the brain child of Gilliam’s protégé Tim Ollive. It will combine a mixture of live action puppetry with CG facial animation- fused the mouths and eyes of actors onto the the heads of the puppets. set against layers of miniature backgrounds, paintings, real life film and photography from the Hulton Picture Library division of Getty Images. You can really see the influence Gilliam has had on the film, he has recently commented on the style:

“The quality of the work is amazing: It’s not slick and sleek CG work, such as studios in L.A. particularly produce. It looks crafted by an artisan, and the scale and design are spectacular.”

Gilliam also promises some Monty Python alumni will lend their voices to the cast of characters in the film.

A release date has yet to be announced.

Here is the visualized trailer used to get the funding and people onboard for the making of the actual film.

Here is the Promotional Trailer.

Irvin Kershner, ‘Empire Strikes Back’ Director, Dies at 87


Today it was announced that Irvin Kershner died at the age of 87.

Irvin Kershner, Directed (in my mind the best Sci Fi movie) Star Wars V: The Empire Strikes Back. It is, as many of you will recall, the film that took many chances. It introduced a rubber latex puppet character named Yoda, and ended with a reveal of Darth Vader being Luke’s father.

Kershner also directed the 1983 James Bond movie Never Say Never Again and RoboCop2.

He will be sadly missed.

Here is an interview with Kershner I hope you enjoy.

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