Who we are?
We are a group of artists that have an idea. We want to create a family friendly puppet show. A puppet show that children and adults will enjoy. Each of us have differing artistic skills, and we have come together to create, “The Holiday Bug” puppet show.
"The Holiday Bug" puppet show is a huge undertaking. This theatrical story inspires both children and adults using large mechanical puppets and animations against the backdrop of the “Wool’s” living room.
Designs: Daniel Burke
Construction: Austin Thompson
“The Holiday Bug” puppet show is an elaborate stage performance. Our set is designed similar to a theatrical performance or a set piece for a puppet television show. The set houses built-in effects, and doorways (some with doors) for realistic entrances and exits. Our set design creates the Wool’s living room. A built-in projector screen allows us to project animations as well as us shadow-style effects.
Concepts: Matthew Van Gorkom and Austin Thompson
Fabrication: Austin Thompson
The puppets are rod with cable controlled mechanisms. People are often impressed with the scale of our puppets. The average size of each puppet is three and one half feet above the curtain. We will also add our largest puppet, a mutant Humbug, which stands at seven feet. The dramatic entrance of the “Mutant Humbug” will awe and excite the audience. In the past, our puppets have been created with carved Styrofoam (TM) and over laid with faux fur or silicone. This time, we will use clay bucks for plastic under skulls to create lighter and sturdier puppets. The plastic under skull, being clear, will allow us easy access to the mechanics for repairs to the puppets when needed. The outer parts of the puppets will be created with molded casts of silicone and latex. Though parts of the puppets will feature our previous faux fur, we will also utilize flocking techniques to give the puppets a more natural look. The “Mutated Humbug” will be created using L200 carving for the understructure and silicone and latex painting to create a realistic monster.
Script: Austin Thompson and Daniel Burke
Sound Creation and Engineering: Lee Rone
We have been working and improving “The Holiday Bug” puppet show for three years. To bring that story to life, we wanted to create an audio track for the puppeteers. This allows us to perform a puppet show that stays true with each performance. The other benefits of the audio track include reduced cost to the show, we don’t have to purchase microphones, and the number of performers is reduced. Different performers can join the fun while maintaining the integrity of the performance. We still perform with the same great voice talents originally recorded. Built in sound effects and music are included in the sound recording. The sound track reduces human error. We don’t have to worry about forgetting lines or playing sound effects. The audio track gives us a huge advantage when performing. Creating a quality audio track is no small endeavor. To create the track, Lee Rone has joined us. We have hired experienced, professional voice acting talent. Each actor was recorded on a sound stage simultaneously to create a natural flow to the conversations. Now we need to finish the audio with sound effects and unique music.
Animations in a Puppet Show?
Art and Animations: Matthew Van Gorkom
That's right we will include animations throughout the puppet performance. The animations will be created by our artist extraordinaire Matthew Van Gorkom. We have an animatic, a moving story board, of the Rudy Beaver commercial, featured below. We first started using animations for puppet shows when we created “The Art of Baking” for the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts. The result was highly praised, and we knew that the added feature would fit nicely with “The Holiday Bug.”
Although, we have done the show before, we still have a lot to do to transform the new Holiday Bug. We are still putting together the last few bits to finish the show and are offering each of you a opportunity to get involved with this exciting show. Your partnership with us will build:
*A custom built Vacuform machine.
*The materials necessary to build the puppets under our new construction methods.
*The Mutant Humbug.
*The materials to construct the new set.
*Acquire a projector to include animations in the show.
*Stage Curtains... Our curtains are getting a little drab.
*A facility in which to practice.
In the end we will complete the show and it will be a performance that anyone can enjoy but it’s going to take a lot of work to accomplish. We are excited to get started and can’t wait to perform!
With your involvement we have some great rewards for you to enjoy. Here is a view of the official "Holiday Bug" shirt.
*Speakers, although we utilize the existing sound system that is available to us, we are never sure if the speakers will work well to insure a quality performance. Having our own speakers will assure that our audience can capture the full effect of the performance and enjoy the story. This will allow our troupe the mobility to perform at schools, outdoors or other venues where speaker systems are unavailable.
*Lights to show off our puppets and set. We normally use the lights where we perform. Usually this is not the best situation. Our shows performance value would improve if we add lighting effect and it’s probably a good idea if people can see the show.
Risks and challenges
With all projects there are risks. Think about it. A meteor could hit us while performing, a tornado filled with hungry great white sharks could destroy everything, or aliens could invade. Who knows.
As I have said before, we have gone through the complete process of creating, constructing and performing puppet shows. Every item we have listed we have done in the past. We understand the unique challenges that face creating a puppet performance of this scale.
The biggest challenge we face is completion of all of the components before November. Sorry we started the party without you but in order to make our time table we had to start in January. In September we will begin the puppet and set construction, though, we have built mock ups and design sketches. By November we hope to have everything complete so we can begin practice. Our priority for the new Holiday Bug is quality. We don’t want to rush anything because we want each component of the show to be at it’s best. If this happens we will delay the show to December 2015 we would do it earlier but it’s a Christmas themed show so that doesn’t work to well in July... or does it? If delayed we still will be able to get the rewards out at their listed time frame except any that involve the actual performance of the show, unless someone has a time machine we could borrow.
The other two hurdles we face are hiring puppeteers and venues. I am confident that we will have puppeteers for the show. We have always been able to find them. But there is a chance even though it’s slight that we may not be able to find individuals willing to puppet. The puppets we use are made so anyone can puppet them. We aren’t looking for years of experience. We need people that are dedicated to the project and willing to learn.
We have a few venues currently reviewing "The Holiday Bug" for potential performances in schools, theaters, and churches, but, in reality, anyone can cancel on us. Yes, we would be compensated for our time with cancellation fees, but what about the show? Again there is always next year. We have never had any of these issues occur on any show we have attempted to work on. We do know these are risks we face and we want to be as transparent with you as we can. These issues are slight but still exist.
In the end we will complete the show and it will be a performance that anyone can enjoy but it’s going to take a lot of work to accomplish. We are excited to get started and can’t wait to perform!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)