Sunday, November 1, 2009

Kate Brehm - Puppeteering

I was tracking down these videos by Paul Louis about how to make a muppet style hand puppets (good videos, simple and easy to follow, you can also find them on youtube, but either place I watched them an ad was played in front of it)

Anyway, I ran across these bunraku puppet performing videos by Kate Brehm (they're all about a minute each, again youtube or expertvillage). She has some really interesting things to share that apply directly to animation. If Marc Craste was making appealing characters who are very simple and only have eye expressions, Kate Brehm is making appealing characters without even that, based solely on timing and movement. She breaks down ways of thinking about movement, she made it clearer to me how Laban movement theory can be used to shape character (which Ed Hooks talks about) and makes it simpler to understand in a kind of power center/gravity/personality way. She also talks about body mechanics and thought process stuff that helps the audience believe your character is an actual living creature.

definitely click through and watch the rest, well worth it!

One interesting thing she does is that the puppet breaks the 4th wall to acknowledge the audience, as a way of creating more empathy with the puppet, kind of like the puppet and the audience are in on a joke, which seems typical of puppeteering and I wonder if it's just a acting choice common in puppeteering or if it's necessary because of the lack of facial expressions.

1 comment:

Kate Brehm said...

Hi Alonso,
I'm happy to see these videos are having an impact on different kinds of creators of story and character. Filming the videos so short required really concise thoughts and commentary on them. I'm currently developing 12 week courses stemming from these simple ideas. Perhaps animators would be interested as well as puppeteers. Thanks.