I'm building a very small digital projector, about the size of a mobile phone, into the puppets head. The main problem so far is that it has to sit in the middle, right where the jaw and neck axis usually pass through (the jaw mechs not attached in this pic), should be interesting...
Experimental puppet control. I'm aiming for the control of a Bunrak puppet without the need for three puppeteers. Firstly, I there's no right arm, so that's down to two. As he never needs to move more then a few steps, at first glance it may seem that that could allow me to do away with the foot operator without too much trouble, but there's still the problem of maintaining tension throughout the puppet on your own, plus I want him to be able to stand up and sit down. Tricky. I've worked out a system to take the weight of the puppet onto the elbow and forearm, which is both more comfortable and allows the head to have a much greater degree of movement, as the control handle doesn't double as the mainstem of the puppet but is separate. Still more experimenting needs to be done.
Few days into the making period and i'm running into some trouble. The question i need to answer basically is: What is an R&D puppet? you can't really do a scratch of a puppet like you can do a scratch of a show, as it has to be fully working for the rehearsals, but at the same time i don't want to make a finished puppet as this is ment to be a an R&D process. i think i'm going to find a middle ground between how i want the puppet to look and how i want it to move, working out some of the mechs in ply that i eventually want to have laser cut in aliminium and generally using it as a platform for experimentation.
just finishing up the designing part of the process, here's what i think the machine may look like. to give you some background, he's a robot on the run whose built himself as he goes.
So in between the hectic-ness of building a giant lion, me and the great Joel Horwood spent three days writing some dialouge to use for the R&D which was a lot of fun. started to get some sense of the character anyhow.
This'll be my last post for a while till i start the design process proper in the summer.
got my collaborators on board and there awesome:
Emma Saur: Director
Joel Horwood: Writer
Barry Farrimond: Sound Engineer
Little Bulb Theatre: Music
So i got some R&D funding from the Arts Council at the start of the year to make my first show, exciting! i'm working on a experimental monologue with puppets with a sci-fi bent, if that's your thing, watch this space!