Thursday, 28 May 2015

Creating Bambi puppets.

After searching through Youtube I managed to find a video of a puppet created by someone for a stage performance. This was one of the most valuable to pieces of research I have found as he shows you the process of the building of the puppet. Not only this but seeing a simple mechanism being used for the process  makes the mechanism easier for me to process and understand, and therefore translate into my own work.

This would be useful to be put towards the other puppet I intend to make for my FMP, which is a Bambi puppet to go alongside the drawings and research I have done into the Disney film.

Not only this but I have researched into the movement of deer, how they work and their mannerisms. As well as their general appearance and stance.

These early on sketches will be used as the basis for all my FMP work. These show not only how the character from the film looks but how wild deer look too. Intended to combine the two by creating a puppet that is the correct proportions and moves in a naturalistic way, but also maintains the iconic image that is the character bambi.

Monday, 25 May 2015

The finished thing, and how I feel about it

After creating the body and face of the puppet I then created
the wings which would form part of the mechanism for the puppet. I made these using the same process as the head and body of the puppet. This was once again an effective means of creating the work as it was a sturdy piece I ended up with.

I attached the wings using the method I outlined in my earlier drawings for the mechanism of the piece. I had to re arrange the positioning of the wings multiple times as the mechanism did not work as effectively as I had hoped from the prototype version I made previous to this final version.

I gave the work a final coat of varnish to give it a more even and high end finish. I think this gave the owl the finished look I needed.

Another issue I encountered was that in the prototype version of my owl, the mechanism for the mouth worked really well. However in the finished version, once I'd built up the face using paper mache', I restricted the amount of room for lower beak to move up and down in order to make the puppet look like its talking. As a result the puppet does still appear to speak however their isn't as much control there as I had initially intended to see. Instead of a simple up and down motions I have accidentally created a more complicated sort of diagonal motion, where the jaw moves both up and down, as well as in and out at the same time. Although this is not what I intended I am still happy with the outcome, however given I larger time scale I would like to recreate the work or have the opportunity to investigate the matter further in order to get the puppet working to its full potential.


Friday, 22 May 2015

Forming the Owl!

I created the owl by masking taping newspaper onto a box I made out of cardboard. This was an easy method to create detail in the puppet quickly and easily. I then used paper mache to cover the face and set the features I created. I then added a second layer using toilet tissue and this is easier to manipulate as well as absorbing the glue easier.


I then repeated the same technique to create the body of the owl. I think this method was effective as it created a stable body for the owl whilst keeping the puppet light and therefore easy to operate.

I then painted the face using acrylic paints and will add a layer of varnish once all painting is complete in order to give a high finish to the piece. I don't want it to look rustic or realistic, I want the piece to look stylised and almost cartoon like to represent the cartoon of 'Bambi' that I have based my entire project on.

Thursday, 14 May 2015

The creation of the wise owl.

I started this section of my project by looking at the character of the wise owl from Bambi. I looked at images of the bird, and how it moves in the animation. I established that my puppet only needs to be able to do 3 simple movements: rotate its head, lift its wings and open its beak. 

After researching into simple ventriloquist dummies,  I devised a simple mechanism to go in my owl puppet.


After figuring out the general mechanics, I then began to refine by drawings of the mechanism inside to make it more clear how it is going to work, so i make fewer mistakes when creating the finished product.
After i'd done this, I created a prototype version of my puppet in order to check the mechanism works properly. I did this just using paper for the base, tape, a pencil and some string. The outcome was pretty good as it worked just how i wanted it to, and was actually a pretty sturdy mechanism to say it was made from flimsy materials. 

Friday, 1 May 2015

The Creation of Bambi;

Since looking at The Lion King, and how it has been adapted from a Disney Animation to a large musical stage production, I have decided that for my FMP I will look at creating work for a production of Bambi. I would like to look at how they stylised the animals for The Lion King production and aim to do the same under the pretence that Bambi is being adapted for theatre, as was done with The Lion King.

What made The Lion King work? How can I translate this to a new musical?

After looking in depth at The Lion King musical, I decided to look at the woman who was behind the puppets. Her name is Julie Taymor. Ultimately the success of this stage production was down to the puppets, costumes and artwork created by  Julie Taymor. Her work is stylised, and therefore not realistic. This means that she is not trying to achieve realistic perfection, and therefore her work

cannot be compared to real animals. The stylisation means the puppets are more likely to be viewed as artwork, and an interpretation of animal. This is clever as it means people w
on't view her work negatively just because its not a perfect realistic looking lion or zebra.

I decided that seen as though it has been possible for one Disney movie to be translated onto the stage, I have set myself the task of doing the same for a different film. Bambi. I chose this film due to the large amount of animals in the movie, and therefore the amount of opportunities for different puppets is larger, and there is more choice. 

The animals I am going to focus on mainly are, Bambi himself, Thumper the rabbit and the wise owl. I have made these choices for several reasons. 
Bambi: Because I found lots of online research into creating deer puppets, as well as videos of deer movements.
Thumper: Because this offers a new challenge as I will focus on getting the thumping movement of his foot as opposed to focusing on the ears and eyes. 
The Wise Owl: Doesn't need blinking movement, but offers a new challenge in the wing movement, something I haven't yet created.