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Wanlu
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Manila, Philippines
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Hi,

I noticed that some vents love figures with lots of animations e.g. raising eyebrows, winkers, upper lip sneer, sniffing nose, wide eyes, wiggling ears etc...yet some vents would rather have a figure with just the moving mouth and nothing more Smile

Take the ff Vent friends as examples...John Pizzi's Andy (Selberg?) has practically every possible animation...and Paul Zerdin's Baby (Kristin L?) has only moving Mouth. My Nicolo (Poyner) has self centering eyes, raising eyebrows and winkers while On Carcamo's Lola Belay (Hartz) has only a moving mouth.

Personally, I find figures with raising eyebrows and winkers fun to work with Smile Im hoping I can soon try a figure with only self centering eyes and upper lip sneer...this time no raising eyebrow...no winkers and see how it feels without my favorite animations.

In your case, what figure would you rather have? A figure with just the basic moving mouth or a figure with tons of animations...

Let us know Smile

Wanlu
"The Old Path"
www.angdatingdaan.org

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Bob Baker
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For 40 years I've used a figure with moving eyes, two winkers, and raising eyebrows. I can use those to achieve any facial expression/emotion I desire, and that's all I want--to make him as lifelike as possible. Some of the other animations (spitter, wiggling ears, etc) might be good for a laugh--once or twice, but that's it. I think the character should dictate which animations to use. For instance, Jeff Dunham's Sweet Daddy D has an upper lip smile that, used sparingly, gets great laughs. But you'll notice that Walter has only moving mouth and lowering eyebrows.

Bob
Wanlu
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Manila, Philippines
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I agree with Bob Smile

My Poyner figure has self centering eyes, raising eyebrows and winkers and these animations help me a lot to show expressions Smile They also get good laughs Smile

My Payes figure has a single eye winker, raising eyebrows and left to right moving eyes (not self centering)

My Carcamo figure has only raising eyebrows and left to right moving eyes (not self centering)

But as a new vent, Id like to try figures with no animations at all aside from the moving mouth Smile

It might also be interesting and at the same time, challenging Smile

Thanks

Wanlu
"The Old Path"
www.angdatingdaan.org

Wanlu's Affordable Puppets
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Wanlu
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I recently bought a figure with just a moving mouth...I havent tried him yet in an actual performance since I got him a a reserved figure for an adult show routine Smile

Im sure a figure with just a moving mouth like Charlie McCarthy is a big challenge as far as manipulation is concerned Smile
"The Old Path"
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Bob Baker
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Wanlu:

As per my other post that you responded to, watch "You Can't Cheat an Honest Man" for a master lesson in how to manipulate a head/mouth only figure. I hope you have DVD rentals there. I'd get you one here, but the region code would be wrong.

Bob
Ony Carcamo
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Manila, PHILIPPINES
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Bob,
Video shops here (Manila, Philippines) don't carry those Bergen classics, so our best option here is to watch Bergen clips in youtube and download some from other vent tribute sites. I've watched several (I owned a few VHS tapes also) and I agree with you that Bergen is a master figure manipulator.

I got inspired to use just a head/mouth movement kind of figure by watching him. All my three main wooden figures (a Mack-Marshall, a Hartz, and one that I carved) just have these simple movements.

http://www.onycarcamo.com
Ony Carcamo
PHILIPPINES

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Wanlu
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Basically, people might think that a figure with just one animation (mouth) is easier to manipulate than a figure with all sorts of levers controlling the mouth, eyes, nose, ears, brows, sneer, crier, spitter, arm, kikcker etc but having just one animation makes it more difficult to express emotions Smile

That's what I meant when I said that a figure with just one animation is more challenging to manipulate Smile
"The Old Path"
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Wanlu
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BTW, Ony is correct...we don't have DVD shops renting out those classics here in Manila Smile

I have seen Mr Bergen over the Vent Tribute Sites...and in You Tube Smile and his work on his figures Charlie and Mortimer is simply masterfull... I have yet to see a clip with Mr Bergen working Effie Klinker Smile
"The Old Path"
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Joseph_Then
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I remember seeing Dave Paddleton's puppet called Mack.

I think it's from Selberg, it has moving mouth, upper lip snear, raise eyebrows, winkers, moving nose, side-moving eyes, centering eyes, moving ears, spliting hair.

Woah, that must be a real expensive boy!
-----



Joseph Then

Singapore Ventriloquist
Ony Carcamo
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Manila, PHILIPPINES
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Joseph,
Paddleton's figure was made by McElroy Brothers, and I believe that's why he named it Mack. The McElroys produced some of the best figures in vent history. They may not invented the use of lots of figure animations, but they made them very well.
When we talk of figure animations, the McElroys were the men!!!

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Ony Carcamo
PHILIPPINES

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Dickens & Dave
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While I find figures with a whole bunch of animations interesting to look at and to see how they work, past that, I've personally never had much interest in having too many extra animations.
Forgive me for quoting Paul Stadelman again, but this from his book about extra animations for figures says a lot of it;
"I think this can be over done, you get so involved with the different controls that you forget that you are trying to create the illusion of a living character, for if he were alive his nose wouldn't light up, his ears would not flap, and he certainly wouldn't cross his eyes."
But in the end, it's a personal choice.
Myself, I prefer having moving eyes, (over figures that have non-moving eyes) and I also prefer them not having the springs that return them to center, I'd rather have complete control. I do like winkers/blinkers, they can be very effective, and "normal" as far as something a real person could do, and raising eyebrows can also be useful without being "too much". But if all a figure's got is the jaw and moving eyes, I'm quite happy with just that.
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"Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest."
Servante
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Worked for Bergen!

-Philip
CaptKirk
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I like to have the three basic animations of self centering - side to side moving eyes, moving mouth, and raising eyebrows. ALL of my figures also have the blinking and winking eyes animations that really creates great expression(s) when used appropriately (a WINK at a pretty girl ALWAYS gets a good laugh from the audience). Only one of my vent figures has the additional upper lip sneer and that is used sparingly when I am working with him. Eyes and mouth are all that's really needed, IMHO:o) Someday I'll get a figure who has the eyes that can be moved ALL AROUND like "Fats" in "Magic". I'd love to have that animation to work with. A figure "rolling his eyes" would be extremely funny, I think:o)
Bob Baker
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Quote:
On 2010-12-06 10:43, CaptKirk wrote:
Someday I'll get a figure who has the eyes that can be moved ALL AROUND like "Fats" in "Magic". I'd love to have that animation to work with. A figure "rolling his eyes" would be extremely funny, I think:o)


Dan Lavender, who is working with Bill Nelson these days, does a beautiful job with rolling eyes. They can look in any direction and roll around.

Bob
Dickens & Dave
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I was going to make a separate thread about this, but the topic being kind of generic about animations, I figure it's just as good here.
What do you all think about stuff like remote control figures, animatronics I guess would qualify too.
Personally, when I see something like that, while it's interesting to look at, it's not something I'd be interested in.
I like tings simple. The reason I prefer my acoustic guitars over my electrics is because I can just take an acoustic anywhere and that's all I need - same with the vent. A figure and me and that's all I need, or even some puppet of some sort and I can do it anywhere. Simple and easy.
Obviously, this is speaking generally and doesn't apply to some big theme stage setup, etc. Just generally speaking, I like the simplicity of just using a regular vent figure.
http://dickensndave.bravehost.com/index.html



"Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest."
ColinDymond
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I saw Paul Zerdin this year and at the end of the show all his figures came to life. This was a fun minute or two but was the biggest cost to him.
I think anamatronic figures still have a long way to go, to me they are still too jerky. I'd love to have a figure that I could talk to throughout my show but I just cant justify it at the moment.
Servante
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Oh, you know, people think of it as a new thing, but John Williams Cooper had a barbershop act in the late 1800's in which he remote controlled his five figures with foot pedals from a distance. That was pretty much their version of animatronics. There have been others.
And Gerry Anderson's marionettes had electronics in their heads that allowed eye and mouth movement from a distance.
I figure this is just an updated version of all of that. If you can pull the string from a distance, and that tool is something you like, more power to you.
I haven't seen 'em in practice, but Axtell makes some awfully good ones, from what I hear.

-Philip
marshalldoll
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Billy Davis you did a mind reading act using a Frank Marshall figure which had animatronics installed. He walked into the audience and the dummy sitting on a chair on stage talked, moved his head and eyes all by remote that Billy Controlled. He did this back in the 1960s.
Dan
http://www.ventriloquistcentral.com
Dickens & Dave
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I knew it wasn't a new thing, but with technology taking over everything else, just had me wondering how much it was going to invade this art.
And like I said, I'm not going to ever have some big stage production like Cooper's barbershop, so it's not something I need to deal with, like I said, just something I was thinking about.
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"Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest."
marshalldoll
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Again I was just giving some historical info.
Dan
http://www.ventriloquistcentral.com
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