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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » I'm a real boy! » » Figure Animations (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Servante
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Thinking about stuff is a good thing. Smile

-Philip
daffydoug
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Look mom! I've got
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With my Daniel Duggins figure, the features are not too bad. Raising eye brows, winkers, side to side self centering eyes and hand shake. But I always thought a sneer feature would be cool, and wiggling ears could be funny for the kids at certain moments. Spitter, and tongue sticking out? Well, if you could work them into the act at just the right moment, then they could definitely enhance the act.

The thing with the side to side eye movement is this: When he is talking to me, his head can be pointed straight at the audience, BUT as he is speaking to me, the eyes can both turn toward me as he speaks while the head remains still. I think that is a nice touch and I use it a lot to suggest "aliveness"

And the winkers can be used to suggest sleepiness or even a little tipsy condition if you only half close them. Rapidly alternating winkers from left to right can suggest silliness or craziness. So I enjoy the features he has, but lately I am still leaning toward the soft Axtell puppets with only the moving mouth.

Even with that one simple feature, if your skills are up there, then you can still come away with a good illusion of "Aliveness"

So a lot of it lies in the performer himself and his skill/ talent.

I can never forget my childhood and Sherri Lewis and her soft puppets and how she made them just come alive with nothing but mouth movements.. Just goes to show.
The difficult must become easy, the easy beautiful and the beautiful magical.
Matt_24
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The BEST vents have always used figures with minimal movements.

Charlie and Mort (does it get better?)
Walter (mouth and eyebrows)
Jerry Mahoney (eyes AND winkers - used to perfection)
Chuck Wood (s/s eyes and mouth)

McElroy figures are the coolest ever...but they would be just as cool as performers if they were mouth movment only. That is how amazing the sculptures are. It didn't hurt that the other brother was a mechanical genius and loaded them with movements. Dave Pendleton is the best I've seen with one, and he uses the extra goodies extremely sparingly in his show.

So - get a figure with as much as you want. Learning how and when to use the extras is what is important.

PS. The original Charlie had ALL direction eye movement. Bergen used this effect in one movie short that I saw on youtube, and the opening musical number in Charlie McCarthy detective. Other than that, he never used them. Didn't need to.
axtell
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With Joel now with us, we are adding blinking eyelids and moving eyes to some of the Axtell Puppets! Here are a couple of examples...
These two are animatronic but some of the hand puppets will have internal controls as well.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4EjYQ2BQoAA

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RnIiC070onA
Axtell Expressions, Inc.
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ColinDymond
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Love the bear Steve!
Ony Carcamo
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Cool, Steve!
Ony Carcamo
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Bob Baker
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Fabulous movements. Steve, you and your creative time just keep getting better and better!

Bob
marshalldoll
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Sreve I to agree you have done a great job with the upgraded movements.
Dan
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Mr. Pitts
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David Pitts
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Matt, are you sure the original Charlie had all direction eye movement. I know those shorts were produced fairly early in Bergen's long career, but not really at the beginning, about 10 or 12 years after Bergen had the original Charlie built. I was definitely under the impression that the original Charlie had only a moving mouth and that all other versions were built later. Any info on this Mr. Willinger?
David Pitts
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Dickens & Dave
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That's what I thought as well.
http://dickensndave.bravehost.com/index.html



"Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest."
marshalldoll
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Mr Pitts is correct. The original Mack Charlie was mouth movement only. The others all followed.
Dan
http://www.ventriloquistcentral.com
Ony Carcamo
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I just read Jeff Dunham's autobiography ALL BY MY SELVES and in it he shared his thoughts about figure movements/animations. Great insights!

And, oh, the book is a great read! Get a copy if you can.
Ony Carcamo
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Dickens & Dave
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I'll look forward to reading what he says. I ordered a copy, just came in a few days ago and will be next up to read as soon as I finish the book I'm reading now.
http://dickensndave.bravehost.com/index.html



"Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest."
Matt_24
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To clarify, I don't think the movements were installed in the MACK workshop. I think Bergen had someone else do this a bit later...but it was still fairly early in his career (in the grand scheme of his career). I doubt the later versions of Charlie had this movement.

Dennis Alwood made a nice poster which is comprised of images he took of the original Charlie while packing it up for shipment to the Smithsonian back in the 70's I believe. He gifted a copy of this poster to me several years ago. Included are photos "inside" the head and it shows the mechanics of the all direction movement. It is very cool - and what I'm basing my post off of.
harris
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Harris Deutsch
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Been playing with the new marionette I got myself for Christmas.

The Roller Skating Marionette has separate controls that allow the eyes to be winked or blinked independently. When both are engaged he can think or snooze a bit. His left hand has a string which will bring it up to his lips as if to ask for quiet, or to say "hmmmmmm" or or or ????

Most of the time I just use a rod (for the arms) and mouth. Of course as in all things...to each his own.

Happy New Year...

Harris
Harris Deutsch aka dr laugh
drlaugh4u@gmail.com
music, magic and marvelous toys
http://magician.org/member/drlaugh4u
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