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Dickens & Dave
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Quote:
On 2011-10-08 11:43, Mr. Pitts wrote:
With Bergen or Dunham, the characters really became the stars. Walter and Achmed and Peanut are the act. With Wences and Fator, the characters aren't the act, they serve the act.

I think this is very true.
I also agree with what you said to Wanlu about not explaining the differences as that would just draw attention to things they probably wouldn't notice. And especially in your case Wanlu, the changes from the Bobby you had, and the one you are getting, are so slight because Tim really did a great job of duplicating him, it is better to not even go there.

I've often thought I'd like to get a back up of my main character, although being a hard figure, and with my extreme caution and care of him, I would probably never need it, it still is a comforting thought to have a back up. In my case, I'd have to find someone else to make a copy since the creator of my figure is no longer with us, but I know it's doable.
I know if I had a soft figure I really liked, I would definitely want a back up, I think those are far more susceptible to becoming unusable, no matter how much care is taken. I only ever found one soft figure that I really fell in love with and didn't ever want to be without. Fortunately for me, it was a stock puppet, it didn't cost hundreds of dollars, so I bought a dozen of them - now that's backup!
http://dickensndave.bravehost.com/index.html



"Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest."
Wanlu
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Thanks everyone... your comments all make very good sense. Cool thread Tom! Smile


Now in the case of a tv interview, will it be fine to mention that a certain puppet has evolved? Maybe even show how he evolved from the original head to the custom
head which is the case of my main figure?
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Vegasvent
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Remarkably, Terry has changed-out every one of his original figures. With the exception of his Lovik(for which he has had several copies made) and "Vicki" the cougar by Axtell. He purchased a custom Selberg as a replacement for the Axtell "Julius", but never used it. His current figures are made by a company called "Puppet Heap". His new cast members are more professional looking, albeit appealing, for a "Vegas" show and have more movements. Let's be honest, the old Emma Taylor looked like a cheap rag-doll. The audience obviously doesn't mind since Terry's show has been a sell-out every night for almost three years.

I second that this is a great thread started by Tom!!
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Wanlu
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In Larry King Live, Mr Fator forgot the name of Mr Lovik and mentioned Mr Detweiler as the maker. Smile

Meynard does have those Lovik cheeks... I wonder how much Terry paid for the exclusive rights...

Hey Duane... in the case of our Cowles figures, I am planning to have a back-up head built by Tim, I think there is a possibility that there will be some differences right? But as everyone pointed out, it will only feel different to the performer and not to an audience.
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Mr. Pitts
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David Pitts
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Have you checked out Puppet Heap? Really nice work, great design.

http://www.puppetheap.com
David Pitts
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Wanlu
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I hope Im not off topic... if I am, I apologize. This is really getting interesting for me...


In a scheduled tv interview this month, I was planning to show how my main character evolved from a Poyner to a custom Cowles with the permission of Kem Poyner and the expertise of Tim Cowles. I am also planning to show how my Axtell character evolved to an animatronic monkey.

You think this could be a bad idea?

Another thing, people ask about prices. How much did it cost? When I give them a truthful answer,  it sparks an interest on the stories and history of the characters. Should I mention prices in the interview? In my country, an Axtell HF puppet costs even more than a decent car which is why it sparks more interest in the puppet. I am not comfortable discusaing it because I have this feeling that people are thinking Im bragging but what can I do. They ask and I just answer.
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KeithS
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Quote:
On 2011-10-08 21:16, Wanlu wrote:
In a scheduled tv interview this month, I was planning to show how my main character evolved from a Poyner to a custom Cowles with the permission of Kem Poyner and the expertise of Tim Cowles. I am also planning to show how my Axtell character evolved to an animatronic monkey.

You think this could be a bad idea?


It would seem that I'm in the minority here, and while I'm not privy to the discussion that took place at Vent Haven, I really don't think the public really cares if, or really thinks that much about, a vent changing puppets. They want to be entertained, and as long as this occurs they don't care if it's with a sock puppet (Shari Lewis, anyone?), a rag doll, or a $10,000 custom-made Selberg. And while as a vent, I much prefer Terry's new Emma, would he still sell out if he was still using his original Emma? I think we all know the answer to that.

I recently took my sons to a local museum that displayed an Elmo that was no longer used on Sesame Street. I was fascinated by it and tried to study it as closely as I could, but my boys didn't seem to take that much interest in it. They certainly didn't think about or question that that was a "different" Elmo no longer used on TV. And, if one was interested in doing so, one could document the evolution of Elmo and most other Muppets and see clearly how they have changed over the years. Some people, outside the biz, may find that interesting, but I don't think people care that much and are certainly not traumatized by it. Jim Henson never seemed to have much of an issue with this, and who is more famous regarding the general public's knowledge of puppetry?

So, Wanlu, I actually think it's a great idea to show how your character has changed over time. It gives the general public a bit of an insight into your work and into the art and craft of vent they otherwise may not get. It may be an educational opportunity. I say go for it. It could be really interesting to those who don't know much about such things.

Quote:
Another thing, people ask about prices. How much did it cost? When I give them a truthful answer, �it sparks an interest on the stories and history of the characters. Should I mention prices in the interview? In my country, an Axtell HF puppet costs even more than a decent car which is why it sparks more interest in the puppet. I am not comfortable discussing it because I have this feeling that people are thinking I'm bragging but what can I do. They ask and I just answer.


Now, I think this is not a good idea. That is no one's business. And while other vents may be interested in this (I know I am), the general public will usually not "get" why certain dummies and puppets cost as much as they do. Anytime I have ever shared with friends how much I would be paying for a character, they have looked at me like I was completely nuts. "For a PUPPET?" was usually their response. To most, puppets are just toys and to pay what some vents pay for one seems to them to be crazy. So, I would say not to share this info on TV.
Dickens & Dave
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Hahaaa, that is SO true, I can recall seeing that reaction many times myself, and that from telling them about a figure that was priced only in the hundreds dollars, never mind a figure in the thousands.
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"Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest."
ColinDymond
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Two points. I'm now scarred that I will have to get a replacement for my dragon, he was so expensive but worth every penny.

Also my puppet builder worked on the muppets and said that Miss piggy only lased hours!!! Also lots of TV puppets have different heads and bodies so you can change costumes quickly.
Wanlu
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Quote:
On 2011-10-08 22:36, KeithS wrote:
Quote:
On 2011-10-08 21:16, Wanlu wrote:
In a scheduled tv interview this month, I was planning to show how my main character evolved from a Poyner to a custom Cowles with the permission of Kem Poyner and the expertise of Tim Cowles. I am also planning to show how my Axtell character evolved to an animatronic monkey.

You think this could be a bad idea?


It would seem that I'm in the minority here, and while I'm not privy to the discussion that took place at Vent Haven, I really don't think the public really cares if, or really thinks that much about, a vent changing puppets. They want to be entertained, and as long as this occurs they don't care if it's with a sock puppet (Shari Lewis, anyone?), a rag doll, or a $10,000 custom-made Selberg. And while as a vent, I much prefer Terry's new Emma, would he still sell out if he was still using his original Emma? I think we all know the answer to that.

I recently took my sons to a local museum that displayed an Elmo that was no longer used on Sesame Street. I was fascinated by it and tried to study it as closely as I could, but my boys didn't seem to take that much interest in it. They certainly didn't think about or question that that was a "different" Elmo no longer used on TV. And, if one was interested in doing so, one could document the evolution of Elmo and most other Muppets and see clearly how they have changed over the years. Some people, outside the biz, may find that interesting, but I don't think people care that much and are certainly not traumatized by it. Jim Henson never seemed to have much of an issue with this, and who is more famous regarding the general public's knowledge of puppetry?

So, Wanlu, I actually think it's a great idea to show how your character has changed over time. It gives the general public a bit of an insight into your work and into the art and craft of vent they otherwise may not get. It may be an educational opportunity. I say go for it. It could be really interesting to those who don't know much about such things.

Quote:
Another thing, people ask about prices. How much did it cost? When I give them a truthful answer, �it sparks an interest on the stories and history of the characters. Should I mention prices in the interview? In my country, an Axtell HF puppet costs even more than a decent car which is why it sparks more interest in the puppet. I am not comfortable discussing it because I have this feeling that people are thinking I'm bragging but what can I do. They ask and I just answer.


Now, I think this is not a good idea. That is no one's business. And while other vents may be interested in this (I know I am), the general public will usually not "get" why certain dummies and puppets cost as much as they do. Anytime I have ever shared with friends how much I would be paying for a character, they have looked at me like I was completely nuts. "For a PUPPET?" was usually their response. To most, puppets are just toys and to pay what some vents pay for one seems to them to be crazy. So, I would say not to share this info on TV.


Point well taken, thank you very much Smile
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Bob Baker
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Knowing how much you paid for a puppet might entice someone to steal him. In addition, I don't think a magician would show how each new levitation was better than the last. All the audience cares about is the illusion, not how you got there.
tacrowl
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The discussion at VentHaven started because photos were not allowed at the Jimmy Nelson exhibit. When a character is beloved by the public - there can only be one. For example - there is only ONE Miss Piggy. We all know there are more puppets. You will never see her photographed with another Miss Piggy puppet. While you may see a Miss Piggy puppet - it is just that - a puppet of the character - not Miss Piggy - she is alive. Therefore you would never call any attention to a change in the puppet because the character isn't a puppet.

If the goal is to create the illusion the character is real, I'm not sure why you'd want to pull from that successful conclusion.

Tom
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Neale Bacon
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I agree with Tom. There should only be one character. There is only one Lambchop or Miss Piggy or Horton Hogg. Yes we see "retired" versions at Venthaven museum for example, but that is seen mainly by vents or at least people who know something about the business.

For the public, they get to know your character, not version 1, 2 or 3. To them, there is only one.
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Wanlu
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I got it... thanks guys! Smile

You just got to love this forum! Smile
"The Old Path"
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KeithS
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I see everyone's points. I just don't think it's that big of a deal. It's good, as performers, we're concerned with getting our characters across as real and unique. That's part of the art and craft of vent, but I think we can take it too far as well. And I maintain that the public doesn't really care or think that much about the fact that there are different versions of puppets.
Dickens & Dave
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Personally, I think Tom's and Keith's last posts pretty well sum it up.
http://dickensndave.bravehost.com/index.html



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Servante
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I would agree.

-Philip
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