Sunday, December 30

Inspiration - Part 3

My first and most consistent source of inspiration has always been the charm, humor and chemistry between Frank Oz and Jim Henson character performances.

Kermit with Cookie Monster,
Grover with Guy Smilee,
Bert with Ernie, and
Grover with Kermit
You can't help but smile when seeing any of these puppet characters performing together, usually at odds with each other, or singing a song, playing a game, or demonstrating something for educational purposes.

These character combinations were priceless, their personalities would always clash and you could notice the improvisations between Frank and Jim and the obviously strong connection they had with each other, always able to adapt and play off each other. After countless years working together, Frank and Jim had an in depth understanding of the characters and each other. As a result, the puppets acted so naturally under their control that they had life in them displayed in ways rarely seen since.

To me that is the key to it all. Instilling life into puppets like few others could were one of their many talents. For instance, Tex Avery, Bob Clampett, and Chuck Jones breathed life into the Looney Tunes characters in such a convincing way that people are still trying to duplicate that amazing effect decades later. Jim and Frank have the same thing going, the stars aligned and the perfect circumstances occurred for Frank and Jim to meet and eventually collaborate and create fantastically entertaining characters for Sesame Street and many other television and film projects. Not to mention the killer combos of Kermit/Fozzie and Kermit/Miss Piggy for the Muppet show, along with many other immensely talented artists, writers, designers, technicians and craftsmen that all helped in the process.

See two rare clips of Jim working with puppet workshop students in France in 1987 here and here.

Frank & Jim will always be my primary inspiration. For me, nothing else comes close to their genius for storytelling and character acting.





Thursday, December 20

Episode 90

Jimmy discovers a bit of animation.


See Quicktime here.
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Sunday, December 16

Episode 89

Matt & Patt make their first appearance on the Wippets.


See Quicktime here.
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Sunday, December 9

Inspiration - Part 2

The Polyphonic Spree - "Hold Me Now"
This is an amazing puppet music video, probably one of the best!
Starring characters from Mario and Fafa's
Glove & Boots online puppet series.

Unfortunately they haven't done any new skits or videos in recent years, but their characters and scripts are the best things ever. There's 5 other short videos on their site. But it would seem this particular music video was their last epic endeavor. Seriously.... it's great! How did they bring a piano in the forest? I don't know. The lip sync, funny acting and editing is what I'm aspiring to achieve.

Thursday, December 6

Episode 88

Spafford has a chat with Kyle Miller.


See Quicktime here.
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Saturday, December 1

Episode 87

Lester sings Chocolate Rain.


See Quicktime here.
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Tuesday, November 27

Bringing a Smile to a Baby's Face

Little Jonathan is pooping himself in astonishment.
That's what it's all about.

Sunday, November 25

Episode 86

Betty introduces her first educational class on Personal Health! Jimmy guest stars in this eye-opening lesson about that special time of the month.


See Quicktime here.
Download this week's show!

PuppetTube

I've become a member of the Puppet Madness Community, (basically a YouTube for puppet videos). I've begun the long process of uploading all our archived episodes, and by doing so I ended up looking back at old episodes recorded nearly a year ago that I hadn't seen in many months. I definitely had a few laughs looking at those old clips again.

Personally I found that the characters began to be more consistent around Episode 40. It has taken me a while to figure out how to handle the puppets and practice voice characterizations, and I'm still very much an amateur. But I hope to improve more in the new year and try different things. Since last Spring, personalities gradually got more refined and the voices slowly changed to what they are today. Also by that point we were filming more stuff outdoors and had the puppets interact with many more different people.

We've already started planning for the big Episode 100 special, where I will attempt to raise the production value a bit with a longer format, multiple locations, and some actual music.

Thank you all for watching,
we are still a puppet troupe in the making.

Tuesday, November 13

Episode 85

Barff celebrates his first Birthday!


See Quicktime here.
Download this week's show!

Monday, November 12

Wippets turn 1 year old!!!

Today marks the one year anniversary of the launch of our Wippets website! Thank you all for your support and help to make this first year of Wippets-mania a reality.

In the new year I hope to incorporate some slightly bigger production values to this web series, maybe build my own puppet from scratch! With 9 puppets in the family, and surely more to come in the next few months, the empire is slowly growing. Plans for more elaborate episodes are in the works for the up coming months.

Another interesting discovery; my stats counter informed me of how many times people would Google search "The Wippets", and I was surprised at how well it's managed so far.

30% of our hits come from people finding us through Google. 17 out of the first 20 listings are for this website, the rest are in regards of the Whippets greyhound dog breed, or The Wippets music band. So cheers to us for dominating the interwebs!


Locations of some visitors:

Saturday, November 10

Episode 84

Spafford meets CJ the Cheerleader, and now has second thoughts about looking for a girlfriend ever again.

See Quicktime here.
Download this week's show!

Monday, November 5

Episode 83

Mirco Chen meets Jimmy, with potentially mind-bending and earth-shattering results.

See Quicktime here.
Download this week's show!

Monday, October 29

Episode 82

The Wippets Double Feature Halloween Special!

See Quicktime here.
Download this week's show!

Wednesday, October 24

Inspiration - Part 1


I just came across this Transylvania Teleivision pilot episode,
and I was blown away. The style is exactly the type of show I'd love to produce with the Wippets someday. Great characters, funny skits, nice pacing, a bit of animation, awesome puppet personalities, simple but very effective set designs, and a major motivation for me. It's a situational comedy about dysfunctional misfit monsters trying to run a TV station. Fantastic craftsmen and puppeteers at work here, you can tell they had a lot of fun with the characters and dialogue, the part with Captain Kirk is particularly ingenious.

Monday, October 22

Episode 81

A strange new creature applies for a job at the Wippets studio.

See Quicktime here.
Download this week's show!

Ten Thousand Visitors!

We got 10,000 hits!!! and now averaging 140 individual video downloads per week!

Steve mentions The Wippets again at the end of The Muppetcast's Show 22 podcast... Without plugs like these our audience would be limited to our small circle of friends, many thanks!
And thanks to all these other new folks for linking us on their blog:
Dear Internets
Madhatter's Neverland
Character Design
Zee Puppetz
Caricatures By Don
The Illustration & Cartooning Blog
Honkbarn
PuppetVision
Halo of Bees
No Joy's Sideshow

Thursday, October 11

Episode 80

Barff is... the littlest hobo.

See Quicktime here.
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Wednesday, October 10

Episode 79

Barff gets a portrait drawn of himself.

See Quicktime here.
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Caricature provided by Don Pinsent.

Monday, October 1

Episode 78

CJ meets legendary film director, Mirco Chen.

See Quicktime here.
Download this week's show!

Thursday, September 27

Introducing... Betty!






Crafted by the always-amazing, Blythe Church.

Sunday, September 23

Updates

Mad Hatter & Puppetry Search Engine have links to The Wippets, thanks guys.

The Wippets are also on Miro. A free open-source video platform for the internet, run by a non-profit organization determined to bring online broadcast video to the masses at no charge, here's our channel.

Also, friendly puppet-builder Blythe Church has her own little shop of monsters filled with colorful creatures, each one available for online purchase. Make sure to check it out.

Saturday, September 22

Episode 77

Jimmy & Mike White go on a road trip.

See Quicktime here.
Download this week's show!

Tuesday, September 18

Episode 76

Jimmy can't seem to cooperate with law enforcement while Doug The French Policeman is in hot pursuit of a hardened criminal.

See Quicktime here.
Download this week's show!

Tuesday, September 11

Episode 75

Barff and Spafford rock out anyway you want it!

See Quicktime here.
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Wednesday, September 5

Episode 74

CJ asks Barff for directions to Oromocto.

See Quicktime here.
Download this week's show!

Wednesday, August 29

Episode 73

The Wippets put a lime in the coconut.

See Quicktime here.
Download this week's show!

Wednesday, August 22

Episode 72

Introducing new Wippets cast members, CJ The Cheerleader and Doug The French Policeman! In this exciting episode, CJ reports a crime to the handsome young police officer, with unusual results!

See Quicktime here.
Download this week's show!

Episode 71

Roy & Lester announce their plans to take over The Wippets Productions.

See Quicktime here.
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Thursday, August 9

Episode 70

Barff & Spafford make another music video.

See Quicktime here.
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Monday, August 6

Episode 69

Spafford goes for a cruise around town at night.

See Quicktime here.
Download this week's show!

Thursday, August 2

Puppet Kaos


Kelvin from Puppet Kaos got in contact with me the other day to show me his site and I'd just like to direct everyone to his blog cause he has a great setup. Mac & cheese are his character and they are all self-made puppets and filmed at home.

He has 4 episodes so far, I imagine he's got plenty more on the way. He offers tips on how to build puppet characters at very low costs and tricks on editing your footage, all wrapped up in a very professional-looking website.

Sunday, July 29

Episode 68

Barff tries to get some sleep,
but gets fearful of monsters lurking in the darkness.

See Quicktime here.
Download this week's show!

Wednesday, July 25

Sunday, July 22

Episode 67

Jimmy sings to Caroline.

See Quicktime here.
Download this week's show!

Thursday, July 19

A Doodle

by Tori Coulthart

Wednesday, July 18

Episode 66

Jimmy can count to eight!

See Quicktime here.
Download this week's show!

Wednesday, July 11

Episode 65

European Director Yuriy & The Wippets say Happy Birthday to
Angie Arsenault and Blythe Church.
This special e-greeting has been
brought to you by Scott & Spencer!

See Quicktime here.
Download this week's show!

Episode 64

Caroline, Phil & Jimmy wish a Happy Anniversary to Bill & Karen.
See Quicktime here.
Download this week's show!

Thursday, July 5

NEW PUPPETS

Local soft sculpture artist Blythe Church, is responsible for our new Wippets cast members. I met her quite randomly through the friend of a friend at an art auction, I loved the designs of the knitted beasts she had on display, so I asked if she could make me bigger versions for puppet purposes. Sure enough, barely a week later, Lester & Roy were born.

See her website here.
See her blog here.

Blythe's monsters can be found in dark dusty corners, under furniture and in the back of closets. They live on belly button lint, stale crumbs, safety pins and buttons.
See her other creatures here.

They are a bit different from the usual Wippets style but they will be making appearances in new episodes soon, so keep visiting, and watch out for Barff's first encounter with Lester & Roy, it's sure to be entertaining!

Lester: Red Face
Roy: Blue Face









Random Photos

Jimmy, about to eat another baby.

Barff, getting some action!

We've sold 19 shirts so far!

It's Jimmy's turn to get some lovin'.
There's something about Spafford & Phil,
they don't seem to be getting much luck with the ladies.