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Author Topic: Opinion about this years pawpet show  (Read 25811 times)

Keidran

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Opinion about this years pawpet show
« on: 21.08.2011, 00:29:39 »

Good day everyone,
I think I'll post this while my experience is still hot.
Please... PLEASE this is my own opinion. You may have yours so please don't try to force your opinion into me or insult.
You may discuss the topic ofcourse. But please respect the opinions of everyone. I will try and do so too.

Sooooo
Aside from the starting difficulties (which are EF traditions ;D ) it was a nice EF.
The puppets looked great, the props were awesome (I liked that little Null booth xD) and the technique was very cool.
It was very nice to see that you tried something new with those 3-People Puppets. Was a nice addition.

Now we come to the stuff that "bothered" me to some extend.
first of all the acting was a bit rough this year. There were some text errors and some blant parts. but okay. Not too big a problem.
second was the fact that it wasnt as emotional as last years PPS. I really cried last years when the 2 birds were talking (i think that was the part near the end). This years EF lacked it nearly completely. The only halfway emotional moment was the part under the tree. But that was mainly the
doing of the BGM. It wasnt as touching than the year before.
Third was the seeing of the puppeteers. I understood it that it was kinda normal for the big guys. But sadly I had the feeling that a lot of the smaller ones had the same problem. Last year (yes I'm comparing it to last year since its the same stage) I saw very very rarely a puppeteer. But this time I nearly saw them always in the scene. And I sat in the very back right at the sound table. And I could clearly see them from back there on the main stage (videoscreens are something different offcourse because the camera angle)
Fourth and last one: It didn't have a nice ending. The video message of Null was very nice but it ended too abruptly and didn't had a nice stage conclusion. The message behind what he said was great. No question. But for the characters... it was a bit too hmmm how to say it.
I dunno how to say it in english sorry :< so german: Ich fand es gab keinen wirklichen abschluss für die Geschichte der Charaktere. Das fand ich persönlich etwas zu abgehackt.


So this was it. I hope you understand my critic and don't hit me with a foul trout or something like this.

Greetings
Keidran

PS: I totally loved Null as a character! Thousands of Kudos to Henrieke to make him look so awesome and the puppeteer for giving him such live.
PPS: I also loved the Nerfgun action xD That really added to the overall fun.,
PPPS: The cameos of the usual main cast was great!!!
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Cheetah

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Re: Opinion about this years pawpet show
« Reply #1 on: 21.08.2011, 14:38:21 »

Thanks for your feedback! I agree with some of what you say, but please realize ... we're just a bunch of guys doing a show out of a friend's garage. I take it as a compliment that you are judging us by such professional standards :) We are not professional actors, we are not professional technichians, we are not professional writers. We're people like you. We do it in our spare time, next to our day jobs, and we only do it only for the show at EF.

And we do it for the fun of doing it. We're living scattered around Europe, and nobody pays us so we can rehearse for weeks and months like professionals do.

Keep in mind how hard all the people in this production have worked to make it happen AT ALL. We never get to try out the production until we arrive at the hotel. Our dress rehearsal took 12 hours, an entire night from 19:00 to 07:00 in the morning. If you then find out, something doesn't work out as planned ... there is nothing you can do about it. Yet everyone has given their best ... up to complete exhaustion. The crew dropped like dead when the final rehearsal was done, and some people went straight on to do their day job at the con after just an hour of sleep.

And we only get that one show per year. As I said we're no professionals. Can you imagine how nervous we are, doing a show before 500 people, as complete amateurs? I dare you to stand in front of that audience and see how nervous you get :) So yeah, we sometimes stumble, we miss our lines, it's what happens.

And you just said how hard it is for you to write this posting in english, because english is a foreign language for you. Now ... imagine how hard it is for US to write an entire SHOW in a foreign language, and then also PERFORM it in a foreign language!

So you'll always find rough edges and unpolished spots ... and that is not going to change in the future. But thanks for your sincere words, and it's also very nice of you to also mention the things you liked. That really keeps us going :)

« Last Edit: 21.08.2011, 14:41:08 by Cheetah »
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Cheetah

Fairlight

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Re: Opinion about this years pawpet show
« Reply #2 on: 21.08.2011, 19:23:23 »

The problem with the puppeteers' head being visible was due to the size of the new puppets compared to average arm lengths. We had to lower the play rail so people could see the full puppet instead of just the upper part of it, and unfortunately that meant that we couldn't 'hide' as well as usual. Not the ideal solution, I know, but the best compromise we could find.

Maybe in future years we use less superlarge quadruped puppets to aboid this, but to be fair, it was fun having them. But he quads added to the acting issue, as suddenly you need to synch 3 people for each and every move, and turning around to face another puppet suddenly becomes a matter of logistical excellence, hehe.

Very sorry to have subjected you to my head ^.^

Mew,
 Fairlight / Cai Lung
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SouthPaw

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Re: Opinion about this years pawpet show
« Reply #3 on: 21.08.2011, 21:21:30 »

Given the constraints touched on by Cheetah and Fairlight, I think the team do a damn good job to put on a 2.5 hour production every year.

Sure there are minor niggles, but then they only get four rehearsals before the show, and the team are believed to have real lives outside of the fandom, so those are excusable. And with the new puppets this year, the cast had to combine synchronised movement with whole new characters.

As for the emotional content of the story, I'd imagine it's difficult to get the right balance of comedy and drama to avoid turning it into a soap opera.

At the end of the day, it's the fact that it isn't too professional that makes the show more enjoyable to my mind. If everything ran perfectly all the time (which, to be frank, even the likes of Disney and Andrew Lloyd Webber can't manage), it'd lose some of the charm.

What keeps people coming back, to my mind, is not just the characters or the story, but the dedication of everyone involved in the show, and their teamwork. Your mileage may vary of course...

Cheers,

Southie
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Karasaph

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Re: Opinion about this years pawpet show
« Reply #4 on: 21.08.2011, 22:39:07 »

Wow, my opinion is the complete oppostie from Kaidran.

I really enjoyed the pawpetshow. The croud control was so much fun with the balloons and the announcment (It was very hard to believe in the first place but fun) I thought "We have fun with the balloons, take as much time as you need". But at least having the imagination of a serious problem going on, I was calm and relaxed able to wait for a long time.
Then the scenes. I thought Mika would be in the center of attention this time but it was different. Big plus.
The introduction of the characters was very interesting and also the description of the PPS didn't give even a clue of how the tables will turn. I was flattered about the sweetness of Cai Lung! <3
Big plus were all the ideas you put in: The fursuiters taking part in the press conference in the audience and the lightning going into the stage. There were a lot of jokes I could relate to and that have not been done in a pawpetshow before. Flynn's bar! I loved the bartender there! It was so realistic XD

I really have no idea how one could top that the next time, but this PPS showed me again that the whole teams creativity is unlimited.

It was said before the show that there might some heads to be seen, which I can understand because of the difficult handling of the pawpets.

Maybe it's just my opinion, but I think that you do it so professionally, that you could even do this professionally. ;) Pupetering is after all a thing liked by theather goers http://www.haenneschen.de/index.php?kat=Startseite

And once again, thank you for such a wonderful show. I really had to cry at the scene with the tree. The music, character development and lighning just worked so together perfectly, I had to let it go. I even have tears in my eyes thinking about it, but now it's happyness of such a wonderful memory.
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Keidran

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Re: Opinion about this years pawpet show
« Reply #5 on: 21.08.2011, 23:01:45 »

Thanks for your feedback! I agree with some of what you say, but please realize ... we're just a bunch of guys doing a show out of a friend's garage. I take it as a compliment that you are judging us by such professional standards :) We are not professional actors, we are not professional technichians, we are not professional writers. We're people like you. We do it in our spare time, next to our day jobs, and we only do it only for the show at EF.

And we do it for the fun of doing it. We're living scattered around Europe, and nobody pays us so we can rehearse for weeks and months

yadda yadda yadda (shortened for viewers pleasure)


Thank you for your long explanation Cheetah,
Ofcourse I know that you all aren't professionals =3 But you are on a close level to the professionals. And you still have fun doing it.
That's where I bow not only my head before you and the whole team but my whole body (if it would be physically possible I'd bow 360° around so I'd stand in front of you again)
That's why I never ever came to the idea to say that the show was bad. Oh no. Never. It was like always the highlight of the EF for me and I'd say most of the other furs. I absolutely understand how hard it is and everything.
That's why I wrote this opinion. Not to say "You you you! That was bad! Drama drama llama trallalla", but to try to help you improve it bit by bit.

I know how it is to perform for a live publicum since I was a cosplayer some years ago and did some small cosplay shows. So I aaaabsolutely understand how it feels. =3

Keep doing your awesome work. And if you need help I'd like to try and help out.
(sent you an email on a different matter)

The problem with the puppeteers' head being visible was due to the size of the new puppets compared to average arm lengths. We had to lower the play rail so people could see the full puppet instead of just the upper part of it, and unfortunately that meant that we couldn't 'hide' as well as usual. Not the ideal solution, I know, but the best compromise we could find.

Maybe in future years we use less superlarge quadruped puppets to aboid this, but to be fair, it was fun having them. But he quads added to the acting issue, as suddenly you need to synch 3 people for each and every move, and turning around to face another puppet suddenly becomes a matter of logistical excellence, hehe.

Very sorry to have subjected you to my head ^.^

Mew,
 Fairlight / Cai Lung


Yes I noticed that. It was really a nice addition to the experience with those huge puppets. And for such a hard part you really did well during the show. You performed really really well and the characters came to live very good. that's why the headies are not such a big deal x3
*pets the heads*


@Karasaph:
Your opinion isn't different from mine o,o
or atleast you didn't write the differences down x3
The tree scene indeed was a emotional moment but for me personally it was to short to really build up an emotion.


I thank you all again for the comments and hope to see you again next year!

Lovely greetings
Keidran
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Vector

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Re: Opinion about this years pawpet show
« Reply #6 on: 22.08.2011, 21:09:16 »

About the musics, lights & props : it was very nice given the limitations & the budget of a non pro production. Congrats !

About the length of the show : it's damn too long. I have the feeling it's getting longer & longer every year. It was hard to get into the BB dance right after sitting nearly 4 hours on our seats. I would love to see an 1h30 show.

About the story : two points there. It's a love story EVERY year. You change the location, the time, the species...but could we see something totally different (a quest, a sci-fi story, a comedy, etc.) ? I bet we'll have a nice love story between a master and his slave according next year theme. ;)

2nd point. Although you put few nice moments of comedy, it's way damn too serious. I don't feel comfortable at all watching puppets arguying about war, death, politics and all the nasty things of the humanity. The PPS is pretty unique in this way...all the puppets shows I attended outside the furry fandom (pro or non pro) were only fun, not that serious...

About the puppettry : two points there. First, you choosed the hardest kind of puppets to build & perform with the quad puppets. Only very few companies are able to build them properly and they are REALLY expensive and way bigger to hide the puppeteers. Most of the time, they are not for stage use but only for TV use and you need senior puppeteers with years of experience to get the most of it.

Second point, the puppets eyes (all characters) are really badly made for a proper focus. They looked more than fursuit eyes than real puppets eyes that enable a good eye contact between characters, props or the audience. Most of the time, the puppets missed their eye contacts : it really killed the illusion when the characters were not really looking at each other, at props or at the audience.

So to summarize :
- a shorter show
- no more politics, war or too serious subjects
- FUN, FUN & FUN !
- something else than a love story
- classical rod puppets with real puppets eyes (there are some nice puppets builders outhere, feel free to ask me names, some of them are really affordable and deliver PRO puppets for stage or TV)

There's nothing here that is impossible to do for the next PPS. I know it's not a professional production but all the non pro puppets teams I met in puppetry festivals listen to constructive feedback and they use this feedback to improve their next year show/performance.
« Last Edit: 22.08.2011, 22:00:49 by Vector »
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Draugvorn

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Re: Opinion about this years pawpet show
« Reply #7 on: 22.08.2011, 22:18:04 »

In my opinion, this year's Pawpet Show was big improvement in comparison to the last two years and another step forward for the whole team towards the epitome of awesomeness.
Thank you very much for all the joy you give me year after year.

To me, this year's show was on a par with "Dreamcatcher", the first Pawpet Show I attended and the one I preferred to "Operation Desert Snow" and "Ogwambi".
I enjoyed the lack of too much tragedy without the absence of profoundness. It was an entertaining and thought-provoking experience at the same time.

This year's show was, at least to me, an all together marvelous experience. It wasn't to short nor to long, the topic was ambitious but not to depressing for enough humor was employed to counterbalance its graveness. The scene-changes didn't feel long due to the video-sequences and although I am going to miss the old four main characters, it is plain to see why you had to strike a new path.

The music was grandiose as always and there is only one tiny request I would like to make:
Would you perhaps consider to include a song again next time? The ending of "Dreamcatcher" literally blew my mind.

Please do carry on.
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White_Dragon

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Re: Opinion about this years pawpet show
« Reply #8 on: 22.08.2011, 22:18:04 »

I catch the comment "we are not professionals" then a thought why is need for such professional and complex paw pets ?

Yes, I was told the old one was or are too small now to show.
But using complex system required practice, practice and coordination = impossible mission for international team or croup who meet only few times.

Also the show was nice but too long, sorry for that I really liked story but it was too much for me sitting and waiting for scene changes, the video inputs was great adds to cover the time. I can believe handle pawpets for so long can be real pain and physical challenge.
     
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Dhary Montecore

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Re: Opinion about this years pawpet show
« Reply #9 on: 22.08.2011, 23:54:33 »

Since I couldn't reply to some of the critics here without ranting ( m(), I only state three facts about this years show:

1) For me, it was the best so far. Even on one Level with the legendary Unlucky 13

2) Finally going for fresh characters in a size that is appropriate  for the stage was pure awesomeness

3) I fucking cried. Again. :P

Guys, keep that up. You did the greatest show ever and your characters rocked. Period.
« Last Edit: 22.08.2011, 23:56:12 by Dhary Montecore »
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Cheetah

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Re: Opinion about this years pawpet show
« Reply #10 on: 23.08.2011, 00:32:21 »

I catch the comment "we are not professionals" then a thought why is need for such professional and complex paw pets ?

Because it's fun to take on a challenge.
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Cheetah

Thygrrr

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Re: Opinion about this years pawpet show
« Reply #11 on: 23.08.2011, 00:39:09 »

I loved the plot and the great messages about freedom of information and what universal electronic control really means. So the political message was really, really important, and while I still see the paw pet show as light-hearted entertainment, it did venture boldly into political commentary (beyond satire!) territory in EF15 and this time, as well. One could say it has grown up on various levels.

Really, really great job. Fantastic!

Favorites:
The characters were wonderful. Together with EF13, EF14 and EF15, (didn't attend 16) this has been one of the best paw pet shows ever. I refuse to grade them because each one had its own strong points. Emotions weren't as thick in EF17's show, but my eyes still watered.

Null has so many character details... like how he's a black hat hacker but a white rabbit (which come out of black hats) ... or how red his eyes are and how he's basically an albino from living in his "basement"... and how he's completely on top of everyone else's network security, but can't be bothered to write a better bartender script for his night club sim. And he's a really intelligent, witty and idealistic person unwilling to compromise when it comes to freedoms. The world needs more of that type.

By the way, seeing the puppets in cyber gear on the "physical" side of Flynn's Club, with just the weak, low thumping of the bass audible, gave me a complete nerdgasm. I really want one of these cyber decks and tron style night club sims. NOW!

« Last Edit: 23.08.2011, 00:46:07 by Thygrrr »
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Thygrrr Darkfurre

Cheetah

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Re: Opinion about this years pawpet show
« Reply #12 on: 23.08.2011, 00:45:28 »

I don't feel comfortable at all watching puppets arguying about war, death, politics and all the nasty things of the humanity.

Then why do you watch our show? I mean, seriously, that's like deliberately tuning to a TV station you don't like.
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Cheetah

Thygrrr

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Re: Opinion about this years pawpet show
« Reply #13 on: 23.08.2011, 00:50:13 »

I don't feel comfortable at all watching puppets arguying about war, death, politics and all the nasty things of the humanity.

Then why do you watch our show? I mean, seriously, that's like deliberately tuning to a TV station you don't like.

Yeah, Vector, and please don't try to change the station we others love. :)

I didn't even see you made that comment, Vector - I think it's one of the best developments in the recent Pawpet Show installments (along with the bold move to throw out the original cast to try building a very intense and captivating plot from scratch - you can do only so much with the original cast, and even though I loved them I like the new characters even more: The nightmare Bats, the Fennecs, and the entire Cast of The Year of the Rat)


About the show length: It was too long for my taste once in the past (the one with the "Dirty Deeds, done by Sheep"), and once too un-funny for too long (the one where Poke had the parodized Lion King apparition and the whole stage was full of actual sex toys).

Ever since EF13, the lengths were quite right - long enough to draw the audience in deeply, short enough to allow for the "cinema in our heads" to continue afterwards. Heck, EF14's show put me out of commission for a whole week, that's what it did to my fantasy - I couldn't help but daydream constantly.
« Last Edit: 23.08.2011, 00:58:24 by Thygrrr »
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Thygrrr Darkfurre

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Re: Opinion about this years pawpet show
« Reply #14 on: 23.08.2011, 00:54:40 »


- Storyline: Was brilliant! A good mixture of drama, seriousness, fun, suspense and political fiction. Please do not change the PPS recepie to only fun, as there are enough other "funfunfun - only events" at EF.
- Setting: I needed half of the show to get warm with it. Generally speaking, the idea of urban China in 2032 with big city skyline, rooftops, subway tunnels etc. is great, but personally I still preferred the previous settings better. 
- Length: In my opinion, it was not to long. The 2 breakes that there are inbetween are sufficent enough to get some fresh air, stretch your legs and get your glas refilled. 
- Props: Sorry, but this years show could not compete with previous years. Two years ago, we had falling snow, a plane, a camp fire, bullets ripping through a tent, a dam with water and a mob carrying torches. Last year, therere was that breathtaking caveystem with fluorocent grafitti, the villiage with the cage etc. I am sure it took hours and hours to create this years scenery, but comparing to earlier shows - a step backwards.
- Pawpets: I like the new characters. I like the biiiig puppets. But not having our 4 usual heroes? No way! For me, that was the biggest draw back of this years show. Please: bring them back!

Last thing I want to say:
Thank you Team Pawpetshow to give us this kind of treat - every year again! You rock! :D And I am already eagerly anticipating next years show.
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