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Eurofurence 25 "Fractures in Time" - Estrel Hotel Berlin, August 14-18, 2019Follow eurofurence on Twitter

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Author Topic: EF24 Pawpet show  (Read 1371 times)

Cifer

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EF24 Pawpet show
« on: 27.08.2018, 02:21:10 »

I really enjoyed the pawpet show this year! The puppets looked good, the jokes were funny and the acting was solid (all like the years before), but two things have massively improved in my eyes:

1) I liked the plot. Where the previous shows have sometimes felt rather cliche-laden (Ooh, a corrupt church that keeps all knowledge for itself to secure its power! Ooh, a treacherous advisor who tries to take power from the naive ruler!), this one started out in a standard sci-fi setting and used clever subversions to tell its own story. The two evil megacorps? One's evil to the core, the other is morally grey at worst. The disappeared lover below the heroine's family's station? An asshole who just ran away in fear of the consequences. Earth's ominous World Government? Actually able and willing to kill ERG with sufficient proof of misconduct and already in the process of purging corruption at the start of the story. The uncompromising leader who makes the hard choices? Unable to see that some of those choices are completely unnecessary.
And the story managed all that without going too far and making the heroes and their ideals unlikeable for their mistakes - the society of Juno is obviously flawed, but not so much that Earth's rule seems like the necessarily better alternative, to say nothing of ERG's corporate dictatorship. And finally, switching out a classic romantiy love story for a familial one always gets a thumbs-up from me!

2) It toned down the swearing and thus made it more meaningful. Yeah, we're all adults, but dialogue doesn't magically become more engaging when you liberally sprinkle the word 'fuck' across it a few dozen times. It just feels cringey and juvenile. Juno Rising's swears felt appropriate and emphasized the situations.

I'm absolutely looking forward to next year's show!
« Last Edit: 27.08.2018, 02:40:59 by Cifer »
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Suicune

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Re: EF24 Pawpet show
« Reply #1 on: 28.08.2018, 06:23:09 »

For me it was just ok-ish. But not because I don't like Sci-Fi.

The stage layouts and characters looked great, as ever.

But I got trouble following the story every now and then. It had some weird jumps and it felt like there were some plotholes. I may have forgotton some things which were said, dunno. I kept stuff together by what I just saw and heard and already knew. But there were still things which I didn't really understand.
The usage of the screens... dunno what to think about that. When you sit in the middle of the front row you hardly see anything anyway and sometimes you simply didn't notice that there was stuff on them.

That the scene change times were kinda long didn't help following the story. Why was that? It felt much longer than last year.
With queing up early to get good seats and the delay we spent 7hrs down there at the end. I grew pretty hungry and low on bloodsugar in the last act, gave me even more trouble to follow. xD

So, yeah, for me it clearly couldn't beat The Skies of Astar.
And I will never ever a able to eat an ice cone again without thinking of that one scene :D

o'wolf

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Re: EF24 Pawpet show
« Reply #2 on: 28.08.2018, 13:29:05 »

The usage of the screens... dunno what to think about that. When you sit in the middle of the front row you hardly see anything anyway and sometimes you simply didn't notice that there was stuff on them.

Indeed, front row is not a very good place to sit at for the pawpet show.

Quote
That the scene change times were kinda long didn't help following the story. Why was that?

It was mostly due to too many and too complicated costume changes between scenes. We'll work on that.

Thanks for your feedback!
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Kulze

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Re: EF24 Pawpet show
« Reply #3 on: 28.08.2018, 13:31:48 »

This years Pawpet was one of the 'weak' ones in my eyes sadly, and it could've been easily remedied.

So, piece by piece:

- Scene changes were a little slow this year, but well, mediocre compared to others.
- One puppeteer was visible fairly often, it seemed like there wasn't put as much care for staying hidden as usual.
- This year the spoken lines were rather clear, it was easy to understand every character without problems, definitely a huge plus as we had other years as well :)
- Lighting and special effects, as well as the ideas behind those were really nice done.
- Technical side, the sound was overmodulated as every year since a while now, which is sad, and shouldn't happen. As well as the common mic problems. For the last, nicely solved though, it was barely noticeable, good job there.
- Story wise though... that was the large problem, and I'll go into detail here with it:

The base of the story was good, as well as the some of the plot-twists revolving around it, so the foundation was solid and better then some of the other shows over the years, just the execution of it was flawed in some major ways. Namely, Lyra was depicted as the main character while it actually was a story about Sina. Lyra didn't have any changes in personality over the course of the play, something which is the basic of the basic, the whole part was pushed onto Sina when it came out that her parents aren't the bad guys. While usually a good story is seen as one where the main character personally starts to realize problems over time (with nudging from others), this time it was Lyra more or less forcing all the changes onto Sina, that felt odd and unfitting.
As a second one, the Stillwaters had a very unbelievable and odd personality. Why would such lovely people start to sell weapons in the first place? They didn't seem like hard business-persons, it didn't fit them.
Another one which was fairly noticeable was Link Kabanshee getting shot without ever having even a minor impact on the play, back at the ship he was... fine, just like that. Bringing him into the hospital because of a shot-wound and snatching the data during that time would've made more sense then pushing a huge ice-cone into his rump - even if it was a fun one :)

All in all for the story, it seemed like nobody even put up the time to proof-read it for plot holes, or people became tired after a while and simply said 'fuck it' sadly. Since the problems were such fundamental ones it seemed like this for me.

As for my personal ranking after seeing 10 pawpet-shows in a row now, this one is on Rank 8, and I hope the feedback points up there help in making the next one as good as EF 14 or 23 where the storyboard was rock-solid through and through. So the ability is definitely there. :)
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Ragear

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Re: EF24 Pawpet show
« Reply #4 on: 28.08.2018, 20:12:56 »

I Love the PPS, I deeply do and have fond memories ... but one goal to achieve ist to make it 2.5hrs, 3 the very max :)
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Suicune

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Re: EF24 Pawpet show
« Reply #5 on: 29.08.2018, 05:46:43 »

Btw., to the girl lauging like a fire alarm:
Thank you that you probably left after the closing and watched the show from your room, at least I didn't notice you during the show anymore. I'm sure you can't help it, I don't know you, but thank you for your deference, I really appreciate it.

Ghostbear

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Re: EF24 Pawpet show
« Reply #6 on: 29.08.2018, 11:30:56 »

Personally I liked the Pawpet Show overall.
It was not my favorite one, but it ranked up nicely. I like SciFi and the characters were well written.
Especially Sina, who underwent a major, yet believable, change in character (Plus I like Snowfluffs)
Sorin felt a little flat, but he was also an enjoyable character, alongside with Lyra and Link.
Puppeteering was well done and I really liked that in almost every scene there were supporting characters who interacted with each other and that made the scenes more alive.
Using the screens to add a character to the scene going on on the stage was nice, I was sitting in the middle of the room, so everything was visible (but yeah, front row isn't the best place to be).
The Ice cream cone... "OMG, IT'S MELTING!"
While being silly and while I agree that taking an injured Link to the hospital would have been more realistic, still had it's desired effect and was by far the most funny scene in this play.
Probably among my personal Top5 of funny scenes in the EF Pawpet shows I've watched so far (starting at EF17).
Honestly I almost wet myself, laughing...so hats off to you for this one!  ;D
And last but not least... the zero G scene were Sina tried to deactivate the bomb was top notch and felt...real. Awesome!

But of course there were also some things that I did not like.
It took a while to get started and sometimes had it's lengths. I know you wanted all those awesome ideas on the stage, but sometimes it would have been better to shorten stuff a bit.
Link getting severely shot (at least it felt that way) and then he was perfectly fine again in the next scene didn't really add up.
Scene changes were slow, as they always seem to be massive. Those big scene changes would have been awesome on TV, but for a theatrical play that was probably too much work (I really don't envy you guys doing those changes. Big hats off for the work involved, nevertheless).
With those long scene changes and the occasional lengths it was sometimes a bit hard to stay fully concentrated and follow the story.

Still, I really enjoyed this year's Pawpet Show and I think the opening title will be stuck in my head for a while.
But please be careful, so you don't grind yourself up by trying to make it bigger, better and more complex every year.
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Sheena-Tiger

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Re: EF24 Pawpet show
« Reply #7 on: 29.08.2018, 12:30:28 »

I'd like to add something to the scene changes.

For me, it felt, as if there were fewer of these little snippets of extra story.
I bet, counting them and those of other shows, they are around the same number, but since the changes were so long and most without these extra snippets, it dragged even more.

If possible, please add more of them in, maybe even longer ones for long set-changes, to stuff some extra story into them... pieces you might be able to pull from the actual scenes to shorten them a tiny bit or simply to flesh out the background/history of the world.
I guess, many ideas already had to be cut due to limitations with timing, use (if possible) that extra time in between.

And maybe add a bit of a narrator (or simply text on a screen) to explain some holes ^^
It was for me hardly evident, mostly thanks to the cryo-pods, that the travel times within the solar system were rather slow... it was explained though, in the "PPS Production Updates" ... so these could be a perfect explanation for why a wound was healed between 2 scenes, because they were so far apart and the modern medicine could accelerate the healing properly, since it was "just a flesh wound"

Luxen

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Re: EF24 Pawpet show
« Reply #8 on: 29.08.2018, 17:25:15 »

The base of the story was good, as well as the some of the plot-twists revolving around it, so the foundation was solid and better then some of the other shows over the years, just the execution of it was flawed in some major ways. Namely, Lyra was depicted as the main character while it actually was a story about Sina. Lyra didn't have any changes in personality over the course of the play, something which is the basic of the basic, the whole part was pushed onto Sina when it came out that her parents aren't the bad guys. While usually a good story is seen as one where the main character personally starts to realize problems over time (with nudging from others), this time it was Lyra more or less forcing all the changes onto Sina, that felt odd and unfitting.
As a second one, the Stillwaters had a very unbelievable and odd personality. Why would such lovely people start to sell weapons in the first place? They didn't seem like hard business-persons, it didn't fit them.

I agree on the Lyra/Sina part. Both "main" characters, Lyra and Sorin remained relatively flat and were outshone by the more charismatic Sina (and, to a degree, Link). So I also felt the balance was a bit off here. Lyra certainly played an important role in the play, but somehow I couldn't emotionally "connect" to her a lot.


« Last Edit: 29.08.2018, 20:02:37 by Luxen »
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Schorse

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Re: EF24 Pawpet show
« Reply #9 on: 29.08.2018, 19:57:04 »

Too bad, this pps wasn't a follow up from last year and we didn't see Ortha again. *whines*
But at least, I had the chance to get a hug from her this year.

Ok, most of the thing have been already addressed. The long scene changes were the worst for me, since I always lost track. And when everyone starts talking and get the phone out, you know it's too long.
When I saw the bomb in space, I expected a bomb 20 joke coming up. Oh well, maybe next time. ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dark_Star_(film) )

Anyways, I enjoyed the show nonetheless.
One question at last: Where can we find the short films, animations and such that were shown in the intermissions? ;)
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Sheena-Tiger

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Re: EF24 Pawpet show
« Reply #10 on: 29.08.2018, 20:23:26 »

One question at last: Where can we find the short films, animations and such that were shown in the intermissions? ;)
I would guess nowhere in particular... but full shows are filmed and uploaded... and since some time there is an EF-PPS-Channel on Youtube buuuut... new content likely will take time.
On the other hand... maybe the team should look into it if uploading just these snippets is a thing for in between.

Jumpy

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Re: EF24 Pawpet show
« Reply #11 on: 29.08.2018, 20:58:39 »

When I saw the bomb in space, I expected a bomb 20 joke coming up. Oh well, maybe next time. ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dark_Star_(film) )

The track in the soundtrack is called Bomb #20 :)
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o'wolf

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Re: EF24 Pawpet show
« Reply #12 on: 29.08.2018, 21:36:15 »

The track in the soundtrack is called Bomb #20 :)

Not only that, that scene's title is Bomb #20, too. The script with all scene titles will appear at http://eisfuchs.info/pps/ as soon as Eisfuchs gets to it, as usual.
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Suicune

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Re: EF24 Pawpet show
« Reply #13 on: 30.08.2018, 05:18:55 »

One question at last: Where can we find the short films, animations and such that were shown in the intermissions? ;)

Iirc this one was shown:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mHsvtGbmsQo

Zefiro

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Re: EF24 Pawpet show
« Reply #14 on: 04.09.2018, 03:04:58 »

When I saw the bomb in space, I expected a bomb 20 joke coming up.
The EF-STAFF wifi password this year was "EsWerdeLicht" :)

Scene change times are one of our biggest pain points. We already are quite efficient, all hands on deck and routinely doing away with the previous backdrops, hanging the new backdrops, collecting all used props, removing the things we internally call "2nd Play rail", placing new things there instead, also props and "front drops", connecting some special effects (mostly lights and smoke machines, but this time also a full Immigration Office screen and a space grappler arm), undressing and redressing the puppets with several people, getting into position again, communicating with FOH (that's the guys at the faders behind you all), and THEN unexpected things might add to that as well, but mostly all this stuff is already quite long minutes if you're looking at a closed curtain. We are very sorry for this and would wish we could just scene-cut this away. But that's not the way theater works - and our stage doesn't support the kind of "all scenes are already prepared and hidden in the attic" like the big opera houses.
Still, if you've got good ideas here, you're welcome to join our team and help us out :)

Given how much effort goes into a show, how many different people, skills, areas, etc there are, getting feedback mostly on the plot part, and that mostly on the negative side over the years, is a bit disheartening for everyone else involved. So thank you all for mentioning that apart from some perceived plot holes you still enjoyed what we had to offer :)

*purrrrr*
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