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How The Bristol 48 hour Puppet Movie Problem Was Born: An Interview with Cat Rock

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Final 12 months, Cat Rock, Izzy Bristow, and Helena Houghton got here up with an excellent plan to encourage inventive individuals world wide with a puppet movie problem that should be accomplished in simply 48 hours. The net occasion was so successful that Cat determined to carry it again this 12 months and problem anybody from wherever to make a brief puppet movie over this August financial institution vacation weekend, twenty seventh – twenty ninth. We caught up together with her to seek out out extra.

Who're you and what impressed you to organise the Bristol 48 hour Puppet Movie Problem?

I’m Cat Rock, Resident Artist and Trustee of Puppet Place, and Co-Director of The Home of Humorous Noises. I'm a puppeteer and puppet maker working in theatre and movie, who loves the surreal and weird world of puppetry. I've had the pleasure of working with bizarre characters, each puppet and human, and I'm excited to see what the longer term holds for the puppet trade.

I began the Problem final 12 months in 2020 with assist from the opposite quickly to be members of the Home of Humorous Noises, Izzy Bristow and Helena Houghton. It was April and we had been within the midst of the pandemic, staring longingly out of the window and taking a look at clean work calendars all spherical. It was a tough time for everybody. I do know I used to be very fortunate to be trapped in isolation with a home crammed with inventive puppet individuals. It sucked, however this gave us a possibility – the primary time ever – that all of us had free time on the identical time! So, Izzy dropped at our consideration that the LA Guild of Puppetry had been doing a movie mission, making a puppet movie in 48 hours. Properly, time is the one factor we had final 12 months, so we determined to enter.

I can’t inform how a lot enjoyable and what a inventive aid it was to only throw your self into such a problem. There’s no time to query, there’s no time to doubt, you simply should get caught in and puppet, puppet, puppet! This was the primary puppet movie I had made as a bunch and never simply as a employed puppeteer, and it was a tremendous time. We made a movie known as ‘BELLY’ and I’m very happy with this bizarre and scrappy piece of puppet movie. ‘BELLY’ did properly, receiving an honourable point out and profitable better of the Rocky Mountain Puppetry Guild, which Izzy is part of.

After this we determined to kind the Home of Humorous Noises and discover deeper into the world of puppet movie. We're as much as ten movies now and just lately accomplished a fee for the Beverley Puppet Competition. We gained a lot out of collaborating within the LA Puppetry Guilds mission that I wished to begin one right here in Bristol. Puppetry from the UK and Europe has such a distinct really feel to it than quite a lot of American produced initiatives. I wished to create a platform that might assist get our tales and puppets on the market, while additionally giving individuals a inventive problem throughout a really troublesome time.

Thus the Bristol 48 hour Puppet Movie Problem was born!

Final 12 months’s Problem was an enormous success with over 70 entries submitted from world wide! Why do you suppose individuals had been so desirous to take the problem?

2020, what an fascinating 12 months (readers you'll be able to exchange fascinating with whichever cursing adjective you want!). I imagine that so many individuals gravitated in direction of the Problem as a result of everybody was on the lookout for a solution to interact, talk, and specific with different individuals in a time the place direct contact was not allowed. Regardless that you had been extra possible working by your self or with these you lived with, by collaborating you had been part of one thing larger, and that's what we would have liked, a connection to a bigger factor that wasn’t plague associated.

Picture by Arran Glasss

The Problem offered individuals with a possibility to do one thing sensible, it was not a Zoom name, or staring into the abyss of the Netflix homepage, you needed to stand up and create and produce a totally fashioned factor. You bought the enjoyment and adrenalin of working below strain in addition to arising with your individual story and creation. We obtained so many feedback from individuals saying how a lot this brief occasion helped them within the pandemic – having a objective, having a goal, a motive to do one thing. It sparked individuals’s creativeness and ultimately 70 fantastic puppet movies now exist due to it. Folks will all the time shock you with their ardour and expertise.

Picture by Josh Elwell

What had been your favorite entries from final 12 months’s Problem?

What had been my favorite entries!? Oh, that’s a tough query, I beloved so many. A couple of that stand out to me once I suppose again are “Little Purple Parting Reward” by Anima Mundi Figurteater. I beloved the story, motion, characters, it’s one I might watch many times. I additionally love “Swap” by Stooge Movies; who doesn’t love puppet noir, so brilliantly shot and inventive. I even have a spot in my coronary heart for “Why Am I A Stick?” by NonSuch productions. It’s a movie a couple of man who turns right into a stick! So weird but finished so properly with fantastic puppets and props, I’d watch the function of that one.

“Why Am I A Stick?” by NonSuch productions

Another I’d like to say is “The Monstrosity of Time Journey” by SandyLang Co. I beloved this one. Brief, candy, completely my jam. Sadly final 12 months this movie was truly not eligible for judging because it was a full cease movement piece… Nevertheless, after seeing among the wonderful cease movement entries we've got modified the boundaries for this 12 months’s occasion, and absolutely cease movement movies shall be eligible in 2021!

What do you hope for this 12 months’s Problem?

This 12 months we hope to have the ability to attain extra members and viewers, we wish to increase the range of engagement, and develop into a extra inclusive occasion. It will likely be a gradual and regular development, however we're heading in the right direction. This 12 months we hope to see much more wonderful movies and join extra puppet individuals with different creatives.

We even have a brand new factor occurring this 12 months. We're partnering with We The Curious in Bristol to carry the Finale of the Problem to the Huge Display screen in Millennium Sq.. So all of the movies that make it into the High Ten, the Honourable Mentions, and Award Winners shall be proven on Sunday, twelfth September at 7pm on one among Bristol’s largest outdoor screens! Bringing puppets to the general public!

We The Curious – Huge Display screen in Millennium Sq., Bristol Metropolis Centre

With reference to what sort of puppetry can be utilized within the Problem, all direct manipulation puppetry is accepted. So which means any type of puppetry the place somebody immediately strikes the puppet to carry it to life. For instance hand and rod puppet, object manipulation, strings and marionettes, cease movement, principally when you transfer it along with your physique, otherwise you transfer it with a bodily power it's accepted (for instance wind dance puppets). The one sort that's actually excluded for the Problem is laptop generated animation and manipulation. These can function in movies, however there should be sensible and direct puppetry components.

We're excited to see what individuals do!

Picture by Ana Colomer

We hope that individuals will get just a few issues out of collaborating within the Problem:

1) A enjoyable problem to be inventive with puppets the place individuals produce absolutely accomplished movies.

2) The chance to see and have interaction with different puppet movies and puppet creators from world wide.

3) An opportunity to get your creations in entrance of a large viewers and below the eyes of our panel of trade professionals.

Lockdowns could also be lifting and issues are very slowly returning to some resemblance of what was earlier than, however there's all the time a spot for creativity and puppets.

What does the longer term maintain for the Problem?

I need the Bristol 48 hour Puppet Movie Problem to develop into a well-known and eagerly anticipated cultural occasion. I need the individuals of the South West to become involved and I wish to see participation from all around the World. The objective is for the Problem to develop into a self-sustaining thrilling occasion that grows and produces wonderful puppet movies yearly, finally changing into an integral a part of the Bristol Puppet Competition when it is ready to return. This in flip might allow us to supply comparable occasions creating extra platforms on which puppet media can stand.

One other predominant aspiration of the Problem is to develop its legacy. We wish to do that by creating function size anthologies of choose movies from the Problem that would go on tour to puppet festivals, venues, and even attain out into communities who don’t have nice entry to the puppetry world, encouraging area people engagement. We could be beginning our legacy this 12 months, so hold your eyes peeled and please be happy to get involved you probably have a venue or organisation that want to speak in regards to the prospects.


The Bristol 48 hour Puppet Movie Problem will run this August financial institution vacation weekend, twenty seventh – twenty ninth, and is open to individuals of all ages and backgrounds, from absolute inexperienced persons to seasoned professionals. You should register upfront to hitch in with the enjoyable and registration closes at 12:00pm (BST) on Friday twenty seventh August. The Problem is free to enter, however donations are warmly welcomed.

All movies submitted shall be screened on-line from eleventh – twelfth September, 2021, and the profitable entries, chosen by a group of prime judges, shall be screened on the Finale on Sunday twelfth September, 2021, at 7:00pm (BST), each on-line and on the Huge Display screen in Bristol’s well-known Millennium Sq..

Don’t miss this implausible alternative to flex your puppetry prowess on the silver display – there shall be prizes! Discover out extra at bristol48hpuppetfilmchallenge.co.uk and hold updated with all the most recent information in regards to the Problem on Fb and Instagram.



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