Summer Fun

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Summer Fun

Postby Richard Coombs » 12 Nov 2018, 12:03

After a rather long break from the board I am back.

This year it was not just the Sumer Season that left me no time for posting , since finishing my 13th season at Heights of Abraham on Sept 3rd I have been puppeteering on the next Star Wars movie down at Pinewood Studios.
And the last three weeks of filming were out of the UK at a foreign location that was very very hot and had an awesome looking dessert.

I think the fine print of my NDA prevents me from saying exactly what Country or where that location was ....so till the movie is released please don't ask , just accept it was arduously hot and I don't want to see any more sand for very long time !
Makes me wonder how Mark Poulton and Joe Burns manage doing their summer shows on sandy beaches : I discovered that trudging across sand with puppets and equipment is very tiring.

Photos of my Heights season to follow in a few days - I still have loads to unpack and sort at home before I can settle back to regular time on the computer.

But despite the long absence , in the words of Terry Pratchetts' estimable Esme Weatherwax , I just wanted to let you know " I Aten't Dead !"
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Re: Summer Fun

Postby Richard Coombs » 13 Nov 2018, 15:34

My return to 'freedom' has started with a couple of guilty pleasures.

Firstly a drive out to a wonderful timber yard about 20 miles from me that specialises in unusual woods
(In this case ' unusual ' being anything other than fast growing pine or plywoods , which is what DIY Stores and Builders Merchants sell in their wood sections up and down the Country)


Image

As mentioned on another thread here , at Sykes Timber they have huge sheds each containing a specific type of timber : Oaks , Lime, Ash , Beech etc.

But there is also a marvellous 'mixed offcuts' shed with woods laid out on pallets , grouped by type where you can go and handpick whatever you fancy , Each piece has the price marked on it , so you can keep an eye on your budget as you go.

Samples from every type of timber they sell are all in there - except Lime- which they only seem to do in great tree sized slabs sadly,

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I came away with this little lot.
Mostly European Oak in strips a convienient size for carving hands.
One thicker piece of Red Oak for noses and chins , and a couple of strips of Ash and Beech to experiment with.

Image

Prices ranged from £3 to £5 per length ..and even the thickest bit ( the Oak for noses ) was just £6
So actually only slightly dearer than buying pine from a high street DIY store.

- I only say this just in case Chris is about to berate me again for squandering my ( sic) "movie millions' , when there are children just starting out who can't afford a junior hacksaw -
( Excuse me while I try to dislodge my tongue from my cheek )

So just one £3 strip of oak would give even a raw beginner enough wood to make about 8 pairs of Mr Punch hands.

As mentioned before it is only in recent years I have discovered the pleasures of working with really nice woods.
And when puppet hands are constantly thumping the play board , pine just dents and splinters over time.

So yes , a guilty pleasure that makes it fun to be home !
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Re: Summer Fun

Postby Chris Richard » 19 Nov 2018, 13:07

Can't wait to see Punch and Judy outside the Cantina on Tatooine. . . :D

Richard, does your NDA prohibit you from saying if you've worked in earlier Star Wars episodes and what you did? Generally we don't think of practical puppets in Star Wars except for Yoda, Jabba, and Salacious Crumb.

It will be fun to hear more when you're allowed to write about it.
Chris Richard,
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Re: Summer Fun

Postby Richard Coombs » 11 Dec 2018, 19:42

The last few Star Wars films have been crammed with puppets Chris.

I only joined the team on the "Solo" movie ( I was asked to be in the previous couple but I was doing a Children's television series in Austria both times)
Lucky for me I had turned down the third outing to Vienna when "Solo" came along.

One of the big puppet sequences in "Solo" was the 'Sabaac' card game scene where Han was surrounded by gambling creatures.

As to Episode 9 ...deffo all still 'Hush Hush'
But it was great fun.

Hope you are still enjoying your new Booth Chris !
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