My Life with Puppets - The Adventure Continues.

Research and Influence


This month I have continued to do research for My Life with Puppets focussing on the main subject of the film Ronnie Le Drew. Over the last month I have been in contact with Ronnie about the film to keep him updated about the progress of the film. Since October I have found a number of interviews that Ronnie has conducted over the last year such as his recent interview with BBC Radio 4 and the widely popular Book Shambles podcast. In a BBC Radio 4 interview with Libby Purves, Ronnie discusses how he became interested in puppetry and briefly mentions his new book.

He discusses the current growth in popularity of puppetry over the last few years. The Book Shambles podcast covers a wide range of topics some if which are similar to those found in the BBC Radio 4 interview. However, Le Drew was the sole interviewee on the podcast which allowed him to explore his ideas further. 

I recently watched a documentary called Filmed in Supermarionation that tells the story of the unique animation techniques used by puppeteers, and the challenges that they faced when creating the classic television shows such as Stingray, Captain Scarlet and Thunderbirds.

There are a wide range of interviews conducted with the creators of the series, Gary and Sylvia Anderson as well as the crew that worked on most of the shows. The documentary is also comprised of behind the scenes footage, images, recreations and newly shot scenes exclusively made for the documentary. I thought the documentary overall was fantastic and I have been influenced by the style of the documentary and the direction that it takes in explaining the various aspects of the journey in Supermationation throughout the 60’s.

What's new in October?

Since the last blog I have had a number of conversations with Ronnie and have continued to update him on the films progress. I am also pleased to announce that we have heard from Fremantlemedia and they have allowed me to use the characters of Zippy and George for the documentary. They have also mentioned that they would love to see the completed film which they would like to distribute though their Official Rainbow YouTube Channel.

I am also proud to announce that we will also be adding even more classic characters to our documentary with the likes of Sooty and Sweep, which were given to Ronnie by Harry Corbett the creator of the show, and the original Muffin the Mule that is owned by Lucinda Rowe, granddaughter of the founder of The Hogarth Puppets. Ronnie has informed me that he no longer lives in North Yorkshire, Over the next few weeks I will be having discussions with Ronnie about the range of dates when it will be possible to film the documentary at his home in London.

At the moment we are hoping for the interview to take place in January 2017 with additional filming taking place on three separate days between January and April 2017.


What next?


• I am going to arrange shooting days and locations for 2017 with Ronnie.

• Gather more research and influences. • Calculate the budget that is required for the shoot.

• Begin my search for a composer and sound designer.

Until next time. That’s a wrap.


References:


Book Shambles (2016) Season 3 Episode 8 – Ronnie Le Drew, Trunkman Productions & Robin Ince. [Podcast].

Available from: https://soundcloud.com/cosmicgenome/book-shambles-season-3-episode-8-ronnie-le-drew?utm_source=soundcloud&utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=facebook [Accessed 22nd October 2016]

Filmed In Supermarionation (2014) Directed by Stephen La Rivière. 119 mins. Network. [Video: Blu-Ray].

Midweek (2016) Midweek. BBC Radio 4. 8 May 2016, 21:30.

The Cinema Museum (2013), Ronnie and Sweep. [Online Image]. Available from: http://www.cinemamuseum.org.uk/2013/bagful-of-puppets-ronnie-le-drew/ [Accessed date 15th October 2016]

  • Facebook
  • www.twitter.com/jakemcneilfilms
  • LinkedIn
  • www.youtube.com/mrjakemcneil