My Life with Puppets - The Beginning and My Life with Puppets.

Hello, before I begin to talk about my proposal for my final major project at university, I want to take a step back and talk about how my passion for film began.


About Me


I have been passionate about filmmaking. When I was a younger I was passionate about science fiction films. I was amazed by the 1984 film The Terminator. Whist some filmmakers would consider Star Wars as the film that inspired their passion this was not the case for me. I love the original Terminator film for two reasons.


1. The special effects and stop motion animation used to create the various scenes when The Terminator is chasing after the main protagonists Sarah Connor and Kyle Reese, and the future scenes. I was spellbound.

2. The ability to create characters with human emotions whilst capturing the effects that could be played on a person’s mind, such as war or love.

Like every other filmmaker I used to create my films with friends and family at home. Whilst I was making these films my cousin was studying for a degree in film which also motivated me and made me more passionate about film. I was fortunate that he would help me to shoot my films when he was free.


In 2008, I created a short film called The Lightness which won a national award in 2009 and was shown at the Bradford Media Museum. I consider this film to my first film. From then on, I went on to create other short films at school from short film to stop motion animation which were selected for a number of festivals. My 60 second short film created for college also made it to the Top 20 for Jameson’s Empire Magazine Done in 60 seconds.


I am now in my third and final year at university. At university I have created a number of films ranging from short films, experimental films, music videos and documentaries. This year I created for my factual production a film called Inside The Box, which is a story about an artist named Terry Chipp. The documentary has done very well being selected and shown at an international film festival.

Creating a new Documentary.


For my final year I want to further challenge myself by creating a documentary about a subject who is known by millions of people for the characters he has portrayed on television, film and theatre. The proposed documentary is called My Life with Puppets and will be a 15-20 minute short documentary about Ronnie Le Drew, a puppeteer who is known for playing iconic characters and being in films and television programmes such as:

• Zippy from Rainbow

• Sweep from Sooty and Sweep

• Labyrinth starring David Bowie

• A Muppet Christmas Carol starring Sir Michael Caine.

• Muppet Treasure Island

• Little Shop of Horrors

• Muffin the Mule – On occasions Ronnie has played the character in theatre and television.

• Bill and Ben

• Brains from Thunderbirds

• Love it Light - Diet Cola – Maniac


His career expands over 50 years and he recently got full funding via Unbound to publish his brand new autobiography called Zippy and Me: The Remarkable Life in Puppets of Rainbow’s Ronnie Le Drew. The book will be released in 2017.


I approached Ronnie Le Drew back in May 2016 to discuss the potential idea of creating a 20-minute documentary about himself and the characters he has brought to life.

*Please refer to appendix in the folder.


Ronnie was excited for the potential documentary and agreed to speak to me and discussions began in July with the telephone call talking to him about the possibility of creating this documentary. We also discussed copyright concerns as the characters he has portrayed are owned by a highly credible production company.


Luckily Ronnie has insured me that copyright concerns would not be an issue and the documentary could proceed because of the contacts and relationship he has with the production company Fremantle Media who own the characters such as Zippy from Rainbow and Sooty and Sweep.


I will ask if he could request a written letter with the permissions on it as evidence for my folder and in case the film does go beyond being screened only at University. From the interview I had we have agreed that the documentary would be filmed over the course of several weeks/months due to the time restrictions both parties have over the year. This would benefit the documentary as it would allow me to gather the footage I had filmed and review it. We will be filming in Yorkshire, where Ronnie’s second home is, and London where Ronnie is currently based.


Reviewing it would also allow me to determine if we need to shoot any additional scenes or film new scenes based on the discussions we have had during the interview.


Currently I have started a documentary film proposal booklet which contain details about the documentary, personnel involved, timetables and objectives to be fulfilled. This will be attached to the documentary folder. More information will be added to the proposal over the next few weeks before my presentation pitch in December.


I will also review the previous documentary I have made, determining the various things that I believe that need to be improved on, such as lighting and camera I will look at other documentaries with a similar structure as reference for this documentary.


So what are my ambitions for this documentary? If the film turns out to be a success I would love to enter this film into a number of film festivals like Inside The Box was. If it is fortunate to be screened at film festivals it will mean that more people are aware of the man behind these amazing characters. I feel confident that this film will turn out to be a success with a story that will intrigue audience members and to satisfy Ronnie and Family to feel satisfied by the documentary created.


Until my next blog, that's a wrap!

His career expands over 50 years and he recently got full funding via Unbound to publish his brand new autobiography called Zippy and Me: The Remarkable Life in Puppets of Rainbow’s Ronnie Le Drew. The book will be released in 2017.

I approached Ronnie Le Drew back in May 2016 to discuss the potential idea of creating a 20-minute documentary about himself and the characters he has brought to life.

References:

References: Unbound (2016) Zippy and Me. [Online image]. Available from: https://unbound.com/books/Zippy-and-me [Accessed 1st October 2016].

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