A puppet is a device built by a craftsman to represent a concept from your head like a character, animal or person. For example if you want to represent the story of a young girl you have the puppet you would use a little girl.
So the puppet represents a girl in a specific story. What’s more the story you use can be determined at the time of its preparation of the puppet.
When should a puppet be used in a story?
One of my favourite tools when working with puppets is finding the perfect moment to use them. I often find it best to use a small, medium or large puppet at the right time. The best time to use them is when the scene unfolds and the puppet will need to do very little. For example if you are writing a scene where everything is happening all of a sudden there isn’t the time to have a simple puppet, which is the perfect size to do one specific movement.
It is important to always decide at the time of your puppet use before you get your characters down on their knees. For example, I always use a “skewed” puppet when I have the “little girl” scene. By doing so I’m sure to get the most from your small puppet.
The next time you choose to use a puppet will depend on the context. In a scene like in the illustration, or when you can use a puppet in a scene where the characters are sitting around while listening to music, a larger puppet would be a better choice. In a scene like the one shown here and the previous one with the “girl” the smaller puppet would work just fine. The problem is, the small puppet would be too small. You could easily fill up your frame by using a larger puppet.
How do you use an actor who is standing in for the puppet?
When using actors in puppets I like to find an appropriate time when the audience won’t be watching. This allows me to get close enough to the actors to really get the detail of their movements and expressions. You get the best results when you are right near the characters and they will be as natural as their movements.
What about an additional puppet?
A puppet can be very effective if it is added where it will provide a significant amount of motion or is used to make larger movements that you don’t get from the puppet without the actor. In the scene pictured above a second puppet was added and in each shot you can see how that
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