ByChristopher Moonlight, writer at
Film Maker - Host of The Practical People Practical FX Podcast Show - Typo Lord - Be inspired.
Christopher Moonlight

Above is the nearly two and a half hour BAM Handmade Puppet Dreams Film Making Symposium, which you should watch, because every moment is magic. In a world filled with CGI animated movies, and big budget, painstakingly executed stop motion features like The Box Trolls, that take hundreds of talented artists years to complete, one film making art form has flown mainly under the radar, for years. Aside from the Muppets, there hasn't really been a mainstream movie that centers around puppetry since Jim Henson's other brainchildren, The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth.

However, in the past few years, many independent movie makers have begun to revisit the possibilities that puppets have to offer, when it comes to building fantastic worlds and creatures, on a low budget. The limitations that burdened puppeteers past are now mostly gone, thanks to advances in materials, such as silicone, and video recording and compositing tools that involve digital cameras, green screens, and powerful VFX softwares like Photoshop, After Effects, and Nuke. The results can be quite eye popping.

Check out some of the exciting projects that have resulted from the new ground that is being broken, in this beautiful and soulful technique.

Lessons Learned:

Directed by Toby Froud, who's parents worked with Jim Henson on such films as The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth. In fact, remember the baby that Jennifer Connolly was trying to get back from David Bowie? THAT'S HIM!!!

Narrative of Victor Karloch:

Directed by Kevin McTurk. This film impressed Christopher Lloyd and Elijah Wood, who liked it enough to do voices for the lead characters.


Directed by Sam Koji Hale, this film is a continuation of a successful short film, that takes place in the same world. This upcoming feature length is produced by Dark Dunes Productions, who is also responsible for Kids Vs. Monsters and are in collaboration on Harbinger Down.

Too Loud A Solitude:

Directed by Genevieve Anderson, adapting the banned novel by Bohumil Hrabal, about a man who crushes books for a living, and what happens when he falls in love.

And there are so many more projects to get excited about, coming our way. So, while the CGI Age of Ultron may boast that he has no stings, what puppets do have is class and style. Take some time to discover this amazing world of arts and materials brought to life, because they will bring new experiences and ways of seeing the world, into your life.


Are you excited to see what puppets can bring to film making?


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