I don't do a whole lot of talking about my personal life online, here on this blog, Facebook, etc...
Usually I do my best to keep it about my art. The puppets, the films, the doodles, and so on. Sure I have touched on things over time, here and there. But not a ton of it.
Today is different!
Tonite I want to put up a special post, about Brie.
I'm a lucky guy.
A few weeks ago I woke up in pain. 24 hours later I was in the ER.
Luckily it isn't anything life threatening, and I will be fine. No, I won't get into details, since it's no big deal in the end...
But my wife, Brie, was awesome through the whole thing, even keeping me laughing at the whole situation.
We've been together for ten years. Wow.
I can't believe it myself sometimes.
She keeps me laughing, well fed, and is totally on board with the crazy life I have managed to survive!
I've known plenty of couples who do not support each others interests and creative sparks, and I'm glad to have found some one that not only supports mine, but someone who has that spark herself, and it keeps me inspired in return. And she loves the cats!
Fifteen years ago this week I moved back to Connecticut.
Although the seeds of Elmwood Productions had been planted a few years before. I had the name, and puppets were made, and ideas and scripts existed...
But when I got back to CT in the fall of 2002 that they sprouted.
After moving back and re-connecting with Russ he asked something to the effect of "So... Wanna start making puppet movies?" He knew the answer... And we really started.
Moments later Tricky Pete was in... And by 2003 we were working on an early version "Josh and Todd" and "It's Late Enough With Plink"..
It took another four years for us to really find a groove we liked a lot. Not that we didn't have fun from 2002 to 2006, cuz we did. We laughed a whole lot, and made some fun stuff.
But it was a little angry vampire that helped us get in the great groove... And we're grooving better than ever these days.
Over the past 15 years I've been lucky and fortunate to have some amazing people work on the various project we have done as Elmwood Productions...
And I want to thank them all... Literally.
So, to keep it simple, you know who you are... and I THANK YOU!
Screw it... Here's Everyone! In no specific order... (but if I missed you, let me know, I'll fix it!) Russ Werlebird Pete "Tricky Rock" Lucco Ricky Passmore Mike Finland Gabe Finkenstein Rick Corbo Paul DeNio Nicki LaPorte Alex Sims Katie Scenic Muffin Burton Cassie Martin Ray Attahiru Kendra Meany Nick Foreman Chris Gierowski Kelly Osborne Dave The Beautiful Man Josh Tanner Liz Werlebird Mark Elsinger Keith Paul Rob Meany Anna Gawel Jim Williams Josh Leder Liz Hill Jeremy Jordan Rachel Ly Jena Gara Brian Smith Jaime Williams Christopher A. Lemanski Crystal Jordan Manda Vasas Sally Arlette-Garcia Jorge Gonzales Robert Fullerton Chrissy Finland Jennifer Lemanski Erika Pocock Dan Nyren Eric Stegmaier Sam Hugh Rich Mislivets Steph Neagle Lisa Wilson S.W. Rand Chris "Chinaman" Ly Ryan Brown Sarah Maddalena Matt Ficaro Ricardo Davila Sean Michanczyk Michael Pucci Shane McNeal Amanda Towle Desi Hugh Ben Farley Michelle Lucco Ashley Zdeb Jordan Deschene Abel Mercado Jackie Etling Tugger, Ripper, Blue, Penny, and Phantom Audrey Becker Dan Sine Mindy Levack Pat Carroll Brian Woodman Jason Finberg The staff at WRF Designs Josh Blumenthal Meghan Sandelli Gaelon Morris Everyone from the Ol' Paris In Plantsville Theresa Martin Joe Parker Caitlyn Goode Jesus Pimentel Ajay Brainard all the bands who hooked us up with music, all the venues who screened our flicks, all the sponsors who kept us fed and hydrated, all the press who interviewed us and gave us reviews and publicity, all the folks who have downloaded flicks on VHX and I Bleed Indie, all the Kickstarter backers from HEAD... my folks, Linda, Roger, Sue.. and my awesome extended in-law family, and of course my wife Brie... Who has lived with this madness since the day we met, and still wanted to spend her life with me and even be a puppet!
So... Jerry Lewis... My brother was born with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. In my lifetime I watched his. I watched his change so much. And he was my hero. And Jerry Lewis... As a small child I only knew Jerry as the guy who hosted the annual MDA Labor Day Telethon, to me at that age he was an OK singer and really funny, and I thought it was great that he was doing these shows for my brother and all the other kids like him that I knew. As I got older I learned more about him, saw his movies with Dean Martin, and so on... And realized how talented and passionate he really was. Jerry Lewis gave so many families hope. The MDA does the same, and will continue to do so. Families like mine. We got to laugh at a horrible situation, and it was OK to do so. Thank you Mr. Lewis. Sweet dreams, you'll never walk alone.
Please join the past, preset, and future friends of the retired Paris And Plantsville Gallery and Studio (2010-2016) at Southington Community Cultural Arts center on August 12 from 5:00 PM to 7:PM for the Opening Reception on “REAL W3IRD – A Paris In Plantsville Reunion” The line-up of artists for this show is amazing, featuring artists that have featured in just about every major gallery in the Tri-State area. We’re proud and excited to get the group back together for the exhibition… They work created, some real, some weird, all unique. And here they are – The Real, The Weird, The Unique – Clinton Deckert, Paul Baylock, Craig Fredrick, Christine Ivers, Cathy Michanczyk, Sean Michanczyk, Eric Stegmaier, Steve Rand, Jackie Etling, Greg Shea, Florin Ion Firimita, Brie McDonald, Michele Tragakiss, Stephen Southerland, Wanda Buda, Johanne Beerbaum, Mary Decroce, Andre Rochester, Rae Robinson, Christian Ayala Dale Anne Whalen and Jon Bristol
Join your friends and fellow artists and collectors on August 12th for the opening reception, we’re looking forward to seeing you. The show runs from August 5th through August 26th , during normal gallery hours.
Here's another re-build for the new "Animal Behavior" shoots...
Mouth Puppet from "Animal Behavior"
He's also a self portrait... Bald and all... Hahaha...
Here's a little peek at the making of the puppet -
The original puppet was made about eight years ago, and had seen better days... I was going to just repair him. But, it made more sense to start from scratch, and make a puppet more like I had originally wanted. So I did!
And a peek at a couple more of the new puppets for the show - look for full posts on them soon!
Elmwood's had a crazy busy week... So instead of posting a puppet I made this Saturday I'm posting one from the collection I haven't yet...
From the Collection
Although I had this when I was a kid, this is not the one. The Fozzie I had disappeared years and years ago.
This guy was a gift from Elmwooder Alex and his wife Marie.
They actually found him and a matching Fisher Price Kermit at a Savers.... And it'a amazing how good of shape they are both in. I still have my old childhood Kermit, but it's really cool to have another in the collection.
Means the world to me that Marie and Alex thought of me, and got these puppets for me.
Thanks you two.
Here's as pic of the Kermit, too!
Also, thank you "Debbie Fisher"...
I have no idea who you are, but your name is on a piece of masking tape inside Fozzie. So, thank you Debbie for hardly playing with these puppets! Cuz now I can!
So we shot a whole series a few years ago called "Animal Behavior"...
And never officially released it.
Well, when all was said and done we could do better.
Those who worked on it worked hard. REAL HARD. And it did come out really good. But the sound needed work. Then when the work was done it needed even more. And by then we looked at it and realized we could take this fun and awesome concept and make it even better...
So we are...
We're re-shooting the WHOLE thing soon, and as part of the re-shoot I decided to re-make a bunch of the puppets, and repair/update some of the others.
Simon here, he's one of the rebuilds. I also figured since a good chunk of the show is also being re-cast it would be nice for the new performer to have a puppet of their own for the part.
The old puppet had seen much better days, and I figured let's make him better.
Here's a pic of the old one when it was still new -
Not a bad puppet to look at, but he was falling apart, and dirty, and just not very functional for what we need him to do in the show.
And alot of people would confuse him for Steve the Vampire, hahaha...
I did love the eyes though... So I decided to re-use them on the new one...
Here's a couple pics of the puppet in progress...
I also re-used the eyebrows..
And to my surprise the shirt from the original puppet was still floating around! And it fits the new puppet better!