Formations 2021-2022

Muppet Style Manipulation In Front of Camera Workshop

Multiregional program*

Workshop Leader :  Pam Arciero
Dates and time : Wednesday 18 to Friday 20 May 2022
Duration : 18 hours
Location : Maison internationale des arts de la marionnette, 30 avenue Saint-Just, Montreal

Number of participants : 12
Levels** : Intermediate to advanced
Price : 130 $

This workshop will be conducted in English.

*Multiregional program : Participants comming from outside the workshop location (more than 50 km) are eligible for reimbursement of their travel and accommodation expenses. Places are limited and upon registration only, ask us about it!

The actual unsubsidized cost of this workshop is $745.

Workshop syllabus

Muppet Style Manipulation In Front of Camera Workshop will explore the technique used by Sesame Street to handle Muppets on screen. Pam Arciero will teach several exercises, skits and choreography to explore: the different types of Muppets, lip sync work, body and arm position for solo and group work, focus, exploration of basic steps, character development, emotions and interactions between characters. Also, the workshop will cover more technical notions to work on screen: working with monitors (walking, talking, entering, exiting, moving, dancing, breathing and creating a living character), entering and exiting the frame and moving Muppets on camera.

Muppet Style Manipulation In Front of Camera Workshop will be divided into six three-hour sessions to further develop the fundamentals of handling and interpreting Muppets. Each of the exercises will be presented in front of the rest of the group to bring out the positive elements and to allow the participants to assimilate the concepts by watching everyone’s work.

Wednesday, May 18th

Session 1

  • Basic lip sync techniques: 
    • starting in Mirrors with ping pong ball eyes
    • body positions
    • arm positions
  • Focus: retain focus on self
  • Simple Choreography: Left/right

Session 2

  • Move to Monitors
  • Difference between mirrors and monitors
  • Basic Monitor techniques
  • Follow the dot
  • Basic Walks
  • Finding the center of frame
  • Practice lip sync
  • Sing songs to recorded music
  • basic choreography (left/right)

Thursday, May 19th

Session 3

  • Review previous days’ work
  • Camera diagonals
  • Focus
  • Lip sync
  • 2 puppets on Frame
  • 2 puppet exercises
  • Zip in/out
  • Side and up/down entrances

Session 4

  • Two puppet scenes
  • Basic puppet actions: from hand out
  • Work on emotions for puppets
  • Bus Stop improv (No words)
  • Freeze and Go
  • Start work on Intermediate and Advanced Movement exercises

Homework: Think of a short script (1-2 minutes) or music video idea to be shot tomorrow

Friday, May 20th

Session 5

  • Vocal Work/vocal production
  • Script performances/script dissection
  • Character work
  • Choreography-advanced

Session 6

  • Hand techniques:
    • Rod Hands
    • Live Hands
    • Prop Handling
  • Emotional investment in performances
  • Create a 30 second -1 minute video with 1-4 people to show and tell at the end of day
  • Show videos
  • Celebrate! 

Main objectives

  1. Explore the fundamentals of handling and performing Muppets on camera;
  2. Allow the puppeteers to develop their knowledge of the puppetry arts;
  3. Increase the professional practice and versatility of puppeteers.

Secondary objectives

At the end of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  1. Apply the basic technique of lipsing to the manipulation of Muppets;
  2. Understand the basics of monitors to apply them to the manipulation of Muppets on screen;
  3. Work with two or more Muppets on screen;
  4. Apply different sides, angles, speeds and camera approaches as well as movements of the Muppets on screen;
  5. Work on the emotions of the Muppets to make the characters believable.

Workshop Leader

Pam Arciero (United States)

Pam Arciero performs for film, television and theater, notably as a puppeteer with Sesame Street (Grundgetta Grouch, Oscar’s girlfriend, and assorted characters) and for the Muppets for over 30 years. Pam started working with Jim Henson in 1981, and worked closely with him for 9 years before he passed away. He was her mentor and friend. She is the Secretary of the Board of Directors for the Jim Henson Foundation. Pam is a director for live theater, television, and film. She choreographs and directs live walk-around (the big versions of the puppets) shows for Sesame Workshop in such far flung places as Jamaica, Turks and Caicos, Barcelona, and Saudi Arabia, as well as Sesame Place and Sea World, USA. Pam has taught puppetry all over the world, from New York to Hong Kong, Hawaii to Denmark and her love and joy of Puppetry is contagious. She is the Artistic Director of the National Puppetry Conference at the O’Neill Theater Center. Pam holds a Master’s Degree in Puppetry from the University of Connecticut and a Bachelor’s Degree in Dance and Dramatic Arts from the University of Hawaii.

Terms and additional information

*Multiregional program : Participants comming from outside the workshop location (more than 50 km) are eligible for reimbursement of their travel and accommodation expenses. Places are limited and upon registration only, ask us about it!

**Level: This workshop is intended for professional artists practicing in the province of Quebec.

Candidates must first fill the registration form. Upon receipt, the AQM will confirm the eligibility of participants. Registration is then confirmed upon receipt of payment. Refund and cancellation policy as well as eligibility requirements are available online.

Covid-19

If a workshop is cancelled due to Covid-19, the AQM will refund registered participants. If you develop symptoms or test positive for Covid-19 prior to attending a workshop, you must notify AQM and you will be refunded.The number of participants and the size of the facilities are calculated to ensure that the distance of 2 meters between people is respected. Participants must wear a mask at all times. More details will be communicated to the participants according to each workshop and the government directives in place to ensure that the public health guidelines are respected.

Photos used to promote this workshop were taken before the Covid-19 pandemic.

This workshop takes place at the :

More information : 514-270-2717, ext 3, communications@aqm.ca