Archives for category: film

pledge me

Hurrah, I have done it. The crowdfunding campaign for the Artist’s survival cookbook is finally up and running. If you pledge, you basically pre-order the book but you also can pledge for a Lil’Dede, or the real thing, a Dede! They are not often for sale. Have a look, have a heart, and pledge. :) And if you know someone who might be interested in the book, share! Get the word out! The Dedes and I are grateful for all your support.



Last weekend I have been working on a film for my crowdfunding campaign. Now that it is finished, I have second thoughts and won’t be using it for it’s intended purpose. When I was riding the bus this morning, I had a more suitable idea. Guess I will be making another film next weekend.

But since I’ve made this one, I might as well show it :)


Well, well, Devil is angry with me again. He’s the one who always reminds me I should look after the Dedes. After all, he was the spokesperson for the Dedes for a long time and knows how important it is to keep in people’s minds. Mind you, in the end he got sacked because he did a poor job. To be honest, he is not very well connected and all he did was jog me along, rather than opening up new avenues. Sadly, this is exactly the one trait Devil and I have in common… we are not very public.

Now, Devil didn’t need to remind me of my obligations to the Dedes. Believe you me, I have constantly been thinking about them. I just didn’t have time to write my blog or continue on the Artist’s survival cookbook. Real life devils have their demands on me as well – Real life still wins, every time!

Devil got particularly angry when I took some time last week to make a non-Dede related stop-motion film with Son. Son is a Vietnamese student who is currently staying with us. He wanted to bake a birthday cake for his ex-girlfriend who is living in Australia. The story was complicated enough to grab my attention. So, on a rainy Sunday we went to the supermarket, got all the ingredients and spent the afternoon having fun making the cake. He uploaded the finished work to youtube and promised me the link to put up on my blog. By the way the cake tasted delicious. But, I’m still waiting for the link.  I reminded Son at least four times about the link. Finally it occurred to me that maybe he didn’t get the desired reaction and deleted it off youtube. So I stripped all the lovely messages for the girlfriend out and here is my version of it.

Why am I showing this film of unreciprocated love? My involvement in the film wasn’t entirely selfless. At the moment I am pondering how I can promote the Artist’s survival cookbook. One of my ideas is to put a “Pledge me” campaign together. Pledge me is a New Zealand crowd-funding platform and I think a book is perfectly suited to crowd funding. In fact it’s not much more than pre-selling the book, is it? To create a campaign I have to make a new movie. I wanted to explore what baking looks like in stop-motion. I quite liked the result of the cake, now I only have to add the Dedes somehow. The little buggers don’t want to get their mittens dirty.

The central problem remains: I am not well-connected and if the campaign flops, will I do more damage to the Dedes than good? What do you think?


This week another unexpected story emerged! It looks like the disgraced EIW is on the way to snapchat stardom. I have to tell you the story:

Midweek she moved to my friend’s office. For the first day she was just sitting around idly. What’s new, I thought, good riddance lazy sod! The next day, though, my friend reported excitedly, that everything changed as soon as Sammy Salsa entered the room. As if EIW had been waiting for Sammy all her life. Sammy is a stylist and EIW is into fashion big time (you can tell by her silly hair thingummy). At last she found someone to talk to and she virtually latched onto him. She was just waiting for her big chance, and did she jump on it or what? She begged him on her knees to make a snapchat film with her. Surprisingly his snapchat friends loved her as well and asked for more.  And here we are. I added the three little films they’ve made so far together. I particularly like the last one, where she is praying. As if she thanks the higher being to have escaped the Dede household. Does she really say “Quick” in the end? Is she worried she has to come back.? No, no, I am happy for her and her new life.

I also noticed, Sammy refers to her as he. It never occurred to me that she might be a fa’afafine. Of course Sammy, who is from Samoa, would immediately recognise one. Sometimes I am really oblivious to what’s going on. But, say, doesn’t she look lively in his hands.

little skeleton

Last week I had this great workshop at Studio One in Auckland. It was supposed to be a holiday programme for kids from 10 to 14. Truth was the youngest was just 8 and I was a bit worried, that the age difference would be too noticeable. Surprisingly it wasn’t at all. They all played wonderfully together and came up with this lovely story not to judge a book by its cover. I am always amazed about their creativity. Isn’t this skeleton just gorgeous? It is made out of two shuttlecocks and pipe cleaner by thirteen-year-old David. We had so many characters in the end we could easily have made a few films…. But what I really like is that they come up with one story as a group and work on it together.

For me personally it was a wonderful break from the drudgery of school and it became very clear to me that I have to get back into the swing with my puppets. I have three projects on the boil and have to make up my mind which one I am starting first. Life is definitely too short…

And here is the film we’ve created.

Life is a bit of a chaos at the moment and when this happens the blog has to take a back seat. There is one more film from last week to put up, which is really an easy task and only takes a minute. But I got side tracked again, as I took in a homeless person this week and preferred to have good conversations around the dinnertable rather than popping down to the computer to work on my blog. Yes, a real conversation beats sitting in front of the computer anytime. So, here slightly delayed the last film we made at the Festival. This one is an impromptu impromptu. Impromptu for me, as I wasn’t prepared for the participants and impromptu for them as they weren’t expecting it at all. It was a a group of 8 to 10 year-olds. I had accidentially set up the stage in the wrong room. Luckily three out of the four people that had enrolled in the worksho pthat day were sick. We just got into the swing with the last remaining person when a group of kids showed up for their weekly art class. There was a bit of a discussion who’s room it was. It turned out that the volunteer at the reception had forgotten to tell me I should set-up somewhere else, so I offered my participant to come to the next workshop at my studio when the group will be bigger. She was very happy with this solution. So my assistant and I started packing up when the art teacher suggested we should run the workshop with the kids as we were here anyway. Working with kids is so different from working with grown-ups. Workshops with kids are full on, as they all want to talk at once and you have to channel their engery.No way I could run a workshop without an assistant. But it is great fun, I thoroughly enjoy seeing them getting right into it.

The results of last week’s workshops could not have been more different. On the first day we had only a small group. Half the people who had booked  into the workshop were taken ill as a nasty cough doing the rounds in Auckland. We still had great fun and in my opinion it shows in the little film.

Last week I did three workshops as part of the Festival of Performing Objects. In those  workshops the participants used my Dede puppets to come up with an impromptu play and then acted the story out. During the process props have to be created on the fly. The story might end up totally different than originally anticipated. The film I put up today, was the one we did last. The group did not know each other, which of course adds another dimension to the workshop. So it took a while until they came up with a subject they all could relate to. Of all three workshop this one was certainly the most structured story and thought through from from beginning to end.

Normally I would take around 200 pictures during a workshop. In this one I got barely 90, so it is a bit of a stretch. But i think the result isn’t too bad.

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This week is probably the busiest week I will have all year. It started off on Monday with finishing one puppet workshop. I had done a six week course at Toi Ora, an art trust that works in the mental health sector. This is definitely the area I want to move into. Unfortunately the course didn’t quite work as I envisaged it. I liked the students and the settings, but there were also areas that weren’t sitting right, though I think my blog isn’t the forum to divulge what didn’t work. In the course the participants made their own characters and came up with the story and we celebrated the uplaod of our little film with a red carpet event. It’s a very short film, so we only had a very little red carpet.

And here  is the film

Here is the second film we did last week. This one was created by a group of teenagers as a holiday programme. Pretty slim pickings, but we got there in the end. In this film the kids had to make their own actors and they also created the music, the backdrop and the props. I enjoyed working with the youngsters and I’ve learned a tremendeous amount. The kids on the other hand just thought I was weird… Happy, but weird!