A Little Shadow Puppetry

Today – day three – we delved into an area I’d never tried before, that being the world of shadow puppetry. Originally Chinese, shadow puppetry first began in the 1920s and 30s and used flat figures against a transparent screen to create silhouetted figures that performed for an audience. Making our own puppets involved a lot of cutting and sticking of various sheets of black paper to one another, setting up backgrounds and characters and looking for good lighting all over campus (clue: the roof is a gold mine in terms of natural light…)

Our group created an old, crotchety puppet to traverse reluctantly through a black-paper forest, poking whatever he could find with his paper walking stick before being grabbed and put back in his box again.  The main objective of the exercise was to try and portray character through the movement of the puppets, which I think ours did quite well at. What we struggled a little more with was the pace of the story, as our scenes took a while to move between. We filmed everything live-action which meant with a little editing we could have cut the pauses quite easily. What we ended up with was quite a fun little short that we’d all helped to create and design, and I was really impressed with the other groups’ films too! An ancient but entertaining art.




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