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  • Writer's pictureDylan Tate

Puppetry Fun with Sandy

This is the first real time my two worlds have crossed so closely. I started working as a puppeteer 10 years ago. A founding member of Flabbergast Theatre , a physical theatre company that specialise in puppetry, we went on to tour the world with great success around international festivals and venues.

During my time there I continued my practice as a filmmaker and editor but the two have always been fairly separate on the whole...until now.

We were commissioned by Sporting Communities, a brilliant charity making a huge impact on the lives of those who access their programs. The company's most recent venture was to create a series of puppetry shorts to promote messages for young people during the lockdown.

The first two episodes were filmed by Richard Booth and Emma MacLennan which were handed over to Tate Creations to edit.

The next three in the series we went into film. It took 2 full days of filming to capture all the footage we needed for the next three episodes, looking at Online Safety, Bullying and Mindfulness.

Filmed in a small studio set up the project required a lot of planning and set up to make the small space work with enough room for the puppeteers to get behind the set to operate the puppets. Respecting social distancing throughout.

An element I really admire about the production was that many of the set, props and characters were handmade, bringing a sense of the 'world' that Sandy and her friends live in to life. This is a credit to fantastic efforts or Richard and Emma. The episodes were recorded to a Voice Over track and then recorded again once we were happy with the picture lock phase of the edit.

Green screen was also a key part of the shoot as well with many of the locations having to be created digitally from going into the internet, to flying across the city and entering a boxing ring full of hundreds of tennis balls!

It's a great series and I hope it continues to thrive. If you have a young one that would benefit from watching or just fancy some fun and clever puppetry joy then check out the

sporting community channel on YouTube for the other Sandy Episodes past and future. (Episodes 4 and 5 coming soon)

Here is a link to Episode 3 - Online Safety Video. Keep an eye out for those pesky spam emails....

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