Monday, 18 April 2016

OUIL406 Visual Communication - The Labyrinth, The Dark Crystal and The Storyteller

Honestly, the reason I chose Jim Henson was because of my insane love for The Labyrinth and The Dark Crystal. These two films have been some of my favourites since I was little and I was so excited at the idea of doing bit of work based around these films.

The Labyrinth

- Adventure, musical, fantasy film directed by Jim Henson

- The film was to have a different tone from The Dark Crystal, with more comedy, songs and human/puppet interaction

- One of the characters, Hoggle, had 18 motors inside his face so that the puppeteers could create complex and realistic expressions

- The Fireys were each performed by four/five people

- The largest human-operated puppet was created for this film, with Ludo being eight foot tall

- The film had mixed reviews and poor box office takings, demoralising Henson to the point where he was getting quite depressed

- Last feature film directed by Henson before his death in 1990

- Both The Labyrinth and The Dark Crystal have become cult films with a large following

The Dark Crystal 

- Primary concept artist was Brian Froud

- Written by Henson while snowed in a hotel

- It took five years to make The Dark Crystal

- The Dark Crystal had a bad premiere with it being too scary for children compared to the Muppets. People found it too dark and serious

- At the time, it was hailed as the only live action film in which a human actor makes no appearance

- Plot revolves around Jen the Gelling on a quest to restore balance to his world by returning a lost shard to a powerful but broken crystal

- Landstriders were performed by performers on stilts! So glad i found this out, I'd always wondered how they managed to make them work!


The Storyteller
- Britishlive-action/puppet television series that originally aired in 1988

- Created and Produced by Jim Henson

- The series retold European folk tales, particularly ones that were considered obscure in western culture

- There was a four episode spin off series titled The Storyteller: Greek Myths

- Jim Hensons son, Brian Hensons, performed and voiced the Dog, whilst John Hurt performed The Storyteller

I watched a few episodes of these and found them really great to watch, the combination of puppetry and human performers is great and makes these folk tales even more interesting! Some of it creeped me out a little though, but they were still really great!

I think after researching these i definitely want to try and include them some way in my work. I know Hensons a lot more well known for The Muppets and Sesame Street but I think it's important to bring some light to his more serious, fantasy work aswell.

At the minute I'm thinking of keeping the stamp set to The Muppets as they were a really notable part of his career, and then maybe making the postcards into something that represents/relates to these three pieces? And then when I get to doing the poster maybe i could combine them all?

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