Meet Sam

samfishkame_drawingThis is Sam, he’s a puppet maker, illustrator, animator and director of our first music video!  Music video is really too small of a title for what Sam is putting together.  His vision for the short film is quite epic and the entire endeavor is being produced by Heather Henson for her Handmade Puppet Dreams Film Festival.

On Tuesday I visited Sam while at Chiodo Bros studio to get a glimpse of what he’s been working on.  Ayumi and Brent took these great pictures and will be documenting the process.

There is something about puppets that is magical.  They are some of our first friends with names like Oscar, Cookie and my personal favorite Grover (let’s face it Elmo is just a wanna be Grover).  Recently my interest in puppets has been rekindled through being exposed to the great puppet theater traditions of Java and Bali.  What struck me was how easily I am transported to another fantastic world by the puppets.

I had a similar experience the first time I met Sam.  He was working with Tri-Pi Theater on a table top bunraku production called The Fox Lantern.  It was a really amazing production using very simple yet imaginative set pieces to create a completely engrossing experience.  The puppets were really beautifully made and I was amazed at how much the puppets were able to emote.  Their faces had such an expressive quality to them that you were able to read almost any emotion in them.

After our first meeting we kept in touch and talked about how fun it would be to do something together.  I knew he’d be great to work with after I sent him a copy of Ume In the Middle and and he sent back two or three video ideas per song in a matter of days.  The ideas were very imaginative and it was hard to narrow it down to just one but eventually we settled on “Yamasong”.

More to come later!

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5 Responses to “Meet Sam”

  1. […] to Chiodo Bros Studios in Burbank where Sam Koji Hale was diligently working on puppets for an On Ensemble music video to their Yamasong (off their latest album, Ume in the Middle). The video is being […]

  2. […] On Ensemble + Sam Koji Hale = Epic Music Video Beyond Your Wildest Imagination. I am constantly amazed at the creative nature of On Ensemble and the ways they collaborate with other amazing artists. When I first heard about this project from Shoji, I heard something about puppets, a music video and it being really cool, but really I had no idea how to formulate in my mind what to expect. Shoji and asked me about taking some photos of the process and I was happy to get involved since he IS my favorite brother and all. […]

  3. Laura says:

    kameda….turtle visualization puppet….yamasong….I am truly looking forward to progress posts on this amazing collaboration…

  4. Sweet! an On Ensemble video?! Yamasong? Puppets!!?
    very sweet!!

  5. […] this Q&A on her next role in the hybrid puppet-animation film Monster of the Sky. Directed by Sam Koji Hale, Monster of the Sky is an eclectic mix of Dark Crystal, Spirited Away and the Count of Monte […]

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