Tag Archives: Star Wars

The Life, Times and Advances in Puppetry with Mike Quinn

14 Jun

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Mike Quinn is a man of many cinematic trades—a talent mentored by Jim Henson and Frank Oz—and he sees a bright future for puppetry, a style of performance theatre. His passion for it predates meeting these two icons and he is fully aware of its rich history. At an early age, he staged his own live puppet shows for family and friends, and he was always encouraged to pursue his dreams.

This form of entertainment can be traced back to the days of early man. Some simply manipulated the stuffed dolls with their hands and others took the form further, like to have a light source cast upon them so their shadows are projected upon a larger surface. This technique not only helped make them become larger than life but also create a mystique to enthral many a viewer. Quinn is well aware of the many styles of puppetry that can be used to tell a story. In the 90’s, his shift to work behind the camera showed his passion also included directing. He worked on many a TV pilot in the UK and said Mira Mara was one program where he brought in skilled shadow puppeteers to perform while a human actress was regaling fantastic tales to a cast of puppets. It went to full series production, was filmed throughout Wales and Scotland, and was broadcast in Gaelic speaking countries.

“I think this style is a very poetic and abstract artistic way of doing visuals. I also enjoy watching a different form known as bunraku (Japanese puppet theatre). You have three people working a full figure on a tabletop. They are usually seen behind the puppet, sometimes dressed in black, partially visible … they study forever to be very precise. It’s incredible!” observed Quinn.

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You Know It’s Solo, A Star Wars Story Not Quite Rogue

25 May

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Harrison Ford is Han Solo. He made being a scruffy nerf herder charming. As the daring Indiana Jones, he knows when not to cheat death. George Lucas had a vision with the Young Indiana Jones series, to educate first and entertain second, the end product worked. Sean Patrick Flanery made us believe he was Indy and he was young enough so audiences can imagine his ageing process.

At least ten years must exist between when Solo (played slightly convincingly by Alden Ehrenreich) is seen running amok in the streets of Corellia trying to escape his life as a street urchin. He joins the Imperial Army and is soon kicked out due to insubordination. He hooks up with criminals and they hope to commit the Ocean’s 11 (technically not) of all heists. But it all goes terribly wrong, horribly wrong.

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The Aftermath; Cherry Bomb Toys Blows Up Their Ultimate Toy Fair to Two Days!

1 May

 

Cherry Bomb Toys Pano

Cherry Bomb Toys Panoramic view

By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

Nobody can ever know about the possible discoveries to be found at Cherry Bomb Toys’ Ultimate Toy Fair. Instead of a one-day event, it is now two. At least a third of the space was occupied by local shops with items from their vaults and the rest are from either long-time collectors or hobby enthusiasts’ massive collections. Had I spent more careful time on Saturday, I might have spotted the set of miniatures from Dark Crystal the Movie! This product from 1982 was from Pinnacle.

In past shows, I acquired the Orguss from the Super Dimension Century series of the same time. It’s missing the gun, and in due time, I will have the CAD design skills to create and 3D print the replacement part. I even found an Invid once; I passed on it because it was very battle damaged. The thrill of the hunt for random goodness defines why I continue going. The fact it’s a weekend event now had me curious and I had to explore the possibility of what I could find when not everyone will be vending for both days.

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Debugging Lenovo + Disney’s Star Wars: Jedi Challenges

25 Jan

by Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Lenovo + Disney’s Star Wars: Jedi Challenges is an imperfect augmented reality game. This product can be ordered direct from the manufacturer or online. Best Buy had this product as an exclusive before the movie The Last Jedi. Fans lucky enough to get this product as a gift were no doubt excited, and hopefully, they did not have to return it as not all smartphones work. This product supplies the hardware to play and the software needs to be downloaded. This game is definitely for the lightsaber enthusiast. Trials of Combat, provides one heck of a workout for the arms and the other two (Insight and Leadership), knowing some board game battle strategy helps.

However, one huge problem exists: The tracking beacon (aka the Holocron) is supposed to indicate where the “floor” is. When I held it in my hand, the software did not recognize how close it was to my face and the hologram being projected did not scale down like it is supposed to (as seen in the series). I was often staring at the lower part of the map or my opponent’s feet.

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