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Puppet Kaos - where Kelvin Kao plays with puppets and tell random stories

Episode 12 – Daylight Saving

Episode 12 is here! This week, Mac and Cheese is confused about daylight saving time and daylight saving accounts. Bottle Monster educates him about the importance of saving daylight.

If you can’t see the embedded video,
Click here to watch it on YouTube.
Or download Quicktime movies here:
m4v format (40MB)
mov format (15MB)

And this video used lots of graphics generously licensed by their original authors through Creative Commons licenses. There are so many that they deserve their own table:

Graphic Usage Author License

Office Buildings
Bobby’s narration background Sylvain Racicot CC Attribution-Noncommercial 2.0 Generic

bank at night
Moostifer night vitamin background Carsten Tolkmit CC Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic

A car drives by in the night
Moostifer’s solar power car Ben Watkin CC Attribution-Noncommercial 2.0 Generic

A discovery
Dinasaurs talking Denise Chan CC Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic

Comet McNaught
Comet Steve Crane CC Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.0 Generic

This is also the first episode filmed during day time (except the outdoor UCLA video) using natural daylight, which fits the theme, although it’s not intentional. In fact, I didn’t realize that until just now. 😀 Filming in the dark certainly has some weirdness associated with it.

Creative Commons License

Time Travel and Daylight Savings

Guess what Kelvin is thinking about today? Da da da da, that’s right, Kelvin is thinking about daylight saving time. I love the beginning and end of daylight saving time. Isn’t it exciting to watch the hour hand snap from 2am to 1am (or vice versa)? For me, this is more exciting than counting down for new year.

I was thinking, what if there’s a disaster that’s going to happen, and people from the future send a messenger to warn us and stop it from happening, only to fail his mission because the time traveler was confused by daylight saving time and couldn’t get to the correct moment in time?

Daylight saving time can be confusing and possibly devastating for people that time travel but didn’t pay enough attention to the one hour difference! And think about it, a few days ago, we had a day in which we went from 1am to 2am twice. What if this was in April where one hour is lost? What if the guy that time travels decides to land in this missing hour? Another related question… what if this guy decides to come back to February 29 when it wasn’t a leap year? What’s going to happen to him? Is he going to go into some unknown time or dimension? Or is he going to fall into a gap in time, and it would be some kind of time-warp blackhole that sucks him in and then spits him out into another arbitrary time?

Anyway, the next episode might be about daylight saving time. Or not, I don’t know, but daylight saving time was the thing that was on my mind.

Silent Films are Hard

I attempted a lil bit of the silent movie stuff in Episode 10 – Silent Sneeze. At first I thought, it would be less work, because my script only needs to be about half of the usual length since time is divided between video footage and captions, and also that I don’t really need to do any kind of lip sync. But, as it turned out, it was actually a lot of work that I didn’t think about, or did think about but didn’t think it’d take that much work.

At first, I thought I’d just cut it first, and then I’d adjust the length of video footages and captions to fit the music I picked. After going through some music, I decided on one and then started putting captions in the editors to time things. That is when I decided that that the up and downs of the music should go along with the plot line. This means, although I am not going to change the plot, I’m going to shift things around a lil bit to get the timing right.

And that took a lot more work.

There was a pause in the music. I tried to match this up with the “15 minutes later” part. There was also this part in the music that has a lil bit of a goofy feel to it, so I matched it up with Bobby and Moostifer’s funky song. And then towards the end of music, it starts to build and build before it resolves. I decided that I want this part to coincide with the problem solving process… how they figured out what cause a sneeze and how they had the revelation that Bottle Monster couldn’t have sneezed without a nose. It was more tedious work but I’m glad that I made that effort.

I normally cut together the video before I started adding captions, but in this video, I put in the captions first. This is so I can time them against the music. And when I’m done figuring out where and how fast each caption goes, I started designing the shots. I thought it would just be like an usual episode of Puppet Kaos except now the line isn’t shown until after the motion of talking is shown, but I noticed that I needed to put more thoughts into it. Because the lines aren’t heard immediately when the puppets’ mouths are moving, I need to design each shot more carefully. They need to have motions that’s more distinct. Normally, you’d want continuous smooth motions and transitions, but in this case, you want one distinct motion after another, since they are already broken up by captions in between. For example, one shot should just focus on Bobby and Moostifer singing, one shot should focus on Mac and Cheese typing on the computer, and another shot should focus on Bottle Monster drinking the potion. They all need to be really distinct.

Actually, distinct motions are still important with videos that’s not silent. They are just less chopped up into segments. Hm, maybe it would be a good idea to watch a bunch of good silent films. We can certainly benefit from watching how people try to convey things without the lines being heard immediately. And yes, I do like exaggerated motions. And silent films have a lot of them.

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