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

It’s a California Christmas

I’ve made Christmas videos the past three years. Guess what? Here’s the 2015 video, making it four years in a row!

This one was… quite a lot of work. It was also the first of many things for me. It was:

1) The first of my Christmas video where, in addition to the lyrics, I also wrote the music myself!
2) The first time using a keyboard controller in Garageband to arrange and record music.
3) The first time using a sketching app on the iPad to draw all the backgrounds instead of building them out of construction paper.
4) The first time to include an animated character.
5) The first time to use swipes, and lots of them, because, you know, Star Wars is on my mind.
6) The first time to have (fake) camera panning instead of cutting back and forth.

I have a lot of fun bringing these projects from just an idea in my head to a complete video. I enjoy having a chance to delight friends with a video around Christmas. And some even told me that it’s become something that they look forward to each year. I am glad this annual project is still continuing! 😀

Oh, Christmas Tree! Merry Christmas!

So, here you go. This is the Christmas video for this year.

Sure, I didn’t finish it until an hour before actual Christmas (in California, anyway), but hey, it’s done. I guess having done it two years in a row encourages me to keep the tradition going.

Enjoy! Have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Merry Christmas! Deck the Halls!

Been a while since I posted anything. But hey look, a new Christmas video!

Last year’s Christmas video was pretty well received among my friends, so I’ve decided to make another one. Enjoy!

Have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

New Video! (With New Puppets!)

And… here’s the new video! I built four new puppets for this project, so together with the old ones, there are 8 total in this video. This is a music video that I made in January to enter the Brad Paisley’s “Start A Band” green screen contest (which I didn’t win, but whatever, enjoy! :-) )

If you can’t see the embedded video, click here to see it on YouTube.

The premise of the contest was that they provided the green screen footages of Brad Paisley singing the song, and you can use the footages in your video any way you like. I was glad that I participated, because I’ve always wanted to try these things:

  1. make a music video
  2. purchase and learn to use a sewing machine
  3. build more new puppets
  4. build puppets that are humans (as opposed to “monsters” and animals)
  5. build puppets that have shoulders made out of foam and cloth them
  6. build puppets with hair made out of yarn
  7. try out new lighting set-up
  8. enter a contest
  9. overlay several different green screen shots

And somehow making this video has all those elements! Of course, that’s also because I consciously attempt to try out a new technique every time I make a new video, but so many of them at once? That hasn’t happened before. So yeah, it was definitely a good experience. And I hope you all have as much fun watching it as I have making it!

Episode 17 – Chet for President

In this episode, Bottle Monster can not decide between Barack Obama and John McCain. And that’s when he discovers another candidate – Chet.

If you can’t see the embedded video,
Click here to watch Chet for President on Youtube.
Or download Quicktime movies here:
m4v format (29MB)
mov format (10MB)

Now, why would I release a video on election day when everyone is watching news coverage of the election turn-out? Good question, I don’t intend to answer it.

Is Chet a character that I’ve recently created? The answer is no. Chet and these other characters in the Chet 2008 campaign ad are part of the Bubbleboy Films, which is another online series of puppet videos. It’s created by Paul Hokanson and is my favorite online puppet series at the moment. I’m a big fan, so thank you, Paul, for letting me use your footages. To see more of Chet and his friends, check out Bubbleboy Films. I’ll probably write more about it later.

Update: Yes, I just voted.

The background music is Eternal Hope by Kevin MacLeod, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported.

Previous episodes:
Episode 16: Insomnia
Episode 15: Godfather Nightmares
Episode 14: Tofu

To subscribe:
By email

Creative Commons License

Episode 16 – Insomnia

About damn time for me to release a new episode, eh?

In this episode, Mac and Cheese is having a hard time falling asleep. Bottle Monster suggests sheep-counting as possible remedy. And then… I think it would be more fun to watch the video and find out for yourself instead of having me tell you.

If you can’t see the embedded video,
Click here to watch Insomnia on Youtube.
Or download Quicktime movies here:
m4v format (22MB)
mov format (7MB)

I actually got the idea for this episode when I was sort of dozing off. Also, filming this one made me realized something: it’s probably a good idea to get a small TV to use as a monitor. See, with the bed scenes, I was operating one puppet on each hand. And that can get pretty awkward already… especially when Mac and Cheese was in bed and Bottle Monster was supposed to be on the side. AND I had to twist my back and neck just enough so that I could actually see the camera’s tiny LCD screen. Since I like to find the easy way out, I think I should probably get a monitor so I don’t have to look at that small screen. Heck, it’s easier than becoming a contortionist!

In case you are wondering what’s that book Bottle Monster was reading, it’s Marisa Haedike‘s What Are You Going to Be Today, Olive?

The tracks used are Earnest and Hamster March, both by Kevin MacLeod, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported.

PS. What’s a little odd is, the video and audio are slightly off in the two downloadable files. But when I uploaded the file to Youtube, it seems to be free of that problem. Weird.

Creative Commons License

Previous episodes:
Episode 15: Godfather Nightmares
Episode 14: Tofu
Epiodse 13: Tis the Season to be Charlie

To subscribe:
By email
And you can also find all the episodes on iTunes!

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