German master-puppeteer and designer, Hansjürgen Fettig, witnessed the development of German Puppet Theatre since 1947. His experimentation, with all it's successes and failures and his adaptation of the designs and techniques of the other puppeteers of his day, created the basis of many outstanding books, including his 'Rod and Table-Top Puppets', which was last published by Ray Da Silva (UK) in 1997. This short film tries to explore a little of his work through one single meeting, recorded by Gary Friedman in Charleville-Mezieres, France in 1992.
Note from Ray Da Silva (UK Publisher of Fettig Book):
"Thank you Gary, Great! I admit that I did feel a bit hesitant when I first saw the trailer but now I’m pleased that you have given Fettig’s work a good airing which is what it needs. I’m also pleased that there are more technical examples in the book not in the film and also several bits in the film that don’t appear in the book so they complement each other well. I am not into making videos, but I do appreciate how you managed to knit together the drawings with the demos. Well done!"
Gary Friedman is a puppeteer, animator and film-maker, who initially developed international adult-education puppetry and film projects based on HIV- AIDS, Democracy, Corruption, Abuse and Prisons work starting in the eighties.
Brought up in Apartheid South Africa, Friedman unleashed his puppets on the streets in Cape Town, to take on the regime’s harsh suppression in 1980. ‘Puns en Doedie’ (Puppets Against Apartheid) used satire to reflect the news and views of the people on the streets.
In 2001, Friedman took up residency in Australia and became an international Puppetry-in-Education consultant, while at the same time producing documentary and stop-motion animation films. Today he teaches puppetry and stop-motion animation at schools and universities around the world and in-between, creates short stop-motion films in his studio in Melbourne.
As a recent convert to Stop-Motion, after working for fifty years in the world of puppetry, Friedman discovered the links between the two arts fascinating and extraordinary. The vital roles of breath and performing without human language, as well as using humour to tackle socio-political issues have always been the signature elements of his work.