Category Archives: Lighting

Lost Episode – For Teh Lulz, Take 1

We shot For Teh Lulz three times before we had a version we thought was worth airing. Even though it was short, it was incredibly difficult to shoot. Weena’s long monologue had to be captured in a single take. That was hard not only because it’s hard to hold up a puppet for a long time, and because you can’t edit out mistakes easily, but from an acting perspective it takes a lot of careful work to build up drama in a long monologue and keep it from getting flat and boring.
Continue reading

Before and After: Snopes

There were a few videos we shot more than once. For instance, we made two versions of the Snopes Before You Send episode.

We improvised the first version, without a script. It turned out ok, but we thought it was an important enough message that we decided to do it again, with a better script and higher production values. The second time, it appeared as part of our series of “public service announcements,” which we hoped viewers would forward around to their friends and family.

What are the differences you notice in the production values between the first and second episode? Do you think the changes were effective? Make a note of particular visual elements to make your case. How do you think the changes to the script affected the message?

Whoops! – What’s In A Flame?

Sometimes when you’re out on a shoot, things are chaotic and you mess something up in a way that’s not easy to fix. Check out the outdoor and locker room scenes in the What’s In A Flame? episode. They look kinda weird, right? But in a way that makes some sense: it maybe looks like we were trying to make it look like faded tape from an old TV show.

Can you guess why they look that way? The answer is…

Continue reading

Set Changes

“Set Up! Our New Set, In Production” shows Gus, set intern Lindsay Shields, and others changing the set for the new season.

The main aim for the set change was making it so puppeteers Abby, Gus, and others could perform standing up or on higher stools. When we were sitting on low stools, our arms and necks really hurt from holding the puppets up for a long time! But there were other reasons we made the changes too.

Among the changes we made were:
adding a solid-colored backdrop
adding 3d elements (boxes and tables) to the background and foreground
changing the camera angle
changing the placement of posters behind the puppets

Why do you think we made these changes? Watching this video and other videos from the Fall 2009 season, what looks better — and what doesn’t look as good! — as the Spring 2008 season?

How does the lighting change while the Set Up! video goes on? What changes do you notice in how the lights make the set look? (Pause the video if you need to!)

Compare the Set Up! video to the Origin Stories video, or other early videos; also compare it to other videos made afterwards. We kept making small changes as the season went on.

What other changes have happened to the set and lighting over time? Why do you think those changes were made? What looks better or worse, and why?

Compare what you can see of our set to what you can see on this video about the making of The Muppet Show:

How does the size of the Media Show set compare to the Muppet Show sets you see? How do you think size affects what the directors needed to do with cameras and lighting?