CLUTCH vol.3: We felt it, so we filmed it.

About three weeks ago, Lyndel and I faced our largest project so far... a short FILM!

Pat-pat's felted eye balls

We were a bit shaken up in the beginning because we didn't really know where to start. Ideas were thrown and dissected. Every storm that hit our brains bounced and rolled onto to the table onto our pens and papers. Somewhere in there the idea of a puppet came out, as well as characters with two-syllable nicknames and the smell of 'pried pish.'

Nothing was established really, only the fact that perhaps we wanted to express a satirical take on Filipino culture.

With that in mind for the next few days and an idea pitched to Vince, it turned out that April knew a puppet lady and she had connections to hook us up with a workshop. Lyndel and I jumped on the opportunity to receive a workshop with her. The next thing we know its Saturday, Halloween eve day and we're doing a felting workshop with Jenny Kuri.

A big mess of felt, fabric and etc

The table was filled with a myriad of some beautifully-made puppets that she brought with her, some fabric, felt, yarn and all sorts of other felting paraphernalia. She showed us wet felting (warm water, dish soap, dip felt and rubbing palms together to shape) and dry felting (poke, poke, poke with felting needle), which turned out to be quite simple. She assisted us with making the eye balls, and for the majority of the day, Lyndel and I poked away to build lush pair Filipina lips.

With some hours of felting experience and a little bit of wool knowledge, we ventured to the Romni Wools store the Monday that followed, which was felting heaven I should say. Prior to that we also rummaged through years of hoarding and managed to find almost all that we needed. We even did some last-minute scavenging around Queen Street.

The rest of the week was dedicated to the' puppetly' birth of a felt Filipina girl named Pat-Pat with guts of cut-up denim, other scrap fabric, teddy bear stuffing and a Kapisanan pillow. She has now come alive and already experienced her first film shooting last last Saturday.

We never thought the day would come or maybe we were fearing for the day to come. We arrived and frantically put together some last-minute touches on the puppet.

We also put together our own costumes--stuffed chest here, stuffed stomach there, a drawn mole here, a blonde wig there, and tacky patterns everywhere.

As we did all this, Vince and Ian set up the green screen. (We had a green screen!) The purpose of it? You'll just have to watch the film. Lets just say it involves Lyndel's beautiful illustrations.

Did I mention that Marc Alonzo was also part of our cast? He was Tito Eboy. Anyway, as our filming session went on, the makers of the Muppets and the Sesame Street got more and more respect from us.

Watch out for our film and if you happen to pass by Kapisanan anytime soon, you'll get to meet Pat-Pat. She might just be on the couch waiting for you.

- MC