They're like actors — if only actors were attached to sticks and strings and required five people to control their movements.
Puppets seen in the "Handmade Puppet Dreams Highlights," a series at the 2011 Newport Beach Film Festival in partnership with Florida-based IBEX Puppetry, can be scary, funny, heart-wrenching and nearly human.
"There is something really magical when you get that right combination of four or five people breathing and moving together," said Sam Hale, "Handmade Puppet Dreams" director and producer. "There is something almost uncanny about it."
The puppet short-film series includes Hale's "Yamasong," a surrealistic adventure story that combines puppets and green screen technology. It is the winner of Best Animated Film and Best Animated Fantasy Short at the Dragon*Con Independent Film Festival 2010.
The nine-film series also includes the world premiere of David Michael Friend's "Moonfishing" and a sneak preview of Kevin McTurk's "Narrative of Victor Karloch," Hale said.