This weeks edition is with Richard Mansfield of Mansfield Dark. He’s very much a kindred soul and have a similar approach. The weirdness that his first feature film is titled ‘Wolfskin’ and my first mascot is Wolfun? Totally coincidence and awesome at the same time.
1 – Where did you get your start in Puppetry? Was there a moment where you knew puppets would consume your life?
I was very young, about 4 years old. I remember seeing some marionettes hanging up in a toyshop and I was mesmerised. They were Pelham Puppets, a British toy company that produced hand made string puppets. They were made in the UK from the late 1940’s till the early 1990’s and I collected them for years.
2 – Do you have a favorite moment in your career, or a project that you feel defines your body of work?
Around 2007 I really got into shadow puppetry having been using marionettes soley in my film making. I performed a live show of the classic German story ‘Suck-A-Thumb’, it became my one of my first silhouette films and my most successful playing at film festivals all over the world. It led to my first feature film ‘Wolfskin’ a silhouette film that took over three years to make. I’m very proud of the achievement of everyone involved. ‘Wolfskin’ is available to watch free on my website!
3 – Where do you draw character inspiration from? Do you have a set way of creating or do you allow spontaneity to take over?
I’m pretty spontaneous with my character design. I usually design everything in advance but sometimes I’ll just cut it straight out of card and go from there. Most of the time I do develop design as I need multiple puppets in different sizes.
4 – Name one tip you would give an aspiring puppet builder / performer?
Be fearless! Just make a start, watch others perform, watch films, seek out puppet building tutorials on Youtube, anything. Just develop your ideas and your own unique style will emerge.