As the American soap opera dies off, the telenovela is thriving on Spanish television and now the internet! Los Titeres means The Puppets in Spanish, of course. As their theme song says, “Thank goodness they’re here,” because they are speaking to a whole new audience of puppet content starved Spanish speakers.
I’m thrilled to bring something to life that has never been attempted or seen.Below are 2 Versions (English/Spanish) of the same puppet webisode of a “Titerenovela” (n. A “telenovela” with puppets) … I don’t know… Point is, when I was growing up, it would have been a great trip if Jim Henson knew how to speak Spanish fluently… Even in the most adept Voice Overs of the characters, there is an innate sense when you watch, that the puppeteer is detached from the voice.
Matter of fact Henson made sure that all his puppeteers were the performers of the puppets. These days, things have changed. In the next Muppet Movie, one of the lead characters is voiced by a different person than puppeteers it. I prefer when the puppeteer is the actual speaker. You can tell in the nuance of the puppetry…
EL AMOR DE CONCHITA Y RONALDO ~ “The Package” ~ In English
And now our LosTiteres.TV Puppet Telenovela in Spanish! …
La telenovela Latina es uno de los formatos mas populares del mundo. Ahora, nosotros de LosTiteres.TV, le traemos algo que nunca habia existido en el pasado: Una telenovela on titeres al estilo de los Muppets, pero un poco mas adulta y picante! Este es nuestro primer webisodio en Español, y deseamos crear muchos mas!… Que disfruten las locuras de Conchita recibiendo su paquete y al anormal Ronaldo, perdido en el parqueo.
EL AMOR DE CONCHITA Y RONALDO ~ “El Paquete” ~ En Español
In any case, this is my performance and filmaking in two different languages, and I’m proud of it — even in its shittiness here and there. Look, I’m not a movie studio. When a puppet tells Señor Loro he “tap dances” in one websiode, the bird replies: “You took tap? That sucks. ‘Cause you’re a puppet. We don’t see you from the waist down. There’s no way to do that. We don’t have hi-tech stuff here. This is not, uh, you know, The Walt Disney Company or Jim Henson or whatever. This is not the Industrial Light & Magic, okay? C’mon make it simpler. Something we can use.” Now that’s not my philosophy as far as creating magic stuff happening on the show. They’re puppets, it’s not that complicated — but the joke is that, kinda like The Muppets they’re broke. Unlike The Muppets, their stuff really does look ‘broken-down’ and unpolished. For me, that’s the charm.
Los Titeres are down and out. They’re a bit ghetto-ish and that makes me laugh.
However there’s Nothing Ghetto about a multilingual production. That’s Sexy!
I’m fascinated by how each version took on its own sensibilities. Like the Spanish and English versions of Dracula that Universal made back in the 20′s. The Spanish version with a Mexican filmmaker people say was the more beautifully shot, and the American version launched the career of Bela Lugosi.
I like how they’re edgy in different ways… Another thing I love having under my control is the translation!
It’s so relieving to see something translated as I would understand it.
So many of those Almodovar films are ridiculously under-translated comedically. That’s why when an English speaking audience is watching it, there’ll be that sole Spanish speaker that’ll burst into laughter at odd moments? … That’s me… You hate me more, though, ’cause I have to then turn to my friend who doesn’t care and whisper: “That’s not what he said.”
So here I make sure the audience gets the right impression. Interestingly, the comedy shows up in different moments of the webisode in the different versions.
In summation, a very interesting and fun experiment that adds another pebble into the world that is LosTiteres.TV! I watch with fascination as the characters flesh themselves out… I do watch it… I am surprised, very often, by what they say. I half-improvised, half-wrote these ‘titerenovelas’.
At the end of the day, they make me laugh, these lunatic Latino puppets… What I love is that they’re so down-and-out, I can produce them for no budget and give myself the long-lasting kick that is YouTube and the internet.
I’m fascinated by the world of LosTiteres.TV so much, that it drives me to continue throwing webisode pebbles in that pond. And I guess that’s how you know where your creativity’s at — what drives you creatively — something which you’re compelled to flesh out because your creativity demands it. And what a thrill to be along for the ride! Señor Loro, Conchita, Ronaldo, all these characters exist in this cyberworld and I get to walk among them!
I loved watching The Muppets growing up and I wished I could’ve lived in their world with them. Be a guest star on The Muppet Show, meet all the puppets in some strange universe where they were actually real. I’ll never be thankful enough to Jim Henson for opening my eyes to a world of furry, soft, foamy creatures that I could imagine in their compete roundness… I loved that they lived in actual space and were 3 dimensional and you could touch them and hug then and have arguments with them and strangle and sock them with your fist — and it would be no biggie.
It was the drive to produce-write-direct that drove me to creating this series. I thought actors would be: 1. Unreliable without pay. 2. Hungry.
Problem solved: Puppets. I figured I knew how to puppeteer enough and edit greenscreen/bluescreen enough that I’d give it a whack… I slowly designed and created the characters … Built some, paid for other artisans to create others… Worked many hours over years to make the few webisodes that are online today.
It’s been one of the most creatively rewarding experiences of my life… And now, to know that I have the capacity of creating my own entertainment online in TWO languages — a show that serves to entertain mostly ME — and is super fun to have friends act on? … It’s really a dream come true. It makes me feel like Henson in early television, inventing new ways to make these fascinating, age old human reflection of ourselves in 3 dimensions, come to life onscreen in an almost cartoon-like way.
No matter what happens, you’ll always see LosTiteres.TV, ’cause it’s made with no money, but a huge dollop of loving, expensive creativity.
Each and every… flawed.. one.
As to coining the word “titerenovela”… Well, I’m officially coining the word “Titerenovela” for EL AMOR DE CONCHITA Y RONALDO.
If Sarah Palin can make shitty words up and end up in the dictionary, I can too.