We are thrilled to have been involved in a new advertising campaign for the ABC's streaming platform iview. The ABC iView campaign was released in May 2021 and includes commercials on TV, digital media, GIFs and outdoor advertising.
The campaign, called “don’t be surprised if you’re surprised”, features four puppet characters: Arj, Linh, Gloria and Vinnie. They were design in-house by ABC Made and created by Kay Yasugi (Digital Seagull), with the assistance of Katherine Hannaford.
Kay was interviewed about the project on the Puppet Place News blog (UK) - check it out to read about the process of making and operating the puppets. The article also covers challenges that the Australian puppetry community have faced in 2020 and how we are overcoming them.
In March 2014, puppeteer Kay Yasugi got on the puppet band wagon to film a music video for the Aussie folk duo Busby Marou to release their new song “A Second Mistake”. The film was directed by Renny Wijeyamohan (Open Door Films) and in case you may be feeling a little déjà vu, the puppets in the video are the very same ones that Kay made for a little Aussie doco about the Herpes virus on “Dating the H*Bomb” in 2012. They were revamped (and re-wigged) for a big adventure involving lots of different film locations (which roughly translates as Kay operating the puppets while lying in the middle of a field, a saloon and even perched near a cliff). A highlight was staging a rather amusing puppet brawl with another (live actor) cowboy (who actually happened to be really nice off screen). That, and Michael (the green puppet who stars in the video as “Woody”) getting to show off the fruits of his puppet gym workouts (which he was pretty pleased about).
The film was also nominated for an ARIA Music Award for Best Video in 2014.
Here is a post about the video (which includes an interview with Busby Marou) on Yen Magazine
In November 2013, Kay Yasugi was involved in performing at Melbourne’s La Mama theatre for an evening of experimental puppetry for adults. Artists came to present 4 short puppetry works in development. Kay worked with Tim Denton and Annie Forbes from AboutFace Productions on their show “What I Leave Behind” (and somehow she went from being an outside eye to one of the puppeteers in the piece!). Annie and Tim have gone on to perform their show at the Melbourne Fringe in October 2014.
Other artists who performed on the night included Rod Primrose, Beth McMahon and Mike Bevitt (The Indirect Object) with Gabriel Partington, Alison Richards and Debra Batton. In the words of the event's curator Nancy Black (from Black Hole Theatre), “The work was bold, rough, raw, funny and strong. The audience knew it was unfinished – and they responded with joy and excitement.”
The film was screened at Flickerfest in January 2014.
You can hear a radio interview about the film here
Sam the Koala (Photo by Kay Yasugi)
Tourism Australia has just launched their fantastic new campaign that is sure to draw young people from around the world. The commercial for “The Best Jobs in the World” competition also stars a little furry koala named Sam, which was designed and constructed by Digital Seagull puppeteer and puppet maker Kay Yasugi.
The journey to make Sam was full of unique experiences, which included having extended conversations with a taxidermist, roaming around the Melbourne Museum, spending hours at a Koala sanctuary sketching sleeping koalas and even visiting a puppy parlour. However, the journey did not end there.
Once Sam was completed, Kay travelled with the puppet to shoot part of the commercial on Kangaroo Island in South Australia. The location was the stunningly picturesque Seal Bay, where Kay operated the puppet right on the beach - which was lined with sleeping seals! The film shoot also involved visiting Pardana Wildlife Park, where the crew was surrounded by a big group of very friendly and curious kangaroos.
The commercial is presented by Ben Southall, who is the winner of Tourism Queensland's 2009 ‘Best Job in the World’ competition.
So, if you want one of the Best Jobs in the World, check out the video to learn how you could be in the running!
Note: This competition is only for people outside of Australia
For more information about the campaign, visit www.australia.com/bestjobs
If you would like more information about custom made puppets, contact Kay at email@example.com
(Photograph by Beth Taylor)
Puppeteer and puppet maker Kay Yasugi from Digital Seagull worked on a unique and unconventional film project last year that explored the Herpes virus – with puppets! She designed and constructed 3 lip sync foam puppets for the film and operated them on screen.
About the Film
If using a condom is tricky to bring up when your date gets hot and heavy, try dropping the ‘H-Bomb’ - admitting you have genital herpes. In Dating The H*Bomb, Heidi, Hector and Michael candidly share intimate stories about life with the incurable and taboo herpes virus, from the shock of diagnosis to the search for true love. Re-enacted with puppets, these everyday Australians reveal what it’s like to negotiate love, sex and human relationships in the shadow of a disease that affects one in eight Australians.
This documentary was produced by Lala Pictures, with Director Jay Court, Producer Andrew Arbuthnot and Screen Writer Wendy Hanna. The film was premiered at the Cockatoo Island Film Festival in Sydney, then aired nationally on ABC2.
"Dating the H*Bomb" was part of the Opening Shot series on ABC2, which is an initiative between Screen Australia and ABC Television. 5 Australian filmmakers under the age of 35 were selected to produce cutting edge documentaries addressing taboo issues.
For more info about Opening Shot, visit http://openingshot.abc.net.au/
For more information about LaLa pictures, please visit http://www.lalapictures.com
Also check out the Dating the H*Bomb Facebook page
Watch the Behind the Scenes video below (see more info on the Opening Shot website):
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