You may have heard me once say “I know this guy who used to work on Sesame Street!” This name drop occurred more frequently back when Ian Samuels changed his default Facebook pic to him sitting in Big Bird’s – that Big Bird’s – nest. When pics happen, you know the event is legit, and clearly Ian in a twiggy abode was no work of Photoshop.
Since his days on the Street, Ian’s moved on to work with the Jim Henson Company – and now he’s wrapping up his directorial degree from CalArts!
Ian is getting ready to shoot his “latest, greatest, craziest” short film, Caterwaul, this April in Massachusetts, and if you’re familiar with his work you won’t be surprised that it involves a puppet lobster. (Kinda like Tim Burton meets District 9 prawn…)
Starting now, Ian is raising funds for Caterwaul (which happens to also be his senior thesis – I hear that’s important.). Through Kickstarter, Ian is one-sixth of the way to having his project fully funded. Ian has already received donations from CalArts and Panavision, and if that’s not testimony enough of his talent and skill, I don’t know what to tell you: It’s an investment that promises a fulfilling return.
Most importantly, though, I like the guy. Ian and Bill go way back. Before there was Bill and Harry Potter, there was Bill and Ian. The two used to get out of class to tour grade schools and libraries performing puppet shows. With their handmade, homemade marionettes, they and their friends voiced Ian’s adaptations of classic fairy tales. I’ve only been allowed to watch one production. (Bill is extremely modest about his puppeteering voice.) It was – and I don’t throw this word around lightly – epic.
I just donated my contribution because I personally can’t wait to see Ian’s final product. Live marionette shows used to just be warm, fuzzy memories from my “When I was little” birthday parties. Seeing puppets come back into my life by way of my boyfriend’s oldest friend is just…so promising. I look at it as my own endowment to the arts as much as I look at it as helping out a friend.
Please consider supporting Ian and Caterwaul (and creativity and arts education and puppets and the New England lobstering lifestyle) by donating to the Caterwaul team’s resources and spreading the word. Visit the Kickstarter link to see learn more about the inspiration for the film and share it with a friend.