Chicken and Chips- produced by Peripheral Visions International.
Trip to Kampala, Uganda to shoot the Host Character- “Kiki Love”
October 28-November 04, 2017
In Oct of 2017 I left my puppet studio in Brooklyn and hopped a plane to bring the art of TV puppetry to Uganda. I was going to Kampala, Uganda to puppeteer on the show Chicken and Chips produced by Peripheral Visions International. The host of the show is Kiki Love, and she is a puppet!
As our host Kiki Love would say “Chicken and Chips” is a variety show featuring music, news, comedy, entertainment and much more. The show focuses on social issues important to daily life in Uganda. It also has puppets!
Joining me on this adventure was fellow puppeteer and writer David Feldman.
Kiki Love is voiced by Ugandan…..
But it takes both David me to bring her to life as a puppet character.
David and I are New York Puppeteers that have worked in children’s television for many years. We each have we puppeteered characters on the International Children’s television show LazyTown.
Earlier this year in June we flew to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania to shoot segments for “Chicken and Chips” called Katwe Corner. During that shoot we were also joined by puppeteer Lisa Buckley. The segments we shot were called “Katwe Corner” and the three of us have been performing the puppets of Katwe Corner for years, but this was our first time shooting in Tanzania. Previously we shot at the Peripheral Visions International office in Bushwick, Brooklyn. The shoot went well and more can be read about it here.
Months have passed and now it was time to shoot the host character for the second season of “Chicken and Chips.” For season one Last we shot the host character in Brooklyn against nondescript backgrounds, but it seemed very important to get the host out and about in Uganda. So our producer Gosia emailed me and David inviting us to come to Kampala to capture the puppet character out on the streets and talking to real people in Uganda.
We were both excited but before we got on the plane David and I were busy preparing for the shoot.
David was engrossed in writing the scripts and I was focusing on improving the puppet of “Kiki Love” and building Puppeteer Rolly Carts that we would rely on as a platform for us to be able to get low to the ground but still move around as we performed.
I have a puppet shop in Brooklyn New York where Kiki was created a year ago for her debut as the Presenter for Chicken and Chips. It took a month of puppet building to go from design to a finished puppet. But I’ve also taken some time in the last few weeks to make some adjustments and improvements on the character. Every good puppet character is one that evolves and is refined and improved over time.
Last year we shot Kiki against urban background in Brooklyn, but everyone agreed it was time to have Kiki interacting with the people and places of Kampala, Uganda. So That meant David and I had to bring our skills to Uganda.
In my luggage I was bringing the puppet of Kiki Love and some of her props and costume pieces as well as two new puppet rolly carts and tucked into David’s backpack was his laptop with all of the scripts.
We changed planes in Dubai and after a nice flyover of the Burg Khalifa were on our way to Kampala.
Day 01 of Shooting.
We stayed at the Office and compound of Peripheral Visions International in Kampala.
Our first day was spent mainly preparing the puppets and scripts for the week’s shoot. David continued to work on the scripts and ensure they would be appropriate for a Ugandan audience while I worked on the puppets and props.
The producer and Director of the shoot is Gosia Lukomska who has been creating videos for Peripheral Visions International for over four years. She has become quite expert at producing films that involve puppets and she doesn’t hesitate to get involved with not only the creative choices of costume, props and puppet ideas, but she also jumps in and helps me with puppet rigging and making the puppets look nice for each shot.
As we’ll see later David and I even coaxed her into helping us puppeteer on some of the shots.
Early in the day Gosia and I went over the costume choices for Kiki. The puppet was made in