Felt Up! takes childish puppets and puts them into adult situations. It’s like The Muppets Take Manhattan meets American Pie meets you – each segment is a reenactment of an embarrassing story told by the voice of the person who lived it.
After 14 hilarious, sometimes stomach-turning episodes, Felt Up! won a major prize at the Banff World Media Festival and is now being produced into a TV show by West Wind Productions.
Creator Simon Glassman says the web series, which started as a Grant MacEwan University motion image class project in 2009, is like an extension of his illustration work. “The puppets are like a 3-D version of a caricature,” says Glassman, who can be found on sidewalks during festival season, drawing individuals with enlarged heads. “I’m taking somebody, exaggerating the visuals and creating something that’s mostly factual with the stories.”
Glassman directs each episode, but also makes cameos as himself in puppet form, jumping in to press the narrators for cringe-inducing details. But no details are too gross for his friends, who pitch in with camera work and puppeteer skills.
“Performing a puppet is honestly like playing Guitar Hero,” says Glassman, also a music video director, “because there are certain notes that you have to hit when you’re syncing your puppet.”