Local puppeteer Jack Fields’s video for “Am I Awake?” is one of three official winners of They Might Be Giants’ latest video contest. The song is from TMBG’s new compilation Idlewild, which was released independently and is available for purchase directly through the band at www.merchdirect.com/TheyMightBeGiants.
“Startling, original, repulsive in the most beautiful way,” says comedian John Hodgeman (The Daily Show with John Stewart). “It engages with the lyrics without being an on-the-nose dream sequence. And the physics of puppet dismemberment are as accurate as I recall from puppet medical school.”
Since the video was posted by the band on their Youtube channel, it’s had over 15,000 views.
Jack is a staff member of Ibex Puppetry, he cavorted with the musically-talented space aliens of Big Nazo Intergalactic Creature Band when they invaded Orlando in 2012, and he’s also close friends with Godrick, the friendly red-faced space alien covered in black fur who has been spotted around town.
The “Am I Awake” video is featured on ParticleMan, TMBG’s official Youtube channel, and it can be viewed at http://bit.ly/amiawake.
Jack Fields: Writer, Director, Fabricator, Compositor, Roto, Performer
Hannah Miller: Co Writer, Fabricator, Assistant Director, Lead Performer
John Regan: Director of Photography
April Tennyson, Dan Ballard and Rachel Wayne: Fabricator, Performer
Nicole: The video you created has been honored by They Might Be Giants. How do you feel?
Jack: I’m quite happy, but it isn’t an emotional high. It’s part relief, and part resolve. I look at this as a smaller victory in a lifelong struggle to show my videos to the world and change the language of popular culture. I’m honored that the judge who selected my video is John Hodgman, a man who I consider to be one of our country’s most valuable humorists. He is a master of the deadpan, and his persona is that of a master academic/reclusive mad millionaire. If I were given the choice of having Barack Obama, John Lasseter (chief creative officer at Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios), or John Hodgman see my video, I would choose Hodgman.
Nicole: In the video, Tuesday (the lowly office worker puppet) is mistreated by a hungry typewriter, yet the typewriter seems to maim him affectionately. Can you explain the nature of the beast?
Jack: The typewriter is a creature born of the worker’s desire for a life outside of his prescribed role, for affection and love. It is born without knowing what life is; that there can be such a thing as death. Like a child, it lashes out when it is confronted with things it finds unpleasant. It is unaware of the consequences of its actions. What happens to the typewriter after the video ends? I’d like to know what it looks like inside that cup after a thousand years.
Nicole: Tell us about your future projects.
Jack: I’m writing the script for a film about the life of Albert Einstein’s brain after he dies. It’s an exploration of the tension between leading a private and public life and the unintended effects of sharing yourself with the world. I’ve received a United Arts grant for the project, and I plan on seeking additional funds through crowd funding. I’d also like to create the first TED talk delivered by a puppet, a web series, and a show about Tuesday (the office worker in the video) where he gives birth.