About Us

Music Video: Feist - Honey, Honey

Check out The Old Trouts work on Feist's Juno Award Winning music video Honey, Honey.

  • Production Co: Revolver Film Company

  • Director, Editor: Anthony Seck

  • Creative Director: The Old Trout Puppet Workshop

  • Producer: Jannie McInnes

  • DoP: Brendan Steacy

  • Production Manager: Cimmeron Meyer

  • Puppeteers: Judd Palmer, Pityu Kendres, Peter Balkwill

  • Commissioner: Feist

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Short Film: The Miserable End of Don Alonso

Here's a short film we made with Silent Clown Productions for Bravo!Fact back in 2006 or so... can't quite remember when it was, truth be told. We had some notion to do a series of short films with musicians, and each film would be a puppet death scene, because (by fluke) we'd made other shorts with puppets dying in them. We imagined doing a whole collection of them, but this is as far as we got... someday we'll have enough short films to make a dvd-full, if they still have dvd's in the future.

The credits:

  • Director, editor, and sound designer: Dev Singh
  • Score written by Friendly Rich and performed by the Lollipop People:
    Gregory Oh, Jeff Burke, Julian Hambleton, Kimberly Pritchard, Kristen Theriault, Nichol S. Robertson, Sly Juhas, Scott Thomson with Friendly Rich as the voice of Don Alonso and Kristin Mueller-Headslip as the voice of Doña Ana
  • Script, puppets, design, and set by the Old Trout Puppet Workshop
  • Lights by Cimmeron Meyer
  • Camera & Dolly Op: Mercedes Bátiz-Benét
  • Producer: Silent Clown Productions
  • Puppeteers: Pete Balkill, Mitch Craib, Pityu Kenderes & Judd Palmer
    and James Davidge, Pityu Kenderes, & Pete Stinson as the band
  • Additional production by Werner Kasten & Mitch Craib
  • Recorded by Greg Dawson at Dive Studios, Brampton
  • Produced with the generous support of The Canada Council for the Arts, Bravo!Fact, and the Ontario Arts Council
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Short Film: The Execution of Margot Rumebe

This here is a short film we made with Simon Dekker and One Yellow Rabbit's Michael Green. It's an excerpt from Michael's play Zertrummerung, inspired by the Grand Guignol theatre in mid-century France. It's a true-ish story about a woman convicted of murdering her two husbands (!) in an asylum, and early experiments with the use of the electric chair.

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Sculpture: Rock, Clock 'n' Whistle

Extract from an article at DiscoverCalgary.com

Roc, Clcok 'n' Whistle

"The Rock, Clock 'n' Whistle, created by the Old Trout Puppet Workshop, is much more than the sum of its many gyrating, whirling and noisy parts. Part whimsical puppet machine, part astute social commentary, part tribute to the resourcefulness of our farming heritage, this exuberant 40-foot sculpture was recently installed outside the Big Rock Brewery in Calgary's southeast . . . The sculpture is made of scavenged antique farm machinery found throughout Alberta and hand-made puppet creatures like chickens and a fish. It took shape on the southern Alberta ranch of Trout collaborator Judd Palmer's uncle."

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Books: Preposterous Fables for Unusual Children by Judd Palmer

Prepostorous Fables

Twice shortlisted for the Governor-General's Award for Children's Literature, the Preposterous Fables series is a cult favourite amongst children and adults alike. Each book is a poetic, philosophical and preposterous take on a familiar fairy tale, twisted to suit the nefarious purposes of author and illustrator Judd Palmer. Two of the stories have been produced as touring puppet shows.

Watch for The Tooth Fairy by the Old Trout Puppet Workshop and David Rhymer, which is currently touring -- or perhaps The Maestro by Dandi Productions, which might be playing at a symphony orchestra near you.

Book Synopsis Below


Tooth Fairy

THE TOOTH FAIRY

Around the world, children's teeth fall out. They tuck them expectantly under their pillows, and go to sleep. And in the dream-haunted night, a creeping creature from another world makes an exchange filled with dread significance: innocence traded for grubby lucre. And Mum and Dad grin in the morning, as if something deeply strange had not occurred in the glooming dark.

It is time for the truth to be told. Witness this tale of Abigail, the Girl With Perfect Teeth. Cheer her crusade to save the world from the Tooth Fairy, and thereby preserve for eternity the innocent happiness of childhood. No more shall our golden days be bought from us!

Visit Chapters/Indigo to purchase this book or the series.

The Maestro

THE MAESTRO

Shortlisted for the Governor-General's Award for Children's Literature

The tale of young Hannah, who loves above all else to sing. What worse curse could have been visited upon her than this: she has been sent to live with her aunt and uncle in a sorrowful town where music itself is banned from its grim and cobbled streets. What woe has befallen this town? Why are there no children? Why are there no rats?

Hannah will discover the answers to these dread questions in the wilderness wastes, under a mountain. There she discovers a secret orchestra, held captive by an ancient conductor, who remembers his glorious youth – when no-one could resist the beauty he could make with his flute. Could our Hannah be the bridge between two ancient enemies? Might the ghosts of the rats come to her aid? And, most importantly, will she sing once again?

Visit Chapters/Indigo to purchase this book or the series.

The Wolf King

THE WOLF KING

Shortlisted for the Governor-General's Award for Children's Literature

The story of the Boy Who Cried Wolf, the way we've heard it, is not quite the way it happened. There were mysterious forces at work that awful night, involving the captain of the guard, a certain girl, and the Boy himself. The Boy disappeared into the forest, where everybody knew he was surely eaten by wolves.

Years later, we return to that sorrowful village. It is still beleaguered by the wolfpacks of the Black Forest, and defended by the vigilant eyes of the guards on the wall. Our hero is lonely Alfred, a boy whose birth is somehow entangled in the events of that night; they have hard consequences for poor young Alfred, whose father is missing and he does not know why. All he knows is that he loves Martina, and that Martina could only love a soldier of the Wall who has proved himself with rifle and sword against the eternal enemies of the village. One day in the forest, however, he discovers an awful army of wolves is gathering, led by the strange and marvellous man who calls himself the Wolf King. The final battle between human and beast is brewing, and Alfred finds himself at the centre of the coming storm. Whether he can save the village from the wolves, or save himself from the temptations of the forest, depends on the secret identity of the Wolf King, and the events that transpired so long ago.

Visit Chapters/Indigo to purchase this book or the series.

The Sorcerer's Last Words

THE SORCERER'S LAST WORDS

In the aftermath of the notorious event of the enchanted broom, the Sorcerer's Apprentice learns his lesson indeed: "Seek Truth, not Power," is the Sorcerer's dictum. Peace returns to the castle's long days, but as obedient Humboldt grows older, a madness grows in his master. The sorcerer has discovered strange secrets in the depths of the library. Humboldt's dreams, too, are haunted by the broom, and the gods of wood, water and straw whisper through the halls at night.

One fateful day, they have a visitor: a king has come to demand the alchemical services of the Sorcerer. When the king is denied he responds without mercy, and the Sorcerer's gentle philosophy perishes with him in the flames. Humboldt finds himself cast into the world alone, with nothing but his master's book of spells, and a newly unshackled desire for forbidden power.

An unleashed Humboldt is a terrible thing to behold. He learns the secrets of the book and uses it to avenge his master's murder, and he does not stop there: he usurps the throne itself. But he cannot escape the broom, which clatters in the night as Humboldt grows more and more tyrannical. The kingdom is aflame with bonfires of house-cleaning implements, and the days grow darker, until the Broom is finally victorious, flooding the imperial castle and sweeping Humboldt into the depths of the sea for his final encounter with the Nether God. But is the Sorcerer really as dead as he appears?

Visit Chapters/Indigo to purchase this book or the series.

The Giant Killer

THE GIANT KILLER

After his prodigious success with the Giant of the Beanstalk, and then subsequent victories over the assorted ogres Cormoran of St. Michael's Mount, Old Blunderbore (and his brother), Ods Splutter Hur Nails (late of Wales), and so on, Jack the Giant-Killer has almost rid the world of the colossal kind. But disturbing news comes from the far North: a final Giant has unfrozen from the Ice Age, and is wreaking havoc amongst the Inuit. But now Jack is old, made decrepit by the excesses of his fame. Nevertheless, he leaps astride his Golden Hen and goes North in search of the last Giant.

Visit Chapters/Indigo to purchase this book or the series.

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Music: The Agnostic Mountain Gospel Choir

Agnostic Mountain Gospel Choir

Rare is the band that can captivate both punk rock kids and folk music fans. Rare still is a band that can do this by playing a ferocious combination of traditional blues, Appalachian folk, and ragged gospel. But The Agnostic Mountain Gospel Choir does just that.

Formed from the ashes of several wildly divergent Calgary bands, the Agnostics began creating their strange brew just three years ago. Featuring Judd Palmer on vocals, banjo, and harmonica and Vladimir Sobolewski on stand-up bass (both of whom were members of the now defunct Great Uncle Bull), guitarist/vocalist Bob Keelaghan (formerly of the Puritans), and drummer Peter Balkwill, the group claims they were "founded in an effort to forge a kind of gospel for the unbeliever." To judge by their performances, they have succeeded and then some.

Check out their own site here: Agnostic Mountain Gospel Choir

Check out a couple of videos right here

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Pityu's Paintings

Pityu in the studio

Pityu has been obsessed recently with a painting project: he scours garage sales, junk stores, and garbage bins for old photographs, and then re-creates them in paint. He's lured by the haunting gaze peculiar to the pre-point-and-click era, when photographic subjects had to wait, frozen, while the camera worked. Since photographs were rare and wondrous, people were more acutely aware that they stared, not simply into a lens, but into the unimagined future. And yet here's their posterity, for 25 cents, in a cardboard box in someone's garage. Pityu retrieves those forgotten souls in paint.

 

Pityu's Painting 1

Pityu's Painting 2

Oddities

"…original…hilarious…breathtaking inventiveness…"
The Georgia Straight

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