Superhero Shorts: Wolverine the Musical
Welcome to another edition of Superhero Shorts, where I feature a superhero themed short film and ask a few words of the filmmaker. This time around I’m talking with Vincent Bova, who along with his partner in felt Damien Eckhardt-Jacobi who created Wolverine: The Musical… with puppets. As always, you can view the short below or you can check it out on their site Glove and Boots or their YouTube channel where they have a ton of fun videos featuring their usual characters Mario and Fafa the Groundhog.
First off, I have to say that I’m a sucker for puppets. I grew up with Sesame Street, the Muppets, Fraggle Rock. I still enjoy Jim Henson’s movies the Dark Crystal and Labyrinth, loved the new Muppet movie, the puppet episode of Angel was one of my favorites, I even loved Greg the Bunny and Unhappily Ever After. So it’s no surprise that I enjoyed this short right off the bat. It helps that the puppet looks fantastic, and it handled beautifully. It really is at that professional level alongside any of the other shows I mentioned. I don’t watch a ton of musicals, but I was at least vaguely familiar with all the tunes they used in this short. My favorite of the bunch musically was definitely the Cell Block Tango from Chicago, if you’re not a musical fan yourself it’s the one that starts with all the sound effects. All the humor made me laugh, especially the moments with Spider-Man and the Hulk, and the inclusion of Multiple Man was genius. I could go on and on saying nice things, but let’s hear from one of the men under the puppet, Vincent Bova.
Bubbawheat: Based on watching several of your older videos, I get the impression that this video has been a long time in the making. There’s several puppets that you’ve never used before, and some pretty nice production value with the comic book style transitions. How long did it all take?
Vincent Bova: We came up with this idea about a year ago, and kept putting it off because we wanted to do it the right way. We finally decided to put all our eggs in the Wolverine: The Musical basket when we realized the movie was coming out. All of the puppets are designed and built from scratch by Damien Eckhart-Jacobi.
BW: Which one of you is the big comic book fan? I ask because of the inclusion of Multiple Man who isn’t exactly a well known superhero. Do you hope to see him show up in a future Marvel movie?
VB: Damien is the comic book guy. He came up with the idea to include multiple man. We love him now. We’d love to see more of him, but probably not in the way Marvel would present him in a movie. (We’d love to see Multiple Man in a football movie where he plays the entire team.)
BW: Glove and Boots has been around for a long time, how did you get your start? And what brought you back after a four year break?
VB: We started doing street performances in New York City. We only did it for about 3 months, because it was awful. It’s cut-throat, exhausting, and definitely not for us. During that time I built a website to promote ourselves in the hopes of booking parties and shows. (I am terrible building websites but felt that by creating video content, people wouldn’t notice how awful the website was.) We kind of built it up from there.
In 2005 we decided to change gears, build a team of pirate puppets and bury 10 thousand dollars somewhere in NYC.
Building a full puppet web-series filled with clues is not an easy thing to do, especially on our time and dime, so we took a break from the Mario/Fafa world for a while. After we finished the pirate series we went back to Mario and Fafa and decided to start a “video blog”.
BW: That is amazing, I could never imagine doing something like that. Too bad no one ever found it, even though it did have a somewhat happy ending. (For those reading, here’s the main site, and here’s how it ended). I’ve been a fan of puppets for a long time, obviously Jim Henson is the biggest name on that front, but there are a few others like Greg the Bunny and Avenue Q. What are some of your influences?
VB: We love Jim Henson. We haven’t seen Avenue Q yet, but we really want to. Simon Pegg inspires us. So does Joss Whedon. We also love Popeye.
BW: This video seems to have become a big success, already passing 250,000 views in the first week, do you have plans for more bigger productions like this in the future?
VB: We have a lot of big ideas, but they take a lot of time to produce because we’re mainly 2-3 guys at the moment. So I guess the answer to this question is “yes, but not next week”.
BW: While you claimed to have not seen any of the big summer superhero movies, have you since seen any of them? If so, which was your favorite and/or least favorite? Do you plan on seeing/have you already seen The Wolveine?
VB: I haven’t been to the movies in a while. I think Damien has seen a couple of them.
BW: Have you ever considered doing any behind the scenes videos? Or do you prefer to keep the illusion of the puppets and never show the puppeteers?
VB: The puppets are definitely more interesting than we are. People have asked us to do some BTS videos, and we’re not necessarily opposed to it down the road. We just don’t have the resources to simultaneously produce behind the scenes stuff while trying to get out content on a weekly basis. We also don’t really have room in our production space for a second crew. We barely have room for Thor.
BW: And finally, as I ask everyone, what is your favorite superhero movie?
VB: My favorite superhero movie would probably be Tim Burton’s first Batman movie. The BEST one is Whedon’s Avengers
Nice choices, I agree that favorite and best don’t always match up. Thank you so much for talking with me, I had a great time watching way too many Glove and Boots blogs. And I urge everyone to check them out on their YouTube channel. Looking forward to more! Before I finish, I also want to mention an interesting blogathon going on called the 5 Obstructions over at My Film Views and the second obstruction for the month of July was to write a review of a film and do an interview about it, preferably with someone who was involved with the film. Here’s more information on Obstuction 2. Until next time, this has been Bubbawheat for Flights, Tights, and Movie Nights.