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Greg Stephens
Greg Stephens

Greg Stephens made his first puppet in around 1988. It was a dragons' head operated as a glove puppet with lots of sharp teeth...and it took about twenty years for this first creature to finally get a body!

Greg has always loved modelling and making, especially in 3D. This goes right back to when, as one of seven children in the 1960s, on rainy days his mother gave them creative projects to make on the kitchen table.

Greg Stephens

Not a great student at school, Greg's grades were insufficient to go to Art College. Instead (as many of us do!) he made a career of dull bookkeeping jobs and let his imagination flow freely in his spare time.

Greg has always loved history, fantasy props and scenery, and has made everything from authentic woollen civil war costumes, to a small medieval village (a group of life-sized houses made from cardboard flats - unfortunately the wind wasn't kind on the day of the performance!), to miniature dioramas.

Greg attended many part-time classes; life drawing, sculpting, and art foundation. these skills later proved useful when making puppets and film props! Labyrinth and The Dark Crystal inspired him, and he has always had a passion for 'fantasy.' He enjoys reading fantasy and SF books, role-playing games, historical re-enactments and writing (under the pen name of Cornelius Clifford). All have some affinity or connection to puppetry and prop making. Greg finally escaped from the office in his fifties and moved to Cornwall where he and his wife Sarah opened an art/gift gallery to sell their art and designs. His interest in puppets then really blossomed.

Greg Stephens
Greg Stephens

Inevitably, Greg's main puppetry interest was in fantasy subjects: dragons, goblins, faries and witches.

What followed was a period of about five years of frenzied puppet making, resulting in a cast of around fifty puppets. Most of these are operated as glove/rod puppets, and much like the Muppets in scale and technique.

Greg and his family eventually moved back to Frome in Somerset. Here, he built a studio in the garden and started to make and collect fantasy props there. A few performances at children's events soon showed that he was not suited to public performance.

Performing in public proved a very challenging experience. Being a shy and introverted kind of person, he was not comfortable being in the limelight. He would forget his lines, make daft mistakes and so on. Hiding behind a puppet worked best for him!

Learning how to make puppets, props, scenery and sets was enough of a challenge, but how to turn them into films? Greg knew nothing about cameras, lighting, sound, editing and the rest. Over the next few years, he worked with a number of film makers and other puppeteers to fill this void.

Greg Stephens
Greg Stephens

People were really kind, offering to help for free, showing him filming techniques and methods. They were beginning to make some progress but there was one key element missing: scripts! They started Monstrous TV a few years ago and made some amateurish little films, mostly coming from a Black Adder or Monty Python kind of humour. Greg says that their more natural place to be was always going to be children's television, but they've not had a 'big break' yet and in many ways are just beginning the journey. They love making their little films and posting them online and are learning all the time, so that's enough in itself.

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