Music Production

Who Said That? Variety Show

We have to say that working with CJ’s Puppets is a great gig to land! REDfusion has worked with CJ’s Puppets several times before and each time we’re blown away by the energy, characters, humour, music and, of course, ventriloquism.

Our first encounter at a community event actually involved us being on the receiving end of CJ’s humour; there’s nothing like a tech problem to get the adrenaline pumping in a live performance! If sound delays in mics present when a ventriloquist is at large, we don’t even blink an eye these days, having learnt a very valuable lesson.  A note of caution though to all the budding ventriloquists out there. It would be wise to remember that mics are controlled by the person sitting at  the sound desk and revenge is a likely outcome to messing with their nerves! CJ (who is a great sport) may have learnt a lesson too but probably not!

Out of a suitcase emerged Clive, a hearing-challenged old codger, whose present exacerbated deafness was explained in a visual, hysterical gag. Understandably, Clive isn’t all that enamoured with being transported in a dark place and he isn’t slow in conveying his dissatisfaction with this arrangement.

A blue, Spanish dog! Who would have thought of such a character? Obviously, CJ! Scratch is bilingual, although CJ declares he doesn’t speak Spanish – it just defies logic! Switching between two languages and characters, whilst tunefully singing a song takes incredible skill. Not to mention the ability to not move one’s lips when the puppet persona is at the forefront!

The fortitude and good nature of an audience member were put to the test and won the day in blazing glory. CJ has has a special torture device, umm…ventroliquist prop…whereby he is able to control the strapped on lips of his hapless victim…umm…adoring fan, whilst giving voice to this short-term sidekick. Seriously, you have to see it to believe it!

We are fortunate to have a multi-skilled, versatile crew and took the opportunity to mix things up a little. Jacob emerged from creating impressive motion graphics to take position behind a camera; Glenn, our in-house, in-family tech guru, managed the sound desk; and James put on the director’s cap and also manned a camera. CJ’s musical son, Tom, joined our band of merry film-makers for the evening and did an excellent job in the role of ‘Sound Desk 2IC’.

Enjoy watching the promotional video we produced and good luck in detecting any movement in the puppet master’s lips! CJ really is just that good!!

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CJ - 3min SHOWREEL (Comedy Ventriloquist)
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CJ - (longer version) SHOWREEL (Comedy Ventriloquist)
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The Big Bandalorian

We were transported to a galaxy (not so) far, far away where with an expansive universe of genius, Toshi Clinch Productions’ Not-So-Big Band musical Mandalores performed Star Wars’ futuristic jazz. The Big Bandalorian is the second album by the Not-So-Big Band, featuring the 2021 cohort of students. These incredibly talented musicians didn’t miss a beat and their ability to produce world-class music from behind the coolest of Star Wars’ head attire defies logic. 

In 2018, Toshi created the Not-So-Big Band (NSBB), a youth music program based on an apprenticeship model, to assist music students to cross the bridge into the professional music scene. Professional musicians work alongside a set number of students, with the expectation that with just one rehearsal the NSBB performs a new 90 minute show each week at Melbourne’s renowned jazz club, The Paris Cat.

According to Toshi Clinch Productions’ website, as well as augmenting performance skills, members of the NSBB are able to work on a variety of professional skills such as improvisation, jazz arranging/composition, public speaking, band directing, marketing, finance and networking. It really is a fantastic program for aspiring musicians.

It’s taken what has felt like light years to have music videos ready to publish – the COVID dark side really put a spanner in the works – and we’re stoked with the results from this most enjoyable collaborative experience. To this Not-So-Big Band, we say, “Yoda best!”

So, sit back, crack a Corellian ale and enjoy the toe-tapping music from the Earth-bound Star Wars’ Cantina.

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The Cantina Song
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Duel of the Fates
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Acoustic Reprise Live Studio Recordings

Acoustic Reprise is an amazing trio based in the Baw Baw Shire, made up of Jon, Glenn and Jayne. This was a particularly special project, where we were recording these songs the week ahead of Jon’s Wedding, ready to be played on the day. Incredible harmonies, musicianship and allround talented musicians.

So, funny story. We take very special note of everything that ends up within the video frame, particularly the wide shots. On a project like this, just outside the wide shot, are piles of empty guitar cases, amps and recording equipment, not to mention our camera gear and lighting stands. We go to a lot of effort to keep the ‘stage’ clean and minimalistic wherever possible.

So that brings me to the funny part of the story. That row of chairs on the left of frame had instrument cases opened and left there, which we carefully moved before we started. However, between song recordings, a rouge case ended up sitting there on the chairs and went unnoticed. We won’t point fingers and tell you which of the trio it was. When we discovered this in post-production, we couldn’t handle the inconsistency and had to pull out the pixels magic wand.

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Under the Milky Way
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Wondering Where You Are
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