Hi to  everyone.
 My, how time has flown by. I hope you all have  been keeping busy and puppets have been spicing your life.

We have been busy, and as  lock down insanity began to subside we managed to get back to some filming. We managed to get a feature length film along far enough, to start looking at marketing. We had a very good chat with some Hollywood producers, but their first reaction and subsequent blockage to progress was that they thought our puppets looked too muppety. They are scared of Disney. While I am honored that they thought that, I am upset that  said company has such  fear inducing power which would scare any potential newcomers from making anything. In my view, the longer one makes puppets, the more muppety they will look, because the more able you become , there are only a certain set of combinations that work on camera and a similar style emerges.
By my understanding of copyright, it does not protect style, but does  protect the characters. Does anyone here have any experience or advice as to how you get around this ? It is very annoying to be blocked by legal bogey men, when I am not even good at  copying other people's characters even if I try, and  as some of you may  have seen by videos and tutorials we have done, and the  amount of time and energy I have spent on designing the  patterns and characters we have  made.
How different does a character have to be to be considered different from a muppet character?
Thanks for any advice  anyone has.
Pagestep007
Comments
By Shawn on Jul 21, 2021, 7:28 AM
I doubt there is really anything you can do about the opinion of the Hollywood producers.  They are always going to err on the side of caution. 
 
You are correct that the copyright is on the character and not the style of puppetry. It is going to be difficult though to get any character that has any similar traits past a companies legal department. If you have a pig or frog character they are most likely going to shy away.  Even a big furry monster is going to be a hard sell. 

It might help some when you run across this with a producer to educate them some. Show them examples of hand-in-mouth puppets that predate Henson.  Give examples of other puppet companies that use hand-in-mouth puppets that are successful. For example, Alf was created by Paul Fusco not Henson yet he could have been mistaken for a Muppet. 

Also never use the word Muppet to describe your product.  They are hand-in-mouth or hand and rod puppets.  I realize you know that but wanted to put it here for others to benefit from. 
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Discussion Started Jul 18, 2021 By
pagestep0075ky
pagestep007
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