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Jim Henson's Red Book

Discussion in 'Henson People' started by zns, Sep 24, 2010.

  1. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    Here's an entry that notes several things Henson did in a single weekend. I can't remember if this was the first time they included an entry with so much noted, though I wondered if there were any dates where Jim did so many things.

    http://www.henson.com/jimsredbook/2012/05/19/518-191985/

    Most of the historical information is on the Cinderella special, but it also talks a bit about PBS, inclluding some things I had never known about before, like an appearance in a special called Hip Hip Parade! and some appearances in PBS fundraisers (including some non-Sesame Street Muppets).
  2. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    Today's entry is on the baker films: http://www.henson.com/jimsredbook/2012/06/04/62-61969/

    At first I was confused by what was written - "Shoot #s (4th chef falls)". It made me wonder if that meant they shot the baker scene from the 4 segment but not the others, or if maybe they shot the fourth baker ending, which would have been odd since I assumed all of the baker scenes were shot in one day. But then I realised that mean that the baker endings must have been shot on the fourth of june.

    It's also interesting, all these years us fans had referred to him as a baker, and pretty much all official books and such refer to him as the baker... But Jim Henson's notes (in both the red book entry and the storyboard) refer to him as a "chef". Yeah, they're the same thing, but still an interesting observation.

    Here's an entry from a few days ago regarding Big Bird in China: http://www.henson.com/jimsredbook/2012/05/29/5291983/

    What I find weird is that it says Frank Oz went along on the trip to China. Why would he have been needed? None of his characters appear in the china scenes, Big Bird and Barkley didn't need right-hand performers (and if they did they'd probably have a newer/less-experienced performer do the job), I don't think Oscar or Telly moved their right hands in their scene in China. Odd. It also points out that an Ernie and Bert segment was shot. I wonder if they're referring to the opening song (which I wouldn't call an "Ernie and Bert" segment, since it's an ensemble piece) or if they shot something for the show.

    And they never once mentioned Brian Meehl in that article.
  3. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    Here's an article about the Twiggy episode of The Muppet Show: http://www.henson.com/jimsredbook/2012/11/09/1191976/

    It include some interesting rough sketches of Lubbock Lou and His Jughuggers, some of whom are labled with different names than what we know them as (Slim Wilson is labled "Jed", which according to one of the Muppet Central guides is what he was called in the scripts, Lubbock Lou is referred to as "Slim", and Bubba is referred to as "Willy").

    Too bad it didn't show design sketches for the Goggalalla Jubilee Jugband, not just because it might have clued us in as to what their names are but also because that's the jugband that appears in that episode.
  4. Hubert

    Hubert Well-Known Member

    Very interesting, thanks for mentioning that.
  5. FrackleFan2012

    FrackleFan2012 Well-Known Member

  6. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    Well, I got the Imagination Illustrated book for Christmas. Is there a thread for that on the forum? I did a google search (which is usually more affective than the forums search engine) and couldn't find a thread. Not sure which folder a thread for the book would be in (Henson people? Muppet merchandise? Family worlds?).

    It looks like most of the content is stuff that's already been covered, though there are a few things I don't remember seeing on the red book (like a sketch of an inbuilt Sesame Street character, who would have been Snuffy's brother). I'd have to check the relevant red book articles but I think most of the text might be copied from the blogs articles. So far the website hasn't had any info on Follow That Bird, and this book lacks info on that movie as well (aside from mention in a timeline section at the end I the book).

    But it's still a great book. I like how most of the images are numbered and like the information provided by each number. I also like the end of the book, which discusses Jim's work from 1989-1990 (technically it ends in 1991, as Dinosaurs is acknowledged).

    Of course, by now the blog has covered so much of Henson's career that repetition should be expected (still a shame there's no info on Follow That Bird... I'd like to think that he woul have at least noted the dates of when he performed Kermit and the airplane sequence).

    I have a few more things to say, but I'll wait and see if I can find a thread about the book.
  7. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    Here's a recent post which actually explains how Jim was able to purchase the distribution rights to his work with ITV as well as why he didn't work with that company after The Dark Crystal: http://www.henson.com/jimsredbook/2013/01/17/1171982/

    I had read on the site a few years ago that Jim purchased the rights to The Dark Crystal around the time that it was released, but am surprised that the rights to The Muppet Show and movies didn't transfer at the same time (he got those rights in 1984). I wondered if the fact that The Muppets Take Manhattan was released by Tri-Star instead of ITV was either because of the box office failure of DC or because Tri-Star (a bigger company) offered more money. I guess it's really neither.

    Also interesting how the head of the company was happy to let Jim have the rights to the film, but also gave tough negotiations. I guess any business would be tough in negotiating away the rights to projects they don't really want.
  8. zns

    zns Active Member

  9. MrBloogarFoobly

    MrBloogarFoobly Well-Known Member

    Interesting. They don't look much alike.
  10. zns

    zns Active Member

  11. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    Today's article actually concerns something that happened AFTER the Red Book was finished: Info on Secrets of the Muppets - http://www.henson.com/jimsredbook/2013/04/19/4191989/

    I wonder if the site will provide any info on other post-1988 projects Jim Henson did, like his last day on the Sesame Street set or the Walt Disney World attractions he was involved with.
  12. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    The red book has had two entries in a row regarding Raquel Welch, one regarding her appearance on Saturday Night Live (though it's more about Jim's experience writing the segment) and the other regarding her Muppet Show appearance.

    And you know, I had a feeling info on that SNL appearance would be featured soon. I was reading Imagination Illustration recently and saw that date listed and new the date was coming soon.
  13. zns

    zns Active Member

    HeyButtahfly likes this.
  14. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    Here's some info on a project I hadn't heard about until it was mentioned on the Red Book a few days ago (and I started a Muppet Wiki page for it afterwards): http://www.henson.com/jimsredbook/2013/06/21/620-211984/

    Jim Henson wanted to do a video collection called "Pet Home Video", writing detailed notes on a dog-themed video. Reading the info, I can't tell if he planned on multiple videos on the same animal or if each species would get one video each. It also doesn't say if it would have had all-original characters or familiar Muppets like Rowlf, Sprocket, and Barkley. In fact reading it I wouldn't be surprised if it just had real animals. It said that these would be 12-minutes long, and reasonably priced (I wonder if Doozer Music was so short to be reasonably priced, though that was released at a time when there weren't many Doozer songs yet). Later releases like the Play-Along Videos were a full 90 minutes.

    It's also interesting to know that at least six of the Muppet video compilations were taped in 1984. I've read that four of them have 1984 copyrights in the credits while all of them have 1985 copyrights on the packaging, but the red book notes two weekends in 1984 when three of the video wrap-arounds were taped (this one says "VTR 3 Muppet Home Video Wraparounds", another one says "VTR next three Muppet home video wraps"). And there is an entry from 1985 that noted three more wrap-arounds being shot (so I guess there's one recording date left not noted yet).

    And I really hope they show info on Follow That Bird soon. I had read that it was shot during summer 1985, and in the three years this has been online there's been no Follow That Bird stuff in there. Surely Jim would have noted days he was on the set.
  15. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    Is it just me, or has the Red Book been repeating articles/things that have been noted on the site? Lately it seems like it brings back one-line dates that had been noted in the past, sometimes with an article when it didn't have one the first time, sometimes with more information. In fact a few times I went to Muppet Wiki to add the link to the appropriate pages, and it seems it was already noted (and I've checked the history and saw that the link had already been there). The Red Book has years of daily entries (I think the correct number is 24 years), and yet the website is seemingly already repeating stuff, after only being around for four years?

    And I think the only major production not yet represented on the site is Follow That Bird (and a few Sesame Street specials). It's sad that this hasn't been noted on the website, and Imagination Illustrated only mentioned it in the timeline section. I don't think it's even mentioned in Jim Henson: The Biography.... I glanced through the index in the store and didn't see that movie listed. I would have thought Jim would have noted down some things about the movie.... "Meet with Ken Kwapis regarding SST Movie" (there was an interview with Kwapis where he said that he met with Jim before being hired to direct), no "perform Kermit in SST movie", no "SST Movie - airplane scene"? The website even has info on a project made after Jim ended the book (The Secrets of the Muppets, which was taped in 1989).
  16. dwayne1115

    dwayne1115 Well-Known Member

    That's interesting, and I don't understand that either. It may have something to do with Warner Brothers owning the rights to the movie. I don't see why that would be an issue though seeing as how they now are partnered with SW to distribute there videos.
  17. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member


    I don't think that would be a problem. After all, Warner Brothers owns The Witches and the Red Book has had a number of articles relating to that.

    And besides, this website has info on a lot of Henson projects and guest appearances that are owned by various companies. I think the Red Book would have just as much of a right to post that info as various websites (and books) about television and movies (internet movie database, TV tropes, wikipedia, etc.) do, though I could be wrong.

    And the website does have a lot of entries and photos of the Muppets and Sesame Street Muppets, though I don't know if they needed permission from Disney or Sesame Workshop before including them on the site.

    And even if Warner Bros. won't allow entries on Follow That Bird, couldn't they at least show some of Jim's one-line entries from days he worked on the film, even if there's no historical information (though I don't think that would be a problem) or pictures?
  18. dwayne1115

    dwayne1115 Well-Known Member

    Well I don't know it almost seems to me that there was some behind the secerns things shot, but never released. Like they have wanted to keep the production notes, stories and things under wraps for whatever reason.
  19. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member


    Caroll Spinney shot home movie footage for Follow That Bird, as well as many other things he worked on, and I assumed he never had any intention on getting it released (at least it'll be shown in the I Am Big Bird documentary).
  20. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    Recently I've pointed out that it seems the Red Book site repeats entries that have already been on the site, but now I'm also sort of noticing that they don't add new posts every day now. I wonder what's going on.


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