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 Post subject: Re: David Crofts, March 2013
PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 12:56 pm 
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Posts: 120
Hi Sonia, thank you so much, and thank you for these questions - pleased you are enjoying my interview, with my previous answers I hope I’m not sounding too much like a politician by not answering them properly, but sometimes a question can spark off other thoughts rather than a direct answer. These are good questions, glad to hear you like the clip, there are a few more clips of the ‘puppet-show’/animation part of the show on the Cartoonito website at: http://www.cartoonito.co.uk/tv-show/ballooniville

Ballooniville started off as just an animation, back in 2008. Jana and I looked into different ways of making and animating balloon puppets, stop frame, solid latex models, green screen, rods etc. We consulted with and worked with some brilliant puppeteers, led by Francis Wright with Rebecca Nagan and Sheila Clark (they have all worked on lots of different shows), plus myself and Jana every now and then when extra pairs of hands were required. We came up with a system of putting in extra twists to give the puppets flexibility of movement. We called these twists ‘scrap twists’ as each one was held closed by a little scrap of suitably coloured balloon. We also used weights as well as specially made rods, all made by hand.
As the concept developed, the live action with children learning how to balloons, the other arts and crafts, the location adventures and the music and the time-lapse were added. We have a wonderful arts and crafts lady called Sandy Thornton, (who now does some work for Mr Maker)
One of the biggest challenges was that we were filming two episodes a day for day after day after day, and keeping up with the schedule of making models and set pieces for the next days ahead. I always thought that other balloon modellers would be surprised to know how quickly that part of the show had to be filmed (hope it does not show too much). Props could occasionally be re-used but each episode covers a very different subject. The animations were made separately, again about two episodes being filmed per day. Most of that was 160’s which was a very pleasant change to the bigger stuff in the live studio. I would be making models whilst the rehearsals and filming commenced and would occasionally rush into the studio to repair a popped puppet leg etc.

11, Who is your market aimed at?

As far as day to day or week to week balloon modelling work goes: Corporate Events and Private Parties, about half half
I probably do about 50% children’s events, 25% grown-ups and 25% mixed.

12, What kind of work do you do mostly - parties? Corporate? Etc

Pretty much 50/50 corporate events and private parties.
It’s enjoyable to be working in a variety of venues and locations.
Some of the more lavish private parties can be like mini corporate events and vice versa.


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 Post subject: Re: David Crofts, March 2013
PostPosted: Sun Apr 21, 2013 10:59 pm 
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Posts: 120
14, What irritates you most at a gig?

Probably the same old chestnuts; being asked to make balloon hats for babies, parents getting pushy in lines, parents talking too loudly at the back of a room when you are doing a little show (I know Graham has ways of dealing with this), but also clients or event organisers who are nervous and think they need to over-organise and end up making the other performers nervous or edgy.
But also not being able to find anywhere to park even though I’ve left p l e n t y of time, not leaving enough time to find somewhere to park (I rarely let this happen these days but it still can in central London), getting parking tickets or forgetting to pay the congestion charge.
Also the audiences pulling too much stuff out of my bags especially if the parents are standing by and doing nothing to help me.
Also sounds systems turned up to loud at small events (or maybe I am getting old), but sometimes the sound distorts if the amp. is underpowered and it makes it hard to talk to anyone.


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 Post subject: Re: David Crofts, March 2013
PostPosted: Tue Apr 30, 2013 6:15 pm 
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15, How do you book yourself?

Word of mouth. I should really spend more time on that side of things but these days a business card and a website seem to be the main two necessary ingredients.
I have http://www.balloonanimal.co.uk and have recently set up http://www.facebook.com/ballooniville.
Also I have some very faithful and efficient agents.

16, What’s the biggest thing you’ve ever made?

The biggest single item is a 40 foot long caterpillar which I created for the company Proctor and Gamble, it was based on their brand of nappies ‘Flex’ which feature a colourful caterpillar and was set up as an installation in their headquarter’s atrium in Weybridge. The project was a collaboration with Michal Kahn and also assisted by Caroline Ainslee (Bubblz) and Christine Belcher (Twistina).


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 Post subject: Re: David Crofts, March 2013
PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2013 12:47 pm 
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Posts: 120
I might be taking longer than ever to complete this interview but I think it's best not to rush!!
Hope I'm not holding anyone else up from starting another one...
Yours David

18, What advice would you give to someone starting out, or wanting to increase their business?

Embrace the fact that balloon modelling is both an art and an entertainment and take balloons with you wherever you go

19, What road in latex do you see yourself taking in the future

Hopefully ever widening experiences. But I will feel lucky and blessed if I can just continue as I am.

20, What is your personal goal when you set off to work? Is it money or to entertain etc?

This question has much comedy potential, but in reality hopefully both. And in fact, you have to have one to have the other. We all need to be paid, but it’s no good if you leave a booking having not done your best (and to add a cliché, you’re only as good as your last job).


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 Post subject: Re: David Crofts, March 2013
PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2013 12:56 pm 
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Location: Portsmouth
I don't mind how long you take David, really interested to read your answers and find out more about you :-)

Rob

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 Post subject: Re: David Crofts, March 2013
PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2013 11:04 pm 
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Thank you Rob,
any extra questions or answers that need more detail do let me know of course.
I had a lovely booking today, outside in the big garden of a traditional English rural pub, amazingly had so few balloons popping which can be the fear with the sun shining and the children running around outside. Three bouncy castles but not making much noise at all and a very good coffee machine so very nice.
Hope y'all having an either enjoyable and/or prosperous bank holiday weekend
David


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 Post subject: Re: David Crofts, March 2013
PostPosted: Mon May 06, 2013 3:12 am 
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Location: Cambridgeshire/Norfolk Border, UK
Thanks for taking the time to answer these questions David. They give a wonderful insight into some of the work you do. I have another one for you though. We all do jobs etc that give us great satisfaction both with our work, also the clients we serve. Can you tell us a little about your most satisfying event?

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 Post subject: Re: David Crofts, March 2013
PostPosted: Thu May 23, 2013 10:37 am 
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Thank you Dan for this question and difficult question to answer because sometimes the most straightforward bookings can be highlighted by such factors as having a wonderful audience and pleasant surroundings, but looking at the bigger picture when I occasionally work abroad in different cultures those are the bookings which can be most inspiring and stick in the mind, for example the Middle East where audiences are very appreciate. Doing the same thing but in completely different surroundings gives you a fresh outlook on your own work. I’ve had bookings on boats, trains and in limos but I don’t think ever on a plane although I have made balloons on planes. I wonder who the first balloon artist will be to make a balloon model in space, (not too sure a balloon pump would work)
yours
David

21, What are your balloon goals for the future?

More time to spend on my own projects rather than the day to day or week to week ‘commercial’ work.

22, If you could start all over again, would you change anything?

I would have started with balloons earlier and younger but then maybe I would have ended up as a different sort of balloon modeller better or worse.

23, How would you like the future of balloon modelling to develop?

Balloon Modelling is a rapidly developing art form, so it is going in the right direction. It is a great time to be a balloon modeller I am sure and to watch its development and hopefully be a little part of it.
I would like to see some patterned, striped and spotty 260s.


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 Post subject: Re: David Crofts, March 2013
PostPosted: Thu May 23, 2013 11:02 am 
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Jana wrote:
I would like to see some patterned, striped and spotty 260s.



David, You need to check the internet then as these have been out for I reckon at least 6 months now :D

Thanks for doing the interview, I think you won on the longest week for the interview that we have had but thanks, always appreciated.
You know I love you.

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 Post subject: Re: David Crofts, March 2013
PostPosted: Fri May 31, 2013 9:25 am 
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Joined: Fri Mar 16, 2012 4:10 pm
Posts: 120
Hi Graham,
Well you know I would only ever get balloons from you :)
I 've really been savouring and enjoying the interview, and thank you again for letting me take part.
Only got 5 questions left now

Also looking forward to Birmingham
Working on two deliveries for Saturday, 20 table centrepieces superhero style and another one which is 4 frog hats, 2 chicken hats plus a giant frog and a giant chicken. Lucky I started it all yesterday.

24, Who's the most famous person you have made a balloon creation for?

Many from many different areas of the entertainment world; music, acting, sport, art, etc, but I’ve always prided myself in being as comfortable working in varied and opposite environments for example from palaces to adventure playgrounds, from 5 star hotels to a house down the road, for princes or for paupers.

25, How do you keep the enthusiasm going & what still excites you about our great world of latex

Because balloon modelling happens quickly in your hands and then it’s done, it doesn’t need to dry or be set like paint or clay, every time you make something new it’s exciting.
This. plus the feedback from the audience.

yours
David


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