So what if we made the FUN music video with marionette puppets of the band?

So what if we made the FUN music video with marionette puppets of the band?
We all looked at each other across Ali and Gareth’s kitchen table before quickly deciding that sounded absolutely brilliant. Fast forward a few weeks and our team were in Prague calculating the exact number of helium balloons necessary for lifting a foot-tall marionette of Chris over the city skyline.

There’s actually a long history of marionette’s performing operas and musical numbers that dates back to the 13th century. And the Czech Republic in particular has some of the best marionettists and marionette makers in the world making them the most complex and require the most skill to manipulate. They’re always hand-carved, usually using lime wood, and have strings not only for the arms and legs but for their mouths, eyes and other smaller appendages. These allow them to be the more expressive and intricate in their movement.

We reached out to Petr from Czech Marionettes, and sent his team photos and headshots of each one of us so they could make them as similar as possible. Safe to say they did an incredible job replicating each one of us, even down to the tiny instruments!

Turns out puppets are even more difficult to work with than artists (joking! Sort of….) But despite not always cooperating even in the hands of the world’s premier marionette puppeteer, getting tangled and often falling over on set, these puppets made this music video come to life. Our director, Greg, even found himself calling out instructions to the puppets themselves during filming, asking for “a little more energy from Patrick!” or “if Gareth could move a bit forward.” And the puppeteers would have them all gather around his feet and have them look up while he would explain the next shot. To be honest, the whole experience was pretty magical.

Some scenes were harder to get than others— herding pigeons around Patrick, or not letting the horse eat Ali’s marionette, trying to make it look like Ali and Gareth were eating ice cream without actually eating it— to name a few.

But others called out the beauty and fun of what it means to be child, like when we— I mean the puppets!— finished busking on Charles Bridge and the crowd around bursting into cheers and laughing. Or handing out 300 balloons (yes, THREE HUNDRED!!) to kids walking back from school so we didn’t waste them and seeing them smile. Or even just laughing at the weird faces from security at the airport as they checked out the puppets! These moments reminded us why it’s so very important to do things that are fun and make us come alive again.

Our God is the inventor of fun. He created the duck billed platypus and rainbows. He invented tickling and laughter. He created dolphins and puppies that like to play. He created each one of us with the ability to taste ice cream and watch the Northern Lights.

Getting to play and have fun with this music video, and even writing this whole album, has reminded us of the intentionality, playfulness and generosity of our own Creator. God is what makes our lives fun and joyful and worth living! He’s always making the ordinary EXTRAORDINARY. He came to give us life and life to the full, the adventure of following Jesus may be difficult at times and require sacrifice but it’s also the most joyful and FUN person we can give our lives to!

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  • Wow – thanks for the “back story” on the puppets! I know my grand girls – especially the 3 and 6 year old, really like the video =) We watch a lot of your videos! and enjoy them all! FYI – the pandas crack them up!

    Kathleen G Roeth on
  • You’ve outdone yourselves yet again, managing to create an album that is theologically accurate, catchy for kids, and doesn’t make the parents want to pull their ears off…and may even find the whole family singing and dancing along to the brilliant, Christ-centred, positive messages.

    …and how did you manage to make marionettes that look more like Rend Collective than Rend Collective looks like Rend Collective? Astonishing!

    Christina on
  • Love the new music. Top-notch. Amazing.
    Completely disagree on two areas with you.
    The puppets are playful, however, particularly the way they are shown in the video running behind the live set at the concert, it looks pretty frightening and potentially disturbing. My 5 year old loves your music, and I was glad I didn’t take him to your show for this reason. He would have been scared. Second, the panda masks on you during the set are really unneeded to envoke “fun”, and also a potentially scary moment. Also, half man half animal figures have potentially dark meanings. Your band is better than all this! Also, rethink the masks sales to children. They look like demons running around with them on. Unless that’s what you’re going for….. But after hearing your heart for worship and the Gospel tonight, I don’t think you are intentionally perturb children, your audience, your band’s ministry, or the Gospel. The potential side effect is that you are and you will. Your ministry is much more important than to water it down or take it in any direction that needs a gimmick. Your band is good enough! This music is good enough! Christ is good enough! It doesn’t have to be something else, even if that you might personally enjoy puppets or pandas and it seems harmless, but it cast a weird aura on your show and ended an amazing night on a disturbed ending. I hope you don’t see this as a raving loony, because I don’t think I am. I truly have a heart of God for your ministry and want to hopefully guide you and help you see the forest from the trees and an audience perspective. Thank you for your time and consideration. Sincerely, a fan and a Christ follower

    Jonathan on
  • Ok, Rend, you outdid yourselves! That was the hottest venue I’ve ever been to. We just left your Grove City Concert and now we are cooling off at Sweet Jeanie’s down the road with some ice cream. You just kept playing despite the heat! Thank you for blessing us with the spirit of worship. You ended the concert by making sure we touched the heart of Jesus. I think He was glorified. You have a true ministry and I’m very thankful for your music in my home. Please come back to Pennsylvania. We will come to sing with you every time.

    Abigail on
  • Hey Rend! I just got back from a worship service for people with disabilities at my church in Regina, Canada. Had just under 200 people! We watched one of your videos tonight, and I was thinking… anyway you want to reach out to the disability community in Regina with some free tickets for your show in October? Or… crazy idea… what if you did a free – no charge set earlier on the Saturday for the disability community in Regina?! Could be a great outreach… we get quite a few not-yet-believers who come out. God bless!

    Jonathan D. on

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