Let me tell you the tale of Rotten Puppets and then Rotten Forums. It’s a long one so we’ll go with an overview today and maybe down the road I’ll discuss it in more details.
Around 8 years ago I came up with the idea of Rotten Puppets. I don’t have a link for you because it’s a long dead project in my eyes and heart and I have since expired the associated domains and websites that went with them. The videos are still on YouTube but in no way a part of FleeceHEAD other than looking back at the past and shorts I have helped with in one way or another.
Rotten Puppets, “Where the puppets run the show” was the initial idea. I created a world where the Puppets rule the Earth and the humans are just fodder for their amusement. I guess in many ways it was similar to Planet of the Apes, but with Puppets. Planet of the Puppets perhaps would have been a better and longer sustained idea. Having the name ROTTEN in it always led the creative down a darker path.
I spent countless nights up creating ideas, writing scripts, songs, lyrics, dirty limericks, the works. Some made it to YouTube, some in a folder marked ‘RP Scripts’ that has never seen the light of day.
A few videos were a success on places like Break.com where it was more bathroom humor at the times and a small but loyal fan base formed. This was before the days of viral videos, Facebook was still not as popular and a part of society today like it is, and other places like Google+ and Pinterest just didn’t… exist!
After a while Rotten Puppets started morphing…
After a while of emails (some good, some bad.. real bad!!) I decided to put up an online message board aka ‘forums’ for Rotten Puppets. And what did I call it? Rotten Forums of course! The perfect name to compliment it. Looking back I regret not just putting it together with he main website and creating one cohesive community.
Here at FleeceHEAD if we build it up to that point it will all be under the FleeceHEAD umbrella. Now with a higher goal of making sellable products, wider audience videos, behind the scenes, etc. it makes sense for it to all be one branded unit and not split. On the other hand, forums are DEAD and a waste of time to setup so putting up a new forums would be highly unlikely.
With a name like Rotten Forums you can only imagine the kinds of weirdos that started filtering in. It was classified with general discussion message boards (Like GenMay) so it brought in anything and anyone. Hell there was a guy named ‘Gerbilmaster’ who claimed to work as a carny out of Detroit and would tell absolutely graphic tales of his time on the road. It was either epic or insane, I’m still not 100% sure which. Either way people like that got other people posting and it was a moderate success. Good enough to keep going and the Google ads paid for the server costs so I was happy to keep it. Had a few moderators keeping it spam free and it was good to go.
I pulled the plug on it after a while when it just started becoming a site of one up-manship with the goal of people being as disgusting as possible. Even for what was a “blue site” of comedy there’s a point where it’s just enough already. Rotten Forums had it’s plug pulled, and most of the members went to their next site to troll and the loyal fans remained on social media and the comments section of the site.
The Rotten Puppets site kept churning out videos, and eventually Wolfun the mascot was created. He is a full body costume and we were doing a Vlog once or twice a week commentating on the world and news around us. It was good, maybe a little edgy but nobody wants to watch Mister Rogers anymore (well ok maybe I do for the puppets lol) but the puppets now took the back seat. Everything was about Wolfun, including going out in public with the suit and just mingling with strangers like a total weirdo.
As Rotten Puppets dies out, FleeceHEAD is born
Life goes on. A pregnant wife appears and Rotten Puppets dies with it. A moment of realization of a childlike fantasy being realized in all the wrong ways. 3 years pass. Until now. FleeceHEAD.
My daughter (now almost 3) found the puppets as I was moving and organizing boxes and bins in the basement. She fell in love with some of them, and ran away from others. The irony of it all was all the ones she ran from were the negative/dirty ones of the bunch mostly. Was she telling me something? A sign?
Hell Rotten Puppets started with ZERO knowledge of puppetry, puppet building, or puppet performance. Now I’m moderately good at these things and certainly more dangerous with the help of an adorable kid at my side. What happens when a guy with a sick sense of humor takes his hobby and takes it out of the darkness and into the light?
Only time will tell, and I hope you are with my on this journey at FleeceHEAD.