WRITER / CO-DIRECTOR / PUPPET MASTER
Steven first learned Puppetry Arts from Jean-Loup Temporal in Paris in 1980, while studying at L’Ecole Jacques LeCoq (movement/mime/theatre school). Jim Henson introduced him to film/video work in 1985 in the Puppet Institute in Charleville, France. Later, in Paris, he worked as puppeteer on many video television projects. Back in the USA in 1989, he puppeteered on Batman Returns, Men in Black, Alien Resurrection, Team America, and Muppets Tonight, to name a few. He also performed 2 original puppet shows for young audiences primarily in So. California since 1996—over 900 times. Presently he’s focused 100% on his Classics in Miniature series.
DIRECTOR / CINEMATOGRAPHER / EDITOR
Hoku’s first feature film, Bliss, got him accepted into the Art Center School of Design in Pasadena, where he earned an undergraduate degree in film. While attending Art Center, he directed eight short films, two documentaries and two commercials. ROSE, Hoku’s 30-minute film presently touring film festivals, has already won eight awards world-wide. In 2003, he received 2nd place at the Cannes Young Directors Awards for Prelude #2, a Drunk Driving PSA. This 90-second puppet-film began the collaboration between Steven Ritz-Barr and Hoku, and is part of Heather Henson’s Hand-made Film series.
Eugene has lived in the Los Angeles area since 1997 after fleeing from his native Moscow, Russia. He worked on Team America and on several television productions as Puppeteer. He performed his live marionette shows to audiences throughout Europe and many times in the USA. In Moscow, he worked for Obrasov’s Moscow State Puppet theatre for 20 years.