More Than A Costume – an SDCC mini-doc about costumers

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Bryan Fear, back from the congested floors of the San Diego Comic Con, send in a heads up about this mini-documentary (four minutes – an easy watch) about the people who spend a lot of time and money building costumes specifically for the con. The piece heavily features our West Coast favs, the WCBs.

Bryan was also nice enough to answers a few questions and also came back a font of interesting info;

Ernie personally told me it was supposed to be him, Danny and Harold for the panel but then a week later the official announcement came out and Harold’s name was no longer in the picture. Then 2 days before con your reporter friend [I prefer to think of him as a professional/fan colleague. -ed.] mentioned that the panel was canceled and sure enough, it was.

The videogame booth wanted the inflatable Mr. Stay Puft and Ecto-1 in there, but Sony was forced to choose between bringing in the new James Bond car or the Ecto. Two different booths, one for Sony and one for the GB videogame. Only one car allowed per movie entity I guess. Sony inexplicably choose the Bond car which drew NO love or attention from the fans. No one stopped to take a picture that I ever saw.

The guys from Sony’s videogame booth tried to negotiate to at least have the Ecto and Mr. Stay Puft across the street from Con. The city of San Diego didn’t allow it but then the next day they had the new KITT Knight Rider car out there so…. Why? Their last ditch effort was to have the Ectomobile cruising around the streets of Comic-Con but the car broke down on it’s way from LA to San Diego.

The booth babes at the game booth were nice but the 4 actors they hired to portray the 4 GBs weren’t so good. Their packs were a mess ( proton gun hose went into the crank box – why? ) and they were sufficiently put off by having 30+ professionally outfitted Ghostbusters around them drawing all the attention away from them.

Ah haaaaaaaaa! That would explain why the boothbabes got all the photo covereage and we’re only now finding out there even were 4 booth busters.

A reporter from the San Diego Union Tribune ( David Brooks ) called the chairman of the Comic-Con’s Masquerade and asked if he could interview one of the more involved people in costuming. The chairman recommended my friend Kit. Kit has made things that have been in the Masquerade for the last few years. ( Masquerade = a 3-4 hour show on stage where people build costumes and show them off, usually using a skit. More on this later. ) After the reporter talked with Kit he realized that Kit wasn’t delivering what he was looking for in a news story. He wanted to meet someone actively building something. Kit recommended going to my house since I have about 11 people over here and we’re building about 7-8 costumes and/or props.

The guy came over to my house on 3 different occasions from Tues-Thurs and filmed us at work. The workshop was pretty busy and it really pissed off at least one of my neighbors to the degree that legal action was threatened. ( Like I care. ) Ideally I would have liked 3-4 weeks to build the 4 proton packs I had but I ultimately had 4 days. In this 4 days a huge effort was put in by me and my friends. I got about an hour of sleep every night for 5 nights ( snuck in 2 hours on one occasion ) and had as many as 7 different people working on the packs at any one time.

Which reminds me, I owe a huge thanks to Thiago and John “Keoni” Cord for helping out with the packs! It was my pleasure to have them over as guests but I never imagined they’d actively help me and oh boy, did I appreciate it! Their efforts literally sifted victory from the remains of potential defeat. It was a real pleasure to have the the guys from the OK/TX contingency who pitched in and generally came to hang and have a great time.

I thought the idea of having a van in the parking garage as a base of operations was clever, but according to Bryan, it was actually a nightmare;

Ugh, the van. Chris, where do I start? This is always such a fiasco. We’ve used my Chevy Blazer in the past but they towed me last year. Though the garage is open 24 hours, they don’t allow overnight parking and are jack-booted thugs about it. Any cars there between 12mid-5am are probably being left overnight. The trick is to move the truck to a different spot every night. Last year I parked in a spot at 2am and when we came back at 9am, the jerks had run yellow caution tape around the block of parking spots I was in and deemed it “reserved” and towed me. The truck was towed on day 3 so needless to say, our packs weren’t strapped into the rack I made. ( Why would they be? We’re in the middle of Con and don’t need to strap them down until the day we leave. ) The Chevy Blazer was lifted up and all the packs went tumbling backwards into a pile.

The ACE parking manager was kind of a jerk about it because when we went to talk to him he flew out of his office like a gunslinger entering a saloon and gave us his opening statement of “I know your type! Let me tell you the problem with you people!…” Ah yes, we’re “you people.” Hard to reason with that.

I’ve spent the last 11 months casting new pack shells at Sean Bishops ( in between working on Ernie’s pack ) and only had this last month to build them. Regrettably I had a mandatory 2-week trip to Winnipeg in the first half of July so that one month now becomes 2 weeks. Knock off another week for work-related problems and now I have a week. It came down to the Friday before Con I got off work and worked for 5 days straight with almost no sleep. I have a hole in my hand where a 3/8 drill bit went into; I’m the least surprised of all.

Good work all round Bryan – you and your compatriots totally made the show. Sony owes you guys for making Ghostbusters highly visible at the show. Now get some sleep for Pete Venkman’s sake.

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