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1  Halloween / Halloween Costumes / The RobertBlue Halloween Spectacular on: October 02, 2005 12:48:32 PM
Now that I've finally maneuvered my schedule around to allow adequate preparation time (one weekend) and participation time (Halloween Night, of course), I can fully go ahead with my extravagant plans for Halloween.

Halloween is pretty much the one holiday that I give a damn about and I have made a huge deal out of it my entire life.  Four years ago I staged a coup and captured full creative control of the family's yard decoration, and haven't turned back since.  Even last year, my first year at college, I went back home for a weekend to set everything up.  I am a huge fan of lighting, sound, motion, and other special effects.  As much as I can, I make the stuff myself.  I'm not talking about fog machines and strobe lights - those I'll purchase.  I'm not crazy enough to screw around with electronics just for Halloween without proper training.  I'm talking about life-sized props, practical special effects, and compelling visual illusions orchestrated within an inch of my life.

This year, I am revisiting some elements from Halloween 03: Enter the Night.  Unfortunately then, my parents purchased overpriced items that they insisted go into the yard, forcing me to compromise my vision.  Instead of the hand made witch: a cheap scarecrow one on a post sitting in a bale of hay (which I'm highly allergic to), but I made it work.  And that was just one change.

This year, a new theme: Into the Heart.  The handmade witch is already mostly constructed (did that three weeks ago in a day) from an old chair and some hobby wood.  I've already cut out the pattern pieces for her cloak and hat, all ready to be sewn up and altered as necessary.  I have the cauldron that I used in '03, but I have to build it upward for the fog cooler.  That's right, I will also be constructing my own fog chiller to keep a constant flow of smoke close to the ground, bubbling out of the cauldron while the witch hovers over, an ever watchful eye on the yard.

But that's not all.  I haven't even started the construction of her familiar: a cat constructed out of a wire form and draped in a menacing, flame colored animal print.  I have yet to stop by the discount book store to take advantage of their "All the books you can fit in a bag for $10" deal for the witch's shelves of spellbooks and potions (the bottles I also haven't picked up yet).  I have the supplies set for her prisoner, but haven't even begun designing the exact layout of his cage and body position within.  The 1" thick foam board just got to my house for extra decoration purposes, but I haven't even given a thought to what I'm doing with it.  I have the rope set up for the giant spiderweb, but haven't even planted a stake in the ground.  And what to do with the perennial favorites: storebought Christmas light based Halloween decorations.  Sadly, that's not even half of what I have to do in that one weekend, just for the yard.

As for my costume, I will be going as Dwight from Sin City.  And I will be recreating the black and white effects of the film through hair, make-up, and costuming.  While I already own adequate black basics (shirt and pants) and the exact converse used in the film (I'll have to clean them up a bit to maintain the purity of the white, but that's not too hard), I will be sewing the trench coat for the costume.  Whatever pattern I get I'm going to have to heavily alter anyway, so that's even more work.  And, if I have enough time, I will be working with prosthetics to alter my own facial features to echo those of Dwight's.

I will have some design sketches and pictures up soon in the coming weeks.  Stay tuned for more halloween excitement.
2  Halloween / Halloween Costumes / Re: Corpse Bride Craftalong on: September 30, 2005 09:40:36 AM
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I was just looking at stills from the movie, and something occured to me: Emily's hair looks *just* like my hair when I've used those comb-in /wash-out gel hair colors. Manic Panic makes them, so does Got2Be. I *think* that if you bought a black wavy haired wig, and used blue and purple hair gels, you could get the same effect.

It makes your hair stick together like you're using hard-core styling gel, AND it adds color. For places you want it to have a bit more life, you can comb through and break up the clumps of hair, but the color should still stick to the wig.

Oh, now I REALLY wish I could dress up this year. I'll feel like a friggin genius if this works!
I don't have any experience with Manic Panic products, but I have used the Got2B gels for years and they are fantastic.  They have a cobalt blue that if you put just a touch of the white (harder to find, but still exists) in would make the perfect shade of blue for Emily.  And the purple is great.  They have both sparkly and non-sparkly versions of the colors.  I think the sparkly (ok, they're called metallic, but it's more apt to call them sparkly) are far superior to the not so sparkly counterparts, but that's just my opinion.  However, they do dry etremely hard, but you can comb it slightly to loosen it up a bit.  You will lose some color that way, but a good amount still stays.

Whenever I had to do my friends' hair (all of who have very long hair) for a show/fun/misc., I would pull a small amount into my hands, pull through their hair, and comb it out immediately.  It would be stiff, but no more so than with a good hair spray.  Even though it is easier to work with this stuff in your bare hands, I recommend having gloves on, unless you want tinted hands for a few days.  It does wash off on your skin, but it stains more the longer it's on.  I highly suggest you use the stuff near a source of water and soap, and apply some petroleum gelly/soap/something around your face/ears/neck/etc. to prevent the color from sticking there.

Also, I suggest applying it to slightly damp hair.  Too wet and the stuff will run all over your face/neck/clothes, too dry and you won't be able to move the color through.

And don't forget the effectiveness of temp spray haircolor: cheap and efficient.  I once did hair for a production of The Wind in the Willows (musical version from 80's) where I spent 20 bucks, picked up a lot of these cans, and had enough to do 15+ peoples' hair a night in wild new patterns and colors for 6 shows.
3  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Party Planning / Re: "Martha Behind Bars" Television Show Party...any ideas out there? on: September 28, 2005 09:10:00 PM
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Oh you know, just trashy in the sense you're celebrating someone else's misery - I'm planning my Lil' Kim party for next year?  How days is it till she gets out?
September 20, 2006.  366 day sentence. 

What, I'm a music business major.  I have to know this kind of stuff to pass classes.
4  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Party Planning / Re: "Martha Behind Bars" Television Show Party...any ideas out there? on: September 28, 2005 12:52:57 PM
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the show was a tad trashy
Wait?  Wasn't that the point of having the party about this film?  That it would be so trashy, poorly made, and unintentionally hillarious that it could provide many hours of enjoyment?  I mean, I watched five minutes of it and am still laughing about what I saw.

Great to here the party went so well.
5  Halloween / Halloween Costumes / Re: Cool Halloween Towns? on: September 26, 2005 07:05:44 AM
roesolo you beat me to it. The Village Halloween parade is arguably the greatest in the world, and the people are so into Halloween its not even funny.  I saw those costumes and went: I'm home.
6  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Party Planning / Re: "Martha Behind Bars" Television Show Party...any ideas out there? on: September 21, 2005 06:22:32 AM
Teach them all the proper method to fold a t-shirt.  http://www.marthastewart.com/page.jhtml?type=content&id=stv100015&layout=martha
It's suprisingly fun AND prison friendly.
7  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Party Planning / Re: Rocky Horror Halloween Party on: September 13, 2005 04:01:04 PM
I wouldn't worry about your friends and the film.  VH1 runs it every year on Halloween, and chances are your friends may have already seen it.

Ideas: Maybe turn a table into the tank from the film?  You can just cover the sides in a rainbow pattern and place a picture of a human surrounded in all the colors on top of the table.  Maybe even have a hand reaching up and actually be sitting (attached somehow) on top of the table.

A fake red carpet would be good.  Can you decorate a bicycle with paper/other materials to make it look kind of like a motorcycle?  That could be cool.  A large picture of the RKO tower behind the screen where you'll be playing the movie maybe?

Oh.  Fake TV screens with images of various characters from the film in them (like the viewing screens Magenta and Columbia use to spy on Janet.

Hmm...That's all I got for now.  Maybe I'll think of some more stuff later.
8  POTTERY, CERAMICS, POLYMER CLAY / Polymer Clay: Completed Projects / Re: SHAUN OF THE DEAD!!! on: September 13, 2005 06:42:42 AM
You've got red on you.

Awesome figure.  I absolutely love Shaun of the Dead.  It is one of the best living dead films to come around in years, and even acknowledges that it's not a zombie film.  And it's hillarious.
9  Halloween / Halloween Costumes / Re: What's everyone doing for Halloween this year??? on: September 12, 2005 10:50:34 AM
Right now I'm mainly concerned with getting my yard decorated (yes, I'm starting already).  I did a witch a few years ago, but ran out of time and had to do a store bought scarecrow-witch.  So I'll be doing a wire armature/paper mache witch, possibly with some simple motors to add some movement to the piece.  I will also being constructing a fog cooling machine to sit inside the paper mache enhanced cauldron (large metal circular wash tub, already painted black from the last witch) - this makes it so that the fog will bubble over the cauldron and roll across the grass as opposed to shooting out and up (an effect I used to great effect last year with my tribute to the Munsters yard, specifically my wire armature/paper mache glow in the dark pet dragon).  I will also be doing some optical illusions based on mirrors/lighting to create a head in a crystal ball effect.  I still haven't figured out the full plan, but it's definitely based on the Occult this year.  Perhaps some appropriate "floating" items.  But I'll figure that out later.

I may very well have a rehearsal on Halloween night (boo!), so I may not be able to do my number 1 costume choice.  I won't even really be able to do my own style of costume, per say, because I am so into make-up effects as the major component of a costume, not clothing choices.
10  Halloween / Halloween Costumes / Re: Voodoo? on: September 12, 2005 10:43:38 AM
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Have you seen "Skelleton Key" yet? If not, the other option is "The Serpent and The Rainbow", and "Midnight In The Garden Of Good And Evil"... Good ideas from those movies.

London Voodoo, as well.  The one woman becomes possessed with a Voodoo Warrior, and it could make an awesome costume.  Also shows some really accurate scenes of Voodoo initiation.
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