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Weirdest Piece You've Ever Built

Discussion in 'Costumes and Makeup' started by cryptozoology, Sep 6, 2008.

  1. cryptozoology

    cryptozoology Member

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    And how you managed to make it happen. Do tell!
     
  2. cdub260

    cdub260 CBMod CB Mods

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    Granted, I don't actually make the costumes for the Pageant of the Masters, but I've been there long enough now that I have a fair idea of what our costume department does.

    As our show involves the reproduction of paintings and statues, our costumes have to appear to be a part of the original piece. Sometimes this means they must look like something out of an oil painting. Other times they need to look like a part of a bronze sculpture.

    In order to achieve this type of effect, most of our costumes are painted muslin. Of course the muslin has to be treated with a sizing compound before it's sent to the costume department. In short we pre-shrink it before we paint it.

    Also, given what we're trying to do, our costumers can't simply pick up a pattern for a costume at the local fabric store. All but a handful of patterns must be created in house.

    I'm sure I've overlooked a few things here, but try not to hold it against me.;) After all, I'm an electrician, not a costumer.:twisted:
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2010
  3. cryptozoology

    cryptozoology Member

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    I've always wanted to do one of those living art shows.
     
  4. Serendipity

    Serendipity Active Member Premium Member

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    Well, when I was in Beginning level classes, I was required to take Costuming. (I still joke they let me skip Intermediate so I could chose classes and not torture the sewing machines for another year... :twisted: )
    We had to make a dress or shirt, and that was about all of the rules. Disneyland donates leftover fabric to us, and I found sufficient yardage of neon orange fur. (My guess is Monster's Inc.) So, why not? I made a short dress with a bright pink heart on the front, electric blue bows on the straps, and colorful pom poms hanging from the bottom.

    It was hideous. :mrgreen:
    So hideous, the beginning costume teacher showcased it at the school's Season Finale performance at the county's performing arts center. Poor woman... Heheheheee.

    How I made it happen?
    I broke a ton of sewing machine needles. I also had to comb the fur (it was very long fur...) out of the way before I sewed. I didn't hem it, because if I had wanted to, I would have has to shave the fabric.



    I think I still have it somewhere... If I find it, I could put on my purple stockings and silver boots, to snap a photo. (Assuming I feel like mortifying myself further.)
     
  5. cdub260

    cdub260 CBMod CB Mods

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    You could always pose with the dragon that lives in my office.:mrgreen:
     
  6. cryptozoology

    cryptozoology Member

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    That sounds epic.

    My weirdest piece so far is a three-foot golden pretzel worn as a hat.
     
  7. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    The children's theater here is one of largest in the US (two theaters running 9 shows in a season with 10-15 performances a week). I was on a tour a few years back when I found what may be the greatest job in the world. The costume prop creator for a children's theater. Think about all the crazy gadgets and devices that are built into costumes in children's shows. It would be SUCH a wild job. Every season would be one weird piece after another.
     
  8. bobgaggle

    bobgaggle Well-Known Member

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    I was standing in for an actor who was sick in my HS's fractured fairytale show. My director knew I couldn't memorize the lines, so she just told me to do whatever I could with the part. (I was playing a chick who escaped from an insane asylum)

    So I got some rope and used my handy dandy boyscout knot tying skillz to fashion me a perverted straightjacket. I had one arm lashed over the top of my head, a leg behind my back and another hand in a funky place. Took two stagehands to get me into it...
     
  9. cryptozoology

    cryptozoology Member

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    ^

    I had a friend make a straight jacket for himself in high school; he printed "Arkham" on the front, made it very epic.
    Felt like sharing.
     
  10. Van

    Van CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Hmmmmm, Let's see, there was the old hospital bed I had to cut down and weld together then add leather restraints to, Bed had to be welded together so it wouldn't break during the scene..... There was the 3 foot long Greek Trireme made from twigs and lashed together with Hemp cord, but one of my favorites was a Prosthetic penis made so the actors could pee all over some garden plants on cue evernight. Since we are 3/4 round the director wanted som "realism":rolleyes:. < weren't nuthin' real about that thing!>
     
  11. garyvp

    garyvp Active Member

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    For a production of Frankenstein - our theater is a non-proscenium stage with 5 feet of back stage and no height. I had to go from 25' of bare walls and minimum furniture to a full-functioning knock-out lab in 30 seconds. The lab was encrusted with turn of the century power plant parts (Con Ed donated a power plant), including a 3' knife switch, several climbing arcs, working high voltage Tesla coils, 15 lbs of dry ice components, antique lab glass, bubbling colored water, and smoke machines.

    A second major problem was that all of the high voltage electric devices had to be operated by the actors via a series of vintage knife switches, and there were three scenes (including 'the' scene), where all the devices had to spring to life with no one on stage except the clamped down monster.

    First of all, God bless EBAY.

    As all the devices were high voltage, and I mean real high voltage, I built a bank of low voltage/low current relays which I wired to the knife switches and variacs and which could also be operated by the techie in the booth via duplicate switches. The set components consumed 40 amps of power and produced 2' sparks. The whole back of the set had to be sheathed in chicken wire and grounded to sewer lines to protect the dimmer and AV equipment.

    The lab was contained in an 8 x 8 x 4' box, part of the bare walls, which rolled forward, unfolded to a 16 ft laboratory that came to life in 30 seconds.

    It was great fun and the best set I have ever designed and built. The set was the show.
     
  12. Van

    Van CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    This sounds eerily like a production of The Doom of Frankenstien which we did at Portland Repertory theatre several years ago. we had no fewer than 6 "Jacobs ladders" as well as flash pots, bubbling things, smoking things, whirring things. The set was one of the largest, outside of Operas, that I have ever built and clam shelled open, but each half of the clam shell was about 18' long and twelve' tall. These walls led to the back wall which was 24ft at it's highest.
    I was going to list some stuff from that show as the weirdest ever... like the "Brain Box", that held a real pigs brain, and the gut bucket that we buit to store the 50 pounds of entrails, Liver and kidneys that the good doctor pulled from a cadaver....
     
  13. garyvp

    garyvp Active Member

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    Wow! I have no experience in any theater larger than our modest space. Love the guts and gore!
     
  14. Sayen

    Sayen Active Member

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    I have several stories of weird builds that I was about to post, but I think this takes the cake. I'm trying to picture the design team meetings where that came up, or trying to pitch it to my crew here.
     
  15. BrianWolfe

    BrianWolfe Active Member

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    A picture is worth.....
    [media]http://www.costumearmour.com/catsbra02.jpg[/media]
     
  16. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    Wow Brian. :shock: As one of the more active new members you continue to put up some premium content that never fails to impress me. :mrgreen:
     
  17. NickJones

    NickJones Active Member

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    Wow, and what exactly was this for....
     
  18. BrianWolfe

    BrianWolfe Active Member

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    That was made for one of the Cats national tours in the late 80s. My wife made all the 3x lifesize clothing.
    [media]http://www.costumearmour.com/catstuxedoshirt.jpg[/media]
     
  19. NickJones

    NickJones Active Member

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    Wow, fatty.
    I must say, costume can be cool.
     
  20. Burgeonite

    Burgeonite Member

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    An extra large Kiwi bird costume for a production of [-]Arisopenies[/-] (eek spelling?) Aristophanes' The Birds. It included a 2.5 foot beak and a nice round body. So basically a huge furry ball of fluff with no arms and a huge beak. You couldn't get in and out of it on your own though and it was about 100 degrees inside. One of the cutest balls of fur ever.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 10, 2010

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