Philosophy, Psychology, Nerdisms, Writing from the Trenches

Items of Interest

Adventures in Cosplay

It all started with a text.

Joe: Hey, that foam you need to make armor. Can that be any color?

Me: Yeah. You just spray paint over it.

Joe: I have something for you to see.

Someone in our apartment complex had used EVA foam pieces to try to sound proof their walls (they were a music student) and they were throwing out all of their pieces. All of them. I ended up around 30 pieces of foam. If you’re wondering what that is, it’s this stuff.

EVA Foam

You may recognize me from children’s playrooms.

I had been doing some research about armor material for cosplay. I had bought some of this and built a Loki helmet over the course of a weekend. Now, here I was, with a surplus of foam. What to build?

Having fallen in love with the movie Frozen, I decided to make a warrior Elsa costume. Not just Elsa in armor, but Elsa in armor that she forged out of ice herself. It all started with a chestplate design, a slab of ice that she would conjure up.

Chestplate

I carved it out of the foam, experimented with some cutting techniques and there it was. Just as I envisioned. More or less.

It wasn’t until three months later that it got its coat of paint.

And started to look bad ass.

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With that as the center piece, I went to work on the other pieces. Shin guards were supposed to be ice spikes.

image4-1

Before

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After

The vambraces followed suit with some snowy accessorizing.

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The collar and shoulderpads were equally snowy.image1What kind of weapon would Elsa wield? A sword? Spiky and destructive.

Of course not. She needs something that makes more logical sense. A hammer. Freeze her enemies, then smash them to pieces.

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The (near) final product.

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One does not simply let it go.

There you have it. Ice warrior Elsa will be debuting at WonderCon in Anaheim in April. See you there.

 

 

 


The Power of a Moment

ILightning Bottle‘ve been mocked and scoffed at for my movie collection in the past (and not just because they are on my shelf in alphabetical order.)

But, lately, whenever anyone gives me grief about the movies I’ve deemed good enough to own, I have a response:

There’s a moment.

When we think of our favorite movies, do we think about how great the movie was, how amazing the cast performed, how wonderful the soundtrack is?

Well, yes. Those are things you take into consideration.

But, usually, you have a moment. You have that one scene in the film where you were all in. It’s not a forgotten art. The Moment is a gut-punch. It’s the emotional moment that grabs you by the throat and pulls you in. When you see the Moment, you know there’s so much more, something deeper there. Something more to be mined.

And, there can only be a Moment. You can’t make a whole movie of Moments. Without what surrounds it, a Moment is nothing. The rest of the movie can be awful, as long as it has that one, great Moment to raise it above everything else.

The Moment is more prevalent in dramas, but it also comes in other movies. It doesn’t matter how many fight scenes, how great the CGI, without a Moment, it’s just another movie.

I’m a Moment Hunter. And, it’s not easy. Not every movie has one. You have to dig through a lot of garbage to find any treasure. As a writer, I always wonder if I can capture a Moment. Will I recognize it when it floats through my brain? Will it mean as much to me as it would to a reader or a viewer?

What’s your favorite Moment? Is there a movie you love just for its Moment?


A Word on Oversharing or Step Away from the Playlist

Today, someone started following one of my playlists on Spotify. I’m not sure if there is an established standard reaction to this. Should I be honored? Is it an honor? Should I be insulted that so few people are following my playlist?

Regardless of how I’m supposed to feel, I’ll share how I did feel.

Slightly horrified.

Someone is following one of my playlists. MY playlist. My PLAYLIST.

MY.

PLAYLIST.

Do you know how long it has taken me to cultivate this playlist?

Years.

Eons of listening to Pandora, days of hunting through Spotify playlists, hours of sifting through b-sides and YouTube bootlegs to find that which I desire most: a playlist that encompasses everything I want to listen to at any given time. This is mixtape gold, my friends. Mixtape gold without the need to limit the time to some arbitrary cassette tape length. A mixtape with a shuffle button. Every song ready to be played at maximum volume and belted out into the void.

And someone else can just…listen to it.

And, while I don’t take umbrage at this person and her clearly impeccable taste, there’s something about it that feels like such a violation.

This list is full of music I listen to when writing. It’s full of guilty pleasures and contemplative musings. It’s a look into my inner psyche that I’m not sure I want the world knowing about. When someone follows my playlist, I can’t explain myself. I can’t tell you why this song made it over another. I need to be able to tell you why!

It’s a lost art, the mixtape. It’s too bad it’s a lost art, because nowadays, our brushes are so much more sophisticated. Now everyone can see this thing that you poured a little bit of your soul into. In a world of oversharing, my playlist must be mine and mine alone.

After all, the mixtape can define you.


Cosplay Extravaganza update

Finished painting the test piece. We did a base coat of plasti dip so the spray paint would have something to adhere to, added some scrollwork, then spray painted with antique pewter color spray paint.

I used gray plasti dip, so if anything comes through, it's not the worst thing that every happened.

I used gray plasti dip, so if anything comes through, it’s not the worst thing that ever happened.

The finished armor piece

The finished armor piece


Cosplay Extravanganza

I made a deal with myself. If I could get a pro pass to San Diego Comic Con, I would cosplay one out of four days. Well, here I am, with my comic con pro pass, and I need to either put up or shut up.

I already have my costume for this year. I will have a post on that during comic con (so I can gauge people’s reactions; also, I don’t want to ruin the surprise). While working on the details of my costume, I found it quite relaxing and soothing, a great hobby that helps me wind down.

That’s right. I’ve just gone up to the next level of nerd. I’m a cosplay nerd.

So, next year, will be much more detailed and much more work.

I recruited my dad to help and we came up with a plan. The plan is basically EVA foam is magic.

template1We cut out our foam and used wires to secure it. I’m not a fan of using the wires in the future. It leaves divots. We heated the foam with a heat gun. Times vary. The foam is really flimsy and we’re still trying to think of ways to reenforce it.

firstroundAfter it was shaped, I measured for the slits and cut with an X-acto. It really doesn’t take much pressure at all.

detail

I used more of the foam to add some detailing. I used a hot glue gun to adhere the pieces. There’s a little spillage because hot glue’s not the most precise of glue, but you can use the heated tip of the gun to remelt what’s spilled over and smooth it out. The glue does not melt the foam.

This is our test piece. Next, we’re going to try paint methods.

Ultimately, the goal is this.

JAIMIE ALEXANDER

It’s a start.

 

 


TMI Minute Episode 10 | Bigfoot, Rick Dyer, and Resolution Tips

The TMI Minute takes Rick Dyer, Bigfoot, and Madylin Sweeten gives you her tips on keeping your New Year’s Resolutions.

The TMI Minute Episode 10 | Week of January 6
Follow us on Twitter @TMItheshow

Featuring:
Matthew Marcy – https://twitter.com/Matthew_marcy
Julian Clark – https://twitter.com/julianis4lovers
Madylin Sweeten - https://twitter.com/REALAllyBarone

Writers:
Joe Neuburger – https://twitter.com/bentoboxx
Kate Cornell – https://twitter.com/katecornell


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