After long hours of work our monster is finally done! This guy was a big hit at Fan Expo 2014. There were many photo ops and high fives to be had that weekend.
This monster (unofficially called the furby) was about 6 weeks of fabrication work done by a team of six students and three members of Sheridan faculty. Every piece of this monster was specially made for the fan expo event from the hand sculpted face to the body suit and the cooling unit built in for our actor.
The structural parts of the body were built out of sheets of 3/4 inch reticulated foam and hooping wire (similar to the kind used in corsets). The fur for this suit was patterned from scratch, hand sewn, and punched with about a million feather plugs … or at least it felt like a million at the time.
This monster has two pairs of legs, one normal sized for easy wear, and one set built to accommodate a pair of drywall stilts. The stilts ended up being one of the beast features of this costume. In a crowded convention center it can be very difficult to see a person standing more than a few feet away. At an incredible eight and a half feet tall, nobody at Fan Expo was missing this big friendly monster!
I will also post videos of this guy once I can figure out how to convert file types. This guy was surprisingly difficult to film and photograph due to the crowds and the narrow space between booths in which to move. I actually ended up sitting on the table across from our booth to take some of these pictures. Thankfully the vendors selling the Doctor Who merch were good sports about it!
I would like to thank Fred Stinson for wearing this insanely hot fur suit while wearing stilts. It made me happy to see my monster walking around and interacting at the con. I would also like to thank all my teachers who helped us make the suit. They contributed so much of their free time to this project!
For being part of the team I was offered a pass into Fan Expo for a couple of the days so long as I helped attend the booth. My major responsibility was plugging the school to potential new students, I spent a mass majority of the time painting faces and applying airbrush tattoos. The airbrush tattoos actually ended up being a huge hit because my teacher brought a laser printer so we could make custom stencils on the spot.
We all assisted our monster getting ready, and just generally moving around the booth. Inside the suit the visibility was limited, and there was a danger of people bumping into the stilts and knocking him over. I got to act as a human pylon to make sure there were no accidents.
I did have some time to myself to wonder around the con. We had plenty of volunteers to run the booth, so it wasn’t hard to sneak around and see what there was in the vendor’s hall. A few good friends of mine were also selling their wares in artist’s ally, so I couldn’t be at Fan Expo and not stop by to say hello. Artist’s Alley is always one of my favourite parts of any con, and I almost never leave without buying at least one thing.
I also purchased a photo opportunity with Robert Englund (A Nightmare on Elm Street) which made my weekend. I have been a fan of the series since I was most definitely too young to be watching them. As a horror fan I could not miss the chance to meet the man who is Freddy Krueger.
Oh, and I do have one funny con story to help wrap up this post! As I was sitting at the booth eating my pizza between tattoos I some very large men in suits came hustling past. They were pushing the crowd aside for one of the celebrity guests. I looked up from my foot and who else do I see but Stan Lee walk by not more than three feet from me. I can’t say that I met the man, but I can now say that I was close enough for his body guard to justify breaking my arm if I got any funny ideas…
The end of this project also marks the end of my college career. This is the first September since 1996 that I will not be going back to school. Next comes the question of what the heck I’m going to do with myself now. I guess I will just continue to make stuff. Maybe something on a little smaller scale.