Sunday, 24 February 2013

I Don’t Do It For ‘Them’...

Just finished working on constructing the boxes of the throwers of the Real Ghostbusters Proton Packs Jon and I are working on getting ready for Oz Comic-Con, and I’ve really been busting my arse planning and constructing these things essentially from scratch1. I was about to call it a day and just make a post about being tired and my back being achy from slaving over a cutting board for 2 days, but I remembered a bit of a conversation I had with my mother.

I can’t recall specifics, but I mentioned that I can’t wait to finish my Volstagg costume and wear it out so I can finally cut my hair back a bit and probably shave the beard (or at least keep it a lot shorter). She essentially said “why don’t you?”, and I said because that’s what Volstagg looks like. So I went into a little speech about why I put so much effort in and how the public won’t notice or care. I can’t recall the full speech but the TL:DR version was pretty much, “I don’t do it for them, I do it for me!”

It had just finished this build and the thought did strike me, no one really truly knows or even cares about how much we put into these costumes except for the people that make them, and I mean collectively. As a Ghostbuster I’m always asked such things as “Where did you buy that (referring to the Proton Pack)?” and get stunned faces when I say I built it, or worst still the people who want to pull at things and generally show no regard to my property2.

There is a good feeling of accomplishment whenever you finish something in a build, even if it’s totally completed. I was pretty proud of the technological terror I constructed, even though some parts of it was a nightmare to construct and plans had to be revised (I’m still noticing things that could be changed at some time in the future). I know that 99.999999999999999999% of the people I’ll ever meet will not know how much attention to detail I’ll have put into such things, but I’m also aware of all the errors and problems in the build3 which thankfully will also go unnoticed.

I suppose what I’m getting at is that for all the time and effort to do something like this, and with such regularity, you have to be invested in it more for pleasing yourself then to worry about pleasing others. Sure this doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the attention, or better still do this to bring pleasure to others, but if you not ultimately having fun whilst you’re doing it then it’s going to be a miserable experience. I’ve had some incredibly good times in costume, I’ve also had some horrible or disheartening experiences in costume, and I hate to admit it but I’ve been very close on several occasions to just throwing it all in and never suiting up again, but I try now to do it for myself because when I stop gaining pleasure from this then I will be giving it all up.


1 – We’ve never been able to find thrower plans online, previous builders have been very secretive about them, so I essentially had to create blueprints from scratch using only the concept drawings from the production of the cartoon.
2 – Worst one was some little shit who yanked my thrower during a promotional hand-out at Perth, which nearly broke the hook and it never felt tightened again after that. Needless to say I wasn’t happy about that but I refrained from breaking the little fucker’s neck... regrettably.

3 – Any creator worth a damn knows the problems with his build, but essentially has to go forward to finish their project. It’s like movie nitpickers, they sometimes act like the filmmaker doesn’t know that they screwed something up without realising that generally they do know, and probably know more faults then they’ll ever spot, but they had to finish telling their story.