Category Archives: interview

Exclusive: Shawna Trpcic Photos and Interview!

Shawna TrpcicShawna Trpcic (pronounced terp-sick) is a Hollywood Costume Designer for movies and television. She’s worked on many films, including Galaxy Quest, The Core, and Toys. She is perhaps best known for her work with Joss Whedon, designing costumes for Angel, Firefly, Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, Dollhouse and his upcoming feature film The Cabin in the Woods.

Shawna Trpcic - Judge DreddShawna Trpcic - The Core

Shawna Trpcic - Galaxy QuestShawna Trpcic - InaraShawna Trpcic - Illyria

Shawna was kind enough to answer some questions, as well as share a few extremely rare photos of herself wearing costumes in the 1980’s!

I decided not to ask the typical questions like “What got you into costume design?” because Shawna explains this in great detail on her website. For a wonderful read, check out her Bio on ishawna.com. She does a great job describing her background, education and experiences that made her an industry leader in professional costume design.

Here is the full interview conducted June 30, 2009:

 

What advice do you have for beginning costume designers?
To beginner costumers I say stay humble, be willing to sweep the floors and get coffee – I started at the very bottom and was willing to help out anywhere the film needed me – still am.
 

What would you consider to be your dream project?
My dream project – well just about anything with Joss – and a super hero or futuristic film with no boundaries, where I have to design everything.
 

If you could give any superhero a new costume, what would you do?
I would love to redo any superhero. My dream job is a superhero movie – no boundaries, just my imagination.
 

Have you ever considered starting your own fashion line?
I took fashion in school and worked for a fashion designer – creating my own line is too much a 9-5 job – not me – too steady and predictable. I guess I do not have that discipline.

 
You’ve recently wrapped up work on The Cabin in the Woods. Is there anything you can say about the costumes work you did for that movie?
Cabin in the Woods – crickets chirping. I can’t say a word. Picture a cabin – hear the crickets chirping – that’s all I got for ya. 😉
 

Have you by chance done any preliminary sketch work for Goners, perhaps something for development purposes that we can peek at?
I haven’t seen anything from Goners – I know nothing of the story.
 

And you’ve started back up with Dollhouse? What can you tell us about the costume work you’ve done on the show?
I just started back on Dollhouse yesterday have not even seen an outline of a script But past stories – we custom made the sword fighting costumes. I drew a picture on a napkin and ran it to Joss – he approved it and my amazing seamstress built it – we also made a few of Dr. Saunder’s things a few of Adelle’s and the last dress of Mille. I ran whole bolts of fabric into Tim Minear’s office where Joss, Elizabeth and Sarah were all talking – I had to get approval right away, we were running out of time to custom make it! The first three did not fly, but I ran in one other and they loved it – I ran a lot. 🙂

Dollhouse Swordfight

 

When creating Sci Fi entertainment – At what point does a costume become special effects? Is there a difference? Have CGI and computer effects changed your job/field? Have you ever designed costumes for video game characters or comics?
Sci entertainment and CGI – and Make up effects and costumes – we all work very closely together – the medium has not really changed what I do, because I still do costumes – with CGI crazy things just go on all around them. I have to avoid green and blue sometimes. I have never designed a video or comic character from scratch, I have only really worked in the mediums of film and television.
 

What’s your take on the growing Steampunk trend? Have you ever designed steampunk costumes before?
Steampunk CostumeJust gotta say I LOVE steampunk – you will see some influence on a character or two in my upcoming work.

Editor’s Note: Shawna also recently mentioned steampunk on Twitter:

totally made a fool of my self, I showed Joss a pic of steampunk folks and said excitedly have you EVER seen this it is so cool – uh yeah…

Sounds like Joss Whedon is well aware of steampunk. Here’s hoping we’ll see some steampunk in Dr. Horrible 2!

 
How often do you, yourself, wear costumes?
I did a lot as a teen and early twenties. I’d say I wear a costume everyday in that I design what I wear. I have fun everyday I get dressed – I LOVE thrift stores and finding vintage pieces to mix and match. I love dressing my kids up – they wear a costume almost everyday – from modern day looks to authentic east Indian costumes, cowboy, superheroes, pirates – there is no limit.

Here is a wedding photo me and my brides maids – any opportunity to dress in costume 🙂 This is also the wedding dress I later cut up for Inara ball gown in Firefly.

Shawna Trpcic Wedding Photo

Wow, what a gorgeous photo! So beautiful – and I totally recognize Inara’s dress from Firefly.

Here are a few stills and a short video clip from the Firefly episode “Shindig” showing Inara’s dress in action. I added the audio commentary so you can listen to Shawna (along with Jane Espensen and Morena Baccarin) talk about her wedding dress.

Shawna Trpcic Wedding DressShawna Trpcic Wedding Dress



And now, Ladies and Gentlemen, for the moment you’ve all been waiting for…. AWESOME photos of Shawna Trpcic wearing costumes in the 1980’s!!! She looks so amazing!

Shawna Trpcic in Costume
Shawna Trpcic the Warrior Woman (cat is dressed as a baby)

 

Shawna Trpcic in Costume
Shawna Trpcic at the 1984 Olympics

 

Shawna Trpcic in Costume
Shawna Trpcic as a Country Music Star

Wow, what a smoking hot photo! She looks like one of Charlie’s Angels.

These photos are just so cool!

THANK YOU, Shawna Trpcic for taking time out of your busy day to talk to MyDisguises, and for sharing your incredible pictures! Good luck with the second season of Dollhouse, and all your future costume projects.

You are a truly talented and amazing artist – and SUPER NICE person.

On the Web:
Shawna Trpcic’s Official Website: ishawna.com
Shawna Trpcic on IMDB
Shawna Trpcic on Wikipedia
Follow Shawna Trpcic on Twitter: @trpcic

Posted in celebrities, interview, news, tv, video | 5 Comments

Amazing Homemade Terminator Costume

Amazing Homemade Terminator Costume

We have a special post for you today! MyDisguises reader Patrick Neese was kind enough to send us photos of his Terminator costume – along with a detailed description of how he made the costume!

This costume looks so professional and incredibly well made. Very, very impressive, Sir. And now…Heeeere’s Patrick!

Amazing Homemade Terminator CostumeThe mask I made was a take on Arnold…thought it would be fun to use Arnie even though the story line didn’t call for it.

I started on the costume after seeing the trailer and thinking the t-600 looked like a Quake 2 Strogg zombie character. Then some friends that do marketing at the Alamo Drafthouse in Austin said they would like for me to be at the opening night just kinda walking around. So I moved the finishing date from Oct 20th to May.

The ammo backpack is a foam core square on an Alice pack frame. The ammo belt is a PVC rain gutter I made into a square using a heat gun, gloves and a mask.

I then put them into small pieces with a 200 tooth saw blade on a miter saw. Glasses and respirator required.

Amazing Homemade Terminator Costume

Amazing Homemade Terminator Costume

As in the picture I then laid those down and spaced them apart with Popsicle sticks and hot glued them to a 2×4 for support. I then epoxied a nylon strap to them so they would stay together but move with the mini gun. The mini gun is made up of an old electric scooter (found on craigslist as not working). I cut it apart and welded it back together for the shape I needed.

Then I attached PVC pipe to 4″ PVC caps I drilled holes into. I used epoxy here as well. This PVC was bolted on to the wheel of the scooter and was painted matte black. Then I glued the ammo belt to it. It spins and looks pretty sweet. I’m surprised a cop didn’t pull me over as I transported it in my front seat to the theater. 😛

The masks were sculpted in WED clay (water based clay with glycerin to prevent early drying). I pulled a silicone two part mother mold for the fiberglass endoskeleton. 3-4 layers of fiberglass were poured/laid into the mold, sanded, then painted.

Amazing Homemade Terminator CostumeAmazing Homemade Terminator Costume

Amazing Homemade Terminator CostumeAmazing Homemade Terminator Costume

Arnold was cast from a two part hydrocal mold, since I would be pouring latex…and the porous nature helps pull the ammonia and water from the latex so it may dry/cure.

The body parts were PVC, foam core covered with fiberglass and full fiberglass. The chest piece was foam core I hot glued together than covered with fiberglass. I connected this to the all fiberglass shoulder piece that was originally done in foamcore and had body filler smooth out the transitions, molded in silicone then fiberglass poured.

I connected them using a PVC pipe and two ball joint male pieces I picked up at http://www.grainger.com/ locally in Austin. There was a pneumatic piston attached to the bicep area in the front for looks.

The lower right arm was all PVC pipe, cut and glued, then painted. The leg piece was PVC heat gunned to the right size for my leg and only covers the outside and front half. The calf was PVC and had two pneumatic pistons for looks. They moved when I moved my leg, but are for looks only.

The glowing eyes were LEDs with a AA battery pack. I painted the back of them black so no light shinned into my eye directly and had tem bent at a 90 degree angle to point straight out. Works well if people aren’t using flash. If I had more time a 45 degree piece of tinted plexi with the led above would work great.

I wore body tight black clothing under the endoskeleton to hide my light skin to help with the illusion of the endoskeleton being the bottom layer. I had a BDU shirt and a green sweater I sliced with a razor blade and burned. I did this to the latex face too, wearing a respirator and outside.

I think that is it. Overall the cost was probably about $300 including the casting supplies etc. I still have all the molds in a closet.

As a note — I use RTV silicone from Wal-mart. This can be thinned to pour, but I normally do a thin first layer painted, once cured I then pop out a tube of silicone, I dip it in water using latex gloves to remove preservatives and start the curing process. RTV uses humidity to cure(so soaking in water and kneading speeds this up), thick RTV takes DAYS to cure if you do not knead it in water for 10 seconds (watch out for water/air bubbles) then I add a few drops of acrylic and start to spread over the thin layer and really get into the under cuts.

Amazing Homemade Terminator Costume

I try to get rid of the undercuts as much as possible so the mother mold doesn’t freeze on. This is no longer workable in about 5-10 minutes time. I use some pinkie sized tubes to make hold points for the mother mold. After that cures I make a mother mold…it is backasswards from how you normally do a matrix mold…but it works for this.

You can use fiberglass or plaster. I like two layers of fiberglass. It holds up under the weight to support the silicone and is semi rigid so if the silicone won’t move with the fiberglass positive in the mold you can tweak it some to help get it off. I don’t know full cure time. I usually demold 3 hours after and let the acetic acid vent outside for a bit…once again…outside…and I still wear a mask.

This byproduct of the curing has an inhalation rating of 2. I learned this silicone trick from some taxidermists. DO NOT use tin cure silicone for anything that is going to touch skin…like masks or prosthetic pieces…use the more expensive platinum cure…trust me your skin is worth the extra 50 bucks.

Always wear the proper respirator. Just because you can’t smell it doesn’t mean it isn’t killing you… RIP Lance Pope.

Amazing Homemade Terminator CostumeAmazing Homemade Terminator Costume

Amazing Homemade Terminator Costume

— Patrick Neese

Follow Patrick on Twitter: @pjneese
 

Thank you so much, Patrick, for taking the time to share your photos and for writing about your awesome costume! Such amazing work. Great job – you totally rock!

Posted in cosplay, DIY, how-to, ideas, interview, movies, video | Leave a comment

All Dressed Up: The Costume Movie

All Dressed Up

I have a very special post for you today. I’ve had the chance to talk with an amazing woman who lives in the Hollywood area, who wrote, produced and starred in a movie about costumes!

The world is about to fall in love with Rebecca Jupiter and her new movie, All Dressed Up.

Rebecca Jupiter plays the main character, Daphne, who loves dressing up in costume. So she throws a Halloween party in June – “Everyone loves to dress up! Why should we wait until October?”

Through her love of costumes she finally meets the right guy. Aww, this story sounds too good to be true!

Here’s the trailer for All Dressed Up.

This movie looks really funny and romantic. It’s awesome that her love of costumes leads to finding the right guy.

I asked Rebecca how she came up with this idea, and she explained:

The character of Daphne is definitely based on me and my experiences. People kept telling me, you’re a great writer, why don’t you write yourself an awesome role, and I kept starting different screenplays and they wouldn’t go anywhere. Then I realized – it should be a comedy! And then everything fell into place.

I have always loved dressing up in costume, and waited all year for Halloween, and then last year for the first time I went to Burning Man and everything just clicked. My creativity was opened up, and when I got home, I wrote the script and starting working on it. So much fun. It turned into a much bigger project than I had originally planned! But the films looks great so I am really psyched.

All Dressed Up
A hennin that Daphne wants to wear to dress up from the Renaissance period, but her friend Sarah thinks it’s a dunce cap and doesn’t understand.

All Dressed Up is currently making the rounds at film festivals, and Rebecca is shopping it to cable channels and other various means of distribution. How exciting!

The movie will be screened in Los Angeles at the Dances with Films festival on Monday June 8th at 5pm. You can purchase tickets here.

For more information about Rebecca Jupiter, and All Dressed Up, you can visit the following links:

Official Movie Website

Rebecca Jupiter’s Demo Reel

Rebecca Jupiter on IMDB.

Rebecca Jupiter’s Blog

All Dressed Up on IMDB

Rebecca Jupiter’s Performing Website

Rebecca Jupiter’s Performing Resume

All Dressed UpAll Dressed Up

All Dressed Up

All Dressed Up

All Dressed Up

Rebecca Jupiter is extremely lovely and talented. I’m honored to have had the chance to talk with her and promote this special costume movie.

Here at MyDisguises, we will certainly be keeping an eye on her, and hope we get a chance to feature more of her work in the future.

Thanks, Rebecca – and congratulations on a job well done!

Posted in art, celebrities, events, interview, movies, video | 2 Comments

Batman and Watchmen Superhero Interviews

Batman and Watchmen Interviews

There’s an excellent article over at io9.com about creating superhero movies from the comics.

As they critique two interviews with Alan Moore and Michael Uslan, one comment in particular caught my eye.

Uslan, who owns the movie rights to Batman, explains what went wrong with Batman Forever and Batman Returns.

It’s a mixture of paying homage to the 1950s and 1960s versions of the character, and the studios wanting lots of villains with brightly colored costumes, so they could sell toys.

Okay, so the producers wanted a campy and goofy Batman, AND colorful villains for… toys? Well, that makes perfect sense. If you put merchandising before quality, you will fail every time.

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World Superhero Registry

World Superhero Registry

World Superhero RegistryWorld Superhero RegistryWorld Superhero Registry

Real life costumed superheroes? You betcha. They may not be able to leap tall buildings in a single bound, but they are definitely fighting to make this world a better place.

At the World Superhero Registry, you can find a long list of superheroes from around the world who help charities and patrol their local neighborhoods. While most of them do public appearances at hospitals and schools, some actually train to fight and are considered borderline vigilantes.

This is such a great idea! Although, reportedly the cops aren’t too thrilled about costumed civilians fighting crime.

Here’s an interview with Razerhawk from Fox News.

World Superhero Registry

This makes me want to join the superhero registry! I wonder what kind of costume and secret identity I would have?

How about you – what kind of superhero would YOU be?

Posted in cosplay, groups, interview, superheroes, video | 4 Comments

Zombie Kid Likes Turtles

What else is there to say? The Zombie Kid likes turtles. And everyone likes the Zombie Kid.

 
 

 
 

 
 

Posted in humor, interview, random, video | 1 Comment

The Chronicles of CONduit: Part One

CONduit - Blue Man
Todd, the blue alien

I had a great time last weekend at CONduit, the annual sci fi/fantasy convention in Salt Lake City, Utah. The event, which ran from May 23-25, is a great way for fans of the genre to come together to discuss and share ideas about all things sci fi/fantasy.

CONduit features professional authors, artists, actors, game designers, singers…and of course, COSTUMES!

CONduit - Registration Booth
CONduit Registration Booth

Defeated - a novel by S.D. McKeeWhen I arrived, the registration booth was hopping with activity. Right off the bat, I was handed a free copy of ‘Defeated,’ a novel by local author S. D. Mckee.

The story is about the future of mankind that finds itself in a war with a sinister alien entity after a wormhole experiment goes horribly wrong. Fun stuff!



CONduit - Costume WorkshopCostume Workshop

Eventually, I wandered into the costume workshop. It was full of tables and sewing machines for people to work on their costumes.

I chatted briefly with Todd (blue man featured above), Elise and Jessica, who were preparing their costumes for the Star Wreck Tempest, which is an adaption of Shakespeare’s The Tempest using Star Trek characters. Wow, what a great idea! Jessica was covered in green makeup, preparing for her role as a Vulcan in the story.

CONduit - Shakespeare Performers
Jessica (left) and Elise (right) prepare for the ‘Star Wreck Tempest’

CONduit - Dress
Elise shows off the dress she has sewn



Dealer’s Room

CONduit - MasksThe Dealer’s Room was an especially fun place to browse. A Sci Fi farmer’s market, local vendors displayed their wares in style.

The room was packed with authors, jewelry makers, tailors, masks and sci fi weaponry.

CONduit - Dealer Tables
CONduit – Dealer Tables

I had a chance to talk with Heidi Evans, the owner of Accentuate!, which sells Gothic and novelty clothing, accessories, jewelry, incense and oils. She looked great with her green hair and white makeup.

CONduit - Heidi
Heidi Evans, owner of Accentuate!

I’ll confess, I’m not entirely certain if she was in costume or just dressed normally. But she was very excited to be at the Con and her custom jewelry and clothing were a big attraction for the attendees.



The Elf and the PrincessI also talked with Anna del C. Dye, author of ‘The Elf and the Princess,’ a fantasy trilogy for young adults. It’s a story of “true love, high adventure, and medieval-style warfare between elves, men, and orks.”

Anna actually learned the art of medieval swordplay in order to write with authenticity. “I have to do a lot of research and see how other writers explain their battles. I did not find many with whom I was happy. So, I did the fights in my head and watched battles scenes in movies. Then I found a medieval sword class, and my husband and I enrolled in it,” she explained.

Her husband was at the Con with her, dressed as the Elf in her story. Anna herself was dressed as the Princess. She designed and sewed both of their costumes, and together they looked magnificent.

CONduit - The Elf and the Princess
The Elf and the Princess
Author Anna del C. Dye and her husband, Rodney



Discussion Panels

CONduit offered an enormous amount of discussion panels for aspiring writers and sci fi lovers. This was a great opportunity to meet with experts in the field and discuss all aspects of sci fi and fantasy.

CONduit - WizardTo name a few:

• The Morphing of Language

• Worldbuilding

• Realms of Star Wars

• Poetry Workshop

• Victorian Ghost Stories

• Disaster Films

• History of Weapons



CONduit - Costumers
Con attendees pose in their costumes

All in all, this is a great event for sci fi/fantasy lovers, particularly aspiring authors, to come learn and discuss the finer details of the genre.

Stay tuned for Part Two, as Camilla shares her own experiences at CONduit. And special thank to the hardworking volunteers who made this event a great time for everyone.

Posted in conventions, cosplay, DIY, events, interview | Leave a comment

Baton Bob: The Ambassador of Mirth

Baton Bob is a street performer in Atlanta, Georgia. The self-proclaimed “Ambassador of Mirth,” Baton Bob dresses in a variety of costumes and marches around midtown Atlanta, spinning his baton. His goal is to “lift people’s spirits and put a simple smile on people’s faces during their daily routine.”

Baton BobHe frequently wears a tutu or wedding dress, and sometimes dons a superhero costume. When Christopher Reeve died, Baton Bob dressed as Superman to pay tribute.

He often participates in local parades and festivals. He was recently named one of the 2008 10 Best Colorful Characters in Atlanta. In 2007, he won “Best Local Hero,” “Best Local Celebrity” and “Best Street Character” in a local newspaper, and was Grand Marshall of the Inman Park Festival Parade.

“Very rarely does a single street performer capture the imagination of an entire city, but Atlanta has embraced Baton Bob with open arms. His infectious good humor and broad smile have been welcoming guests and locals to Midtown since 2005. If you have a chance to see him, Bob’s sure to make your Atlanta visit memorable.”

Baton BobBaton BobBaton Bob


Here’s a video of Baton Bob dressed as Spider-Man:

Keep twirling that baton, Bob. You are a true hero.

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