So, Thursday the 16th, my friend, Aaron Vanek (writer, filmmaker, and resident professional booze-hound) contacted a bunch of his artsy friends with a request for help in creating some sort of monster costume for a H. P. Lovecraft themed LARP that he and some friends were going to be running at the West Hollywood Book Fair this past Sunday. I guess I was the only one foolish enough or with nothing else going on to volunteer for the task… Anyway, I sent Aaron a sketch of an idea that I figured we (I) could get built in time for the event and with his approval we set out the following day to acquire the requisite supplies to make a tentacle monster.
In full disclosure I had never made anything quite like this before (several years ago I made a costume based on the Typewriter Man from the Sesame Street cartoons, but nothing like this) or had ever played around with some of the supplies that my design called for. But I wasn’t going to tell Aaron that. I figured it would all work out. Besides, I was basing my idea for the monster off a posting Propnomicon had written last year on making inexpensive tentacles and figured the same technique could work for making what effectively ended up being a sort of Shoggoth/Flying Polyp/Formless Spawn/misc. Lovecraft monster with lots of tentacles, eyes, and mouths.
The base was made out of two sheets of upholstery foam we purchased out in Vernon at All Size Foam & Fabrics. The bottom was 1.5″ thick and the top was 1″ thick. I shaped it to be rather uneven and lumpy then added surface detail, cut and shaped the multiple mouths, added eye holes (that would eventually be filled with sunglass lenses), and mounted the half-dome large eyes (some of which lit up with little LED lights mounted inside). All told the cost for supplies was about $160. After finalizing the design I began cutting and gluing the foam Tuesday night and did most of the assembly and painting over Thursday and Friday (with the much appreciated help of my very lovely and talented girlfriend, Sarah) with some additional details Saturday afternoon before he was picked up by Aaron Saturday night.
I also created a sound file that was to be played while the monster attacked the book fair. Just a fun mix of several free monster sounds I pulled from the interwebs and added some cool effects and delays to. Who knows what a Lovecraftian monster would sound like, but this at least was enough to scare an 8 year old boy! -check it out here-
And the monster’s name, in case you were wondering, is Tim. For a very silly reason. But it stuck so, there you go…