September 23rd, 2004

TRON

Another fanboy moment

I had a meeting today with some folks, including one of the world's biggest TRON fans, Dave Arnspiger. After the meeting, I had a real treat: we walked across the street to the Disney costume warehouse - where he showed me several costumes from the movie. I even got to try on a few (though none of the unitards).

The guards' costumes were mainly a padded jacket and hood, with a standard gas mask hiding their faces. The jacket fit me well. I doubt I'd be able to recreate it myself.

The helmets are all showing signs of wear. The circuit designs were applied with circuit board layout tape, and it's coming off in lots of places. (I doubt the manufacturer meant for the adhesive to last 20 years.) I tried on the one used by Sark's lieutenant; it fit me pretty well.

Dumont's robe is in good shape, aside from significant yellowing from age. I tried it on, and while the length was right and the sleeves fit me well, it wasn't quite big enough in the waist. (Big surprise there.)

Finally, I got to look at one of Tron's unitards. It, too, was significantly yellowed. They used very thin nylon fabric for these. It's no wonder the actors felt exposed. The circuit patterns were painted on, though they got much sharper edges than I was able to, probably because of the smoother surface. There was Velcro in a circle on the back where the Frisbee attached. The tops of the upper arm guards were held on by snaps sewn to the unitard's shoulders, a better solution than the one I adopted.

Just being in the presence of these artifacts from the movie was a humbling experience, in no small part because it shows how far I have to go to get the level of accuracy I really want. I do have several detail pictures coming so I can reference them when I finally sit down to do version 1.1 of the costume. Beyond that, though, I got a sense of the history of the movie, and what the actors must have felt as they walked out onto the black set looking quite different from usual.

Perhaps one day I'll find out firsthand...but until then, I'll settle for what I got this afternoon.
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