Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Trying to catch up/Introducing the Beta Experiment

Today is Easter Saturday.

I went to bed at about 2am, and woke up late. Played computer for a few hours after I got up and then went into town, hopes held high that I could find all the bits I needed for the redux on the Weeping Angels that I'm doing with my mates.

Hopes fell. It was not my best day, and mostly consisted of driving around and not finding the plaster bandage that we need to redo the masks. There's like, one shop I know of in Newcastle that stocks the stuff - a two-dollar type thing that's down the road from my house. They didn't have any in stock. I tried spotlight, and failed, and tried Eckersley's, and couldn't even find the shop.

Filled with sads, I gave up on the bandage and went to bunnings, determined to be able to tick off at least one thing on the list. Finding mop heads, bondcrete and gap filler made things a little better. And then I remembered that there was ice cream at home, and maybe splurged a little.

It's now 7pm, and I'm sitting in the loungeroom, in winter flanno pjs, sucking down water because ice cream headaches are your own fault. The lights are off, and I'm staring into the soft white glow of my laptop screen, relying on the light spilling onto my keyboard and the touch-typing skills that I picked up in NaNo to write.

The house is very quiet - housemate is at a music festival. Just my music and the tattoo of the keyboard.

Anyway. Consider that the ice-breaking story for the day. I'm being a little quiet, and a little by myself, and I've not done the blog post for this week for Directed Studies. (Yes, I posted yesterday, but that wasn't in my plans for Directed Studies; it was more like something that happened along the way.)

So, this video tab has been sitting open on my browser for ages. Thought now would be a good time to talk about my next project.


You forgot the 'n', Gerard Butler.

Historical inaccuracies and the hilarity of having a man with a Scottish accent play a Spartan aside, my project has nothing to do with 300, or Sparta.

Spartan, though...

Last year, I made the foolish decision to start watching Red vs Blue. I mean, it's entertaining, and clever, but I got hooked and spent far too much time watching it when I could have been working.

Lots of Internet
Lots of Time
Understanding for internet humour
High tolerance for foul language

Win some, lose some.

The character Tex was appealing. The Halo Spartan armour was appealing. The job was something ridiculously impossible looking.

It was really only a matter of time before I took the project.

Why was it that Tex was appealing? How she fit in with the story, I guess. She starts off as a mercenary, and then you find out all sorts of interesting backstory that is...yeah. Interesting, and cool, and a little bit sad. She's a formidable fighter as well. (I'll probably end up putting her backstory into the documentation for Directed Studies rather than here. Spoilers. Blah blah blah.)

The thing that was kind of stopping me from taking on the project was uni. Mostly because it would be a big one, so I'd either need a lot of time or some way to actually incorporate it into my course. And then Directed Studies came along.

And I began the Beta Experiment.



At least according to Wikipedia. "In computing the term "beta" is used as (usually) the last pre-release in the software release life cycle. It is sometimes referred to as 0.x in version numbers or x.x bx where x represents a number."

So, the draft for your assignment or project that is titled "final_last_absolute_last_2.0_FINAL" before you go and rename the thing to send to your assessor? That's the Beta. The last version before the production model.

Beta is relevant because of the nature of the project, and Beta is relevant because of the nature of the character. I can only address one of these without referring to things that are a bit spoiler-ish in nature, so if, for whatever reason, you choose to familiarise yourself with the RvB universe, Beta becomes clear enough eventually.

Beta is an exploration into how I do things. I mean, I'm pretty good with figuring things out. But I always come out at the end of a project and go, 'this would have been easier if I'd done this and this and this...' And because all of my costumes are one-offs, they're never slated or made in a way that's suitable for production. My costumes are fun, and I love making them, but they're never cost-effective. I have friends ask if I could make this or that, and I usually end up directing people to a source that's better than mine. I mean, I could make costumes for other people. But I take too long doing them by themselves, and would end up feeling really bad about charging a price that would accurately reflect the amount of time put in.

So generally, my costumes are all left at the beta stage. There are some that I get to revisit (See 'The Sequel Machine' and also the post about the Weeping Angels. Ironfest is coming and we're getting the band back together.) but for the most part, once I make a costume, that's it.

This project kind of deals with that. Not as a problem. Not as something that glorifies that in-between state of imperfection (because that is something I find simultaneously fascinating and infuriating. Like having a picture hung just a couple degrees shy of straight). Just the ness of the state, if that makes sense.

I don't know if it's making sense. I started writing this post on Saturday night and it's now Tuesday. I've gone home, and my sisters are alternating between beatboxing and trying to get me to look at different things on the interwebs.

At the moment Prue's talking about the activity on her Tumblr. Something about Daryl Dixon and a dramatic zombie.



Thinking is at the moment, something I have to do by yelling in my head.

I guess Beta also kind of works with the armour because Boyfriend is making Halo armour too. And while I'm adamant at least in my head that I can't make his as well, I know mine will be the experiment. The one that has most of the mistakes happen because I'll figure something out, and then his will benefit from it. But I guess that's fine. Tex's armour can be the beta.

#firstbornproblems, or something.
ugh, hashtags.

Anyway. If it makes the entry any more amusing, I'd let you know that I put a box on my head this afternoon and actually felt really good about it. It was like some kind of security-helmet-thing. If this project doesn't turn me barmy, then I think it may end up propelling me through the other side of crazy. Ironfest is in three weeks and I haven't made anything.

I'm going to DIE.

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