February 2012 – St. Valentines Day Massacre Costume Prop
My wife and I love going all out on costumes. So when our friends invited us to a St. Valentines Day Massacre party we knew we had to take it to an 11! She went as my hollywood producer, and I went as Howard Hawks, the director of Scarface (1932). I stopped shaving my mustache hair for a month to grow out a pencil thin directors ‘stash. A cap and coat from my grandpa’s closet added a lot to the costume. But to get that authentic classic hollywood look I knew I needed two things, director boots, and a camera!
I found a leather handbag in a thrift store for $5. I figured I could glean enough leather from it to make two boot covers. This would require more work but be more cost effective than buying actual knee-high leather boots. As awesome as that would be.
I removed all of the sitting and cut out a pattern using my own foot and a brown paper bag. Then I stenciled it onto each bag side. I barely had enough space to cut out the four pieces I needed. With no room for error I snipped out the patterns and using my newfound sewing skills I stitched up the front and the back of the boots.
I feel the boot-covers worked out spectacularly! The edges of the bag left just enough material to sew two strips along the bottom to hold the cover over my shoes.
From my time in film school I had actually handled one or two small 16mm film cameras and felt I could reproduce one in cardboard in a few days. I quickly hashed out the basic box shape and the curved film magazine. Because I would be painting this creation I didn’t worry too much about how I taped and fastened the pieces together, the outer layer of black paint would be very forgiving.
The secret part of my camera was that it would be constructed around my Canon VIXIA HV30, this would allow me to film the party while staying in character! The lens would shoot out of the front opening and the left side had a panel I could open to access the viewfinder.