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"I've been coasting on 'great idea' costumes for the last ten years."
October 25, 2013 1:14 AM   Subscribe

Rob Cockerham (MeFi's own!) is quite the mad genius when it comes to making Halloween costumes. This year's offering, perhaps inspired by his vacation in April, is his most complexly detailed masterpiece yet. Presenting: the making of The Happiest Costume On Earth.
posted by radwolf76 (38 comments total) 23 users marked this as a favorite

 
Holy cow. Mad genius is right.
posted by town of cats at 1:24 AM on October 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


I hope it doesn't rain for him this year, because he's going to be stood outside the party talking in through the window ;)

In related pseudo-news: The new benchmark for cute costumes is a toddler wrapped up in an LED string.
posted by samworm at 1:26 AM on October 25, 2013 [12 favorites]


No costume should prevent you raising a glass to your mouth imo.
posted by Segundus at 1:40 AM on October 25, 2013 [7 favorites]


Costume was meh, but the kid doing the commentary was awesome.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 1:55 AM on October 25, 2013 [3 favorites]


The most effort I ever put into a costume (and it wasn't worthless, to this day it's the most proud I've been of a halloween outift, and I've had some memorable ones) was a 7 foot tall milk carton, so I could be the missing kid. After some party-hopping I wound up at a basement suite that was jammed wall to wall, and man, people were not happy with the amount of space I was taking up. The DJ put on that Milkman track by Aphex Twin and they started a mosh pit around me, next thing I knew I woke up in my crushed costume at dawn next to the couch. Tough times, but one of the best halloweens ever.
posted by mannequito at 2:18 AM on October 25, 2013 [13 favorites]


The finishing touch would be his kid, dressed as Godzilla, stomping all over Disneyland. In front of the judges, of course. That would be spectacular.
posted by orme at 2:29 AM on October 25, 2013 [3 favorites]


The Man in a Gorilla Cage is my pick for a 'great idea' costume.
posted by fairmettle at 3:38 AM on October 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


That's not a costume. That's a parade float.
posted by Old'n'Busted at 4:03 AM on October 25, 2013 [3 favorites]


Sweet baby Jesus, that is nuts.

Suddenly, my Night Vale Intern costume just sounds boring and half-assed.

well, to be honest, I'm going as a Night Vale Intern because I wanted a half-assed costume.
posted by Katemonkey at 4:03 AM on October 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


A costume in which you can't comfortably belly up to a bar, shimmy through a crowded kitchen, dancedancedance, pee without disrobing, slump on a couch, climb out a window, and escape across back lawns and over fences while gibbering like an ape is not a costume for me. Also, it needs to be fireproof.

The Man in a Gorilla Cage is my pick for a 'great idea' costume.

Those illusion costumes (man in a box or cage, people on a roller coaster, girls being carried off, one dog dressed as two dogs carrying a box, etc.) are somewhat clever, but you know how there's always a "sexy" version of every damned costume (for women, anyway)? Where are the sexy illusion costumes?
posted by pracowity at 4:08 AM on October 25, 2013 [3 favorites]


Cool, but I'm still a fan of stilt costumes. I have this dream of making one that allows me to crawl on all fours, and then stand up at will to reveal a true height of eight or nine feet. Then I'll chase people?
posted by InsanePenguin at 4:20 AM on October 25, 2013 [5 favorites]


I'm meh on the costume as well. As a Disney nut, it's hard to identify anything except for the castle. It just doesn't look good.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 4:22 AM on October 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


Also I've never had to tenacity to make a costume, ever, of any sort, but I feel like this would benefit a ton from train-set vegetation. The whitespace is really killing it.
posted by InsanePenguin at 4:32 AM on October 25, 2013 [3 favorites]


Normally he doesn't post the whole thing until after the Halloween contests he is building it for. It seems like he hasn't had much luck winning cash in recent years, getting beat out by prefect movie costumes. Maybe he decided he can make more on page views than contests this year...
posted by smackfu at 4:44 AM on October 25, 2013


It would help the costume a lot if he painted the base gray beneath the buildings. It would suggest sidewalk, and Space Mountain wouldn't visually disappear.

Also, seconding what InsanePenguin suggested about having some trees and shrubs here and there.
posted by Fleebnork at 4:52 AM on October 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


Tough critics. It's more elaborate than most of the costumes I've seen. And the kid commentary took this a notch above. A+ Dad.
posted by whimsicalnymph at 6:02 AM on October 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


Come on folks - even if you think it's "meh", it's still a damn sight better than the prepackaged crap from K-Mart most people use, yeah?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:07 AM on October 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


I admire the effort and the attention to detail. On the other hand, I can't stop thinking about what would happen if someone pushed him over.
posted by Metroid Baby at 6:09 AM on October 25, 2013


Rob Cockerham is my hero. I've been more impressed with some of his other costumes, but he never fails to amaze me.

I don't think he builds these with bellying up to the bar in mind, I think he builds them to impress and to win contests. I'm sure the guy in the totally accurate Mecha-Ironman-Super-Zilla costume or whatever has an equally tough time getting around.

Shame my work blocks his website as "questionable."
posted by bondcliff at 6:12 AM on October 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


Fleebnork: It would help the costume a lot if he painted the base gray beneath the buildings. It would suggest sidewalk, and Space Mountain wouldn't visually disappear.

I emailed him to suggest that he could put some black edging around the base and roofline of it to make it pop a little more and he thought that was a good idea and said he'd do it if he had time.

bondcliff: Shame my work blocks his website as "questionable."

Yeah, the cockeyed.com URL comes from a simpler time.
posted by Rock Steady at 6:20 AM on October 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


I am on my third year of making pretty-good,-yeah? props for my kids' costumes....but this makes me feel small and sad.
posted by wenestvedt at 6:43 AM on October 25, 2013


Please. Add the guy secretly filming his movie "Escape from Tomorrow" somewhere, or just stay home.

What ever happened to paying attention to detail?
posted by armacy at 7:01 AM on October 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yes, love his kid's commentary. Made me think about how lots of kids these days will, you know, know how to keep a running commentary going while shooting a little clip like this. Very media-savvy, these young 'uns!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:04 AM on October 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


I have a great costume but allergies are trying to kill me so I'm probably gonna stay home this weekend. Le sigh...
posted by sio42 at 7:04 AM on October 25, 2013


Glad to find out at the end that he actually has a kid of his own because otherwise a large, grinning, hirsute man determined to dress up as Disneyland would really, really creep me out.
posted by Mooseli at 7:35 AM on October 25, 2013


The difference between me and somebody like Rob Cockerham is easily summed up by the fact that I barely have the tenacity to look at all the pictures of somebody doing something like this, let alone actually doing it.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 7:36 AM on October 25, 2013 [9 favorites]


Wait. Maybe Rob posted this before Halloween because he's hoping the internet has useful criticisms and ideas.

These ideas are free...
1. Tiny fireworks that shoot off at night.
2. Miniature people dangling from the edges of every feature, since their world has turned sideways.
3. Make yourself up as Evil Walt Disney, who has possessed the castle and is terrorizing Disneyland.
4. Fold down legs and a little stool, so you can just sit there like a model train set.
5. Bring the kid, dressed as a Disney lawyer (or Godzilla!), to harass you constantly.

The really good ideas will cost you. PM me for details.
posted by orme at 7:38 AM on October 25, 2013 [4 favorites]


The new benchmark for cute costumes is a toddler wrapped up in an LED string.

No. The benchmark for cute (and awesome) costumes is, and always has been, this dog dressed up as two dogs dressed up as pirates carrying a treasure chest. Come on. Disneyland? Meh.
posted by The Bellman at 7:55 AM on October 25, 2013 [7 favorites]


wow, this is the mad genius who made the paparazzi costume? I remember seeing this years and years ago, but never found it again and was sort-of convinced I must have imagined it.

This costume is nuts. I appreciate the level of detail and work, but damn does that look uncomfortable.
posted by inertia at 8:46 AM on October 25, 2013


I love rob and I love Disneyland, and I love his costumes every year, but I think I've spent too much time in model railroad museums to love this. It's amazing and large but way too white overall. Maybe just a quick airbrush with a grassy green or asphalt gray would make it much more lifelike and diorama-esque?
posted by mathowie at 9:25 AM on October 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


Thanks for both of the nice comments!
My goal, besides making a great costume that hasn't ever been done before, is to win the contest at the Erotic Zone Ball in Sacramento. It takes place in a huge warehouse in a fairgrounds.

The prize is $5,000.

The costume weighs about 25 lbs. Tough to wear for a long time, and not perfectly balanced or anything.

Wish me luck!

-Rob
posted by cockeyed at 9:49 AM on October 25, 2013 [17 favorites]


After all, it's a small world.
posted by Joey Michaels at 10:10 AM on October 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


Tough to wear for a long time, and not perfectly balanced or anything.

That explains the somewhat pained expression on your face in the video. Nice work!
posted by Kafkaesque at 10:19 AM on October 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


Good luck, Rob. We're all counting on you.
posted by bondcliff at 10:19 AM on October 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


My goal, besides making a great costume that hasn't ever been done before, is to win the contest at the Erotic Zone Ball in Sacramento.

Well, you've certainly put the emphasis on "erotic"...in a very Rule 32 kinda way.
posted by ShutterBun at 10:48 AM on October 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


Tough to wear for a long time, and not perfectly balanced or anything.

*cough* number four *cough*
posted by orme at 11:09 AM on October 25, 2013


I once went trick or treating at the Magic Kingdom at WDW. There were 4 of us and we decided to wear themed costumes. They had to travel well, so all were based on a t shirt and hat. I was Tommorowland. I had a black t shirt with logos of all the attractions and a Space Mountain hat made from a photo, foam core and a visor. I added some tiny battery powered lights for fun. My sister was Fantasyland. I remember making her Small World earrings, but I don't remember what she wore on her head. My BIL was Adventureland, and I know there was a pirate hat involved. My husband was a monorail. He had a white shirt with a red stripe and a foam core monorail traveling through his head via a headband. We were very cute, but only the Disney cast members could figure out who we were!
So this is right up my alley, is what I'm saying.
posted by Biblio at 11:34 AM on October 25, 2013


Was thinking about this. If he still has the California costume from years past, maybe it's time to pull it out of storage, spray paint the word "Adventure" on it, and have a spouse/friend wear it as a companion to this one?
posted by radwolf76 at 12:23 PM on October 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


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