The lights are on
The ER Collective, comprised of veteran cosplayer Erick and Rose, teamed up with friend Alexander Albatross on this incredible Bioshock Infinite tribute. Months of research and careful planning resulted in stellar costumes with impeccable craftsmanship, easily worthy of cinema screen time.
Who: The CharacterBooker DeWitt, Elizabeth (Lady Comstock dress), and The Handyman from Bioshock Infinite.
DecisionWe were already huge fans of the first two Bioshock games, so we were really excited when Infinite was announced. We researched as much as we could before the game came out and as we played through later we saw how detailed and compelling these characters truly were. We were really attracted to the fact that each of them was so multidimensional, with well thought out back-stories and dynamic personalities that grew and changed over the course of the game. We invested so much into researching, playing and interacting with these characters that we wanted to make them come to life and do them justice.
ProcessWe actually started our costumes a few months before the game came out, and at the time there were only a handful of cosplays out there. We absorbed as much information as we could from demos, trailers, concept art, behind the scenes videos and interviews. From what we could see, there was a lot more to these characters than what was on the surface and the success of our cosplays would depend on our attention to detail. Rose spent three months patterning, sewing, and distressing both costumes. Elizabeth’s skirt and jacket were custom patterned and sewn out of blue velvet, the corset pattern was also custom drafted and was made with bridal satin, spiral steel boning, and flat steel lacing bones and busk. Getting the corset just right was one of the most difficult parts because I wanted to make sure every seam was in the right place and every detail was correct. I even added shading to mimic the look of the corset in-game. Booker’s shirt was customized with a new collar and cuffs and his vest was patterned and made from scratch, with freehand machine embroidery on the collar. I also patterned and made his holster from faux leather and added functional pockets for his camera and our business cards. Erick spent about a month and a half researching, planning, and constructing Booker’s China Broom shotgun from MDF and PVC. Once it was done, he gave it a base coat of paint, and Rose went in for the details. Overall, Booker and Elizabeth took us three months.
We decided to add the Handyman for the San Diego Comic Con Masquerade. We asked our friend Alexander Albatross if he would be interested in helping out and wearing the costume and he agreed. Over the next two months Erick planned, prepped, and constructed the costume in his garage. The entire ensemble is constructed of common household and hardware items ranging from trashcans and hamster balls to can lids and plumbing pipes. We asked friends and family to donate anything they had lying around. The most difficult thing was creating something no one had done before, and doing it with basic tools and materials. I don’t consider myself a master prop maker, but I try my best with what I have. Alex and Rose helped out in the final stages, adding details, painting, and putting the final pieces together. Erick rigged up the final piece to light up in the heart cavity and on the shoulder conduits, Elizabeth’s skirt also lights up for our stage performance.
Where and When:
The DebutWe debuted our pair of costumes (Booker and Elizabeth) at Wondercon 2013, just three days after Bioshock Infinite came out. The Handyman was made especially for the San Diego Comic Con Masquerade and he debuted there on Saturday night, he made his official con floor debuted the next day (Sunday). We did our initial photoshoot in Erick’s garage which serves as photography studio, gallery, workshop, and hang out space. We wanted complete control over the shoot so we set up everything and took the pictures ourselves. On Sunday of Comic Con we were lucky enough to meet up with some fabulous photographers who got some great shots of us outside the convention center.
The GalleryPhotos by ER Collective, Eurobeat Kasumi Photography, The Watters Mark Photography, Estrada Photography, and Joits Photography. Costumes by ER Collective and Alexander Albatross. Handyman bald cap and makeup application by Chrissy Lynn.
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