Cosplayn Jane

It has come to my attention these past few years that I really enjoy dressing up in costumes. October of 2014 I did what I dubbed the “Costume Challenge” where I wore a different costume every week day. If you are doing the math that is 23 different costumes! Now the stipulation was that the costumes were pulled from my pre-existing wardrobe/costumes (with the exception of the April O’Neill costume, which was rented) and props were created from supplies around the print shop I worked. So, some costumes are better than others…

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Growing up my mom hand-made our costumes and she taught me how to sew. However most of my costumes are more compositions than built/sewn from scratch (why re-invent the wheel?). My favorite costume that my mother made was Demona from Gargoyles only using my action figure and the TV show as references for the pattern. She surprised me at school and came dressed as Eliza Mazda. I barely recognized her in the black wig. Best. Mom. Ever.

I’ve attended many special film screenings, premieres, festivals, art exhibits, concerts, and fundraisers in costume. Managed to win a fair amount of costume contests, including one at Guzu Gallery’s “Icons of Horror” art show with my Ash costume and was featured in Gore Noir Magazine’s coverage of the show.

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Above are some of the highlights over the past few years. I didn’t really think of myself as a cosplayer, because I don’t use a lot of elaborate wigs or makeup. But I’ve come to embrace that title and am currently working on an official Cosplayn Jane website which will hopefully roll out in a few months. I’ve got an exciting collaboration project in talks right now, but that’ll have to wait before I can make any official announcements.

Until then, if you want to follow my costumed antics more closely, follow me here:

Instagram: tessamorrison
OR
Facebook: Cosplayn Jane

 

LV-426 Art Show!

So after my Ellen Ripley puppet finished up her time at the Gallery 1988 West “30 Years Later” Exhibit, she went to Creature Features Gallery for a CHOGRIN curated ALIEN inspired art show called “LV-426.”26454862211_588713b7f2

This year is the 30th anniversary for the ALIEN franchise and April 26th was dubbed ALIEN day after the name of the clandestine planet that the team of the NOSTROMO land on, LV-426.

For this show I beefed Ripley up a bit and she now has her flamethrower. I’m just going to keep adding on things until she has the full yellow forklift mech suit. It’ll be so F’ing sweet.

Other Worlds Austin Film Festival Recap!

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Other Worlds Austin is a genre film group focusing on sci-fi that hosts movie premieres throughout the year. I briefly mentioned Other Worlds Austin in my Strange Kids Club interview with the director of LISTENING. Founded by former Austin Film Festival worker, Bears Fonte in 2014, Other Worlds Austin has hosted several World, U.S, and Texas Premieres. Within the past year I’ve attended their showings of Call Girl of Cthulu, The Midnight Swim, Listening, and Uncanny. Other Worlds Austin (OWA) does a great job scouting for new, talented filmmakers and helping them to share their work with the scifi community. One of their 2014 festival films, Timelapse, is actually now available on Netflix.

Other Worlds Austin just wrapped their second annual sci-fi film festival earlier this December. It may be too late to participate this year, but you can attend or even submit your film to them next year! Purchasing a festival badge got you access to all the films and into the free sponsored 2015: A Brunch Odyssey, where you suck down mimosas and eat breakfast with the film makers, actors, and event organizers.

      Opening night’s feature BOY 7 (Dir. by Ozgur Yildirim), was a German dystopian film based on a Dutch book.  It starts with a boy waking up in the subway with no memory, a killer headache, and the police chasing him.  I can’t really go into it too much without giving it away, but I’ve heard it compared to Run Lola Run.    

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BOY 7 screenshot

 

CUXSp6JUkAAozbQ     This year at the OWA Film Festival they awarded the “The Mary Shelley Award ” to Carrie Carre, the director/writer of Embers. During the Q & A we found out Carrie Carre really did her homework for her film about a viral outbreak that causes severe memory loss to Earth’s entire population. She did research on case studies about short-term and long-term memory loss and the parts of the brain associated with each. This post-apocalyptic film posits that taking away someone’s memories leaves them with their essence or true nature. It also touches on other side-effects, such as not being able to experience guilt due to not being able to remember what you did.

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No Men Beyond This Point screenshot.

   One of my favorite films that ran this year was Mark Sawers’ No Men Beyond this Point, a mockumentary alternative history satire. Honestly, this is probably one of my favorite mockumentaries right now. It explores what would happen if women suddenly were capable of reproducing asexually (only more girls) and men became obsolete, and were even in danger of becoming extinct. While the film begins with a fair amount of exposition and history for this alternative reality, it’s really about Andrew Myers, who at age 37 is the youngest man alive on Earth.
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T.I.M. screenshot

T.I.M. (The Incredible Machine) was one of the more heart-wrenching films that premiered this year at the festival. I already have a serious soft spot for self-aware robots, so T.I.M. was no exception. This moving film was introduced by the staff by asking us to think about our favorite toy as a child, and applying those feelings towards 11-year old Tibor’s rationale and fervent need to repair and save his best metal buddy. This movie was emotional and beautifully shot.

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I’ve been getting a little burned out on zombie movies (blasphemy, I know!), however Night of the Living Deb helped to rekindle that love! This rom-zom-com made me laugh out loud, and Maria Thayer’s character Deb couldn’t help but remind me of Kimmy Schmidt with her red hair, great smile, awkward nature, and 90s fashion sense. She really made the film, because without her it would of just been another zombie movie.
  These were only a few of the films that played this year. Here is the complete 2015 festival line-up. And here was their line-up from the 2014 festival.
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2015 OWA Festival photobooth. Things might have gotten silly.

There were Q & A’s with the directors and actors from the films, Other Worlds Austin swag (t-shirts, posters, hats, etc.), and a photo booth with props and a different green screen back drop for each day of the festival. The 2015 Other Worlds Austin Film Festival was amazing! There was laughter, tears, robots, zombies, vampires, aliens, viral outbreaks, astronauts, explosions, and space kittens. I highly recommend this festival and it’s only going to get bigger. So start making plans to check out Other Worlds Austin 2016! I know I am.

The Chewbacchus!! ?

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THE Wookiee (AKA Bigfoot in Space) + Roman god of Wine & Revelry = Chewbacchus.

This weekend I am going to New Orleans for the first time! My good buddy Katie and I, who I’ve known since middle school, are road tripping there. We are staying at a friend’s place for an event on Saturday, February 7th called the Chewbacchus and the after party, the Chewbacchanal.

For those that are probably wondering “what the hell is a Chewbacchus?”, well friend, it is a nerdy aspect of Mardi Gras (or as we have started to call it, Mardi Groot) where you parade down the streets dressed as your favorite sci-fi/fantasy/horror/whatever character and throw awesome handmade geek swag to onlookers. Unfortunately, yesterday was the last day to sign up to be in the parade, but that doesn’t mean you can’t go to watch!

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Alien Stripper Pole. 2014.

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Bar-2 D2. 2014.

 There are different krewes you can choose to roll with, including the Wyld StallynsChew-Bake-UsSith HappensThe Galactic SenateReady Player OneAlien Stripper PoleBrowncoat BrassThe Rolling ElliotsMen (and Women AND Aliens) in Black, and so forth. There are tons of krewes and subkrewes in this thing, so there is something for every kind of nerd. I’m torn between joining the Browncoat Brass or the Krewe of Calamitous Intent next year. Along with the krewes, there is the parade’s security team, The Red Shirts, which I think you can still join to ensure the revelers safe passage through the city.

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The Barship Enterprise.

The Intergalactic Krewe of Chewbacchus announced that the theme for this year’s Mardi Gras Parade is Chewbacchus 2015: “The Cult of the Sacred Drunken Wookiee!” Chewbacchus started in 2011, but is growing quickly. It’s been announced that Peter Mayhew (the original Chewbacca) and Andy Richter will be in attendance this year. Peter and his wife probably got a lock on the King and Queen of the festivities. However, one year they chose some redshirts for King and Queen, applauding the underdog! So it could be anyone’s guess who will win the crowns this year.

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The Krewe du Who and the Face of Booze.

I am going as Elizabeth Comstock from Bioshock Infinite and giving out small handmade Bioshock themed notepads with salts, the Lutece twins, Columbia coins, and guns/ammo on them. Pictures of those notepads are posted below. I’ll be rolling with the Krewe du Who, so if you see the giant Face of Booze, I’ll be not too far off. I figure that a lady who makes tears in time and space probably fits in just fine with the Timelord crowd. Allons-y Booker!

Submission for “Aloha Sametan!” Exhibit with Pangea Seed, POW!WOW!, and CometDebris

Recently I was contacted by Tre Packard of Pangea Seed who invited me to take part in a group show. Each artist is mailed a toy blank of their character/mascot Sametan to customize.
Here is my submission, “Findiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Shark” which will be on display Feb. 4-18, 2014, at POW!WOW! HQ in Honolulu, Hawaii. The custom vinyl toys will be for sale on the Pangea Seed site.

 

Designer Con 2013 Trip

Best Trip Ever.

Wednesday, November 6th, I made the 19 hour drive from Austin to Pasadena with the gals from Ink It Labs to work at their booth at Designer Con. For the uninitiated, Designer Con is an annual design convention with over 800 booths selling designer toys, art, stuffed animals, jewelry, clothes, shoes, faux taxidermy, etc. Ink It Labs creates laser cut and print wood and acrylic charms, jewelry, and toys. This year Ink It Labs collaborated with several artists and created limited edition pieces we sold at our booth.

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Designer Con 2013 was an amazing experience where I got to meet great artists such as Gary Ham, Amanda Spayd, Chris Ryniak, Jason Limon, Scott Tolleson, Michelle Romo, and Paul Frank (who we did not recognize)! It was soo overwhelming with all the different  vendors and what felt like too short of shopping time available to me since I was there working. I made a bunch of new friends and work contacts and one new client of Ink It Labs made my year. When he found out I created fiber art and puppets he informed me that he was friends with Sid Krofft and invited me to hang out with him at Sid Krofft’s house!

Me and Sid Krofft.

Me and Sid Krofft.

The creative mind behind H.R. Pufnstuf and Land of the Lost. Words cannot express how awesome his house was, ok well, maybe; Dwell magazine would have peed their pants. He had a tree house, koi pond, hearth that would have looked right at home in the Shire, a water tower on the house feeding clean water into the pool, a studio where he hosted artist residencies, an African Grey parrot named Harley who gave him kisses, and a giant fluffy orange persian cat named Mr. Red. There were plants everywhere, it looked like the set from Land of the Lost, and under the stairs there was a spherical fish bowl. I didn’t get pictures of the inside of his house, but you can watch the movie Ruby Sparks; his house was used in a scene.

Lauren and I with Rick and Deb Lazzarini.

Lauren and I with Rick and Deb Lazzarini of The Character Shop.

Still reeling from the whole experience of meeting Sid Krofft at his house, I got an email from Rick Lazzarini asking if I could work with him on a project. I’m bad with names, however I kinda recognized the name, but I definitely recognized the company name; The Character Shop. They are a special effects studio specializing in animatronic puppets! I had not met Rick at Designer Con, he just happened upon my work online. I call him and we get invited for a tour of his studio. Rick created the Queen Alien in ALIENS, he worked on Hocus Pocus, The Sandlot, Mimic, etc. I used to watch the T.V. show Movie Magic, LOVED IT, well they were on an episode and that is where I knew them from. The Character Shop was insane, I was like a kid in a candy shop, marionettes, hand and rod puppets, maquettes, animatronics, and they were nice enough to show us around and even let me operate an animatronic tentacle! squee*!

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After the tour of The Character Shop we started our journey toward the Grand Canyon, which we checked out the next day. We got to the Grand Canyon a little before sunset. So the pictures didn’t come out too great, but it was gorgeous regardless! : D

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The day after our visit to the Grand Canyon we went to Albuquerque and hit up The Stranger Factory and Walter White’s house from Breaking Bad. The lady who lived there was home and told us stories about her home being picked as the location and being on the set of the show. Those were our last stops before getting home to Austin on Friday, November 15th.

All I have to say is that 2014 is going to have to work really hard to top this year. I’ve got a several ideas for this upcoming year’s projects. Hope they pan out. We shall have to wait and see. : D

Strange Kids Club

You know that friend who goes on and on about movies when you simply asked if it was good or not? That’s me. So I’ve started writing movie reviews for the website Strangekidsclub.com.

Above is a sketch I did of the site’s mascot, Strange Kid.

Strange Kids Club is a site for those of you with a love for nerdy nostalgia and contemporary geek news. Whether your poison is comic books, cult/horror movies, cartoons, video games, puppets, toys, or all the above, Strange Kids Club is probably up your alley.

Other than writing articles for the website, I’m currently working on a few pieces for the 3rd Strange Kids Comic Book Anthology.