Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Werewolf Learning: Part 3

I’ve posted several videos of a werewolf costume created by a grad student at Western Washington University. I wrote her with some questions about her project. She was more than generous with her answers and I wanted to share some of her responses over the next couple of days.

The comments at the end are mine and reflect my own bias. If you want to read her complete, un-edited comments, they are posted here.

How did you come up with the stilt idea?

"We wanted our werewolf costume to look like it had wolf legs, and we wanted to build those legs out of inexpensive materials without creating a lot of waste. Many movies and television shows use effects to achieve this look, sometimes they use padding and create the illusion of a very long foot walking on short toes, or they will create extensions of the leg (stilts.) We spent about forty minutes researching what had already been done. However, the stilts we found video and photographs of are not easy to remake, nor can you stand still while using them. They also required using materials, chemicals or molding techniques not available to most people."

We went to the hardware store with a rough sketch of what needed to be a part of the stilt, and chose our materials based on what was available. The staff at the store cut the wood for us, but we didn't buy everything we knew we needed. We went to a used hardware store afterward and bought old furniture foam, drawer slides, and door hinges. That way a portion of our stilts would be made of reused material. Learning to re-use material can help stretch a budget and prevent waste of materials."

I want to hand this response to my kids who are working on special projects. The research, the planning, the winging it at the hardware store and the re-use of materials. It makes my old teacher heart throb with pride and they aren’t even my students.

[Image: Modified photo by © Chris Harvey -]

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