Every Character You Build is a Prototype


405th Regiment Officer
Member DIN
“Every character you build is a prototype.”

These are some words I heard recently from a Stan Winston School of Character Arts course. When we build our suits, our props, our characters, almost all of us will have a single vision in our minds of what we want – of what the outcome should be. And yet, the truth of it is, once we’ve made the first iteration of our project, usually that’s all we get to do before the big reveal of a convention or a special event. As Matt Winston put it, “You’re shooting the prototype” – what we end up debuting is the first time we have ever made that project, and thus it’s essentially the prototype. It may not be perfect, it may not be exactly what we had envisioned, but from that build we learn so much that we can take with us to the next build – or for the second iteration.

Although I only heard these words for the first time the other day, I found that they presented a great new perspective to look at what we do. If something isn’t working, it’s not because we’re bad at making stuff. It’s because what we’re making is just the prototype. The very first stage in something more epic to come along later.

Credit where it's due: These words were said in a course chat by student Geoffrey, in the class "Puppet Mechanism Basics: Eyes, Eyebrows, Ears - Part 1" presented by BJ Guyer and directed by Matt Winston (I believe)
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