- Voice in the Wind Magazine Inc.
For this article, I will pick up where I left off from my previous article “How to Write a Holonovel”. You may remember that I was talking about the “interactive novel” as a way to bring books and cosplay together. Well, I left out the obvious talking point of where to cosplay an interactive novel. The answer: a cosplay theatre.
Imagine an abandoned warehouse or factory. By now, you know my penchant for reusing old infrastructure. As long as the building is not condemned it will serve the purpose. We’ll assume bankruptcy of the company that previously owned it and assume the building is still useful. The offices would be rooms in the interactive novel. Documents from the character’s world would be placed on desks or in filing cabinets. Some would be on bulletin boards. This is the basic concept. The warehouse floor would be a flea market. There would be stands selling items related to the story. You could purchase costumes, books, posters etc. It would be just like any other convention in that respect. That’s the basic idea. Of course, I’m anything but basic.
There are two ways to build a cosplay theatre: generic (like a movie theatre) or themed (like an amusement park). The generic theatre has its advantages, mainly the fact that it can be reused over and over again for many different stories. The key is to leave most of the setting up to the imagination of the reader. Like the offices I described above. The desk and filing cabinet would be totally non-descript. They could be found in any office. Literally. Remember, cosplay is basically acting. The “set” (and that’s what it is) would be generic. This would allow one location to be a stand-in for many different novels, but at the sacrifice of accuracy and realism. How many times have you seen a Star Trek movie? How many theatres would paint the cinema to look like a holodeck? None. That’s the business model. Many types of movies, one theatre. But this is cosplay. Having a theme is part of the fun.
The themed theatre is much more fun and realistic. That’s the appeal of it. The downside is the cost. It’s pretty expensive to create a themed theatre, though you could easily incorporate one into an existing theme park. The key is to pick novels that are written like a “bottle episode”. That’s a kind of episode where the characters are exclusively in one location. In this case, limiting the novel to just a few locations would work best. This would allow the sets to be reused, like in a generic theatre. Take Star Trek, for example. A Galaxy Class starship, like the U.S.S. Enterprise, is a standard type of ship in Starfleet. This means that a themed park could build the bridge of one galaxy class starship, then use it for the stories of every galaxy class starship. Limiting the novel to a few locations would mean building only the galaxy class starship, not every starship. You’d build the set for one alien world, but not every alien world. You get the idea. This is essentially how Hollywood (or any other theatre production) works anyway. You’d go broke building the bridge of each galaxy class starship, when the only thing that changes is a nameplate. It’s more cost effective and less work to change the nameplate, so save the money. In the meantime, cosplay enthusiasts won’t mind anyway. They just want to have fun. The interesting part is the story, not the set. The added details are just icing on the cake.
Lost in all this is the simple fact that imagination goes a long way. It’s fun to be immersed in another world, that’s what keeps us reading and writing new stories. I know I will continue writing these articles because it’s fun for me. I like imagining the future. I hope you have fun too. Thanks for reading! Please like, share, and subscribe to read my book!
Phone: 403-497-WIND (9463)