Sunday, October 6, 2013

Escalation of Commitment

It's an old chestnut in studies of management and other disciplines; when one invests enough time and energy into a project that they feel they cannot abandon it, even if it is demonstrably not a good idea for whatever reason (pragmatism, perhaps, in this context), it is described as a case of escalating commitment. You have gone beyond the point of no return. You are throwing good money after bad, and other such idioms. Looking back over the Halloween'ing season so far, I can't help but draw parallels to the current project. 
I don't mean that in the negative; projects described as suffering from the affliction of escalating commitment are generally held to be ill-advised or, worse, doomed to failure. This Halloween project is arguably the former, but I'm confident that it won't be the latter.

The idea for Kang and Kodos was planted in the heads of my girlfriend and I by a friend, who was actually suggesting it to somebody else. The idea was not exactly taken by force from its recipient, however, as few in our circles are actually defficient enough in the sanity department to take something like this on. But ours it became.

That said, we never stated definitively that we will be Kang and Kodos. We decided to gather a few materials to test the water, perhaps not fully believing that we could feasibly pursue it. The previous post here walks the reader through the early steps in the process - but it is hard to put a pin on any of those steps and say 'there, that is when it became obvious that we were onto something'. We just kept on building, each sceptical in our own minds that the costumes would materialise but not vocalising that scepticism for fear that we would talk ourselves out of it and have to cut our losses. Little by little, however, it added up to something quite substantial over a very short period of time, and suddenly we were in it until the end.

So, with that preamble aside, here are some long overdue photographs of how it has come along since it became evident, for better or for worse, that the project would be pursued to the last.

Following on from the last post, in which the duo were pictured in their bare frames, we followed the method that has served us so well in the past couple of years: layering the frame with soft cardboard as a primer for papier mache. This has always ensured a solid finish, and has reduced the need for multiple layers of paper. Here are a few photos of Kodos coming together:

With the layer of cardboard in place, it was time for the laborious papier mache endeavour:

Kodos has progressed a bit more smoothly than Kang, which is strange given that they started in exactly the opposite manner. Kang doesn't have the uniform shape that Kodos has come out with, but I'm trying to convince myself that giant alien blobs don't necessarily need uniformity in shape. A couple of quick snaps of his progression:

As I write this, work has begun on the features, which will ultimately define how good these guys will be. I've been a little concerned with the shape of Kang; as you can see (despite my best efforts to hide it with an horrendous camera-phone shot) the shape of the base is a little lopsided. I'm hoping that the features will offset this if they're crafted and placed well enough.

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