Last December, in 70 cities across four continents, thousands gathered to celebrate Santacon. There are rules... you must wear a Santa suit, or some other holiday attire, a hat is not enough. Santa has to act like Santa, being jolly, handing out gifts, playing reindeer games, etc.
I decided to build a robot Santa suit for New York's Santacon in 2009. A month and a few hundred dollars later, it was done. The finished product stood almost seven feet tall, featured a box mounted on the chest that activated a voice changer, had Christmas lights around the arms, and a fan for the rocket pack on the back (Robot Santa doesn't need reindeer). The whole thing went over really well.
This year, myself and some friends are going to build a better robot Santa costume, film the building process, and then Santacon itself, for a short documentary in HD.
You can check out our production blog at http://www.santaconrobotdoc.tumblr.com from there you can see how the whole project is coming along. It will be updated regularly.
By adding arduinos, we can add more inputs on the suit and allow for a more interactive experience for everybody seeing the suit. Taking the lessons learned in 2009, he will be more mobile and modular instead of a cardboard box with some flashing lights. Immediately after the event in mid-December, we will edit the entire thing for a Christmas release online.
This documentary will focus on how the event originated, and how it became a global event. I have joined thousands of people who have spread good will across New York City for many years now. Everybody comes in costume, everybody is out to have a good time, and I would like to share that with the world this holiday season. We will conduct interviews with past attendees, and investigate what planning goes into the New York City Santacon 2010.
A portion of the funds will go directly to building the robot itself, but a large chunk is devoted to equipment and crew costs. Anybody who is forced to spend a day surrounded by thousands of very loud Santas while holding a heavy camera deserves some compensation. Same with the editor, who will have to use breakneck speed to finish the film before Christmas.
Thank you if you decide to donate, if not, well... I won't be giving you a lump of coal, but maybe somebody else will.
- (60 days)