Anyone who frequents Pensacon will tell you that the second day, the Saturday of the event, is the best.
Day two is the longest in terms of activities and events, and it’s also the day official after-parties take place after the sun sets over more than eight hours of meeting chaos.
But before sunset on Saturday, here are some of the sights and sounds of day two, both from the Bay Center and across town at the Pensacola Little Theater.
Pensacon 2021 Day one:The first person in the line, an extraordinary author and an extraordinary cosplayer
Day 1 in photos:Pensacon starts at Pensacola Bay Center
Day 2 in photos: Thousands of fans fill the city center
What does Pensacon’s most arduous costume (and its) look like?
Ron Tilton, a resident of Fort Walton Beach, is believed to have spent over 3,000 hours on his full, pre-apocalyptic, electronic Terminator costume. That’s 125 days of work, which equates to just over four months.
“A lot of those parts, like shin guards, motorcycles and stuff, were bought online, but I installed all the electronics in everything,” Tilton said on Saturday. “Everything came as its own thing and then I did all of the increase.”
Right after Pensacon 2019, Tilton began work on his incredibly intricate costume design process, inspired by the 1984 movie “Terminator”. Tilton’s all-black costume features spikes sticking out of his helmet mask, as well as his shoulder pads. , his chest and his leggings. It includes hand-made “grenades” and “arm rockets” made from cooking utensils and other items he bought from Walmart.
The awesome costume even has tricolor LED light strips installed to make it light up from head to toe.
“I spent probably about five hours a day, every day, all year round,” Tilton said. “And on weekends, I would sometimes spend 10 hours a day.”
Perhaps more impressive still, Tilton even designed a voice modulator inside the mask that gives his voice that robotic sound effect when he speaks.
“You add $ 100 here and $ 100 there, plus the gadgets and circuits, and it has to be at least $ 1,000,” Tilton said. “At least.”
Tilton said on Saturday afternoon that he absolutely plans to take part in the 2021 adult cosplay competition on Saturday night.
He reportedly entered the contest last year, but said he faced a last-minute cart crash and didn’t do it on time. So the 2021 competition was all about redemption.
“Revenge of the Terminator,” Tilton said.
How Mickey Mouse’s voice broke into the business
Voice actors Bret Iwan and Ashley Eckstein appeared on a panel titled “Voicing Your Dreams” on Saturday at the Little Theater to discuss the long, winding roads that got them to their respective jobs.
Eckstein voiced Ahsoka Tano in the hit animated series “Star Wars: The Clone Wars”, while Iwan has been the official voice of Mickey Mouse since 2009.
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“I was the kid who grew up living for Disney, I watched Disney cartoons all the time, I went to Disneyland whenever I could, and at a very young age I found myself at dreaming of working for Disney as a Disney host, ”Iwan said on Saturday. “I wanted to draw Mickey Mouse.”
At the age of 7, Iwan even sent a letter to Disney Studios expressing his desire to sharpen pencils, get some coffee, or do whatever he could to get his foot in the door.
“Someone took the time to respond to my letter and provided a full editorial on how to pursue my dream,” he said. “He told me the schools to go to, the books to read, he told me to draw every day.”
After college, Iwan actually did an unpaid internship at Disney in favor of a full-time salaried job at Hallmark Greeting Cards, which he did for five years. Then just when he wanted to go back to a job at Disney, a job at Disney sort of found him.
“One evening I’m home and checking my emails. I see an email with a subject line that says, ‘Do you want to be the voice of Mickey Mouse?’ he said. “My friend Jamie, she got a job at Pixar after college. So, as a member of the Disney family, she received an internal email describing this audition process for Mickey Mouse. Because at the time, they were looking for an understudy. ”
Iwan recorded and sent in his audition and as he said, “the rest was history.” In no time, he was brought on board as the voice of the most iconic cartoon character of all time. The life-changing hiring forced him to sell his house in Kansas City and move to Los Angeles.
“I didn’t have any money. I lived in my aunt and uncle’s camping trailer and that’s where my Hollywood story started,” he said. “But that’s how I became aware of the voice of Mickey Mouse auditions. And then, at that point, I made the decision to enter territory that was unknown to me.”
The airs behind the toons
As you move in and out of the queues or shop at vendors, whether you realize it or not, there’s a live soundtrack for the day, every day at Pensacon.
This soundtrack and background music is provided by the Emerald Coast Honors Orchestra (ECHO), which for a few years has moved into the entrance or seating area of the Bay Center or in one of the hallways. to play a wide range of music, from classical to the fittest, Pensacon-y style songs like the “Ghostbusters” theme or music synonymous with “Star Wars”.
“We’ve brought three sets, we’ve got music soundtracks, which, you’re going to have your John Williams stuff and your ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’,” said Jonathan Clark, who founded ECHO with his wife, Virginia. “And that’s great because a kid will go by in a Harry Potter costume and we could change gears and play the theme song. It’s like everyone wants to have their own walking theme song to follow them. ”
The orchestra is made up of students from grades 5 to 12. Clark said guests are known to be really involved in ECHO’s performances, which can become a very interactive experience.
“We had Darth Vader come in and direct his theme and things like that,” Clark said. “We did some TV stuff, like this year Norm of ‘Cheers’ is here so we actually wrote ‘Cheers’. And then we have video games, so I played “Mario Brothers” and it makes people laugh. It takes them back to when they were young, hearing this music. ”
Hours at the Bay Center are shortened slightly on Sunday, the third and last day of Pensacon. The Bay Center is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Jake Newby can be reached at [email protected] or 850-435-8538.