Aaron Harrison Is Building Up To Fancon

By Frank Peebles on May 10 2016

Aaron Harrison is like the guide outfitter of the Canadian film and television industry.

The Vancouver-based industrial artist is a go-to costume builder and props creator for shows like Arrow, Legends Of Tomorrow and many others. He played a major role in judging the cosplay contests last year at Northern FanCon, being the unofficial mascot last year as Punch Drunk Batman seen (and heard mumbling semi-nonsense) all around the convention, among other interactive tidbits he provided. This year he is coming back with a Hollywood blockbustertype vengeance. He is bringing loads of props and costume items from actual film projects, more anecdotes, some tools of the trade, and his charming personality.

“I absolutely loved it,” he said about the first edition of FanCon. “The organizers were great, the guests were great, for a first-time convention it was spectacular – better than a lot that’ve been around a long time.”

The term “cosplay” had scarcely been uttered in Prince George prior to FanCon, but closeted character buffs strode through the front doors and discovered an army of other costume fiends just like themselves. Harrison gave that first cosplay debutant ball a standing ovation.

“I was really impressed with what P.G. cosplayers had going on,” he said. “I’m always interested in seeing how cosplayers build their suits and props, the materials they try, the techniques they figure out. Usually it’s all done alone in your basement or your back room. Even within the industry, that’s how it’s often done.

Sometimes I envy cosplayers because of the time they get top spend on one costume. Guys like me get called and we’re told we need a certain looking helmet, it has to have such-and-such a look, and we have to smash it against a tree in four days. Film is a bit more thought out, but in TV, a lot of it is on the fly.”

The only time it becomes a chore, he said, is when he has to make a matching set of quivers and scabbards for a fictitious garrison, or something like that. “But don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I’d ever want to do anything else,” he said. Being on the team to do firsttime costumes like they did for Deathstroke is a thrill, he said, but so is simple innovation that makes the production team as happy as the viewers at home.

“You don’t need space shuttle tiles from NASA to make armour, you can get great effects from placemats you got for $1.99 at Wal-Mart,” he said. True story. Just one of many he’ll be telling at his second Northern FanCon.

A2016Norm Coyne