By Victoria Onorato
Fredrick “Rick” Roberts is a junior film major who is better known this year for his Halloween costume as a split spirit.
Roberts found a tutorial on Etsy.com on how to create the spilt spirit costume. Melissa Irwin, the costume creator, stated in the video that her inspiration for the costume comes from the creatures known as “Landstriders” from the cult film “Dark Crystal.” Another inspiration is from the world renowned director Hayao Miyazaki’s work, which includes the animated films “Princess Mononoke” and “Spirited Away.” Roberts, who is fascinated with Miyazaki’s work, was hooked. “I grew up a huge fan of Miyazaki’s work as well, so you can say our inspiration stems from the same place,” Roberts said of the costume maker and himself.
The costume took Roberts hours to make and cost over $200. The supplies consisted of stilts, medical crutches, yards of foam padding, fabric, and an eerie mask. “In my opinion, the eerie mask sort of completes the ensemble,” Roberts said.
Roberts wanted to create his own costume that was extravagant enough to stand out. “I love standing out and hate blending in, so when I saw the costume online crawling across the streets, I just knew that I had to recreate to share with my friends and neighbors on Long Island,” he said.
Roberts wanted kids be awestruck, not frightened by his creation. Roberts considered Halloween to be a performance when he showcased his costume to the campus. “No matter who they were, no matter what age or background, I’ve horrified countless people in my neighborhood or on campus this Halloween. Reactions I got are either fear, bewilderment, or fascination for the costume,” he said.
Roberts won the WCWP Halloween costume contest and was awarded $75 dining dollars courtesy of Aramark. Students attending the rooftop Halloween party stopped to watch Roberts display his costume outside Hillwood Commons. “Love it or hate it, it’s a real sight to see,” he said.
Roberts would like to create another costume using elements from his latest creation that is more inspiring than frightening. Roberts is interested in creating costumes for students and making money doing it. “Anyone who wants to see my work or hire my talents can find my Instagram account where all my projects are documented (@rickrobertsprojects) or e-mail me at email@example.com,” Roberts said.