Contemplating Re-Creations?

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If you're planning a project such as the one documented here, estimate the cost and time it will take, and double it. That's a more accurate estimate. Consider what skills your friends are willing to bring into the process, and how much time they're willing to commit. Have a backup plan. As unlikely as it may seem, people may (and likely will) drop out.

Do your research! Prepare to spend many hours pouring over all the information available, and finding resources for materials. Plan out the logistics of building the various costumes and effects.

The closer to the deadline, the higher the cost for last minute changes and fixes. Do the most important/expensive elements first. If you have to ditch a less important part due to time constraints, you'll have the most important elements done and can work around them.

Don't make yourself (or those you dragoon into helping you) crazy. Stress does things to people. Stay grounded in reality.

And, last but not least, break things down into individual tasks, and keep a log of the progress. (The only way I've been able to do this retrospective is to have access to my original notes and documentation. 1984 was quite a while ago!)

To Those Who Might Follow a Career in Film or Television:

When you're interested in something, take advantage of your enthusiasm and learn as much as you can, from as many sources as you can. Talk to experts, read books, troll the internet, take notes, experiment with techniques, and try to become an expert. Every skill you learn enhances your survival in a very competitive industry.

Never take credit for the work of others. Karma has a way of coming back on you. Develop your skills, and fill your resume with the things you've done recently. Never rest on your laurels. When you present a resume with references over ten years old on it, it's a red flag, and a reason not to hire.

Some employers treat their employees as "independent contractors," with no benefits. Long hours and unyielding deadlines can take a toll, particularly as you grow older. Many people I know changed careers after many years in the industry, just so they could have insurance.

Never stop improving your existing skills, and learning new ones. As your knowledge grows, you'll become more valuable to your employer, whatever your chosen field. Only those who are versatile and irreplaceable remain working consistently. Strive to be that person.

Keep a file with your accomplishments, and notes on how you did your projects. Document everything. The information will be available if needed. Have a back-up plan, and some skill or expertise that you can fall back on. Take classes when you're not working. "Attended classes" looks better on a resume than "unemployed." Gaps in work history are another red flag to employers. Update your skills at every opportunity.