I couldn’t avoid the apocalypse, and once again found myself helping the design in another set for this years Wasteland Weekend, stepping out of the lab and into more ‘down and dirty’ structural work.
This year, I found myself assisting and advising on the construction of the events bar. Last year, it was a casualty to the high desert winds. This year, the entire structure was renvisioned by the resident mastermind, Adam Chilson.
I was brought in to advise on how to make the retractable awning functional and wind resistant. My concerns quickly move to the human factor, or the ‘bouncing 300 lb gorilla’ effect. We quickly settled on a design and I started measuring and cutting metal to reinforce the salvaged car parts the structure was to be made of.
All in all, the team really made a beautiful structure, and the Atomic Cafe will undoubtedly be a centerpiece of the event. Im hoping to attend the event this year, and with luck, will avoid some of the grueling set up I led last year… but avoiding the hard work doesn’t suit me.
Not every project undertaken involves the luxury of a controlled laboratory and pristine working conditions.
The 2011 Wasteland project involved the creation of the main gate, a massive structural set of rusted metal and tires, which had to be sound enough to stand up to the winds, as well as sturdy enough to allow people to man the turrets.
As fate would have it, my role did not end with my advising on the set build site. Rather, I found myself as acting foreman during the event build as well. My task, was to keep a team of volunteers unfamiliar with the set, focused and on track, in 110 degree heat. 14 hours later, after a LOT of sweat, dirt and heavy lifting, the gate was completed as the began to set, ready to take on the patrons of the even the next day.