I was 8-years-old in 1984, when I first saw Ghostbusters in the theater. Since then, through decades of enjoying the cartoons, toys, sequel(s), comics, video games, and most recently the reboot, the Ghostbusters franchise--a gift of perfectly blended comedy and supernatural excitement--has always been a great source of joy in my life. After watching the documentary Ghostheads a couple of weeks ago, and always having an interest in costuming and prop-building, I decided it was time to take my fandom to the next level. It's something I've wanted to do for years. The fact that I am 40-years-old (as of today, actually), also serves as motivation to stop wasting time and start doing this thing, "just for the fun of it." Additionally, I am excited about starting a franchise in my area, sharing in the fun with my three younger children (ages 11, 8, and 4... the 15-year-old isn't really interested ), participating in community and charity events, and possibly making a few new friends with a common interest.
As I get going, there are a few points about which I'd appreciate any feedback...
1.) "Screen accurate" versus "in the spirit of things."
I'll preface this by stating that--due to financial constraints and, quite frankly, a lack of concern about it--my uniform and equipment will not be 100% screen accurate. They will be very cool looking, they will have all of the traditional, basic elements (flight suit, no-ghost patch, boots, belt, gloves, etc.), and they will absolutely be instantly recognizable as Ghostbusters. Note: I say this with complete respect to those of you who go all-out in the name of screen accuracy... I am amazed at some of the things I've seen created. However, my concern is more about myself and others having fun than it is about precisely (re)creating movie replicas. I don't intend to purchase screen accurate parts, but am more inspired by what I see referred to here as "junk" or "dollar store" builds... they're more cost-effective, they look great, and it just seems like more fun to me. I'll be pulling in stuff from GB1, GB2, GB3/TVG, RGB, EGB, as well as stuff I come up with myself. I feel this is in the true spirit of the "franchise" concept to which Venkman himself referred, and which I intend to express by way of tasteful customizations to uniforms, inventive and unique "in-universe" equipment, etc. Now, all of that said, my question is this: Does this approach tend to create animosity amongst the "Ghosthead" community-at-large, or can I look forward to most of you being pretty accepting of uniforms and equipment that look good, are respectful of tradition, and are unquestionably Ghostbusters? In other words--not that it will change my approach to this--but should I anticipate catching a bunch of flak from authenticity mavens?
2.) Franchise logo and patches.
I have a strong background in visual art (sculpting, painting, illustration, licensed tattooist), but only using traditional media. In other words, I'm not a Photoshop guy. Can anyone recommend somebody who could help me with making a "clean" digital copy of the franchise logo I've designed for the Lake Superior Ghostbusters? Also, is there a good source for having custom patches made that you'd recommend over others?
3.) Franchise recruitment.
How "open to the public" is membership in most franchises? Are most franchises made up entirely of people who were friends to begin with, or do you advertise and actively recruit new, previously-unknown members? Any success and/or horror stories would be appreciated .
I'm sure I'll have more questions as time goes on. Thanks in advance for any insights or suggestions, and please don't hesitate to ask any questions you might have of me.