A key component to the ‘32 Chances’ short is the villain costume. It’s dark, foreboding, and it could theoretically work very well for actual crime. The pieces used in the short itself only include the mask, jacket, and gloves. The full costume includes much more, and is designed to perfectly cover every part of the wearer’s skin and hold a variety of tools or weapons. But it also looks very dorky in full.
The original costume was designed for a movie that I planned to film in 2017, although I never actually completed it. Though difficult to distinguish in the above picture, the full set also contains a pair of black pants, a black shirt, two belts, a grappling hook with a hundred feet of rope attached, and a small knife on the belt. Within the actual trench coat there are four hidden pockets.
This was originally a costume for a vigilante.
I went about buying this piece-by-piece on Amazon with the intent to use it—or pieces of it—in my movie. While I didn’t actually have to order the knife online, everything else that I did order would have looked very suspicious to buy all at once. The costume cost over $350, with the most expensive pieces being the jacket, shoes, and gloves. I bought each piece as its own order and gradually collected them all over time. To make matters worse, I bought this all at the end of 2016, right after I had turned 18 and I still lived with my parents. I had each thing shipped on a specific day that my parents wouldn’t be home, because that was easier than explaining. Plus, I wanted it to be a surprise in my movie. That movie fell through two years in a row.
When I started to plan the short ’32 Chances’, I knew that I would need a villain costume. At the same time, I was unwilling to use the costume that I had already spent so much money on, simply because I didn’t want to reveal it before I used it in my indefinitely postponed movie. Once I actually wrote out all the plans, I was finally willing to dive into that old shoebox that held everything and bring it into a project that would see the light of day.
In ’32 Chances’, the rest of Aidan’s costume is filled in by a pair of camouflage pants, dark shoes, and a long-sleeved shirt underneath the trench coat. The mask remains the defining feature of the villain, and it’s actually one of the coolest pieces of the costume. When I first bought everything, the mask and goggles were two separate pieces. The mask is merely a ski mask. It is actually the warmest piece of the entire costume. The goggles originally had a strap and were also meant for skiing, but I tore the strap off and superglued them to the inside of the mask. The mask’s opening is in a rectangular shape, and as such it slowly reverts to this position over time. Every time I’ve gotten the mask out of storage I’ve had to reapply glue. Even in the short, you can see it slipping off the goggles and covering Aidan’s eyes as time goes on.
The jacket is extremely heavy. It was not part of the original costume, but as the prospective filming for the original movie kept getting pushed back towards the winter I added the trench coat as a means of keeping the actor warm. That was its main purpose in this short as well. We knew that Aidan would have to be running around outside quite a bit, but by the time we were done he was still quite comfortable while the rest of us were freezing. Another random fact about the jacket is that it was one of the few items for the costume that I couldn’t order through Amazon prime. It came from China, and as such I had to order it with Chinese sizing. On the site there was a chart comparing the various levels of Chinese extra-large to an American size chart, and so I bought an XXXL to fit me. The chart was slightly off, because the coat is way too big for me. Luckily my little brother Aidan is almost a foot taller than me.
The gloves are the final piece used in the short, and they are supposed to be connected to the inside of the jacket sleeves. I completely forgot about this when we got to filming, but it’s not really as important in this short because it doesn’t matter if we see Aidan’s skin. They are combat gloves, and due to me purchasing them my Amazon has been suggesting all kinds of military gear ever since. They were a solid $40 on their own, but they’re really tough. The knuckles are reinforced well enough that I have been able to punch a wall without feeling anything more than a jolt. They’re also rather thick all around and difficult to tear.
The rest of the original costume didn’t make it into the short, but it consisted of an exercise shirt and pair of pants, which were very tight by design and increasingly led me to reevaluate their usage in any video. The shoes are nothing more than a pair of black tennis shoes, with a pair of black socks to go along with them. The original knife (not the military combat knife featured in the video) was a fish-gutting knife, small and curved just right to be held in a fist.
Even with just the specific pieces that ended up in ’32 Chances’, this costume wasn’t cheap. It’s a bizarre mismatch of pieces that I liked, and as seen before it only did what it was intended to do—cover all the skin—rather than look very fashionable or cool. When I transformed it for the video, I took everything that fit in the setting and simply added to it with other props.