Prize Spinner v1


I like watching movies and I prefer watching movies with friends. So this last summer I called up everyone I knew and invited them both over to my house for a movie night.

Movie Night became a weekly event. It was a day I looked forward to with the same excitement my PC exudes when it’s telling me about a new software update: way too much.

A month or so into our film-themed gatherings we discovered one of our trio had not seen The Fast and the Furious Franchise, so we promptly began working our way through the… octilogy? … series.

By the end of the second film our friend was furious that the films weren’t fast enough, and by week three he had completely checked out. Which is too bad because Tokyo Drift has at least two good parts in it. We told our friend that the later films were better, much better, than the first three, but our assurances fell on deaf ears.

We had reached an impasse, a climactic clash, one which could easily rip our small social circle asunder. This was the dramatic pinnacle of our own little drama. Tensions were high as we debated, using Robert’s Rules of Order of course, the next movie we would be watching. It seemed no one would ever be happy again.

Until we stumbled upon an interesting idea. What if… what if we chose our movie randomly?

And just like that, deus ex machina, the problem was solved. Well, one of our problems was solved. We’d build a spinning wheel to select our movie with. It would have 12 wedges. Each of us could bring a movie to put on the wheel. We quickly wrote up the “Rules of Movie Night.”

Rule #1: There is no prohibition regarding talking about movie night.
Rule #2: Films added to the wheel must be physically present via disc or able to be rented/streamed via online service.
Rule #3: Everyone attending may put a movie on the wheel. Attendees may put multiple movies on the wheel (as space allows), but each movie an attendee adds must be unique. (Unique each night. Unwatched movies can be put on the wheel again in future weeks.)
Rule #4: A film can appear on multiple wedges times if, and only if, it is added by a different attendee.

Basically we didn’t want someone to put the same film on 4 different wedges, but if everyone wanted to put the film on the list it could still show up multiple times. It seemed simple and everyone was onboard with our solution. So I got down to work building a spinning prize wheel.

I stumbled onto wheel version 1 by accident. I was shopping at Target and they had learning clocks in the bargain bins near the entrance. It was the perfect size and already divided into 12 sections, which was perfect! For $3, I felt most the work had been done for me and I set about working to paint it, number it, and add little spokes around the outside edge.

I was wrong.

The pathetic material of the clock the clock was made of was like masonite, or perhaps a heavy cardboard. I made a beautiful little wood flipper for it, but as soon as the wood hit the brad nails I pounded around the outside edge it sent one of them sailing across the room.

We used this wheel only once, before immediately realizing it was not a feasible solution to our long term movie problem.