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DarkWolfNite
05-23-2005, 03:30 PM
Anybody preforming any Skits or Masqs at NDK this year?

lilacwire
05-24-2005, 12:10 PM
*waves hand*

DarkWolfNite
05-24-2005, 01:00 PM
My friend and I will be preforming 1000 words, with she as Lenne and I as Yuna. Though I wonder if it would be considered a skit or masq...

lilacwire
05-24-2005, 05:35 PM
Probably one of the 5 skit groups, since they really only allow walk-ons for the rest of the competition.

DarkWolfNite
05-26-2005, 05:00 PM
It's my first con, so I pretty much out of the know in this particular field.

Diedie
05-29-2005, 01:35 PM
*raises hang* I have a question, last year at NDK was my first convention and I saw the cosplay costume contest thing and I missed masq.
ANd I don't believe they had one at Kunicon St. Louis....

Anyways, could you please tell me the difference? I don't wanna sound stupid ._. But... ^^; *shuffels feet nervously* ehehe..

Makoto
05-29-2005, 02:26 PM
I'm not on Cosplay staff, but I can offer a little info. ^_^

NDK has two events, a Costume Contest and a Cosplay Contest. Phrasing it this way is a bit confusing, in my opinion, so I'll try to be clear with my explanation.

The Costume Contest is an event for walk-ons; you (or you and a small group) can walk on stage for a short time to show off your costumes, with maybe time to yell a catchphrase or so. The Cosplay Contest is held immediately following the Costume Contest and is a skit competition. Five (and ONLY five) skit groups will be allowed to perform, so those slots are widely sought after. Each Contest is judged individually.

Additionally, last year was the first attempt at a "Master's" Category, which was also held in conjunction with the Costume and Cosplay contests. (I couldn't tell you how that event was judged, it seemed very confusing to me as an observer.) The idea, if the NDK website is any indication, is to create a costume to "beat Spawn". This seems like a negative approach to this category, but the actual intention seems to be a "self-classification" of sorts where you take yourself out of the regular Costume contest judging and compete against a smaller group of experienced veteran cosplayers.

The costume/cosplay rules are listed on the NDK website (http://www.ndkdenver.org), but very little changes from year to year, so please feel free to ask questions if this hasn't made any sense. :)

lady_artemis
05-29-2005, 08:48 PM
Additionally, last year was the first attempt at a "Master's" Category, which was also held in conjunction with the Costume and Cosplay contests. (I couldn't tell you how that event was judged, it seemed very confusing to me as an observer.) The idea, if the NDK website is any indication, is to create a costume to "beat Spawn". This seems like a negative approach to this category, but the actual intention seems to be a "self-classification" of sorts where you take yourself out of the regular Costume contest judging and compete against a smaller group of experienced veteran cosplayers.

I believe that was so that the less experienced had more or a chance at winning (because that huge moogle last year would have won hands down in the costume contest o.o) Or so I've heard ^_^ But it's a good idea.

Oh, and a piece of advise: Line up REALLY early if you want to be in the Cosplay (skit) contest! I was 13th for the costume contest and the 5 skits were all in front of me in line.

Yunie-chan
05-29-2005, 09:03 PM
I'll be wearing:

Healed Galaxia - Manga of SM
Chun Li - Street Fighter
Sephiroth - Final Fantasy VII, maybe updated to Advent Children
Esper Terra - Amano-style from Final Fantasy VI

The last one and another Chun Li costume are pending, so we'll see what happens.

No skits for me, but I'm hoping to be in the Masquerade with Terra. We'll see.

lilacwire
06-01-2005, 06:04 PM
Building on what Makoto said, it's really not worth competing in the masters. I did it last year and found it to be vastly unfair - they don't even check if the costumer made his or her own outfit, and I have it on excellent authority that 3 of the 6 costumers up there didn't make their own "Masters Quality" work. So...yeah.

And the idea of beating Spawn is just WRONG to me. Someone should not be given the "ooh ahh" of being the best ever - it means there's judging going on that is biased against costumers who sew or construct in a way other than Spawn. My two cents, but there you go - sometimes it's best just to have fun in the costume contest!

Yunie-chan
06-02-2005, 03:49 PM
Building on what Makoto said, it's really not worth competing in the masters. I did it last year and found it to be vastly unfair - they don't even check if the costumer made his or her own outfit, and I have it on excellent authority that 3 of the 6 costumers up there didn't make their own "Masters Quality" work. So...yeah.

And the idea of beating Spawn is just WRONG to me. Someone should not be given the "ooh ahh" of being the best ever - it means there's judging going on that is biased against costumers who sew or construct in a way other than Spawn. My two cents, but there you go - sometimes it's best just to have fun in the costume contest!

I had a feeling that's how they ran it... everyone involved was really, really nice, but I had heard about the work involved in the costumes from each and was a bit bitter about them not checking on that when others were up there after such hard work.

And yes, beating Spawn is a silly concept. The guy who did that costume is a sweetheart and does the Masquerades and such for fun; winning an award is nice, but he just likes to show people what can be done. As you said, sometimes it's better to just enter to have fun!

ashleyohtori
06-08-2005, 02:22 PM
Building on what Makoto said, it's really not worth competing in the masters. I did it last year and found it to be vastly unfair - they don't even check if the costumer made his or her own outfit, and I have it on excellent authority that 3 of the 6 costumers up there didn't make their own "Masters Quality" work. So...yeah.

And the idea of beating Spawn is just WRONG to me. Someone should not be given the "ooh ahh" of being the best ever - it means there's judging going on that is biased against costumers who sew or construct in a way other than Spawn. My two cents, but there you go - sometimes it's best just to have fun in the costume contest!

That's very true. The costume contest is supposed to be fun and if you didn't win an award who cares. But be warned, life's not fair and the NDK costume contest is not fair either.

Also, the costume contest is fun, but the sad thing is that you don't get to see the other entries on stage and after you go up on stage, you also don't get a very good view of the cosplay contest because they seat you on the side area of the room.

Ashley

ashleyohtori
06-08-2005, 02:26 PM
I had a feeling that's how they ran it... everyone involved was really, really nice, but I had heard about the work involved in the costumes from each and was a bit bitter about them not checking on that when others were up there after such hard work.

And yes, beating Spawn is a silly concept. The guy who did that costume is a sweetheart and does the Masquerades and such for fun; winning an award is nice, but he just likes to show people what can be done. As you said, sometimes it's better to just enter to have fun!

Beating Spawn? Can I have a picture please.

Ashley

lilacwire
06-09-2005, 09:57 AM
I understand that life's not fair, but there have been plenty of costume contests at anime conventions around the country that ARE more fair, without too much more work! Inclusion of a Child/Novice/Journeyman/Master system would almost immediately even up competition at NDK, so people who are wearing their first costume aren't competing against those who are wearing their tenth. And so on.

I've also been to other conventions where costumers are seated in a green room for the contest that has a video/audio feed to the contest so they can see the entries too.

The problems at NDK are solvable - I'm not bitching without cause. I have been to contests that are put together much better, and are much fairer.

Oh, yes, and let me add: The fact that NDK does not check to make sure a costumer made his or her own costume is just plain frustrating, and not right.

Spawn: http://www.printroom.com/ViewGalleryPhoto.asp?shopperid=G6W7AVJUCRH48PGUXFG XX8M53JWE7421&userid=gbradt&gallery_id=51048&image_id=8

That's very true. The costume contest is supposed to be fun and if you didn't win an award who cares. But be warned, life's not fair and the NDK costume contest is not fair either.

Also, the costume contest is fun, but the sad thing is that you don't get to see the other entries on stage and after you go up on stage, you also don't get a very good view of the cosplay contest because they seat you on the side area of the room.

Ashley

jacawah
06-23-2005, 12:51 AM
Oh, yes, and let me add: The fact that NDK does not check to make sure a costumer made his or her own costume is just plain frustrating, and not right.

In the interest of potentially improving things at NDK, how exactly would (or should) one go about verifying whether or not a contestant actually made their costume or not. Does the honor system work or is a more involved process required?

Suggestions are always welcome.

Yunie-chan
06-23-2005, 11:21 AM
Oh, yes, and let me add: The fact that NDK does not check to make sure a costumer made his or her own costume is just plain frustrating, and not right.

In the interest of potentially improving things at NDK, how exactly would (or should) one go about verifying whether or not a contestant actually made their costume or not. Does the honor system work or is a more involved process required?

Suggestions are always welcome.

Simply ask questions about how they made something, and expect details. Many costumers know the exact process of something. When Bakudan asked me about my Sephiroth, I thoroughly explained what I did make and admitted to what I did buy, while another group said they made everything, though the majority was commissioned.

For the Masters, I'd suggest having people come in with photos on the process; it's easy and shows proof they did their work. Reference images may help out as well for those not familiar with the anime or game as well.

Lady Neese
06-23-2005, 03:40 PM
Building on what Makoto said, it's really not worth competing in the masters. I did it last year and found it to be vastly unfair - they don't even check if the costumer made his or her own outfit, and I have it on excellent authority that 3 of the 6 costumers up there didn't make their own "Masters Quality" work. So...yeah.

And the idea of beating Spawn is just WRONG to me. Someone should not be given the "ooh ahh" of being the best ever - it means there's judging going on that is biased against costumers who sew or construct in a way other than Spawn. My two cents, but there you go - sometimes it's best just to have fun in the costume contest!

What bugged me about that incident is that it was the same costume that the guy wore the previous year and won with the FFX group. It should be that if you've won with the costume at the previous convention that it shouldn't be entered to win again, you should be entered for show. And yes the whole thing about him not making his costume is not cool. But there's really no way to varify if a costumer made it or bought it, without jumping through hoops like requiring step by step photos of its building, unless they're asked and they answer truthfully. Costume contests should be fun venue to show off your costuming handywork!

lilacwire
06-23-2005, 05:39 PM
In the contests I've been to, usually a craftsmanship judge will interview the costumer for a few minutes, asking him/her to explain the costume, how they did "this or that," and get a feel for how it was made. At masquerades at conventions like Costume Con, costumers are very much encouraged to bring a few sheets of paper detailing how the costume was made. (Including in-progress photos, which I have started taking of every costume.) These sheets should also include a good reference picture to let the craftsmanship judge know what the costumer did to make the costumes look real.

Another thing: have a costumer be craftsmanship judge. Experienced costumers can recognize levels of work and help assign people to the right category of judging.

On the commissioning issue: Most people will come clean if asked to sign a waiver/form indicating they made their own costume or if someone else did. Some contests will "exempt" costumers from certain awards if the costume is made by someone else, or make sure to acknowledge the fact that it was not made by the costumer. I think a lot of costumers' frustration would lessen if people were required to announce, "worn by: person a, made by: person b." At least it's out there in the open.

What is most frustrating about the commission aspect is that it's the person who made the costume who deserves the award. A lot of people who do commissions include a "non-compete" clause in their contracts, but some don't.

*ramble*

Spoony
06-27-2005, 07:09 AM
I must say I thought the Master's Competition was rather interesting last year. It gave newbies like me a quick view of just how far you can go in costuming. I'm looking forward to my first entry in the contest this year, assuming my new costume actually holds together. I can understand your point regarding the competition, but when you think about it, there will probably be about 100 entrants, only a handful of whom will win anything. To me, it seems like the most important thing is a) the 15 seconds you get on stage, and b) the photo shoot afterwards. Maybe its different at the Master level, but to me, I'll just be happy if a complete stranger asks me for a couple pictures while I'm out and about. Granted, I'd love to win an award, but the chances are, thats not going to happen. Plus, when I completed my Laguna costume with a stapler 30 minutes before the convention, I had this tremendous feeling of accomplishment, even though it was (literally) a blue shirt with trim stapled to it. After putting 50-100 hours into a costume, I'm sure that feeling means so much more. I'm looking forward to the first time I try on my soon-to-be Siegfried costume, and I think that anyone who orders their costume or commissions someone else to make it for them is really missing out on one of the greatest thrills of a convention. That said, just running around in costume is pretty fun too.
I sort of like lilacwires idea, but mainly because it's really interesting to hear how someone managed to pull off a certain effect in a costume. And sort of hand in hand is the whole costume damage problem. A master will know how every piece of the costume effects every other bit, and as such, can make an on the fly repair effectively and quickly, whereas a commission costume would be new to the wearer, and as such would be much more difficult to repair. I suppose that could be a "tell" of a commission costume, but again, banning commission costumes is questionable, and turning the costume contest into an inquisition creates more problems than dishonesty would ever.
The Child/Novice/Journeyman/Master system is an interesting idea. There are a lot of good ideas actually, but again I would warn against over-complication. While losing a contest because someone had more money than you may seem annoying, I would be much more annoyed to be excluded from the contest because I didn't have 4 witness signatures on the second copy of my construction manifest...

Just my $0.02...

lilacwire
06-27-2005, 04:00 PM
Spoony -> what goes hand in hand with different levels of competition is a craftsmanship judge who can identify which level a costumer should compete in, but also ask those few questions about the costume to learn if the costumer is responsible. Large masquerades like Anime Expo require documentation of costume construction (I now take photos of every step I do along the way), and it's not very hard to bring in a few sheets of paper with this documentation already there.

The other highlight with different competition levels is as I stated before (I think). It's really disheartening to be up against all the other costumers, especially if some of them have INCREDIBLE costumes, and you're a first year beginner. Although I was in Master's at NDK, I'm really more at a Journeyman at any competition (due to awards at other conventions). I just don't think it's fair to pit beginners against higher levels, because the judges at NDK past don't know anything about craftsmanship. You could have the most beautiful, perfect costume ever (which would certainly win awards at other conventions) and lose out to something duct taped together because one of the judges works for the network on which that anime is shown.

I think masquerades are difficult because the costumers have such different angles. I'm very serious about my costuming, my seams, everything. I know there are a lot of people who just like to have fun. So it would help if people could opt-in to craftsmanship awards - thus, those who want to get costume/workmanship based awards can go for it.

Lady Neese
06-27-2005, 11:10 PM
The 1st, 2nd, 3rd place awards are all decided by the audience. Video game awards are given from the video game staff and is like a judges award, same as the tradition costume award. Having said that judges awards are just that, its what the judge likes. If they want to give an award to the duct taped person thats their decision. I know it doesn't seem right but its their award and their choice. Most of, if not all of the judges work for studios and are at the con to promote their work or work from their studio. And what better way to get the message out than to give an award for a costume from an anime that was produced by their studio, or voiced by them?

I know that the video game staff walked around to those in game costumes and asked questions about the costumes. Still the FFX group seemed to get through, so to me it would seem that pictures would need to be required or a permission form signed or somewhat to stop the commissioned costumes from getting through. All I can say right now is send your suggestions to John in a nice way of course, they're more likely to take you as a serious participant than just and angry contestant that lost or perhaps won, if your nice and point out what the problem is in a nice reasonable fashion. This is how the masters category came about. Please don't make the NDK costume contest gurus mad with flames, this happened at AWA, I believe it was AWA, and they cut their costuming contest program out entierly.

As far as I know the reason for not doing all the different categories, novice/journeyman/ect... is time. The costume/cosplay contest always goes over as it is. The fact that some of the contestants go over their alloted time doesn't help it end on time either. When they say 15 seconds that's what they mean, same goes for cosplay.

Katie

jacawah
06-28-2005, 03:23 AM
The 1st, 2nd, 3rd place awards are all decided by the audience. Video game awards are given from the video game staff and is like a judges award, same as the tradition costume award. Having said that judges awards are just that, its what the judge likes.

Actually the Audience only gets to decide the Audience Favorite Award, and that is determined by a straight tally of their vote slips - the one with the most votes wins. 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place are all determined by the panel of (guest) judges who rates each contestant on a 1-10 scale. The scores for each contestant are added up and the one with the highest score takes first place, the one with the next highest takes second, etc. The judges do not get to confer with each other over their scoring choices and any particular preferences or biases of a particular judge are minimized when added to the scores of the others. In the case of a tie the Audience votes for those contestants are referenced to make the choice. If after that the result is still a tie (which has never happened) NDK Cosplay Staff will make the call.

Each judge is also allowed to award a "personal choice certificate" to a contestant of their choosing. Judges are encouraged to pick someone that appealed to them for whatever reason in the hopes that a contestant who would normally not get any recognition will get something, but being human they often sucumb to to the cuteness factor of children or the impressiveness of the larger costumes.

The sponsered catagories (Video Game and Traditional Japanese) are chosen by the prize sponsers themselves for several reasons. First, they are usually the more familiar with the subject matter than most others picked to be judges. Second, they are sponsering the catagory so it was felt they should have some input into the decision. Lastly (and most importantly) it takes some burden of off Cosplay staff who are frantically counting 1000+ audience votes and tallying judges sheets behind the scenes while people are watching the Cosplay performances on stage.

The Masters catagory was an attempt to separate out veteran costumers who consistantly win and make things challenging for them again while giving less skilled contestants more of a shot at winning something in the regular contest. The judging for the first one took a three pronged approach in the hopes that the truly best costume would win. Contestants would recieve a scoring by the Judges panel (the same 1-10 scoring process as per the regular contest), then a vote from the audience which was determined by and awarded to the contestant who garnered the longest/loudest/most sustained reponse (as measured by a volume meter on the Main Events sound board) from the audience. Finally each contestant was allowed one vote to be given to the contestant of their choosing (voting for oneself was not allowed). Scores would then be tallied and the one with the highest would be the winner, and all contestants would recieve the appreciation of the audience (and the con) for paticipating.

At least that was what the theory.

As with the entire show it is a work in progress, and one that will hopefully be improved upon with constructive comments from anime/cosplay community. Priority number one for the Masters this year is to deal with the issue of commisioned costumes/contestants not wearing costumes they made. Several good ideas and sugesstions for this have already been posted, so please keep the discusion going.

-John

Lady Neese
06-28-2005, 11:47 AM
Actually the Audience only gets to decide the Audience Favorite Award, and that is determined by a straight tally of their vote slips - the one with the most votes wins. 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place are all determined by the panel of (guest) judges who rates each contestant on a 1-10 scale. The scores for each contestant are added up and the one with the highest score takes first place, the one with the next highest takes second, etc. The judges do not get to confer with each other over their scoring choices and any particular preferences or biases of a particular judge are minimized when added to the scores of the others. In the case of a tie the Audience votes for those contestants are referenced to make the choice. If after that the result is still a tie (which has never happened) NDK Cosplay Staff will make the call.


I stand corrected. Thanks for clarifying that for us.

Katie

lilacwire
06-28-2005, 05:05 PM
I hope what I'm saying isn't coming across as flaming. I don't mean it that way at all!

Katie - let me clarify what I mean by different rankings like novice, journeyman, master. They wouldn't be different segments or anything - they'd be craftsmanship judged before the competition started, then the contestants would simply go on stage, do their 15 seconds, and go off. The different categories generally come in during judge's deliberation. Some masquerades announce the category (i.e., "in novice, here is Shoo Puff wearing a Rikku costume;" or, "in journeyman, here's Beagle Puppy wearing Ein from Cowboy Bebop.") That way it simply splits the contestants for judging, not the contest itself.

I think judge's choice awards are a really good idea. I would never say get rid of japanese/industry judges - I'm sure they love doing it, and the costumers like showing off their costumes, too. What my thought would be is to have a few experienced costumers judge workmanship before the contest on the different levels (like first - third in each level) and award those at the same time they award the judge's choice prizes, etc.

A lot of Masquerades (AX, Acen) allow craftsmanship judging for the skit-doers too, since they integrate their skits into the masquerade (usually meaning equal skits to walk-ons), but the walk-ons wouldn't be elegible for presentation awards.

See, here I go rambling again!

Lady Neese
06-28-2005, 10:43 PM
Oh yeah I knew that. ^.^ I guess I didn't clarify the time problem very well, huh? From my understanding even though everyone goes on at the same time giving away the awards takes just as much time, if not more. What the cosplay staff said at the last con was, the reason that they didn't bring back the craftsmanship awards from '03 was because the awards took to much time to give away, making the contest run way over time. Maybe it wouldn't take as long to give away the journeyman/novice/ect... awards, but then again maybe it would. Of course I think keeping the number of contestants limited to stated 75 would also help. I guess the only way to tell what will work or not is to just do it.

Katie

Lady Neese
06-28-2005, 10:44 PM
I hope what I'm saying isn't coming across as flaming. I don't mean it that way at all!

No you didn't. ^.^