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Unread 06-04-2007, 11:31 PM   #31
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Unread 06-04-2007, 11:49 PM   #32
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Unread 06-05-2007, 12:31 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by CapsuleCorp
And anime congoers really have NO concept of "don't wear your masquerade costumes in the hall." Most masquerades don't necessarily put it in the rules (a rare few do) but it's one of those things I learned by osmosis at CONvergence. You want to wow people when you walk on stage, they're not going to be wowed if they've seen you in that all day. Of course, the more complicated the costume, the less likely you'll want to be in it all day, but that's for later.
I actually DON'T like this rule. I would rather it be left up to the costumers PERSONAL discretion whether or not to display their work before the masquerade. I say this because I personally love to show off my costumes in all mediums. Photoshoots, hallway walkings where I can meet fellow fans, and other such more personable experiences than on stage, and I know other people feel the same way. If you want to hold off your project until the show, then so be it. But I'm not going to make a rule that denies people the chance to show off before hand. It will not effect my judges ruling any, so why bother?

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Unread 06-05-2007, 08:27 AM   #34
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I wouldn't make it a rule either, but I do agree with it. About half of my competitive costumes were not worn in the halls until after the Masquerade. A lot of my competition costumes were uncomfortable enough for the event that wearing 'em all day would have been ridiculous. And some relied on a bit of surprise with the skit.

A few exceptions would be my most recent costumes with my martial arts buddies, since we had fun as a group and wanted other folks to be interested in seeking our skit. And I can think of a couple more of my less complicated cosumes which I wore in the halls prior to the event, but that was due more to the inconvenience of changing mid-afternoon than for wanting to keep the costume a surprise. I think it really depends on the effect you want for the audience.

As for seeing that unspoken rule in action, most of the costumes I saw on stage with my bf at CostumeCon18 weren't worn in the halls either. Quite a few of the entries relied on the stage effects to get the full impact of certain costume parts on the audience. Some costumes were amazing, but would not have the same impact in the halls just for what they were. For example, the woman who won Best in Show that year made herself into a shiny, glittery lily pod that opened up with her built in as the Lady of the Lake, complete with Excalibur attached to her front. It was a gorgeous costume and she did a very simple presentation with lighting, recorded dialogue, a fog machine and simple movement on stage. The stage presentation made the beautiful handiwork into something really inspiring. But it was a hot, stuffy costume that would just get a lot of questions just standing in the hall. Like, "What are you...? Ooohhhh, I get it..." Which I can imagine will get annoying after the 20th time.
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Unread 06-05-2007, 06:32 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by CapsuleCorp View Post
And anime congoers really have NO concept of "don't wear your masquerade costumes in the hall." Most masquerades don't necessarily put it in the rules (a rare few do) but it's one of those things I learned by osmosis at CONvergence. You want to wow people when you walk on stage, they're not going to be wowed if they've seen you in that all day. Of course, the more complicated the costume, the less likely you'll want to be in it all day, but that's for later.
Maybe it is more like anime conventions don't think about this. For example, I have never entered the contest at AWA even though I have wanted to because you have to get down there Saturday morning in costume to be judged for the contest that is that night. My costumes that I've made that I felt were worth entering in a contest were not costumes I would want to spend all day in. And I have some makeup extensive costumes planned that I really want to enter in contests after I get them done. So I would either have to get up at the crack of dawn, do my makeup, go down to judging, and hope that miraculously my makeup stays fresh and off my costume for the rest of the day, or change/shower after judging just to do it all again in a couple of hours. And neither of those sounds like a fun option for me. I would much rather get to the contest early for judging, or supply pictures of me in the costume to the judges and bring the garments for them to inspect if it would be well before the contest. But yeah, it's like they give you no choice but to spend all day in your costume.
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Unread 06-05-2007, 07:14 PM   #36
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You know, I never realized it before, but I don't believe I've ever worn my Masquerade entry costumes around all day at a con before, unless I was planning to get together for a photoshoot later..(by which I mean a gathering of fans, nothing professional)

..Anyway; I still can't believe that being a "professional" seamstress means you can't enter at even something like AX. I mean, of all places..
Maybe it's because I grew up with even just the most distant awareness of how much effort sci fi fans put into their costumes that I have such instilled respect for them. There also seems to be a great gap in maturity between the regular "anime con" costumer and the scifi/comic costumer.

At heart, I will always love scifi/comics more. Why? Because they were what I knew first. And honestly, a well done Joker (which is, in all honesty, just a well tailored suit) will always impress me more than the flavor of the week in the anime con circut. Why?
Well, because it's the Joker.XD All kidding aside..

I think it's just that it's such a maturity gap between the two groups that causes such a problem. There are very few folks roaming the halls at anime conventions who have the same devotion and dedication as, say, the 501st legion (which I do believe is the best known fan group of SW stormtroopers).

That's not to say younger folks at anime conventions aren't serious about costuming. (Hey, cosplay/costuming led me to discover just how much I liked to sew and design costumes and how much I want to do it professionally.) It just seems like the fans are more mature at sci-fi/comic cons than anime ones.

Of course, anime cons are ALL over the place and fairly new, so they don't have the ability to hold any sort of maturity.
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Unread 06-05-2007, 09:23 PM   #37
CapsuleCorp
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You bring up a good point, vampirate. Anime cons were the first places I saw judging take place at times and locations outside the green room before the show. It took me aback, and it still kind of bothers me because, like you say, some costumes you just don't want to be in all day, and if you have to get makeup and stuff on and lug yourself down there at 10 am to get judged, and then don't know what you're going to do the rest of the day until the show...that doesn't sit well with me.

But I also understand that sometimes there are limitations on space and/or time and that's the best way they've worked out having to deal with it. Unfortunately, any contest like that is one I probably wouldn't enter, because all my competition costumes are too involved to put on/take off/put on again or wear all day.

Maybe that's part of why sci-fi con contests seem more hardcore? Because most of them have workmanship judging right before the stage show, so people are only in their costumes for that block of time, therefore they whip out the most hardcore designs? And by contrast, anime cons set up judging willy-nilly depending on the con's needs, so people are kind of handicapped from indulging in their most amazing ideas. I'm all for having the contest run in whatever way is easiest and most convenient for all involved, judges, directors, con staff, and participants all together, but at the same time, it makes me wonder if that might not be part of the problem. As far as encouraging more hardcore, competitive costumes at anime masquerades goes.

Guess there's a lot of facets to it, to explain why it does seem that sci-fi cons get the more extravagant costumes in competition. So far, I don't think anyone has disagreed with that generalization.
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Unread 06-05-2007, 09:40 PM   #38
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If it makes you feel any better, Cap, our contest only does workmanship pre-judging before the contest. There is no requirement to wear your costume before hand. I'd just rather not require the other method, either.

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Unread 06-05-2007, 09:52 PM   #39
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That's fair, Danziku. I don't necessarily feel like requiring it either, but once you get in the habit of doing it, it's hard to break. And believe me, the one I'm working on now for convergence next month...there is no way I'm wearing it longer than I have to. Black pleather bodysuits in July are for stage only!
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Unread 06-05-2007, 09:59 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by CapsuleCorp View Post
That's fair, Danziku. I don't necessarily feel like requiring it either, but once you get in the habit of doing it, it's hard to break. And believe me, the one I'm working on now for convergence next month...there is no way I'm wearing it longer than I have to. Black pleather bodysuits in July are for stage only!
Like I said in the comments on it, it will be like zipping yourself into your own personal hell. I can only HOPE our Riot Squad costumes don't cause me to burst into flame at AX.

To get back on topic, first impressions can matter a lot to an audience, but it's risky business. If it turns out your costume doesn't go over with the audience, it doesn't matter if you showed it off in the halls before or not.

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Unread 06-06-2007, 04:15 PM   #41
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This "not wearing your costume until on stage" thing really baffles me. I've been a cosplayer for 4 years and been to most of the masq's. Here's the thing about only wearing a really complex costume in the actual masq (at an anime convention). At a LOT of people in the audience will leave right after the skits. So, for a cosplayer with a really complex, nice cosplay to only wear their costume before and during the competition at an anime convetion doesn't really allow everyone to see their costume. I think this is, based off of what I've read in the thread, because skits have traditional been held over the actual costume competition. People don't always feel like waiting around for the "fashion show" as it were.

Personally, I'm making/wearing a rather complicated cosplay this year at Otakon. Makeup, fake nails, wingspan, limited mobility, the works and I'm wearing it all day Saturday. Sounds crazy right? Well, traditionally that's just been the way it's been. The only way to get pictures and to show off, really, is in the halls of the convention center. Because of this costume in particular I probably won't be roaming the con much, so that's neither here no there with people seeing it. The BCC (Otakon) is such a huge place that you're very likely to not see certain cosplays if you don't go looking for them.


And being a bit off topic, I love this thread, it really gives me so much joy. I've been cosplaying for 4 years now and I've really felt there's been something missing from cosplay for a long time. I've never been to a Scifi/F convention and I'm really envious of the costumers there. I've always put 100% into my cosplays and been a stickler for accuracy and well made props/ parts. I would LOVE to seriously compete when I have the money and get out of school at a convention where there are others who feel the same. It's very disheartening sometimes to be at an anime convention with costumers who just don't care. I've seen so many poorly made costumes that I often run to Scifi/F cons as this magical dreamland where everyone who makes a costume ACTUALLY CARES and tries and does a bang up job.

As has been stated, I really do believe it is a maturity gap between the two that stops competition from actually becoming anything more than happy fun at anime conventions. All of the drama, the complaining, the whining really is a product of the ages of the kids that attend them. It's the nature of the beast, as you could say. You can't really have a "mature" and "serious" anime convention without pulling out the kids that are the backbone. Wait about 5-10 years or so when those of us who are actually serious grow up and get real jobs and real money. XDD Cosplayers that are really serious will start blowing it on well made costumes.

PS. It's nice to hear that Scifi/F costumers are so open to Cosplayers. I would LOVE to joing a guild/association one day and expand my skills and knowledge. It makes me so happy that I don't have to drop this "silly hobby" as my parents said when I was 15. I would love to find a place to let it grow.
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Unread 06-06-2007, 07:21 PM   #42
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This "not wearing your costume until on stage" thing really baffles me. I've been a cosplayer for 4 years and been to most of the masq's. Here's the thing about only wearing a really complex costume in the actual masq (at an anime convention). At a LOT of people in the audience will leave right after the skits. So, for a cosplayer with a really complex, nice cosplay to only wear their costume before and during the competition at an anime convetion doesn't really allow everyone to see their costume. I think this is, based off of what I've read in the thread, because skits have traditional been held over the actual costume competition. People don't always feel like waiting around for the "fashion show" as it were.
I can only think of two conventions off the top of my head that put the walk-ons after the skits. I personally find that practice to be inherently idiotic. I've learned that the walk-ons get the audience far more hyped for the skits than vice versa, and having people leave during your show is the LAST thing any masquerade director wants.

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PS. It's nice to hear that Scifi/F costumers are so open to Cosplayers. I would LOVE to joing a guild/association one day and expand my skills and knowledge. It makes me so happy that I don't have to drop this "silly hobby" as my parents said when I was 15. I would love to find a place to let it grow.
Scifi/Fantasy costumers are cosplayers to. The term cosplayer does not apply exclusively to the anime/manga fandom and never has.

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Unread 06-06-2007, 10:16 PM   #43
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I can only think of two conventions off the top of my head that put the walk-ons after the skits. I personally find that practice to be inherently idiotic. I've learned that the walk-ons get the audience far more hyped for the skits than vice versa, and having people leave during your show is the LAST thing any masquerade director wants.
I think it's really dumb too. Although, I think I can only recall one convention I've been to (might have been Katsucon) that didn't put them on last. Otakon, especially, is guilty of it, which is kind of sad since it's such large convention.


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Scifi/Fantasy costumers are cosplayers to. The term cosplayer does not apply exclusively to the anime/manga fandom and never has.
Sorry, I've been using the term to refer to anime/manga costumers for so long it just gets stuck. XD
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Unread 06-06-2007, 10:32 PM   #44
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Yes, Otakon does that and it's really bizarre. But they, like ACen, have this dichotomy between performance and costume, thinking that one shouldn't have anything to do with the other, when it's completely the opposite everywhere else. Thus, they're creating this mentality among the audience that the only thing they're there to see is the skits, and bugger everything else. That really does costuming in general a huge disservice. It de-emphasizes the costume, and really, there are times when you wonder if you couldn't have gotten up there in a paper bag and done the skit and still got the same results.

Where it comes from, I don't know, but it's part of the problem. In addition to all the other million things we've been talking about. Small cons might be able to get away with it because there just isn't the field of cosplayers to draw from, to get serious competition, but there's really no excuse for large cons like Otakon and ACen. They're so big in spite of themselves that they set the bar for a lot of cosplayers (in their own minds) even though they have some of the worst track records for giving out awards to actual deserving costumes. People don't pay attention to the actual judging, they just care that it's at one of the largest cons in the country, therefore it must mean something.

side note - Danziku, that comment on my strap pic made me laugh my fool head off. You get cookies!
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Unread 06-06-2007, 10:52 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by CapsuleCorp View Post
Yes, Otakon does that and it's really bizarre. But they, like ACen, have this dichotomy between performance and costume, thinking that one shouldn't have anything to do with the other, when it's completely the opposite everywhere else. Thus, they're creating this mentality among the audience that the only thing they're there to see is the skits, and bugger everything else. That really does costuming in general a huge disservice. It de-emphasizes the costume, and really, there are times when you wonder if you couldn't have gotten up there in a paper bag and done the skit and still got the same results.
!
I KNOW.

I KNOW.

I hate it when cons put the skits before the walk-ons. After half of the skits at EVERY single masquerade I've ever watched, I'm ready for the whole thing to be over. I'd much rather see the walk-ons first, so I can see everyone that's competing. It really bothers me that they put so much emphasis on the skits. Every time I say I'm in a masquerade, the first thing I'm always asked is "OH! What kind of skit are you doing?!" WTF?

To me, it's a cosplay contest. My costume is what matters. I personally am not a fan of skits, so I choose not to do them. It bothers me that everyone thinks you have to do a skit to be in the masquerade. And I believe that kind of thinking is what causes cons to have so many bad/boring skits.
I know one con got so many complaints about the skits being boring/too long just stopped having skits altogether.

/offtopic

The SciFi con I went to didn't even have skits. Is that a common thing among SciFi cons?
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