Cosplay is a ton of work, and a cosplayer’s worst nightmare is having something go wrong at con. I’ve had minor panic attacks when a vital piece snaps off during the con after months of prep work. :(
On top of that, we’ve all had stressful moments were we just need to have a breather, grab a…
Hey guys! I’m sure many of you have seen this already, so I just wanted to take the time to thank all the people who helped run the Cosplay Room at Auckland Armageddon last year :) Especially Jess and Sylvie who did a lot of final week and on the day floor work.
I had spoken to Adele at Dunedin Armageddon last year and the proposal (all business like and proper!) was put forth a few months after. So it does take a while to get these things running. It was a bit of a gamble on Armgeddon’s part s well as for those of us who put the time in to scheduling and making sure the room was ready and stayed ready.
So thank you to everyone who used the room either for rest, respite, and repair or for attending panels. It was a lot of work and those who used and respected the space are really appreciated :) So thank you.
Given the amount of “it can’t be done” replies on the various social media accounts I think we did very well to prove it can be done!
It is however dependent on the venue and amount of people able to manage and maintain a room for a full convention. As always.
~Michaela de Bruce
Hi everyone - with the 2014 events fast approaching, here’s another sample registration form for the contest :) Bear in mind that this particular form is a few years old, so doesn’t strictly adhere to the new rules - but it is a fantastic example of how much information we’d like when you submit your registration. This form has been truncated - it was originally 14 pages long. Registration forms often get very large, but unless it exceeds about 60 pages, don’t worry about it being too long. The more information you provide, the better.
Again - you are largely judged on what you include in your form. You only have a small amount of time to talk to the judge, and that time is used to chat, to follow up on details in the form, and see things up close. If you skimp on the form, you are selling yourself extremely short in terms of judging - you can’t be awarded points if you haven’t told us what you’ve done!
This is all included in the registration pack - please read everything carefully before submitting your entry.
For some reasons the inbuilt pdf reader in Firefox cannot read the file properly. So I have added the pdf to the email’s drive.
Please use the latest form. Old forms will not be accepted as the rules have changed. Please also include the reference images of your original characters.
Please remember this year there are *no* hand ins accepted. It’s a big job juggling 6 contests a year across two countries so there can be no special exceptions because that would apply to everyone. And been there done that lost lots of volunteers along the way! So please spread the word- images of the character and how you made it are all that the rego really needs!
Also just a reminder about the rules. Yep, the rules for official events are tougher than for other but this is not just about safeguarding children (which it is- there are numerous little ones at cons that are shorter than adult eyelines) or the venues or the general public but about protecting the cosplayers who enter. Because we can say “No. No it is not the contestants that get in the media for causing trouble” because the rules are such that you can’t.
And yes, sadly people in costume are getting a lot of negative press again- look at the Rugby Sevens in Wellington this past weekend.
The new rules are finally up! You will need to read them even though the core reasoning behind the rules has not changed some wording has. The “metal” issue now does include costume clearly.
The big change is that there will be no more hand ins of entries for anyone. For the last seven years these have caused the most stress because I was usually up until midnight the night before the contest and the paperwork we rely on during the judging and contest couldn’t be finalised until about that time so often we would have to then also get up at 6am to print off the paperwork which mean even more stress right up through judging that did not have to happen.
In previous years it was kept as part of tradition but now it is used by maybe one or two people each show. It often winds up as a loophole for people who only learnt about the contest on the day (so there will be more pushing for more information to be given on the facebook page and tweets etc).
The time to email the form is extended to 10pm on the Wednesday and that does take in to account Aussies- so confirmation may be delayed until Thursday morning because staying up until 2pm is never fun. Which I also still have to do quite often as so many people leave their forms to the last second.
Please remember your cosplay does not have to be complete! It never has been, only the form. Simply explain what you hope to do in the last few days before the contest and during the interviews we can talk about if it worked or if you had to change.
These changes also mean I can work out the order of entries including any special requirements to be at the start or end much more easily. And the whole lot of information can be passed to our organisers and sponsors rather than trying to do all this during the hours of competition. This can all be done before all of us are busy during the hours of the show and can relax the night before also.
I have increased the time limits for skits to hopefully encourage more performances. Again these will need to be put in with your form so we can screen it and make copies for every possible format the tech guys prefer.
Hopefully the rules are clearer, there is just one rego form and I have expanded a little on what the “how did you make it” question needs to be answered. There is now also a nice clearer page on what happens during the day so hopefully it can ease some of those nerves we all get in the morning of competition!
Next update will be calling for volunteers to help regionally- because there are so many shows. The most demanding shows are Wellington and Auckland and possibly Melbourne this year.
So with the new year comes the start of cosplay planning- well the physical roll up sleeves and start making my own gear and also get the info from the last few months worked over and put in print and file for the contest.
Yes, I am overhauling the rule this week (in between being tech support of this house) and they will be ready and up when the whole Armageddon website is updated.
The basic rules will not change!!! So if you are worried about having started and planned for the existing rules don’t! The rule overhaul is mainly to make a few distinctions clearer (eg original vs original, in one case the character you are referencing and the other a character you made up- it’s about the context).
There is one rule that is changing but I hope by making the pdf pack easier to read and understand that this won’t be an issue. It is to help avoid a major loophole and a lot of work and worry including having files not be able to be played on the day…. This should also be fine by also by making it clear that a registration form needs to be complete but that the costume doesn’t (I think that has been one of those unwritten things that needs to be written!). I know I can be gluing/polishing/sewing/cutting tattoos the night before!
The other benefit of this one change will be to have a list of judging times to be able to be sent out to contestants before the show and keep contact info on file for any media enquiries we get.
So, expect a bit more info but in a clearer format.
Now if I could just figure out how to make an app for registrations that would be super bonza.
Still in discussions with Bill but I am hopefully going to have a plan of action to help eliminate as much confusion as possible!
If you have been keeping copies of the rules over the years you’ll note the basic rules comes down to safety, respect of fellow contestants and making your gear.
It sounds really simply but the problem, and amazingly wonderful thing, with cosplay is everyone comes in from a different background. Even the term “self made” can be grey even if you take to to mean I put this together from pieces I made. That could mean a kit put together through to weaving and dyeing your own fabric. By hand. People do.
I was also in discussions with Jess of the cosplay games and I hope to have more behind the scenes discussion about general cosplay events. But I would like to also be clear about not being involved with them and that these are run by Jess and Kylie and it is all their hard work :) Jess and Sylvie also totally stepped up to the mark for the panels and Ange at Melbourne for being organiser on Saturday and not having an easy job!
Back to the rules! The rules have changed to be more detailed then less detailed in an effort to help everyone have a fair start, and now I am looking at making a far more intuitive form. I’d dearly love to create an online registration to type in fields and have a confirmation page right after (if all fields are filled in) and then be able to do the human reading and parsing of information.
This will most certainly be offsite so I want to look in to safe options.
There may also be scale stick figures indicating some of the reasons for the safety rules. Sorry if people identify themselves. I will be in there going heels over head on icecream (part of our stage safety demo)
I also have not done this before but there will also be a breakdown on where marks come from. I have said I am an additive judge elsewhere, meaning you get more marks the closer you get but also more marks the more you do. It’s simply fair on those who go to extreme lengths to detail and construction.This will not be a :how to win” list but I hopeit will then break down any fears new cosplayers or cosplayers prone to stressing the night before thinking they’ll be marked down for missing detail.
And the registration form will also be clear that the costume doesn’t need to be completed by the rego cut off date! I will add a “to do” field in what ever format is chosen.And then we can discuss this in the room.
In the last two years the numbers of hand ins on Saturday has dwindled to barely the digits on one hand. By making it easier to get your forms in a\electronically, and to tell with tech by having all skits recrecorded and on a single drive/player. And there will be automated posts through here (queued posts, brilliant idea!) to remind people. Everything that can be done to make this change pain free is being done. But it will close loopholes of people entering the day before with rule bending and also mean a whole lot of info can be sent to cosplayers including their viewing time and so again make the Sunday far less stressful
I also will then have a record of every contestant for eery show so that when media come a calling I have your emails!
Next year you may only have me and a couple of volunteers from the Armageddon pool. There are several reasons for this. So please do not fear when you can suddenly see me looking at your work while asking questions. I personally find it rude to be asked a question and then apparently have the judge not hear so I don’t like to appear dstracted when I really am interested. I do hear! I just have to also see. So I’ll practice the art of asking and looking and scrawling notes that cannot be read by anyone. It’s the part of judging I want to be least stressful but it can still be the most.
I would still like to ask any volunteers to help out in their regional city. I only have passes, occasionally food bribes) and this does make things tough.
This also means I am only judge, organiser of the contest and not a go to for general con safety. That is a safety and security issue and I personally do not have the power to stop people. I can be a conduit for concerns to pass to organisers or security. But the decisions and information source for safety is best dealt with thinking what you would wear/carry to a family friendly school fund raiser. There are kids, lots of kids and lots of uneven surfaces and crowds. And 99.9% of the property on site is not yours, please be mindful of your surroundings. That’s as much as I can say.
Kia ora all,
There have been some discussions about weapons policies at Armageddon both in relation to attending the event and the contest.
Please read the rules yourself (2013 rules are here on our Google Drive account if you have trouble- go google+…- there is still a copy on the Armageddon Expo site for a while anyway) as wording can be very important. The rule wording changes every so often to better define terms and will almost certainly do so before next year’s contest.
We have no interest in policing people in terms of their own safety or fun, however when a costume, attendee or prop poses a very real risk to the public we as an official part of the event cannot endorse it. The event is crowded, at every venue (either right through or at certain bottlenecks that occur no matter how well laid out the show is!)
In regards to the announcement. If you scroll back through this tumblr you will find a link to an article where the police expressed concern about both people with prop weapons and how people react to such items. They expressed more concerns before Auckland Armageddon as well. However post Auckland Armageddon no further contact has been brought to the attention of the cosplay team.
So this coming year will almost certainly see more scrutiny of how attendees behave due to the increased visibility of attendees at the show, especially in costume.
I (Michaela) am currently unable to confirm much about the contest next year right now. In a few days I’m going to start some medical treatments that will impact either for good or bad my attendance at any public event. However in a few days I should know something and will be able to discuss many elements of the cosplay events at the show with the organisers that have been half discussed so far. Once that is settled then the rewriting of rules can occur (at the very least there are going to be some definitions and volunteer information more readily available.) There shouldn’t be too great a change however next year is still a month away!
Basically the rules of the contest for the last few years are a really good guide for keeping safe and keeping others safe in a fairly uncontrolled environment.
Very sorry for the continued lack of updates, conflicting information has been at the heart of the matter. As well as inability to pin down people to talk.
However another matter needs to be addressed as I have not publicly commented on this before.
It would be naive to believe that comments spoken to members of our community or anonymously online would never get back to the subject. In the past I have let be as most of what I heard about myself as judge was patently untrue and easy to dismiss. I also like people to feel free to express their issues because regardless of the form criticism helps makes the contest better. This happened with our previous judge and with me- if something is fixable it gets fixed regardless of how the displeasure was expressed.
However at Auckland this freedom from my interference has lead to a huge surge in gossip and very damaging gossip at that.
When my judging is called in to question in such personal ways as has been it hurts me far less than it does the contestants, past and future. It hurts past winners as it suggests they didn’t earn their wins and it hurts potential contestants by making them either avoid the contest or feel that much more pressure when they do and they start to doubt. And that is incredibly unfair when all they want is an environment as advertised.
The winners have all deserved their awards and there are also many people who have almost got awards but it all depends on what else is entered on the day.
If a negative comment comes your way please consider the source and the wider context.
People have been also not reading the rules and been very upset when they have not been allowed entry to the contest. The rules are in fact very much in line with those run by or use the International Costumer’s Guild guidelines.
The contest has been about celebrating one particular aspect of cosplay. There are any number of contests that are about popularity or judges picking the “wow” factor. These are fine but they are not what this contest has been. Usually the winner has the “wow” factor as well as being incredibly well made and with materials and techniques that are of a level equal to professionals and indeed have been inspiring to those working in the industry.
There are also look alike contests where there is no distinction between model and maker and there are contests where both model and maker are given different awards. There are contest where design is key (a totally different skill set and thus totally different judging criteria is used) and there are contests for students and professionals.
Another thing to remember is that we lost us our first judge due to almost the exact same rumours (almost word for word) and is leveled at pretty much every contest anywhere in the world. Unless there is a huge international conspiracy by people getting no pay it might just be that people get hurt and are prone to venting. There have been and is no banning of contestants for any reason however there is a limit one person can put up with without it affecting them beyond the scope of this one event.
Please feel free to google me. Michaela de Bruce. I have been online since 1996 and have nothing to hide. Just please keep any and all queries about the contest directed to our official channels (especially this tumblr and the gmail account: firstname.lastname@example.org
This is Michaela (de Bruce) here, for those you don’t know me I have been judging the Armageddon shows since the start of 2007 and nothing but the very hardest of circumstances will winkle me out of the position for it is the most incredible event I could hope to be involved in. There is nothing like being so involved with giving a unique opportunity for fellow artisans with such an interest in one of the most unique (yet ubiquitous) art forms I know of.
Firstly: apologies for taking so long to get photos of the Auckland winners and also for the year in review. Unfortunately the toll Auckland took was high and I am also playing merry go round with the hospital system that says I must be poked with multiple needles (upshot should be I will be able to have time to myself at Armageddon next year as well as do all my contest duties, hurrah!)
Secondly: sorry for the lack of info of the updates we need to announce in conjunction with Armageddon Expo for the coming year. There have been some conflicting pieces of information even as we we thought we had the best compromise available. At this stage I’ll just highly recommend finding some thing not terribly real word and not very realistic as an alternative to hand help prop weapons. I know I am going to have to do the same. I have a data pad and will be building an omni tool (sans blade) and maybe some crazy pretend “biotic” power thing for my hand- I’m a bit Mass Effect distracted but that’s been since 2009 so nothing new ;)). Hey a glowing heart from Regina set me on a path of squishy lights!
So yes, the earlier visits by the police at Armageddon (as mentioned earlier around the time of Hamilton/Wellington) became more obvious at Auckland Armageddon. It is as you hopefully understand hard to get definitive answers as to how to deal with the very real concerns had by everyone one involved!
My main concern is to remember a few things- one is to protect individual cosplayers (easiest for contestants) and the other is to maintain a good public profile for all cosplayers at the show.
I also want to thank absolutely everyone involved this year. The contest is a celebration of what the (non-professional) fan can create. The fan of a show, a genre, an artist or a designer. The boundaries for what cosplay means goes so far beyond what we can celebrate in the contest that we have tried o make sure the Parade and Games and Panels and Stages get as much official support as they can.
We love the contest, I love the contest, but it has to be limited in order to keep the judging fair. Or everyone goes insane trying to keep everything in order.
Over the next few weeks we hope to update with what the year has meant, what to expect for next year and to also define why the rules in place are in place.
Honestly the rules are just “make it and wear it yourself, be safe, respect your fellow contestants.” We hear your queries and we do think deeply on them too. They usually have also sprung to my mind at least at the same time and notes made.
There will also be a fairly serious update soon, hopefully to help make it easier to ask difficult questions and also to aim or more open communication.
Please also note all queries about the contest must go through the official Armageddon Cosplay channels. The gmail account is reviewed by the whole team and this account is also. If you you the ask button, we will have to answer publicly so feel free to use anon if you are shy. All emails are confidential and limited to those who have been involved for a year or more. There are times queries must be forwarded to Bill and Adele of course.
So again, apologies for no definitive answer, but we are dealing with some very complex real world issues.