Guess what? Plans are already in motion for Auckland and there are some ideas that will be floated and some ideas set but with wiggle room. So no “we now present to you a silk worm’s life cycle” to appreciate silk type stuff. Unless you want it.
I mean we nerds have means to get this information…
Anyway sometimes when ideas are presented to us they don’t always get followed up. It’s not down to being stuck to what we do but rather we collectively have a huge amount of experience and can calculate risk of someone losing an eye in under five seconds. We evaluate every venue for potential cosplay hotspots and the stage as well.
I ( neimhaille ) may not always look it but I do have a diploma in performing arts (musical theatre- just in case you ever wondered what that blasting of musicals was before or after contest- it’s destressing- I’m actually a soprano but not around show times, hello raspy belt!) and that included a heck of a lot of figuring out spaces for performance and how to make most from little. And also to chop down a 20 page script to two pages (my behbehs!) It also gave me a terrific understanding of running to time and budget.
So it may or may not be able to be explained well at the time but events happen mostly due to human power. And at a rate of about 6 people per event on site and after hours.
So it means a great deal when people embrace it all and can value and get what they need. So in anticipation of the next few shows thanks for making the show so colourful and a place for all kinds of nerding out :)
I’m taking a short mental hiatus- Sylvie is forwarding any urgent emails to me though :) So we got the prize list to our sponsors in a time manner etc. :)
I just wanted to thank everyone who registered and got to the venue on time. It’s not just to make it “easier” to judge it actually makes it possible. It would not be possible to have time to speak to everyone if we didn’t keep to time.
So thank you to everyone, the amazing volunteers and the contestants and their minders and moral support.
The dedication everyone put in was incredible.
And emails have been sent out Thank you to everyone, it’s now packing time for me and last minute “I’m going to be a walking spoiler” costume seeing as Maleficent takes up too much room to bring anything else!
If you entered but have not received the following email (with pdf schedule attached) please email us! Email programs can randomly black list or white list and it’s always at an inconvenient time
Wellington Armageddon Cosplay Contest 2014
Armageddon Cosplay <firstname.lastname@example.org>
5:48 PM (1 hour ago)
I have attached the list of entries for this weekend, and hopefully it will help you plan your day
For those of you who are new, the interview sessions are very informal. Just myself (Michaela) and cosplay volunteers of the event (to be confirmed).
As an introduction to those new to the contest. I have been judging since 2007 and entered the contest since 2003 and have been making costumes since 1995 (self taught in a variety of techniques from sewing to fibreglassing to fx). So please do not hold back on talking about your work! It is appreciated!
I’ll copy and paste the main parts of the rules as they have been online that pertain to the day. Confirmation of the room will be on Saturday and we will endeavour to get the information out by social media or email that day. I have data, just no twitter app right now due to app fail.
On the day:
10.30am start on the dot, sorry! We have so many entries to get through!
These will be done in a private space so that contestants can talk freely with the cosplay staff and judge. The room will be confirmed on the day so please check with the Info Booth as to where it will be located. We will also endeavour to use our social media to announce any changes and the location of judging.
These short interview sessions are only to view the outcome of your work, your registration form should have all the necessary information on how the different elements were made. The form is your chance to brag (please do!), the interview is your chance to have a friendly chat and follow up of what you have written.
I or another member of the team will ask no more than three questions for those who are nervous or more if any contestant is happy. There questions are all positive- just what you most enjoyed or if there was anything challenging, This will allow me time to look at your work and appreciate it through your eyes as well as my own. And to take notes.
Photographs will be taken at this time to help judging as well as record your entry.
You will be free as soon as you have been seen, or once all entries in the time slot have seen seen depending on how easy it is to maintain door security
There will be a netbook to play your skit on. In case of absolute tech fail, please bring a back up of your skits on a USB stick.
Once the contestants are seen the doors are closed and the judging process begins. The photos, registrations and notes taken during judging are all compared and awards decided. This can take several hours.
Presentation to the public will be at a time advised in the main Armageddon schedule on the Main Stage.
Given probable stage constraints we will ask everyone to be at the judging room 30mins prior to the stage time to allow you all to meet your fellow contestants and to make sure all props, costume sand skits are sorted. Then our team will help ferry cosplayers around the audience and stage so that we can present in the same order
There will be a short introduction to the contest, to explain why it is those who enter really deserve so much kudos for entering and making it through the ordeals that cosplay making is!
The order of presentation of entries will be the same as the order of judging. This is based on order of entries received.
Please note: only props, costumes and people presented in the judging will be permitted on the main stage. If any members have to drop out the remaining members will still be able to be judged and go on stage.
Once all entries are seen the sponsors will have a short message and then the awards presented. During this time winners will probably be kept close to the stage for a group photo and if room then a group photo of all contestants because we need to show how awesome you all are!
After that the Best in Show winner will need to stay for a short time to discuss with Bill their prize, everyone else is free! I recommend hot chocolate and friends as the best companions after the show.
And as a final personal note, you people are blowing my mind with the variety of cosplays and how much you are dedicating to them and what it all means to each of you.
And on an actual final note. If I have misspelled your name or character please let me know. Changing a name is easy until I leave but re-organising everyone not so much
Michaela de Bruce
Sorry for the spam, however as I am sitting here in Auckland with a hot water bottle to keep warm and knowing I am in a warmer climate than many, I thought I ought to remind people of a few key things:
Health comes first. The weather currently is a bit pants so please make sure you are sleeping enough, staying hydrated and generally not stressing! That includes stressing over registering or completing your cosplays for the contest.
The judging works a lot like most people would want it to: big picture first then details. Details are icing and cherries on the top.
Your forms do not need to be pretty. They just need to convey information.
I have found that it helps if I do a table. Costume items as one column and the top row a series of techniques and materials that I add to and tick off as I count down from head to toe, or from skin out, depending on what is easier to work from.
There are so many techniques that to try and create a copy paste type of form would just be incredibly intimidating! However so can a blank piece of paper or screen.
Please click the tag “forms” on this post to see a few examples and ideas. You can even copy and paste and just swap the words to your own!
Please note there is no upper limit to how much information you put in the form but that does not mean you have to aim for the upper limit!
Hey everyone, just in case anyone wondered why it is we ask for people to be on time.
What happens before during and after the Cosplay Competition
During the year files are updated, the webpage is maintained and emails responded to.
One Month Prior to the Event
Registrations generally start to come in, and they are read and a standard response given if accepted- if there are issues a tailored email is written which explains what is needed for the form to be accepted and
alternatives if it cannot be at all.
Wednesday Evening Before Event
Answer all registration forms in the evening, standard form to all accepted and detailed email to those not, and an explanation of why not and remedies for getting acceptance.
At midnight set vacation settings to warn that no more email registrations are to be accepted.
Put all forms into PDF format and make multiple copies for all possible tech desk requirements which change from venue to venue.
Read all the forms including the previously read forms. Highlight any issues in the new forms. Number the forms in the order they arrived. Clearly mark whether they are Open/Novice, Solo/Group, Skit/No Skit.
Make a list of the contestants and include the information as to group/Solo etc. Separate them into blocks of four-five and give each block an allotted time beginning at 11am and every 20-25 minutes after depending on size of groups and room capacity.
Print multiple copies of the list for all who will require it (door minders, Co-Ordinators and wranglers).
Friday/set up day
Get passes for everyone and meet with volunteers who are able to make it to the venue that day and take them to the judging room and main stage to show where they will be working.
Locate info desk and make sure there is room for the signs and forms.
Check judging room for suitability of judging- if fine find out where and how to set the room up for judging, see site manager for a tour of possible alternatives if there is an issue. This occurs with each venue change.
Decide on how the room will be set up for the judging.
Check room for placement of doors and how they can be made secure for the judging.
Check room for plug outlets for playing skits and viewing entries on netbook.
Check main stage for size and access, also for where the cosplayers will be staged during their wait to go on stage.
Look at tech area and find out who is working the day of the contest, if they are there intro and explanation of what is going to happen.
Do any printing that was not able to be finished before.
Rest and sleep!
Saturday/first day of event:
Arrive before the show opens to the public.
Introduce any Cosplay Team personnel to the info desk so they are aware as to whom is available to answer questions or relay message to those who can answer questions.
Have personnel available through the day to answer questions and guide through the registration process.
Be encouraging and supportive even if a cosplayer cannot enter, give them options and alternatives so they do not feel they are missing out on anything.
*LOTS OF SLEEP.
Sunday/Day of Contest
Arrive at least an hour early than the advertised start time to complete all tasks needed before the contestants are ushered in.
Let info booth know where the judging is so they can inform contestants.
Put up signs starting at info desk leading to the room if needed, and put up room signs to keep people not associated with the contest out of the room.
Set room up with chairs for contestants in one area, desk and chairs for Cosplay Team to time keep, check references and all forms, area for photography set up, space for contestants to perform in.
Set up time keeping.
Set up table/desk.
Set up media equipment for playback of skits.
Take a five minute breather to make sure everything is sorted.
Call contestants into the room at the announced start time (usually 1030am or 11am).
Props and costumes will need to be checked for rule compliance.
If contestants are not there during or before their scheduled time with no reason they will be asked to wait outside until one of the Co-ordinators can review the situation. Usually they will be checked between the allotted block times and given a timeslot that suits the situation.
If contestants send word ahead to other contestants/volunteers/Co-ordinators then they will have their spot saved- real life emergencies or unexpected situations such as traffic jams, health issues etc. do happen and we accommodate them.
If there is still time and the contestant is able to be ready by the end of the contest it is up to the Co-ordinators’ discretion as to accepting them or not. Post interview judging and preparing of prizes takes up a few hours, it is necessary to limit how far we can keep the doors open.
If anyone needs to be judged first due to health or costume weight issues then they will be allowed to do so.
Once the allotted block has been judged they will be let out and the next block let in. If there are two doors the secondary door will be used as an exit and the primary door an entry to reduce congestion.
Once all preliminary judging is complete contestants can pick up their props and rejoin the public
Sort judging forms into Novice/Open classes. Select the overall winner and set aside with title and notes on why.
Sort Novice into Solo/Group to determine the highest scores of each. Sort Open the same way.
Select Solo and Group winners from each category. From remaining entries determine technical and skit prizes- technical can be based on single items in an entry or over all work, skit awards can be based on
performance, writing and editing.
Write awards on the forms of the winning forms and include why.
In Melbourne decide on the representative for Australia.
In Auckland decide on the representative for New Zealand and then the Trans Tasman Cup winner.
Arrange to get any prizes not yet collected from the organisers of the event.
Sort out awards and customise certificates as appropriate.
Write legible thank you letters for the winners based on the notes on the forms and seal in envelopes with the award on the front.
Send someone to the main stage to check on the condition of it 30 minutes prior to the start of the presentation of the contestants. If it needs tidying/cleaning find staff to arrange this, notify Co-ordinators in all cases.
Tidy room, sort prizes into appropriate transport and take to the main stage.
15 minutes prior to presentation the contestants will need to be arranged in the same order as before.
Once the audience has left from the previous main stage presentation and the new audience for the cosplay contest is entering the aisles need to be checked to keep them clear as well as the area between the first row of seats and the stage. They need to be clear for fire safety and to ensure photographers do not take inappropriate photos from below the contestants. Official photographers will be allowed to take photos but they must not get in the way of contestants or audience alike.
Prizes are arranged backstage or to the side where they are not seen by the audience and can be easily collected for prize giving.
Co-ordinators go on the stage and give a welcome to the audience. If need be reiterate safety and respect messages to the audience. A very brief explanation of cosplay and the work the contestants put into each
show and the order of events follows and then a round of applause for the contestants before the contest presentation begins.
The contestants will be called up to the stage in order and if they have a skit they perform it, and if they have no skit they will pose in the centre of the stage for about 10 seconds before they are thanked and the next
contestant is called on.
Once all contestants have presented their works the Co-ordinators go back on stage to thank them and call
for applause for them.
Sponsors are then invited to discuss their role in the competition.
The prizes are explained and the first set of prizes awarded will be Novice. This starts with the tech and skit prizes then solo and group.
Next is the Open class in the same order.
Before the Best in Show is announced it is explained that they will represent that region at the next stage of the contest (For Australia or New Zealand) and that they will be flown to attend that event in person. The prize includes considerations to attend Auckland to represent their city.
Announce best in Show.
If in Melbourne or Auckland bring out other regional winners before announcing the National representative.
If in Auckland then also introduce the Australian representative and have them come to the stage while introducing them and give them a chance to display their costume.
Announce the Trans Tasman Cup Winner.
Get all other winners up on the stage: regional first then all others and then get the rest of the cosplayers to fit
in on or near the stage as best they can and call for more applause for them.
Thank the audience, the cosplayers, volunteers and event organisers and end with a goodbye from the team.
Get any contact information from the Best in Show winner-unless in Auckland, no need- to pass on to Bill to arrange travel.
Tidy all paperwork, and tech.
Duties and roles required:
Some of these may be taken over by more than one person of one person may take on different roles.
Making sure contestants are where they need to be in the morning and before the presentation. A list of all the entries will be provided.
Morning: Outside the judging room at start time.
Presentation: 15 minutes prior to presentation, usually along stage left audience aisle but will be confirmed at the event.
Assess whether a cosplayers props and costumes meet the rules or not. If in doubt as one of the coordinators for clarification. There will be a copy of the rules available.
This will occur prior to judging and before presentation.
Play pre-recorded skits for the contestants during judging. Also will go to tech desk to play skits in order for the presentation. A list of all the entries will be provided.
For the presentation two microphones are needed, they will either be at the tech desk or on the stage- ask at the tech desk. The co-ordinators will be able to get them once they know where they are.
The order of entries and order of blocks of entries will be pre-determined. Time keeping is vital to allow this to happen.
Aka the Gate Keeper- very important role(s)
Keeping those without permission outside the doors and making sure the doors do not get rattled and bangeddistractions take away time from judging and also make the contestants feel less secure.
Ideally two minders for the main door, one inside to relay messages from outside to the Team and one outside to prevent anyone from knocking on the door, rattling the handle or bursting in during a skit. If a second door is available it can be used for the exit if it is lockable from the inside- the inside door minder can open it for the contestants to leave with the outside door minder.
If the main door is lockable only one person on the inside is needed. If it is not lockable then they can be outside to prevent the door being opened at all.
Some events are much busier than others and messages/items need to be relayed from part of the site to another while other vital tasks are performed by the co-ordinators. This may be anything from locating
equipment to finding St John staff.
May be required to find other event/site staff to deal with stage issues such as clearing up mess from the previous stage event.
Awards and such need to be handed out and the stage may need to be cleared of sofas etc. also checking the
stage is safe for contestants and staff alike.
Needed to take photographs between each entry during the judging. These are used as a reference for judging. The photographs need to be clear views of the front of the contestants at least.
Most people who volunteer will only be asked to help with the on site workload (security and tech and gophering) so as to enable them to be able to enter future contests without any conflict- all commentary on judging is confidential and contained to a very few people.
And like many of you I am not yet ready and wondering why oh why did I choose this. Of all things. Why?
Anyway, a few tips for those wanting to participate in the contests but are starting to get in to headless chicken mode. Because; This Is Cosplay.
~ If you get your forms in early we can guide you if there is more info needed that would help you (please note we want to help you, but that means we need info, nothing personal just what you did.)
~ Every time we receive a form that is not quite complete or needs more info we do give a second chance :) The only time we can’t is on the Wednesday night when all the flurry of getting forms fully sorted.
~ However if you get a “sorry” email on Wednesday but you know you can fix an issue and get the form returned that night, then please do. With E forms only this year there is a tiny bit more leeway with cut off for those who have genuinely tried :)
~Please use MP3 and MP$ for skits. these are wonderfully easy to cross platforms and even play via a phone if need be :)
~ Please use PDFs for your form. Once upon a time in the dark old days PDFs were very hard to make from anthing other than specific software. Now Open Office, Adobe and MS Word/Office allow pdf exporting! So does Chrome I think. Basically it saves time which allows for more entries to be read more fully.
~ We can’t guarantee stage types/heights/widths for each show. As a rough guide they are usually about 3m wide. And 2m deep. In Auckland the stage is very raised while at every other venue it is much smaller.
So we are starting to get forms rolling in :) This is awesome, people have also been asking questions, also fantastic!
Please do not be afraid of either asking questions or sending big big forms. Seriously. Yes, there are busy times. Yes there can be a lot to read but never ever be afraid of being verbose or including lots of pictures.
I think there has been one form that broke gmail’s data limit and I had to download it from a cloud. But you know what? That is not only fine but pretty awesome. That rocks.
Never be afraid of doing too much in a form. Ever. As a really long time costumer and cosplayer (my cosplay.com profile says I joined in Jan 2003 and I already had been making stuff for.. some.. time.. before that…) I just love reading your forms. Really. There is nothing about cosplaying and costuming that is not interesting to me.
The things that went right? I’m cheering along side. The things that went wrong, I am so there. Oh yes. Fileting a finger? Yup. Lost a toenail due to footwear? Yip. Got fibreglass in my hair because I was up way too late and my armour just fell off the support and I didn’t have time to put on full gear before it started to set up and possibly be ruined and then I flaked and put my hands to my face?
Felt like a boss after sewing through 8 layers of fabric and not destroying my overlocker. Yeah!
That said I do know that filling out a form while in the throes of actually finishing a costume can be the last thing you want to do or think you have time for. Been there back when I was competing in the contest and more recently for a few other contests. So a few hints:
In progress photos really do tell a story. They do not have to be perfectly lit or in frame. Again most of the time when I think to get a photo it’s well past dark and nothing looks good. A caption helps to identify what’s going on of course :)
Costume diaries. Social media can be super handy for jotting down daily progress without eating in to your costume making time. A few lines and a photo can help you keep track of what you are doing. And you don’t have to share it publicly :) And you can tag and then copy paste right in to your form and edit it a little for easier reading.
You can also share with a forum or community and copy paste.
But please do not just include a link to an online diary/forum thread etc.. I do have a fair amount of editing once forms are in to make them portable and transferable across several devices (to have back ups and alternatives for any sort of technical failure.) So having to copy paste and convert and read takes up time I could just be reading your forms and processing all the information :)
Michaela de Bruce
Hi everyone - another little PSA regarding the cosplay contest, from your friendly neighbourhood judging team volunteer. The armageddon cosplay gmail account is monitored year-round by volunteers, and gets a reasonable amount of activity concerning non-competition stuff (ideas for events, general enquiries about Armageddon as a whole, etc). If it’s not in the immediate lead-up to a convention (so more than three weeks before a show) you may end up waiting a few days, but we try and keep on top of things as much as possible.
As far as comp queries go, I answer these as soon as I see them. If you’ve asked a question and haven’t gotten a reply within a day or two, and it’s within a few weeks of a show, one of two things has happened: either I am checking something out before I get back to you, OR your email did not come through. This can (and unfortunately does) happen, and it’s bollocks for everyone involved, so please; if you need to know something and haven’t heard back in a couple of days, send a follow up and make sure we’ve received your message.
This also applies to entry forms - we acknowledge the receipt of all entries, and I keep a really close eye on the inbox in the weeks leading up to a con when Michaela is prepping the judging stuff. You will get a response, often same day
ON THIS NOTE: please please PLEASE try not to leave your entry form until the very last second! If we need more information, or don’t receive the email, you still only have until 10pm on the Wednesday before the show to get the final form to us! We enforce this deadline really strictly, and will not allow late entries for any reason. It’s not fair on everyone else to bend the rules because someone’s made a mistake, or hasn’t supplied enough information. This means that if you don’t hear from us, follow it up BEFORE THE DEADLINE or you won’t be accepted into the contest. Make it easier on everyone, including yourself, and allow a couple of days extra time.
And remember: YOUR COSTUME DOES NOT NEED TO BE FINISHED FOR YOU TO ENTER! Just tell us what you’ve done and what you plan to do and how, and we’ll talk about it at judging.
Cheers and beers, and good luck to everyone getting ready for Hamilton and Wellington!
Finally had a rest and recovery myself so I hope everyone is doing well after Christchurch! I have many thoughts and ideas and will be soon text spamming through here (having experience of on site venues and the implications for cosplay choices) also a peak behind the curtain in to what goes on that no one sees and what we do and don’t ask of volunteers.
Just another thank you to every one who entered the contest, to those who made it through the day (it was a hot and cold weekend!) and also to those who put so much work in but were unable to participate. Your forms were truly inspiring and I’d love to see you be able to share your work in any way (whether it be at another contest or online or whatever you feel most comfortable doing.)
~Many thanks again,
Good luck everyone!