Cosplay Cascade – MinamiCon 7-19


12 years in the making, who’d have thought it?

So I started off with a video camera, just as I started going to cons I’d upgraded to a miniDV camcorder from an old Video8 thingy, so at least we’re spared analogue noise here.

MinamiCon was my first ever convention, Minami 7 to be precise.  I had no idea what I was in for, I was merely told it was a good time and I was too late for the year people I knew were going (6) so I signed up for the following year when they’d all graduated and promptly realised I had no clue whatsoever what actually went on at a con!

It would be a few years later when I made the switch to photography, my video camera had died and photos gave a much more instant gratification, also I hadn’t tried to shoot anything useful and had just swung the camera around at anything that looked interesting – I could edit but was useless at having a purpose to filming.  When I couldn’t get photos I’d switch to video on a tiny IXUS 70, and when I upgraded to a DSLR I would often thrust the IXUS on whoever had the misfortune to sit next to me to film skits with.  It wasn’t until I strapped said DSLR to a steadycam that I ventured back into video proper.

So there’s kind of a few dark years where there’s not much video at all – I was too busy taking photos!  Nonetheless I put together everything I could find, every scrap of useful Minami footage that I personally have over the years.  This means anything prior to 7 hasn’t made it in for obvious reasons!

It’s a wonderful convention if you’re the type to enjoy it, it’s small, it’s quiet, it’s chilled, you’re never far from a place to sit down and socialise.  We play stupid games, go to interesting panels, and just chill out rather than most events where it’s run around like a headless chicken time.  Being my first convention it’s also the one I share the most memories of, it’s where I’ve met the majority of my friends, it’s always the con that sees my new equipment first because it’s the most relaxed, and the easiest to practice at.  It sees a good turnover of new faces every year but still feels the same – in a good way. It’s like coming home once a year.

To that end, to celebrate its 20th anniversary I put this together. It’s not polished, it’s not an exciting beat-filled track, but it suits Minami perfectly.

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Cosplay Cascade – AmeCon 2012


Who would’ve thought moving home and starting a new job would eat so much time? Finally the time has been found to sit down and spend some quality time with a shuttle wheel. Here’s the third Cosplay Cascade video featuring cosplayers out and about the Keele University campus at AmeCon 2012! Due to the building works and general faff it’s not got the amazing scenery and variety I had planned but hey, at the end of the day it’s about people in brightly coloured costumes throwing things at each other. I think.

More lessons learned, and the steadicam had gained a loose screw which went mostly undetected but now has been found and severely punished, hopefully I won’t have the same troubles next time!

As an offshoot there’s a quickish video made entirely out of Avatar cosplay footage, that’s just how big the groups were over the weekend!  That can be found on YouTube here.

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Cosplay Cascade – MCM Expo 21


Second CMV! This is  a much more relaxed attempt, it’s not the fast-paced sequel to the first video that I was aiming for due to lack of time, crowding and the outside area being absent most of the con, and me messing up a lot :P    So that will have to wait for AmeCon.

Instead I picked a different track and made the best I could – I still enjoyed making it in the end, there are some great moments I’m glad to have caught!

Expo is a different kettle of fish to a more close-knit con like Kita, and with the rather packed crowd it’s difficult to explain what you’re trying to capture and some pretty awkward video comes out of it – as a result the default is usually resorted to, as it’s hard to misunderstand the instruction: TWIRLING PEOPLE IN DRESSES EVERYWHERE, so there’s a somewhat large amount of that.  If you are allergic to twirling dresses I would have to offer the medical advice of giving this video a miss.

Thanks to all who got involved and hope to film plenty more of you at AmeCon!

 

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Cosplay Cascade: KitaCon 4


The sprocketed lemon slice rotates once more!

It’s been a long time, my jog/shuttle wheel hasn’t seen this much exercise in many years but it’s time I got back in the editing seat and got some movement up in my visual media deliverings!

In other words: A cosplay music video has been made! Except CMV doesn’t sound all that cool so I’m going with the far cheesier Cosplay Cascade! (I reserve the right to retract this name if the world and its dog hates it) Thanks to all the wonderful cosplayers of KitaCon 4 for putting up with me not just snapping photos but also making them spin like tops, jump about, and generally flail around like loons. This is your payoff! All 130ish of you! Apologies to anyone I filmed who didn’t make it in, there aren’t many and most are my fault at the camera end!

All weekend I was trying out my amateur steadicam and running semicircles around people in order to get that magical floating-camera effect that’s popular these days, with the aim of setting it to music and making something cool. I had a lot of fun with this and it was great to see so many people getting involved.

But hang on“, I imagine you saying, “aren’t you ripping off CosplayFever with making music videos?

  • Not at all! I started out in music video stuffs, albeit not with cosplayers, nor with any clue what I was doing, nor were they any good, but NEVERMIND!
  • I did – since we’re on good terms anyway – check I wouldn’t be stepping on toes by making one, so I think we cool. Hopefully.
  • I’m ripping off acksonl, get it right! Jeez. I am half expecting a knock on the door and opening it to get the back end of a steadicam to the face for this, but I figure no one else this side of the pond is making them so..

So yes, music, cosplayers, swishy steadicam, and much silliness. As a disclaimer – beyond not owning rights the music in any way, shape or form – I’m not a pro at this. The steadicam rig is cheap, flaky, customised and abused muchly; this is only my second outing doing any filming with it and my first on this scale; my editing skills haven’t been flexed since like 2006; etc etc excuses excuses. Basically: it isn’t all sharp, perfectly focused, smoothly panned, ungrainy footage and I can’t even promise I kept peoples’ heads in view the whole time. I’ll get better!

For obvious reasons, I’ll take criticisms on the filming, the grading, the editing, music choice, what have you, but keep negative comments on individual cosplayers to yourselves – they’re out of my control XD and a lot of them are good friends of mine.

Hope you enjoy, share the love, etc. Anyone interested in taking up similar projects or donating footage to the cause of Nert Makes More Videos, I’ll be making posts about the steadicam and its trials/tribulations soonish.

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