FMP Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=giAl8HD7JdI
I spoke with my Tutor Dom Breadmore and he said because of the nature of the convention it would have already risk assessed and would have the relevent precautions in place, which is why they told us not to bring wires or tripods to the event.
As per the ethics form I have the written consent of every contributor I interviewed,
other pictures and videos are covered by the convention Faq.
Jess and James
The style of these interviews was very much inspired by Louis Thereux and Michael Moore, they both have a very casual style of filming. They meet them in very informal locations, where the contributor is in their chosen environment, but the interview is taken out of their comfort zone. This was especially important to me as I haven’t done this before, most other films have been self-sufficient with little to no outside input.
What went well?
The advantage of Jess and James was that I already knew both of them from Anime Society. Jess has been Cosplaying since she came in so I already knew she was into Cosplay – she was an easy contributor. When I was introduced to James at Anime Society, he said he was a cosplayer. So another easy find? Mention the difficulty for you finding and approaching people.
I would have had more contributors from within the university but time pressures of being a student disrupted this.
What could be improved?
In retrospect the interview questions should have been tailored to highlight more of their individual experiences rather than the questions I was using. This improvement can be seen as I move through my interviews.
With James interview the location, The HUB, wasn’t ideal as there was lots of background noise, but it was the last opportunity to do this before he returned home. In reflection it would have been better to interview him in costume or perhaps I didn’t need it at all as I had more than enough content. But it was a good practice interview as I knew him and it was convenient.
With Jess’s interview we pretty much corrected many of the issues (i.e. asked to see her costumes) but we loaned the wrong piece of sound equipment and only realised this when setting up. We weren’t able to rearrange as she was very busy with her course. Time played a part with the problems with both of these interviews. I now realise I should have done these much easrlier, as early as February, but my student timetable didn’t allow this and I didn’t have a cameraman.
What I have learnt?
I learned the value of the multicamera setup and how it enhances the look of the footage when edited together. I also need to arrange interviews at least a month in advance of the recording date so as to ensure the best possible preparations, including enough buffer space to rerecord anything that is required or if failing that take greater care with preparation to ensure all equipment is functioning as required.
Lydia and Sophi
When it came to reaching out to contributors I had previously collected some business cards from last years MCM Comic con one of which included Sophi Maloney’s so I sent her an email.
Another student named Lydia Mahon was passing through the Health and wellbeing office and overheard me speaking about looking for contributors and approached me. She told me that she knew Sophi and that she could help me get in contact with her through Facebook.
Although this meeting was by pure chance Lydia really helped me connect with Sophi, and if she hadn’t been there I think I may have struggled with contacting her and arranging the interview we had at MCM Comic con. Although if she hadn’t been there I still had the business card so I would still have been able to email her.
“Pardon me Lidia but I was wondering if you could help me with getting in contact with Sophie?
sure thing, would you like me to send her a message?
Yes please. I figure you’d be able to get in contact faster than I can because I only have her cosplay group’s email.
its cool what message would you like me to send?
Ask her how she feels about arranging a possible meet up in March to film some footage for the documentary. She doesn’t have to travel because I will come her where ever she feels most comfortable, unless she wants to come to coventry either way is fine but I’d prefer going to her.”
I contacted her through facebook and she was really friendly and open to the idea of arranging an interview. I think social media has made contacting contributors very easy and devoid of hassle as its easier and quicker to access than email, that being said I need to know the person before I attempt to contact them through facebook otherwise finding them would be very difficult indeed.
As much as I hate to admit it I was very lucky to meet Lydia that day and arrange everything. In hindsight I wish I could have got in contact with cosplayers like Sophi and then I could have had a greater variety of personalities arranged to interview both at and outside of the convention.
I’ve learnt the importance of social events like the convention is one of the best places to fish for potential future contacts as I ran into Sophi purely by chance last year and she gave me a business card. Another I learned while at the convention is that I should bring my own business cards with me so that any potential future contributors can have my contact information. Business cards are an absolutely essential element to take into account in future projects.
Something else that happened was where I had done some extra research following the convention as more and more ideas came to me and unfortunately this made me unfocussed as I was persuing good ideas however I couldn’t make them fit in with the idea I was striving for with film. I asked Sophi to do another interview
If I had more time to develop these ideas then I’m sure they could have made it into the final film. This is something I take into consideration going forward but I should have not let myself take the ideas too far and unfocuss my project.
Matthew Ker De Salles
For my documentary I knew that I wouldn’t be able to conduct the best possible interviews with my current skill set. After 360MC Proposal recordings I knew I needed to find and hire someone who knew how to handle the best equipment for the situation. I attended an event being held in the Ellen Terry Building with several 2nd year media students were showcasing their work and I spoke with a few of them and got their email addresses. Among them was Matthew whom I got to know at the event and we got along quite well due to similar interests.
I learned a fair bit about what equipment we should use to get the best possible quality including using a recording studio to ensure the best quality audio. This was another factor that lead me to drop the vlogs as I wanted Matthew to be my cameraman exclusively so as to ensure the most consistant quality throughtout the entire film. In hindsight working with Matthew was one of best experiences for me as a film maker as I learned social skills and arranging our recordings so that they are inkeeping with his schedule and mine was valuable experience.
Treatment from 360MC CW2
My documentary will begin with myself speaking directly into the camera in a vlog style explaining that I am about to meet someone who dresses up as a fictional character for fun (for lack of a better term). I will meet this person and I will ask them about their costume and what it took to make it. We will then talk about their personal experiences that lead to the hobby and I why they took it up.
Cut to a Vlog wherein I talk about meeting some of the first contributor’s friends and fellow cosplayers. When I meet them I’ll ask about what brought them together and how the role the hobby may have played in that. I’ll ask them about self-expression and how cosplay is an extension of them. This is where the theme of the film lies with idea of creative expression and how it is bringing all these people together in such positive ways. This theme will escalate throughout the film as I connect with bigger cosplay communities online to show how hobby has created a sub culture that has grown exponentially over the years.
I will attempt to connect with industry professionals whom may share their thoughts on subculture and provide another profound point of view on the subject. Couple this with the cosplayers own views and it broaden the reach of this narrative.
I will use they’re networking presence and learn they have come together through their passion and why it motivates such a movement. I intend for it all to culminate with a trip to the Birmingham Comic con in March where all the cosplayers convene to display their hard work. Hopefully I will be able to record the conventions cosplay gala and interview different people outside of the contacted groups who have come from far and wide to get there.
The aim of this documentary is create a better understanding of motivations and creative drives of Cosplayers and their extended community. I intend to allow their passion to flow freely through their own words and highlight all the hard work that goes into the various costumes. I also intend to examine any stigma’s that they have endured and, if they are willing, understand their views on the matter. This will show how far they have come over the years and big their community has grown.
For the this film I watched a documentary called Tom Felton meets the superfans, although not strictly cosplay centric it does feature heavily enough in parts where they discuss the act of cosplaying, how it affects their lives and what it means to them. This was what I meant when I wanted to get at the heart of cosplay. I wanted to allow the cosplayers to speak on behalf on their hobbythrough my film and present as it truely is as opposed to what the media percieves it to be.
On the subject of Media I ran into this article online:
This is what one of my contributors had to say about this article:
So its clear there is a disconnect between media and cosplay’s community in regards to public perception. One chooses to respresent it in a positive light and another chooses a negative one. I want to strive to create something akin to the scenes in Superfans that talks about how cosplay makes one feel and how it has impact on their lives.
Looking back over the process I think I could have reached out to more media professionals however with the convention rapidly approaching and an operation that I had to undergo in the middle of schedule in mid February really hampered my time to arrange interviews as I was out of action and couldn’t leave the house for two weeks due to the amount of pain and discomfort I was in and the when I came back MCM was only 3 weeks away, which didn’t leave me enough time conduct many interviews while my contributors still had enough free time.
Bronies on the other hand allowed its contributors to do the majority of the talking and you never hear any of the questions being asked. I would like to incorporate these types of scenes especially if the subject matter is more personal to the contributor being featured.
After re-watching Michael Moore and Louie thereaux and looking back at my proposal I thought it would be better to cut the vlogs in favour of voiceovers as they would allow me to convey my thoughts to the viewers with having to cut away to me speaking directly into the camera. It would also allow me more freedom and time to focus on other things, as I wouldn’t need to constantly book out the camera and rooms whenever I needed to add anything that needed to be said. If anything at all it was cut for the sake of convenience.
The animator was cut after I came back from recovery, as I just didn’t think I would have enough to find someone and arrange everything I’d need. It was an unfortunate victim of circumstance. In future If I were to ever revisit this project this would be something I’d like to tackle. As I think it would have really enriched the overall feel of the film with an artistic expression of what is being said much like in Bowling for Columbine and the Brony Documentary.
Bowling for Columbine. (2002). Michael Moore [film] usa: Metro Goldwyn Mayer
Bronies: The Extremely Unexpected Adult Fans of My Little Pony. (2012). Laurent Malaquais [film] usa: FilmBuff.
Littlejohn, R. (2015). RICHARD LITTLEJOHN: People in fancy dress a ‘vulnerable minority’?. [online] Mail Online. Available at: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-3172849/Is-bird-plane-No-s-victim-did-people-like-dressing-comic-book-characters-suddenly-vulnerable-minority-asks-RICHARD-LITTLEJOHN.html [Accessed 3 Mar. 2016].
Louis and the Nazis. (2003). Louis Theroux [film] uk: BBC.
Ratcliffe, A. (2014). Comic Book Artist Says Cosplayers Bring Nothing of Value to Conventions | Nerdist. [online] Nerdist. Available at: http://nerdist.com/comic-book-artist-says-cosplayers-bring-nothing-of-value-to-conventions/ [Accessed 9 Apr. 2016].
Tom Felton Meets the Superfans. (2015). Tom Felton [film] uk: BBC.