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Messages - Enkai

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1
I understand price being a good reason not to go, but if you don't have the money then you honestly should not attend. Going to the con, complaining about not being able to be in events and other things, and then say "Well I don't have the money" seems like your saying that you want to be able to do everything at the con for free. If you really want to go to the con and have low money then buy the ticket early, it isn't too cheap but it is still cheaper.

More interpreting "not having the money" as "not wanting to spend the money" here in my case...

Depends on why you want to go, and what your situation was at the time.  If the only reason you want a badge is to go shopping, and you don't know for certain that there will be anything in artists' or dealers' that makes the cost worth it?  Fanime isn't the sort of convention that gets lots of exclusives, so $85 (or $60 for a single day badge) just for the chance that you MAY find that thing you really want to buy? Pretty steep.  And in our case, buying badges early was a risky prospect (and honestly, still more than we wanted to spend just to go shopping).

This was my husband and my first year not attending Fanime in years (minus one year where I only attended for a day because of finishing up my degree, I've been attending since 2007).  This had nothing to do with Fanime. I had a baby two weeks before the convention, and for a number of reasons, the full convention was NOT going to happen.   We took a little time walked around outside the con to see what cool costumes were around each day, met up with some friends, but didn't buy a badge.

We wanted to though, or really, buy a single one day badge for my husband to use to wander Artists' Alley.  We may not be have the energy to go to the con, and we weren't going to bring a 2-week-old into the more crowded areas of the con, but we could spare a few hours for one of us to see if there was any cool art.

Not for $60 though.

It'd make enforcement tricker, but I'd really love to see a cheaper "shopper's pass" for attendees who don't care about the events, but want access to Dealers' and Artists'.  I understand that putting on the events costs money, so while steep, I'm less concerned about the overall cost of the badge as whole.  But not everybody is interested in being a 24 hour attendee.

My point is that wanting to attend the con and not wanting to spend the money =/= thinking all the events should be free.  It just means thinking that the cost is too high for the events you do want to to attend.

2
Yeah, I was hoping by making it when I did Monday folks would be checked out by then.  Too much later and everybody has left.  Also I was thinking not wearing big costumes because I want full range of movement because I use gestures to explain things a lot.  ^^;

For anybody who wants a preview of what I'm planning, for the drawing portion of the panel, I'm going to walk through my current prop project-a new chainsaw for my husband's Grell costume.  The process I've gone through planning this touches on all the areas I would like to cover (scale, drawings from a number of different angles, thinking about different materials and their responses)
I made a 3D model of it (mostly because that's the quickest way for me to create a complete set of drawings); here's a screenshot of what it looks like!


Also, I have created a Facebook event to advertise the panel.  If you know anybody you think would be interested, feel free to invite them!
https://www.facebook.com/events/476987762500788/

3
So I just had an idea that I think will be pretty awesome.

This panel's gonna involve breaking things.

I was thinking about what was helpful when I was in school, what's helpful when I volunteer with high schoolers, and what is engaging to watch, and it always comes down to seeing how things break.

So yeah, if you want to see how much heavy stuff I can stick on something made out of worbla (not that Worbla will be the only thing we test), come to this panel.

4
The panel is approved! Monday at noon.  I will try to offer some previews here as I develop it more,

5
Live Programming and Events / Re: fanime karaoke contestants chat
« on: April 12, 2016, 07:59:52 PM »
Whether I do or don't depends on if I can recruit some buddies of mine to do a group with me.  I want to change up from my "sing all the Seramyu villain songs" stunt I have done in the past, and trying get a group so we can do 3-4 part harmony would be awesome.  Doing the Attack on Titan theme might be enough to convince them to participate? We'd have to figure out a finals song though.  (At which point I try to convert them to the church of Kalafina)

Of course, I am either the closest or second closest to soprano in my group of friends (really a mezzo), so that might turn out ....interesting....

I definitely want to get out to open mic though. Hopefully if I can't convince people to compete with me, I can at least get on of my second alto friends to sing Uranus's part in the new Sailor Moon Crystal ending with me. I don't think it's in my baritone hubby's range, although it does get super low.

6
I was thinking of doing masquerade this year in a different costume, but ended up deciding against it, so I will definitely be there as Beryl.  Hubby's working on an Endymion costume he wants to have done by Fanime, so he will probably be there with that. If not, he definitely has a Queen Metalia poncho. There will be two of us, one way or another.

7
Sounds good. I don't know if you are local to San Jose, but I am, so if you need any answers as to what is around specifically, I can answer questions, if you've got them.  Downtown SJ has a pretty wide variety of options, unlike some convention centers, so you can probably keep it pretty general and be fine.  Some amount of specifics I think would be helpful, not necessarily sending people somewhere, but info on what's out there, because it seems sometimes convention attendees don't realize there is anything beyond Johnny Rockets.

8
Good thing there are plenty of other food options at Fanime besides McDonalds then.

He does bring up an interesting point though.  On the "surviving Fanime" topic, are you going to be covering eateries nearby, since I am guessing that it's going to be difficult for people who haven't already brought healthy food supply options to obtain those.  There are a number of healthier options around, but they can be pricey.  Or were you just thinking of sending everybody to the Safeway on 2nd street?  (speaking of pricey, there's also a Whole Foods maybe a mile and a half, maybe a bit less from the con center, if folks are willing to walk that far and/or hop on the light rail). Those are the main supermarkets within walking distance though.

9
Sweet. Well, I have submitted this one, so hopefully Fanime approves it.  I requested Monday for it, mostly because I will want my full range of motion, and I don't wear big costumes that limit that on Monday.

10
I have a few cosplay-related panels I would like to do this year, and I'm gauging interest in them.  This thread is what I call "An Engineer's Guide to Cosplay."

Conceptually, this is probably the most general (and definitely the most conceptual) of my 3 panel ideas, and is ultimately talking more about cosplay planning and approaching your costume as an engineer would, with the goal of creating sturdier and lighter pieces.  This will apply mostly in props, but some in the fabric construction as well.  I'm a structural engineer by profession, and you'd be surprised how much overlap there is.  As I get more experience in my field, I get better at constructing my costumes.

I see this as being fairly workshop-based.  I'd like to be able to pass out kits so people can see the concepts I'm talking about, particularly.  I also plan on paralleling things in costumes and construction. *I will be minimizing math (other than some basic geometry equations)*

Initially, I would like to get into basic statics in order to illustrate that you need more than one support point to stabilize something.  This will also be the introduction to connection types, which will probably be the focus of the panel.

Second will be basic material properties, and where those come into costumes. (i.e. wood, PVC, plastic sheathing, foam, fabric, etc)

I would also like to go into drawings.  Understanding about plans, elevations, and sections, and sketching part pieces helps a lot with seeing how things go together.  This is where math may actually come into play.

The big brunt of the discussion will be connections.  What exactly do I mean by connections?  What can you do to make sure your joints are sturdy enough?  When do you want a flexible connection?  When do you want a rigid connection, and how do you achieve one.  How should you plan your glued connections?

Other potential topics
  • Weight distribution (aka easy-to-handle swords)
  • Nuts and bolts, aka being able to take things apart
  • Fabric structures and how that works with costuming

Does this sound interesting?  What sounds most interesting?  Thanks for the feedback!

11
I've got a few cosplay-related panels that I would like to do with my husband this year.  This one, as you can guess from the title is about using an airbrush for cosplay purposes.  It will not just be about makeup, because in our experience, there is a huge amount of skill overlap. Does this sound interesting?

Things that we would like to cover

  • Types of airbrushes
  • Compressors
  • What you need in addition to the airbrush and compressor
  • Basic airbrush application, aka how to keep your airbrush from clogging
  • Airbrush Safety
  • Airbrush Paints, including diluting down
  • Airbrushing for props and armor
  • Airbrush on fabric
  • Airbrush and makeup

Thanks for reading and providing your feedback!

12
I'm thinking this Fanime will be a big panel-hosting year for me; I have a few ideas (I'll have separate topics for each).

This idea is for a panel I did a few years ago and have meant to do again on fabric dyeing and painting. I've learned a fair bit since then as well.  Is this something people are interested in?  What sort of topics sound interesting?  What sounds more interesting - bare basics, or going into more detail on techniques?

Things that I can cover
  • Solid color dyeing, including fiber types and cool things you can do with blends
  • Gradient Dyeing (and using dye-na-flow paint to simulate a gradient effect)
  • Tie dye, and how that might be useful for characters that aren't straight out of the 1960's
  • General "how to paint cleanly" tips (aka I love my stretcher bars)
  • Using an airbrush for fabric dye and paint application
  • Batik wax method of dye resist
  • Other resists
  • Using stencils
  • Silk-screening

Thanks for the feedback!

13
Well, I do have my armor done now, so barring timing issues, I will most likely be there in my La Reconquista Beryl flashback armor, for real this time.

14
General Convention Discussion / Re: Official Convention Feedback
« on: June 03, 2015, 05:36:39 PM »
Oh boy that was a long list of items for Cosplay... thanks for the very thorough feedback!

It's because I care.  ;) (seriously. I don't think I'd have that much to say if I was apathetic)  Masquerade has often been my favorite thing in conventions, and I want that back.


Edit:
I forgot about this one because I don't really attend it anymore... so mine is based off of past years and what I hear. From what I've heard, it hasn't changed.

Cosplay Spectacular
  • I never particularly cared for how skits and certain walk-ons were mixed. I think the ones showing off their costumes & singing should be part of a separate event. I'm talking the individual ones (not the group ones.) I used to go for the skits and only the skits. I'm ok with singing if it is part of a skit but I don't think they should allow "I think I can sing so I wanna show off" individuals. Honestly, they should be taking part in karaoke not masquerade. Or maybe Stage Zero.
  • At least make the costume thing a separate event... it doesn't do well on such as large stage and I think would do better in more of a cat-walk/fashion show setting. Have these people sign up for a "Cosplay Fashion show" instead. Plus, it gives you another event at fanime.
  • Judging: I have no first hand experience with this but I've heard judging is rigged & biased. I think it should either be done by an independent party or an audience vote. We don't need to know the results right away; the fact that they already know who won just shortly after the show ends just screams "fake." We the audience aren't dumb and know the results aren't true.
  • You know what... make the results a separate thing. If it isn't a audience vote, make it into a panel or event where it is one of those over the top judging shows. Where the judges have to explain what is great or bad about a skit.

I'm okay with splitting up the event.  An idea I had was a cosplay fashion show on Stage Zero each day, and the winners of each day could show up at some point during Cosplay Spectacular and walk-on while the MC talks about the awesome parts of their costume that's why they won.  'Cause being honest, as a crazy craftsmanship cosplayer, that's what I want people to know about.  However, that wouldn't work if, like this year, people don't want to do skits.

Also, I don't think singing skits have been allowed since at least 2009 (I seem to recall some live audio in 2008?).  The rule's always been pre-recorded audio.  For some reason, even though it was explicitly against the rules, some skits were allowed to do so anyway. Don't ask me why.

On your judging suggestions though - As somebody who competes and does attend these things, I'm certain that what you hear about judging is hearsay.  There is a separate panel doing judging.  I have a lot of problems with Cosplay Spectacular this year, and the judging is not one of them. Masquerade staff does not judge these things - it's an outside panel, although they do often repeat (I think Wayne Kaa's local).  Wayne Kaa's from ACparadise, I believe, and he's been judging at least since 2009 when I was competing.  This year, the cosplay GOH was one of the judges (as it should be).  I don't have any issue with the panel.

Additionally, one reason judging doesn't take as long as you might expect is because all the workmanship judging is done outside of the main show.  It's not like the judges are doing their craftsmanship evaluation when the competitor is onstage.  If the judges have a sheet where they score performances as they perform, judging is a simple matter of tallying points.  And announcing in the same event makes sense because that way you have the competitors in their winning costumes for publicity photos.  And this is still a costume competition, even if skits are involved, so that part should absolutely not go away.

I do like the judges saying when the awards are given why they gave that award, and I know in years I've competed, they often have.  I did have to duck out for the announcement of the winners this year, so I don't know if they did or didn't.  I just heard about who won, and nobody who won surprised me. 

An audience vote beyond a single crowd favorite winner should never occur in a convention of Fanime's size.  Then the winners would be, in many cases, a case of what anime or game is popular at the time, and dramatic skits wouldn't be given a fair shot.

15
General Convention Discussion / Re: Official Convention Feedback
« on: June 03, 2015, 01:12:51 PM »
    Registration
    • Registration/badge pick up in general was great.  Seriously, I’m impressed how quickly you can handle a large number of people.
    • The big thing I would suggest is a way to go back on group reservations (or really, delete a member of the group before checking out so you can check out as an individual).  I registered my husband and me as a group, realizing the minimum was 3 people, and having no way to go back short of waiting a few days for the cart to expire.  I ended up being able to recruit a couple friends for the group, but I really would have just preferred a way to undo the group.
    • I’d also suggest that maybe a way of having some level of bypass lanes so people aren’t required to go through the maze when the line was empty.  This is mostly to account for the fact that some of us have different paces walking.

    Artists Alley
    • At the con itself, it seemed okay, although a friend of mine apparently had her booth given away.  She was able to get another though.
    • It sounds like staff needs to improve communication, namely in timeliness.  I know from my masquerade issues (coming later) that for things that involve a lot of preparation like that, earlier information is better

    Crowd Management
    I was impressed.  This year felt like there were a lot more people, but as far as it still being possible to move, it was much better.  I think the different entrances for Dealers/Artists Alley helped.  Last year I remember that the entrances were right across each other, and so getting through the hallway there (say going to/from the Dealer’s Hall) was very difficult.

    Karaoke
    I only had time to do the contest, but I wanted to compliment the team on how well it was run.  I do like the new rule changes, and I hope they keep with them.  They were also very accommodating when I requested to go later so I could go to a panel.  Tommy (I think?) was also really nice when we were on deck waiting to perform.  I certainly had definite nerves.

    Cosplay Spectacular/Masquerade
       Ooooh, boy.  I’ve already sent a more expanded version of this to the masquerade staff, but I’m of the opinion that Extravaganzas needs to get involved. This is the 3rd year of the show being…subpar…to put it politely, and I don’t think the current staff can be trusted to make the improvements necessary.  Short story of where I’m coming from. I was going to enter the masquerade, and due to my mistrust of how the show was being managed, I dropped competing to focus my efforts on karaoke.  I ended up winning karaoke, so I still got a bit of a behind-the-scenes view of how things were being run at the show. And of course, there was the show itself.
    • The good: Tadao.  Tadao saved the show from being a complete disaster.  I hope he comes back, but if he decides he doesn’t want to have to read his script in the dark with his cell phone light, I can’t blame him. Also, the people who did participate.  The way the event was run was horrible, but there were a number of terrific skits and amazing costumes.
    • The attendance MUST be improved.  Now, some people didn’t go that might have because there was a lack of communication in the program about Cosplay Spectacular.  Additionally, that sticker line system was more confusing from what I heard; primarily due to lack of signage or information in written materials.  Talking with friends, another big reason people aren’t going is because the show isn’t what it used to be.  To improve this, people have to be convinced to participate, because it’s the participants who make the show.  This requires management to shape up.
    • I do like walkons, but let’s face it – walkons are not what most people are going to see.  Back when Cosplay Spectacular was truly spectacular, the ratio of walkons to skits was like 1:7 (5 walkons, 35 skits, more or less?).  This year, there were nearly twice as many walkons as skits.  This year, it worked out, since those walkons made the obvious technical issues less noticeable (people were able to still walk on even if their music started too early, or got cut off, or was flat out the wrong track – as happened. A lot).  Now, I don’t blame the walk-ons, because when there are SO MANY technical issues, who wants to put up with the staff completing messing up your skit?
    • I’m with Pantsu on preferring the old format with walkons being a separate portion of the show.  This doesn’t work if the proportions stay what they are though.
    • Pre-show communication needs to be improved. Saying the registration will be up by a certain day and then disappearing for *a week and a half* is UNACCEPTABLE.  Additionally, when I was asking friends on staff to see if they could help prodding the system, it seemed like web team hadn’t even been contacted (and it was implied on the forums that they had been).

    And here’s some more specific things that need doing as opposed to talking about how Cosplay Spectacular is horrible.

    Specific things that need to happen
    • Get rules up in October/November.  Skits take a long time to prepare, and if you want to encourage those, people need to know the rules well in advance
    • GET THEM UP ON THE WEBSITE.  I’m a chronic forum lurker, but that’s me. You want to encourage more competition, you can’t require people to be active on the forums to know about it.
    • Get the registration up earlier. ALSO ON THE WEBSITE.
    • Actually ask people what they’re cosplaying and what their skit plans are.  This will help with rules enforcement, which is *severely* lacking.  I don’t really care about the whole Asian rule specifically (I only care because it’s a rule), but there is a disturbing trend of increasingly blatant rules violation being allowed on stage.  If you want people to respect the rules of the contest, you need to enforce the rules of the contest, and preferably BEFORE the contest.
    • ENFORCE THE RULES.  50 Shades of Miyazaki should NEVER have been allowed on stage, as soon as it was evident their audio track was *THREE* times longer than the time limit.  Additionally, the live-singing Vocaloid performance should never have been allowed a microphone.  That one in particular annoys me because before I dropped to focus on karaoke, I had *specifically* asked if I could do that, and I was told no.  And if the Asian-origin rule isn’t going to be enforced, it shouldn’t be a rule.  It isn’t fair to contestants who do follow the rules that may have preferred to do a Disney skit.
    • *Staff.*  The staff needs to be on the same page.  There were multiple occasions where I (as karaoke winner) was told two different things by staff members. The most egregious of these was when a staff member told me I didn’t need to go on stage yet because they thought I was going to be in the half-time show, whereas the head (and Tadao) had told me I would be the first act.
    • *Rehearsal.*  A cue-to-cue rehearsal needs to happen.  This much is obvious from the number of mistakes made in cues.  Around 2:30 pm, I was told there was going to be one; not that that was possible, since that’s an hour and a half before a show that’s about 2 and a half hours minimum.
    • *Backstage Radios.*  I don’t think there were backstage radios? That seems like a bare minimum requirement, given how much of a big deal was made about the state-of-the-art lighting system. Tadao certainly didn’t seem to have an earpiece from all his peeking backstage, and occasionally hearing “Stall! Stall” being said (we were sitting up front).  A friend of mine in the balcony said it appeared to him that the lighting staff was working entirely from a paper script.  *THIS IS UNACCEPTABLE*.  Given that there was no radio and no rehearsal, is it at all surprising that the starts and stops were botched?
    • *Seating system.* So the new seating system was not necessary because of how empty it was, but if that is something that people want to implement in the future, it needs to have better signage.  Not just a random person hanging out in front of the Civic.

    Steve, thanks for taking on managing of feedback.  Overall, Fanime was terrific this year, one of the most enjoyable for me, and I don't want anybody outside of masquerade staff to think that my massive Cosplay Spectacular gripe-fest means that I thought the convention overall was a failure.  Just Cosplay Spectacular.

16
Ideas and Suggestions / Re: Fanimecon morning/evening group run?
« on: June 02, 2015, 10:18:29 PM »
I'd rather not do it on Day 0, if my vote counts for anything. I usually don't get a hotel room until Friday, so a Saturday or Sunday morning run. Do the shuttles run on day 0?

All comes down to who's willing to organize it and stuff, though.

Where's a good place to get the the trail if you're leaving from the Hilton?

Hilton's the easy side, as it is on that side.  You know the parking lot across Almaden from the Hilton and the convention center? Go directly through that parking lot.  Near the north end of the lot, there is a pedestrian bridge across the creek.  Cross it, and you are on the trail.  Turn right to go toward the Airport/Doubletree.

17
Ideas and Suggestions / Re: Fanimecon morning/evening group run?
« on: May 31, 2015, 09:33:46 PM »
I bike the Guadalupe Trail regularly to get to/from work (I live a bit south of the convention center and work 8 miles away in Santa Clara), and yes, it is a running and biking trail.  It's fully paved, although there are a couple weird spots where you have to go to the normal sidewalk to cross the creek to continue.  And yes, it will take you from right by the convention center to up along the airport.  That run is definitely more than 5k though - 4 miles to get to the Doubletree maybe?

But it is a pretty nice trail, depending on how recently it has been cleaned up.  I think there is an annual creek cleanup day usually a couple weeks before Fanime,so it will probably be fine.  Ad a heads up, there are typically a number of homeless on the trail, especially sleeping underneath San Fernando (downtown, couple blocks north of the SJCC) in the morning, but neither I nor my husband, who also walks the trail regularly, have ever had any issue with them.

Once you get north of Coleman, it's really nice. There are a number of interwoven paths, it's more nature park like, and you don't have to deal with traffic at all.

Suffice to say, if folks are okay with the distance, I think it's a good idea. I may or may not join (prefer biking to running), but that is me.

18

There's also the Tech Museum right there. We did that on Day Zero one time when my group turned Fanime into a weeklong vacation and did a bunch of touristy stuff before the con. (And amused the guy manning the earthquake simulator, which that day was mimicking the Northridge earthquake; having been through the real one, our "Wow, this brings back memories!" nostalgia was apparently entertaining.) The Winchester Mystery House is also like, maybe 10 minutes away from the convention center and really nifty for folks who haven't seen it.

People can picnic at the plaza, right? Cosplay potluck, maybe?

A Cosplay potluck would be pretty cool.

I suppose if Fanime was to put up some sort of guide on cool stuff to do close to the convention center on Day 0, that would be pretty cool and not require all the staff that is busy setting up other things.  The Tech Museum is pretty awesome, although if people only have Thursday afternoon, they may not think of it as an option.

I was also thinking it might be possible to get Tech Shop to agree to do some sort of Open House on Day 0 and publicize it through Fanime.  That would probably be more of interest to Bay Area locals like myself, but it's a thought.

Another thought would be to see if there is a group at SJSU a few blocks away that was willing to get involved with planning something.

...I will keep thinking of things. All my other ideas at the moment involve alcohol.

19
So this is not a Fanime thing, but I was disappointed this year.  Last year, Day 0 coincided with Sake San Jose in Japantown, but they decided to put the event off to October this year.  Until I found out about the date change, that was going to be my Day 0 plan.

However, that does bring up one idea.  This would likely require a new team, but maybe Fanime could create some sort of event with local businesses.  This would give convention goers something different to do that would also bring in some extra business to the local stores.  The San Jose downtown association would likely be all about that.

Alternatively, maybe there could be extra events at the Plaza de Cesar Chavez Park that would (hopefully?) not be governed as much by the union set-up rules.

It probably falls under the union set-up issues, but the one thing I'd love to see get going earlier though is if there could be a Day 0 Open Mic karaoke.  I'm usually busy enough during the convention that I rarely get a chance to sing outside of the contest (certainly was the case this year, but we had more non-official Fanime activities planned in the evenings than usual)

20
General Convention Discussion / Re: Your plans for FanimeCon 2016
« on: May 28, 2015, 05:42:08 AM »
Seriously, I can't really say what my 2016 "plans" are, because we've got other, non-convention "plans" that don't really work by saying that something will be done by a certain date.  And those take priority.

Assuming all external forces remain the same, I do have two goals -
Hubby and I will actually finish our Count and Haydee costumes (Gankutsuou) we started a couple years back
We host a house party with friends during Fanime.  I have a karaoke machine, and I'd like to get my personal library filled out with some anime songs.  I want romaji lyrics though, and I need to make those CDG files myself though, so it's a little more work than just downloading the karaoke tracks.

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