Welcome to the recap of the second day of Animaritime, which had many of its thousands of guests out in full force. There was a variety of panels, events, and cosplay photo-shoots held throughout the day at the Fredericton Convention Center and Crowne Plaza Hotel. It was a hot summer day in Fredericton, New Brunswick, and we were all thankful for the water stations that kept us hydrated while we enjoyed the festivities.
With so much content to choose from, you needed to clone yourself to be everywhere. I wanted to see everything, but obviously couldn’t, but I was able to make it to seven events.
Social Media and Cosplay:
Michael Hamm is a social media personality, model, and cosplayer, known for his detailed versions of Robin and Nightwing. Follow Michael Hamm, on his Facebook, Patreon, and Instagram accounts for more information.
Alexis Noriega of The Crooked Feather is a self-taught costumer and a master at creating beautiful realistic animatronic bat, bird, and fairy wings. These are in high demand and if you would like to see more of Alexis Noriega’s wing creations, follow her on Facebook, YouTube, Patreon, Instagram, and her website.
The panel focused on the different social media platforms and their impact on the cosplay experience. Hamm’s story on how he began cosplay is an excellent example of the power of social media. He went to a Halloween party dressed as Robin. After Hamm posted a photo his friend took onto his social media, people began to share and comment on how much he looked like Chris O’Donnell, who played Robin in Batman & Robin. From there, he created a Facebook page, started to add more photos, and it took. Followers began asking him to do aNightwing cosplay. When he did, his page went from 40 likes to 2000 in a week.
Alexis Noriega went over the importance of standing up for yourself when it comes to exposure. When someone contacts you, you must consider what the exposure will do for you. Will it only help those asking, or is it beneficial for both of you? “You shouldn’t work for free; your time is worth more than that.”
In addition to her creative endeavors, Noriega works to show women the importance of getting involved in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics) fields. It’s essential to introduce women to female representation in technology and engineering. It is her goal to show women they belong in those fields.
Hamm and Noriega stated that as followers grow, you realize that your accounts are no longer your own; the pictures you post become what your followers want to see. It can be hard to tell what photos will take off and get a lot of likes and shares. Noriega mentioned when she posts a photo from a professional photo shoot photo, it will do well, but when she posts a selfie from her shop, at times, it will do better than the professional one. When a photo works, Hamm will make a list of 20 things in the picture and compare it to the other images that did well and see what elements are the same and if he can recreate those things.
There are, of course, negative sides to social media. The more followers you get, the number of trolls grows, as well. The thing to remember is you cannot make everyone happy.
How To Create A Successful YouTube Channel:
When creating a YouTube channel, as with anything, do not expect it to take off right away. It can take time. Colquhoun said multiple times you will make mistakes, and that’s okay, because it’s how you learn. With experience and practice, your videos get better. Crafting a YouTube channel can be fun and creative; the hard part is finding your niche, which doesn’t have only to be one thing. Just find what works for you and expand it.
As CDawgVA, Colquhoun currently has over 650k followers. This didn’t happen overnight. He has been filming videos since 2015. His advice for people just starting out is not to overwhelm yourself with a vigorous filming schedule. You don’t want to burn out before your channel picks up. Other tips include:
- Make sure you are speaking clearly. For good audio, if he is not in a studio, he is in his closet.
- For a camera starting out, you can use your phone or computer; same as with editing, use the free programs to start.
- When asked what editing program he uses, he said when he edits, he uses premiere pro, but he does have someone that edits for him, as well.
- A good thumbnail and title helps, try to keep the title around 40 characters.
- Currently, with the algorithm, he doesn’t use tags as much as he makes sure the keywords are in the first two lines of the description.
Fantasy Film-making on a Budget:
Donovan Richard has a background in History and film and has been with the New Brunswick Filmmakers’ Co-operative (NB Film Co-op) since 2003. Britany Sparrow has experience in writing and film and video production. She is also the current President of the NB Film Co-op. For more information, follow Britany Sparrow by visiting her website and YouTube channel.
The NB Film Co-op is a non-profit, charitable organization that provides workshops, training, mentoring, equipment, and much more to help artists in New Brunswick create film and video. “We provide an open, friendly environment where people can meet, network, make important connections, and obtain information about the film and video resources.” For more information on the program, you can visit their website here.
The panel covered essential aspects of creating a film and the phases of film-making. There are things to consider while making a film: location, wardrobe, crew, (both feeding and taking care of them) and cost. For the cost, remember your on a limited budget, so ask before paying and try to get things to borrow or for free, first. If you do have to pay, prioritize where the money is going.
They stated that film-makers should know the rules before they break them! Make sure the plot of the film moves forward and is not stagnant. Try not to have too many people onset to start — make sure that everyone has a reason to be there. Keep the script simple and not too long. Short films are usually around 10 minutes in length. Remember that one page of text is generally one minute. In the beginning, only use one or two locations and small cast size.
The three phases of filmmaking are pre-production, production, and post-production. When assembling your film team, there are six things to think of. You will need:
Technical (camera, lights, sound, etc.)
Artistic (design, props, wardrobe, makeup, etc.)
Organizers (Production Managers, Assistant Directors)
Specialty (safety, animals, weapons, pyro, etc.)
Actors (lead, supporting, extras)
Post Production (editors, sound etc.)
They showed Britany Sparrow’s short film, Gamers: A Love Story. It follows a gamer girl who falls for a character in a role-playing fantasy game. Will his real-life persona meet her expectations? Watch below.
How to Get Started in Cosplay:
There is no right way to get started in cosplay; everyone starts and does things differently, so try and find what works for you. Cosplay is about making yourself into a version of the character; it doesn’t have to be precisely the same. He recommends finding a photo of the character you want to be, make a list of what they are wearing, and pick one thing to start creating. For help on making specific props or outfits, YouTube tutorial videos are a great resource.
Morash likes to work with eva foam and worbla thermoplastic to make armor and weapons. Other tools that can be found at his workspace: hot glue gun, contact cement, superglue, heat gun, craft knife, knife sharpener, face mask with a filter.
Morash’s favourite prop he’s made is the tire iron axe from the video game Fallout 4. His dream cosplay would be battle Rufio from the movie Hook, full Voltron, and a version of Mercy with articulate wings from the video game Diablo.
If you love Disney movies, then the Disney karaoke was the place to be. Some guests were dressed as the character they were performing. There were songs from Frozen, Little Mermaid, and Beauty and the Beast, to name a few.
Scares with Shelby:
Scares with Shelby, who is not a fan of scary movies, kept up the Haunted House theme. You know what that means? Time to show her some scary movie clips to get a reaction. We watched bits from IT, The Shining, Child’s Play, short film Smiling Man, Pennywise, and Insidious Last Key. Some of these clips even made a few guests jump. It was a frightful time.
Spooktacular Drag Show:
My evening ended with taking in the Spooktacular Drag show at the Fredericton Playhouse.
Unfortunately, due to weather, special guest Kim Chi, was not able to be there in time for the show, but the 16 other talented performers the killed it on stage. Stage lights shining patterns on a sparkling backdrop added spooky ambiance for each performance.
With beautiful long purple hair and knee-high black boot heels, Venom Devine performed to the song “Calling All the Monsters” with captivating energy and attitude. In a beautiful gown, Amour Love commanded the stage for the Little Mermaid classic, “Poor Unfortunate Souls.” And last but not least, you couldn’t take your eyes off of Justin Toodeep, rock the stage to “Mansion Party.” It indeed was a fantastic and Spooktacular night.
Unfortunately, I was not able to attend the third and final day, but at the closing ceremonies of the convention, they announced the theme of next years. The theme of Animaritime’s 2020 convention is… Magical Girls!
Thank you for a great convention experience Animaritime. I look forward to next year!