11/02/2011

Blizzcon 2011 Post-con Writeup

Another year has come and gone already! I made so many new friends and learned so many new things in the process of creating my costume. I had a blast with everyone at the Cosplay Dinner sponsored by Alice, Mario and Pocket on Thursday evening, and the food was pretty good too! The cosplay community at Blizzcon is seriously amazing, I am so glad that I am able to participate every year.

I made sure to have some breakfast before heading out to the convention.

Day 1 was spent almost entirely in my Tyrande Whisperwind costume. I didn't get many panels, gaming, or shopping in that day until after the costume contest. Moving around in costume can take a very long time depending on what you're wearing. A note to new cosplayers at Blizzcon - make sure you allow plenty of time
to get around. People tend to stop you and ask for photos quite often, even when you're trying to eat your lunch!

Once I made it to the convention center I saw some people whose progress I've been following through the year and was able to get photos with a few of them. I also saw some people who I hadn't seen any progress from but had met last year (WingedWarrior Cosplay, as Lady Nozdormu). It was great fun roaming the convention floor and seeing all of the awesome work by everyone in costume.

I made the mistake of taking a trip to my room before the group meetup and photo shoot, which resulted in being late due to poor time management. If you think it'll take you half an hour to fix that busted attachment point on your armor or get back into your corset, add an extra 15-30
minutes to that estimate. You may miss more panels that way, but you will have so much less stress about your costume and getting to appointments on time.

The fountain photo shoot is also a really great opportunity to see everyone's costumes and it happens every year on the first day, usually a few hours before the costume contest is scheduled. I saw the end product of Auto Cosplay's hard work on her Tier 11 Undead mage, which turned out wonderfully. The undead fingers and toes really added a nice touch to the costume and made it extra fun.

The group meetup and photo shoot is a wonderful chance to see friends, make new ones, as well as a chance get some epic photos. I snagged a good one with Pouncival in his Matt Horner costume. It seems there aren't as many guys that get into cosplay at Blizzcon, but it's a ton of fun! If you want to wear a costume but are nervous about the reception from other con-goers, just start with something small. People are typically very enthusiastic, enjoy the costumes, and at the least will just leave you alone. Don't be afraid to join the fun!

The group shoot was a little large this year, there were a TON of cosplayers and photographers. The photographers had to swap rows several times to let everyone get a chance at being in the front!

The fountain photo shoot time and date specifics are typically announced every year on the Blizzcon forums as well as the Cosplay.com forums. It is an unofficial event organized by cosplayers and photographers, but it happens every year.

I didn't have time to get business cards made, but a lot of other people were handing them out to photographers. This is a great way to get in contact with photographers, other cosplayers, and new people you meet after the convention.

I was also able to get a photo with Synariel Cosplay and her Druid Tier 4 armor set, which is one of my favorite sets.

Next year, if the group is as large as it was this year, we may need to do more than just one big group for all the photos. I heard someone mention the possibility of breaking down into smaller game-specific groups for some of the photos if the trend continues, which I think that is a good solution.

There were moonkin and rogues and all kinds of things roaming around at the fountain during the photo shoot. I wish that I could include photos of everyone, but I think that might make my blog explode. I will, however, provide a link to the photo gallery at the end of all this.

I was impressed with the level of quality all of the costumes had this year, which makes the prospect of next year a bit intimidating. It is definitely a great feeling to know that everyone brings their best to Blizzcon and strives to do the characters justice. I was also impressed at the sense of community I felt with everyone else in costume. I haven't had much of a chance to attend any other conventions in costume besides Blizzcon (and that one Wizard World this year, but that was for work) but I am impressed regardless. The people are all amazingly talented, as well as awesome in general.

The "line-up" at the stage side curtain (which is actually more of a blob) allowed me to see some of the costumes I had missed in the morning. I met a couple of moonkin and a nymph to name a few.

This was my second Blizzcon, and I was very impressed with the costume contest this year - especially the backstage setup. There were benches! And water! And everyone got their photo taken! Blizzard staff really nailed it this year, in my opinion, as far as the costume contest organization was concerned.

As always, walking the stage was a blur of nerves and adrenaline. I think I may have nearly run across the stage this time. Fortunately, next year I will probably have a harder time with moving quickly.
(Photo by Mr. Muggles).

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Day two was much more relaxed, but there was still some costume fun to be had thanks to Tonksceratops Cosplay and her organization of the Aspects of Awesome burlesque/steampunk group.

Here's how it worked: everyone chose a character (the group initially started with dragon aspects from World of Warcraft but it branched out) and created a burlesque/steampunk costume inspired by that character. The group turned out to be more burlesque than steampunk (with the exception of Pocket's awesome goblin).

It was lots of fun and a great way to challenge our creativity by creating a costume based on a character's existing design. Unfortunately, I do not have a photo that has everyone in it all at once. You will just have to visit the gallery to see the rest of the costumes!

G4TV also did a feature that included a fair number of our Aspects of Awesome group, as well as a few other individual cosplayers. Check it out!

Overall, it was an amazing experience and I hope to be able to do it again next year



All photos by Alastair Drong unless otherwise noted. Full gallery can be found HERE.

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