Project Research and Plan, Induction and Initial Ideas

The main focus of my final year will be to produce an artifact based on the planning and research based on our chosen subject from this first semester. That being said, this semester I will be working extensively on academic research that will heavily influence and hopefully determine what I wish to produce as a final artifact in semester two.

The artifact for semester two can be produced in a number of ways depending on where we feel our strengths lie within our course. As I have been blogging and contributing to other websites by writing articles; I feel that I would be better suited to do the written feature. It is here that I must produce 5000 words of copy in the form of a magazine feature. I decided to follow this structure particularly because much more confident as I writer than a photographer simply due to the fact that I feel that I have a natural ability to write than photographs; and clearly, as I have contributed to other sites they agree as well. My photography although it is by no means awful, is simply not on par to my writing and seeing as this is my final year I want to be awarded with the highest mark I can possibly get.

Although I had enjoyed working in a team last year as I learnt so much from others, I wanted to do produce something that was entirely my own so that it would highlight my particular strengths. This I feel will help me to step outside my comfort zone by making myself tackle aspects such as the layout and platform of this artifact, which was something I only had brief experiences within my group project. Thus challenging myself in order to gain confidence and experience in the skills to a high-quality that I will need for future professional work.

Ever the entertainment geek that I am, my first thoughts on what I would like to base my feature on is the world of Cosplay. As an avid comic/gaming and film convention-goer, I have time and time again come across certain fans who simply love to dress up as their favourite character from such a form medium. It has been something that has always fascinated me since I first became interested in comics; how someone can love something so much that they feel compelled to dress up as them in the purest form of embodiment. Obviously, I understand that this is an expression of how much a particular character can mean to someone, but I feel that it goes further than that. After all, at the end of the day it is not just the love that goes in to Cosplay, but the craftsmanship and skill that is needed in order to be a successful Cosplayer.

At the moment, this idea is only in its early stages of development; but what I would like to do in order to make this work for a magazine feature is do a ‘fly-on-the-wall’ angle in to the world of Cosplay. I should also start to think about what kind of publication such an article would right for and why it is relevant. I feel that this piece would probably work better as an informative feature in terms of the way it is written; but I will need to narrow down more specifically what I want to say about such a creative hobby.

As part of my research, I plan to get in contact with both professional and amateur cosplayers and set up interviews either by e-mail or via skype. This is something that I have had little experience with and is something that would definitely get me out of my comfort zone as it is an essential part of journalism. Part of my research should be to devise questions that are personal (i.e. what got them interested in Cosplay?) and more general so that I can a firm idea as to why people participate. I also will plan on interviewing as many people as possible in order to get a more well-round opinion for my piece.

In theory, this project could be very successful as it is something that I have always been curious about looking in to. You could say that I somewhat envy the practice of Cosplay as I am a self-confessed geek; but I honestly admire the patience and confidence that these people have who simply just want to express their love of fiction. Due to this, I will have to spend quite sometime in researching academic journals that revolve around costume, animation and social media; as well as the obvious topics of comics/gaming and film.

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