Project Research Pitch

As part of this semester’s work, we have been asked to produce an initial research project pitch document. Here, we will propose our topic, research title, aims and objectives, initial draftwork and how we propose to document our research findings. As this is 10% towards our final mark, the pitch has to be written specifically to fit academic report writing.

What my lecturer has told me is that often students seem to pic topics that are far too broad, and due to this it has hinder their overall mark. After this was said I realised that I needed to start pinpointing exactly what it was that I wanted to do that revolved around Cosplay.

After researching a little more in to the world of cosplay, I have come across a pattern with the popular sub-culture in that there seems to be a large differentiation between skill and craftsmanship where cosplayers will spend weeks designing and making a costume; and what would otherwise be deemed as minimal ‘sexy’ costumes from individuals looking to make a mark in the cosplayer world based on scantily-clad characters who generate sex appeal. Due to this, I have been looking in to the forming of each and after speaking to some cosplayers briefly and generally through e-mail with the main response being that the sexy movement in cosplay has began to give a bad image overall to the cosplay world as it depicts it to be solely based on providing a derogatory image of not only female characters but cosplayers alike. From researching this further, I have decided to base my research project title on the matter as I feel that it is a controversial subject that will prove to be a stimulating challenge that will fit my final artefact.

After deciding upon my research title along with my main aim and objectives, I have been looking in to what sort of publication would market a magazine feature such as this. Judging by the research that I have gathered, I have noticed that predominantly American magazine publications and sites mostly look to cater to the so-called ‘geek’ market. The most popular of this demographic seems to be an online magazine simply entitled ‘Geek Magazine’; who look to inspire the geek within.

Project Plan and Pitch:
Uncover the relationship and rising popularity between sex appeal and accurate craftsmanship in the practice of Cosplay?
Overview of Artifact:
Costume Play, or better known as simply ‘Cosplay’, is a sub-culture that has long stemmed far away from its primitive role-playing origins located only at conventions dedicated to science-fiction. With the ‘Comic-book movie’ being one of the highest grossing genres in recent years, what started as an underground movement has fully cemented itself within pop culture. As a result, this has spawned an entire new generation of fans who seek to fulfil the ultimate embodiment of such a genre. However, as this particular hobby has gained a wider audience; studios and advertisements alike have more than bought in to the sexual notions that lie beneath due to the sexualisation of characters (mostly female) on the big screen and in print. Causing an increasing trend of cosplayers using sexual imagery in their outfits; this has thus sparked a stigma of lessoning quality in Cosplay. Understandably, this divide between sex appeal and craftsmanship has somewhat angered other cosplayers; who work hard to make their outfits an accurate portrayal of their comic book or onscreen heroes. This artefact looks to uncover (if any) the relationship betweenthe idea of creative ability and sex attraction; and to see if one is better offsurviving without the other. As such a project is an acquired taste in aparticular demographic, the perfect publication for this artefact would be Geek Magazine; a lifestyle magazine that prefers nothing more than to inform every kind of comic/film and video game fanatic within its categorised multiverse.
Aims and Objectives:
Aim: As mentioned in the research question, the project looks to discover, ifany, the relationship between the popularity of craftsmanship and /or ‘sexy’Cosplay.
Objectives:
. A case study will look to clarify the creative process of the designing and making of a costume; thus enforcing how essential the role of craftsmanship can be to Cosplay.
. Devise and conduct a series of interviews on both male and female cosplayers with both professional and amateur backgrounds in order to understand and analyse the relevance of a newly-commercialised sexual sub-culture in Cosplay.
. Conduct and experiment to see these practices in motion by attending a Cosplay Masquerade and form answer from overall results.
Key Selling Points:
. A currently relevant feature as Cosplay has transcended successfully to being a part of pop-culture.
. An informative look in to the world of Cosplay that will give readers a better understanding.
. Appeals to the Geek Magazine demographic (18-35, unisex, interested in every facet of so-called ‘geek interests’).
Delivery Method:
For this project, I plan on delivering the final artefact in the form of a 5000 words of copy within magazine feature. With this particular structure I have chosen, I feel it would showcase my journalistic writing perfectly as it is my strongest skill; with 5 images that I hope will embody my chosen theme within Cosplay. The progress of this concept will be updated weekly through a digital portfolio in the form of a blog (https://jessienoochies.wordpress.com/). Here, I will feature my research, weekly aims and objectives, screen caps of software and personal implementation to effectively convey my development process.
Illustration and Structure of Final Piece:
After researching the typical layout aesthetic of Geek Magazine, their usualmain article features centre on notable geek celebrities (such as Seth Green orNathan Fillion). Or unmissable events on every self- confessed geek’s calendar,most prominently that of Comic-Con; which luckily fits the outcome of mychosen piece perfectly. With its newly successful relaunch, its seems as though the magazine is easing its way in to printing more informative and debating subjects such as seen in their article regarding NASA and its government shutdown. So far, I have designed a very early draft of how I may wish the layout and structure of the magazine piece to look like (Last 2 screen-shots).Mimicking the typical layout of Geek Magazine (which can be seen in the first 2 images below), the best way to achieve such a layout with 5000 words of copy that includes 5 images is to make this feature 4 double page spread (possibly 6 if needed). There has also been some inspiration drawn from the group project that was submitted last year (3rd and 4th image below), which contains a lot ofcomparisons to the layout located in Geek Magazine. These first initial screenshots of the layout and structure are subject to change heavily throughout thedevelopment process; it is better to think of them as a guideline or starting
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