Tutor Brainstorm Session

Yesterday I had my individual tutorial with two of my lecturers in order to figure what my next move would be with my final year project. I had told them that initially I wanted to do 5000 words however I felt as though my subject of cosplay was far too visual for my implementation to be just purely visual; and they agreed with this statement. I had told them about the concept that I had thought of when doing my research and planning from last semester in that I wanted to base my feature on the layout of the online and printed publication Geek Magazine as it was very obvious to me that this particular demographic would have at least some knowledge revolving around Cosplay, however I wanted to educate them with this particular feature. I expressed that although I wanted to do the hybrid of  an equal amount of cope and images I wasn’t sure how to tackle putting 15 images in to a simple feature spread like I had initially assumed that my implementation would be like. Due to this, they felt as though it might be better if I separated this in to a small number of articles and instead of making just a simple double page feature and base it on the concept of Geek Magazine having a ‘Convention-Season’ special with my topic of this publication revolving around cosplay so that I could show the sub-culture as a whole effectively to the target audience.

After thinking through this idea a little more, I’ve realized that its better for me to do more than one article as it will help show that I can write different journalistic material effectively along with also helping me brush up more on my cosplay photography skills. I feel the images that I used for my editorial module were substantial enough to say that they stayed true to the common variants you see in cosplay photography and with this assignment option I would be able to be more experimental with location and characters as the images will be based on relevancy to the written articles at hand.

What we also discussed in the tutorial was what type of articles would be relevant for this kind of publication that would interest readers in this feature further. I felt that an essential part of this special for the magazine was to introduce to people what Cosplay is all about. From my own experience at conventions I have seen many people cosplaying without actually knowing what it was and why people wanted to do it and when speaking to others when conducting my research towards this implementation I noticed that others were exactly the same; and so I find that introducing the idea of Cosplay as a type of fandom needs to be included somewhere in the copy. For this, we discussed that the best way to introduce what Cosplay is all about would be to include an interview article with a number of cosplayers in order to answer why and how they do practice it. Due to the contacts that I have gathered last semester, I could chose to conduct these interviews however I please depending on the amount of time I have. The easiest way obviously would be through e-mail, and with this way it gives the chosen cosplayers a chance to really think about how they would answer the questions; and to save time as well I could use some of the questions that I used from my cosplayer interviews from my research and planning. However, this would obviously be more about the sub-culture and its appeal to fans than covering people’s opinions on craftsmanship and sex appeal.

Seeing as Cosplay is a very visual subject, my tutors also advised that it would be good to include a spread of Cosplay photography after the interview article so it would show such cosplayers in their element and in costume. I have to say that this is something that I agree would fit perfectly right after the interviews instead of a completely different article as it would give the feature a certain flow that is true to Geek Magazine’s layout and format. Since I am going to the Wales Comic Con in Wrexham in April, what I could do is possibly photograph cosplayers there as I know from attending previous years its quite the hotspot for cosplayer activity. As an alternative however, I could also contact some cosplayers I know and see if they wanted to participate in a photo-shoot if I am unable to attend that convention. I feel that this type of spread would look similar to the editorial work that I have done with some Leeds-based cosplayers last semester, and because of this I feel comfortable asking for their assistance as I have done this before and this will quickly contribute to the 15 images that are required for this type of assignment as well.

From what was discussed, as I had told my tutors that I was going to Comic Con in April as the ‘Tomb Raider Reborn’ Lara Croft; we agreed that it would be interesting if I documented my Cosplay journey for this costume; meaning that I would photograph each step of the making of my costume right up to the day of the convention. This would be quite a challenge for me as I have never written a form of journalism other than blogging as autobiographical documentation before, and so I’d be a little worried in case my copy came across as too informal. Due to this, I would have to research the type of writing style that Geek Magazine tends to stick with and form an article similar to that trend. Obviously, this will also be a challenge for me in the sense that I would be creating the costume virtually from scratch and so I will have to research thoroughly this along with Lara’s mannerisms throughout the game so that I can document this journey informatively for the readers.

As we have to produce a pitch of our artifact next week which is to be of the quality that we would present to a client (for me, this is obviously Geek Magazine), what I plan to do next is research in what I have discussed above and look in to what exactly this publication pinpoints as their demographic so that my pitch compliments this.

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