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Hall Costume & Fashion Show Contest Feedback


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Hello all,

Thank you to everyone who participated in this year's Hall Costume Contest. We had an excellent turnout despite the very-last-minute room change, and I really hope you all enjoyed yourselves.

Please leave feedback so Otakon can keep working to make this contest even better. A lot of feedback from last year went into consideration when planning for this year, so please rest assured you're not typing for no reason. Good and bad, we want to hear it all. Although there are some things that were out of our control (like the biggest one--the room change) we want to know how these things affected you and how we can improve how we handled them. And if you have any questions, please ask them here!

Of course, now I should take a moment to answer why we were not in the VIP West after all the emails letting you know we were. Thursday evening, a pipe burst in the VIP lounge the guests use down by the fountains. Although BCC staff were trying hard to dry out the floor, the room was unusable due to possible mold and a heavy chemical smell from the cleaners. The only other rooms that could be used as a guest lounge were the VIP East and West on the 400 level, so we were booted. We spent most of Thursday night looking for a replacement room, and ended up with the BCC security's office. I truly hope no one ended up missing the contest because of the change. We let the info desk know, put up small signs in the areas (it was too late for Publications to print large ones) and gophers were stationed to stop everyone going up the stairs letting them know of the contests' move. On behalf of Otakon I apologize for this.

Once again I'd like to thank all who participated and encourage you to come back next year! And please, let us know what you think!

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  • 11 months later...

I was in the Saturday contest and first of all I agree with bringing back online registration! Also, the rules should be updated far before less than a week till the con. It took an hour and a half waiting in line in the morning to manage to get into the contest. Though once I got up to register things were very fast and it was nice to have a print out of all our info :D

Judging was totally on time, and staff were very good about keeping us updated on how we were doing on the time limit. It was nice to have a halfway warning. The judges were very attentive and I felt our costumes were looked at very thoroughly! We were able to get through everything about our costumes in the 5 minutes. I was able to leave judging feeling good about the experiencing, it's nice when judges check out your seams and actually look at a costume up close to find out all the little details! So thank you to all the judges!!

My judging experience was good, but I did feel the Hall Contest was a bit unorganized - especially compared to last years.

Entrants really shouldn't be made to wait in the loading dock area at all. Giant trash bins, filthy floors, and oil stains are not good for costumes lol (though I thank the staff for being very thoughtful about our costumes and making sure to warn us about the oil spills!) Maybe just have us stay in the hallway and go up the stairs from there? I had this same issue last year when I was wearing a long white coat x_X

Once we got back stage I felt completely confused nearly the whole time. Especially right before winners were announced. Last year contestants weren't rushed across the stage, we were allowed to actually stop and pose so people would actually see our costumes. This year just having us rushed across as fast as possible was a bit of a let down. Then afterward none of us had any idea that we'd need to be organized according to skill level. So when certain skill levels were asked to come on stage nobody was prepared and were all rushed out. Also, for example when Craftsman level was called one staff member was telling me to go out NOW and at the same time somebody was standing on my dress - making it so I could not move. Which caused a slight delay, which was stressful since on stage they kept calling us and backstage they kept telling me to move but I couldn't until the person stopped standing on my dress! (If we were just told that we needed to organize by skill level ahead of time then that confusion would be avoided)

I was very happy (and shocked XD) to win Best of Saturday! But I was disappointed that the MC only said my first name wrong, then the series wrong. And didn't say the other person in my group won too. So at first we thought somehow only I had gotten the award till we actually got to see it in our hands. It was also strange to announce the judges awards last.

All in all it was a good experience, the staff were all very friendly and helpful - and I was glad that my boyfriend was able to stay with me to help with my dress! I also love being able to sit and watch the Masquerade until we need to get ready back stage :) I just wish we had been given more direction backstage, and been briefed on how the awards were going to be announced since it was completely different from last year.

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Entrants really shouldn't be made to wait in the loading dock area at all.

Once we got back stage I felt completely confused nearly the whole time.

...This year just having us rushed across as fast as possible was a bit of a let down. Then afterward none of us had any idea that we'd need to be organized according to skill level.

...(If we were just told that we needed to organize by skill level ahead of time then that confusion would be avoided)

Hi. This is the guy in the red shirt that was running backstage operations.

There was some communication problems between other staff and myself. I agree that waiting in the loading dock is a bad plan, but unfortunately we don't have much of an option. Whereas you guys were asked to line up a little (15-20 min or so) earlier than necessary in that area, we have no other options so the line will end up there. It is a matter of minimizing the amount of time you're standing there. I do apologize for the unnecessarily long wait in that area, and it's something we will work on for next year.

Also, next year we will be working more pre-show with the Hall cosplay staff. There was zero communication beforehand in 2009, so once we figured out the plan with him there was unfortunately no time to communicate with participants. The system was made up about an hour before you were on stage. Next year there will be much more communication between myself and Hall Cosplay staff/participants before the show. I can promise you that.

The rushed across the stage was a show management call, we were pressed on time and were trying to be done with the awards ceremony by 10:15. Originally we were going to pace it out a bit longer but some stuff came up and we had to hurry it along. That (probably?) won't happen next year - it's nonideal but in live shows crap happens and there is a chance we will be pressed for time again.

The sit by category thing was communication errors also, and will be ironed out next year.

I hope you enjoyed the show otherwise!

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Hi there! One of the judges here.

First let me just say to anyone who comes through this thread to everyone who participated in the Hall Costume Contest this year: THANK YOU. Without you guys we wouldn't have had such an amazing turn out this year and I know things were a little rough and rocky, we're gonna work out things for next year and hopefully have a smoother run.

I have to say, from my end things were really going well up until it came time for the Masquerade. Granted, the other judges and I missed the first 15-20 minutes of the show but it was just starting when we got there. I heard there was some kind of idol performance beforehand? I've known the Masquerade has never really been good on time but this year was horrific. I've competed and attended the Masquerade since 2004, but this was my first year on the working end of it. I couldn't have been more embarrassed with what happened. Especially on stage when HCC awards were announced.

We are aware that someone went through the line pointing out winners beforehand, this person was under the impression that we wouldn't have the time when people walked off stage after to discretely pull them aside. We are truly sorry to whomever this upset and offended. Lack of communication on the counts of all staff HCC and Masquerade (from what I can tell and what I heard) is at fault.

I'm also confused as to why fashion show participants were pulled backstage so soon when there was still 30-45 minutes of skits. And am I also mistaken in that it seemed some of the skits were unusually long this year? Maybe that was resulting in the time crunch towards the end. I honestly couldn't tell you because I and the other judges knew nothing. Getting answers was near difficult and before we knew it we were on stage with certificates in our hands and given no time to sort them out before they started dragging winners out en mass.

It wasn't until this year that I found out that the HCC and Masquerade are run like they are two separate departments and while each year seems to depend on how well communication works out between people, it put the last couple years that I have competed at Otakon seem to make sense as to why it never seems to quite run as smoothly once you get to the actual main event. There is no one person to blame, and maybe when Otakon was smaller this worked well but I really feel like the two departments need to work together better. Instead of coming together ala West Side Story.

Overall, things could've been worse, but that isn't saying much. What happened during the Masquerade on the HCC end was horrible and I still don't have words for how I feel about it. I just hope we can come together all Masq and HCC staff and get it worked out for next year. Even running through procedures beforehand and cutting out the un-necessary stuff that cuts down on time. If it starts at 7pm it NEEDS to start at 7pm with the first skit, not an opening musical act. HCC contestants work just as hard as skit performers. They deserve their time too.

Please keep letting us know your comments and concerns! This con is about YOU! We can't change things unless we know what there is to change.

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I thought the judging time was a bit short. Granted I was in a group with 3 other people. But beside that the judging went okay. I would agree online sign up would be nice. I stood inline for a long time Sat morning to get a spot.

Masayume- I have to say you were probably the best judge there. My group won 1st place novice for Saturday and I was cosplaying Mercedes. (This account belongs to the girl cosplaying Gwen) You were the only one who got up and actually looked at our outfits. And I really appreciate that. To have someone look close up at everything and see the hardwork I put into this outfit was really nice. I know prob with time restrictions it would take too long for everyone to look but I thank you for getting up. And thank you for noticing my shoe covers! Haha they took forever to get right! :P

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Hi there! One of the judges here.

First let me just say to anyone who comes through this thread to everyone who participated in the Hall Costume Contest this year: THANK YOU. Without you guys we wouldn't have had such an amazing turn out this year and I know things were a little rough and rocky, we're gonna work out things for next year and hopefully have a smoother run.

I have to say, from my end things were really going well up until it came time for the Masquerade. Granted, the other judges and I missed the first 15-20 minutes of the show but it was just starting when we got there. I heard there was some kind of idol performance beforehand? I've known the Masquerade has never really been good on time but this year was horrific. I've competed and attended the Masquerade since 2004, but this was my first year on the working end of it. I couldn't have been more embarrassed with what happened. Especially on stage when HCC awards were announced.

We are aware that someone went through the line pointing out winners beforehand, this person was under the impression that we wouldn't have the time when people walked off stage after to discretely pull them aside. We are truly sorry to whomever this upset and offended. Lack of communication on the counts of all staff HCC and Masquerade (from what I can tell and what I heard) is at fault.

I'm also confused as to why fashion show participants were pulled backstage so soon when there was still 30-45 minutes of skits. And am I also mistaken in that it seemed some of the skits were unusually long this year? Maybe that was resulting in the time crunch towards the end. I honestly couldn't tell you because I and the other judges knew nothing. Getting answers was near difficult and before we knew it we were on stage with certificates in our hands and given no time to sort them out before they started dragging winners out en mass.

It wasn't until this year that I found out that the HCC and Masquerade are run like they are two separate departments and while each year seems to depend on how well communication works out between people, it put the last couple years that I have competed at Otakon seem to make sense as to why it never seems to quite run as smoothly once you get to the actual main event. There is no one person to blame, and maybe when Otakon was smaller this worked well but I really feel like the two departments need to work together better. Instead of coming together ala West Side Story.

Overall, things could've been worse, but that isn't saying much. What happened during the Masquerade on the HCC end was horrible and I still don't have words for how I feel about it. I just hope we can come together all Masq and HCC staff and get it worked out for next year. Even running through procedures beforehand and cutting out the un-necessary stuff that cuts down on time. If it starts at 7pm it NEEDS to start at 7pm with the first skit, not an opening musical act. HCC contestants work just as hard as skit performers. They deserve their time too.

Please keep letting us know your comments and concerns! This con is about YOU! We can't change things unless we know what there is to change.

Please take a second to research your facts before offering speculation.

The Masquerade runs on a 4 hours time slot: 7 pm to 11 pm. This year the Masquerade ended at 10:15 pm, with a start at 7 pm on the dot. We were in no risk of running over our 4 hours slot, and were actually very surprised the show even ran that long. Time limits per skit were reduced for the smaller skits this year, and only one skit ran over their respective time limit.

With that said, the 10:15 pm everyone is talking about was not a hard out-time. It was the time that our con chair, who was presenting Masquerade awards, was requested to attend to matters, and we wanted to get him out of the arena in time. In hindsight, we could have cheated this by about 15 minutes, but I do not event think that amount of time was justified.

In regards to pulling HCC participants backstage, I will agree in hindsight I asked for this to be done earlier than I'd like. Keep in mind, however, that the backstage corridor HCC participants were kept during most of that time between the end of skit performances and their catwalk is intended and designed for the comfort of all participants. Masquerade participants are kept there the ENTIRE show. There are monitors, speakers, and even bottled water to keep all participants safe, happy and comfortable during the 4 hour show. In fact, the only reason I don't ask for HCC participants to be back there for the entire show is because of the small possibility of having too many people in that corridor compared to seats in our viewing room.

The route to the backstage area is undoubtedly unpleasant, I know. This is one of my least favorite things about the 1st Mariner Arena. Unfortunately, there is no way to get around this... and in 3 years of being at this facility, we have not found a better way. Other routes are entirely too long and require participants to squeeze through areas that may be too big for their costume. It is unfortunately just a fact of life for this aging facility, but there is no better facility than the 1st Mariner Arena to house such a popular event with plenty of seating for all who are interested to see.

I am all for communication, but communication is not effective when the parties sanctioning their respective events are unwilling to look within for improvements. Masquerade is always willing to assist HCC with open arms, as it is an offshoot of the original Masquerade department that housed both the Masquerade and HCC last in 2005... a year in which I was in charge of both events. I understand how HCC works, it's importance, and probably had a hand in many of it's existing methods and practices. To suggest that Masquerade somehow neglects the HCC couldn't be any further from the truth. With any first year coordinator, there are going to be things that fall through the cracks, and in this case, people in key places were not simply aware of the magnitude and scope of the catwalk.

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In regards to pulling HCC participants backstage, I will agree in hindsight I asked for this to be done earlier than I'd like. Keep in mind, however, that the backstage corridor HCC participants were kept during most of that time between the end of skit performances and their catwalk is intended and designed for the comfort of all participants. Masquerade participants are kept there the ENTIRE show. There are monitors, speakers, and even bottled water to keep all participants safe, happy and comfortable during the 4 hour show. In fact, the only reason I don't ask for HCC participants to be back there for the entire show is because of the small possibility of having too many people in that corridor compared to seats in our viewing room.

The route to the backstage area is undoubtedly unpleasant, I know. This is one of my least favorite things about the 1st Mariner Arena. Unfortunately, there is no way to get around this... and in 3 years of being at this facility, we have not found a better way. Other routes are entirely too long and require participants to squeeze through areas that may be too big for their costume. It is unfortunately just a fact of life for this aging facility, but there is no better facility than the 1st Mariner Arena to house such a popular event with plenty of seating for all who are interested to see.

I am all for communication, but communication is not effective when the parties sanctioning their respective events are unwilling to look within for improvements. Masquerade is always willing to assist HCC with open arms, as it is an offshoot of the original Masquerade department that housed both the Masquerade and HCC last in 2005... a year in which I was in charge of both events. I understand how HCC works, it's importance, and probably had a hand in many of it's existing methods and practices. To suggest that Masquerade somehow neglects the HCC couldn't be any further from the truth. With any first year coordinator, there are going to be things that fall through the cracks, and in this case, people in key places were not simply aware of the magnitude and scope of the catwalk.

Edited by xxbobxx
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I think the complaint with the back stage was not that we were in the corridor with the TVs where the others were. That was a minor inconvenience. What was upsetting was being in the loading dock and connecting hallway where it was dirty, hot, and we had no way of seeing what was going on on stage. We were there for what seemed an extremely long time. A few people around me in less breathable costumes were absolutely cooking under the hallway lights.
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In regards to pulling HCC participants backstage, I will agree in hindsight I asked for this to be done earlier than I'd like. Keep in mind, however, that the backstage corridor HCC participants were kept during most of that time between the end of skit performances and their catwalk is intended and designed for the comfort of all participants. Masquerade participants are kept there the ENTIRE show. There are monitors, speakers, and even bottled water to keep all participants safe, happy and comfortable during the 4 hour show. In fact, the only reason I don't ask for HCC participants to be back there for the entire show is because of the small possibility of having too many people in that corridor compared to seats in our viewing room.
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This was our first time competing in a cosplay contest, and we really enjoyed it. I had no problem waiting in line Friday to register and compete, personally, but certainly wouldn't mind online registration in the future.

Overall it was a lot of fun, and I think we'll be back again next year. Thanks you guys for everything ;)

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I have only two suggestions.

1. Bring back online registration for the Hall Cosplay contest. It was so nice.

2. Time limits for the Masquerade. I think that more time should be given to those who are in higher classes rather than the number of people in the skit. For example: 4min - Craftsman, 3 min - Journeyman, 2 min - Novice. The additional time is almost a reward for doing good work and advancing in rank. I also think that this way skit quality would be improved since higher ranking contestances, should have the experience needed to create something good.

Other than that I thought things were great.

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I also had no problem registering Friday. The only problem was that the only entrance we were allowed in for pre-regs with a badge was on the opposite side of the convention. But there certainly were not more than 12 people or so waiting to register when I got there.

Also, I don't have a problem with at-con registration. If by the con I didn't feel that my costume was finished enough or if something went wrong with something else and I couldn't make it or got sick, I would have felt bad for pre-registering. I've heard you can cancel your pre-registration, but I think the at con registration may be more fair.

Edited by vegyangel
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I'd like to flesh out my reasons for really wanting online pre-reg online again: most of us who come to Otakon in cosplay do it because we want to walk around the con showing off our work, having fans enjoy the work that we've done.

Friday folks, I hear the line wasn't that long, but it was VERY long on Saturday (I think we have the masquerade walk-on to thank for that in part). It's a huge bummer that to just be eligible to be judged we'd have to sit out a good couple of hours of the day standing in line. (i.e. I showed up at 10am, was told the thing doesn't fill up usually until 2pm or so, came back at 12:30pm and it was already filled up with people still in a long line to register... )

We con-goers are very spoiled, myself moreso than most :D It is a tradeoff, I know. We can't have everything and one could certainly argue that if being in the contest is important enough to you, you should be willing to stand in line for it. I get that and definitely you guys running these events know better than anyone which system makes the most sense -- if con deems it more fair & sane for at-con only, then so be it ;D

I'm just saying this is my reason for really hoping online pre-reg comes back. It was a great system and I would love to enter the contest next year, though if online reg doesn't come back I guess I will have to omit the contest altogether (IMO I'd rather walk around than stand in a line in the corner of the BCC).

That's all and thanks for listening :lol:

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This was my 8th otakon and first year competing in the HCC.

My only request, which is something that was requested during closing ceremonies in regards to Masq, is that we get feedback from the judges as to what exactly they are looking for and where they took or added points.

I personally would like to know this so if I choose to do something contrary to what they are looking for I can better explain why I did what I did.

It is hard to grow in an art without feedback. I was an English major and the professors that were brutally honest with my work caused me to do better the next time around.

Also, this being my first HCC, I may have missed this or have just been too blind to notice, but are there 'offical' grading sheets for the judges? Or is it something more haphazard like 'we write notes down and then compare'?

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Well, biggest issue first. Online registration will be available for next year. You will still have to check in next year and your place will not be confirmed until you do so (as it has been for many years). vegyangel actually pointed out part of the reason that i didn't rush to get pre-registration up this year. In past years we would reach our 50 slots in the preregistration and at con we would have 20 of those people show up by 12 noon when they are suppose to. After that all spots have always been free game for the people who didn't register before the convention. This then creates lots of issues with people saying "well i pre-registered and you gave my spot away". The at con registration system does cause a little bit of chaos with lines and such, but i think that this year the lines went reasonably fast. If you honestly want to compete to have your costume judged.. you would wait in line and have it done. On saturday i know for fact we had some people there as soon as the doors opened waiting in line so they would have a spot. The preregistration system this upcoming year will be back but with the limit of 12 noon will again be in place where if you complained about a line, you will still have to deal with a line. The registration process will still take just as long. You will still need to fill out the paperwork for the photography (i'm sorry i didn't get that online in time this year so you could print it yourself). So, the only real difference between having the preregistration system and not having it is the 12 noon buffer you have to show up, which actually just slows things down in the long run due to the time restirctions we have for judging.

Addressing the question of the photos taken, the pictures of the winners will be posted on the site as soon as we have a chance to process everything and the webmaster gets caught up with everything. As you guys can imagine, he's a very very busy man updating the site right now.

There are official score cards that are used but they are for the judges decisions only. We won't tell you who scored how many points in what area etc.

There was a lot of confusion backstage. I take complete responsibility for that. This was my first year running the contest and i didn't have everything planned down to the last second. I am truly sorry that you guys had to endure my mistakes but i promise that i have learned from them and it will be much better in years to come.

If there is anything i haven't covered in this post, i apologize but i will post again as soon as i possibly can.

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Something else we're looking at in terms of trying to ease any line in addition to sorting out and returning Online HCC Reg is to provide forms on which you list your info such as series name, character name, etc. Provided I can read your handwriting [and it was actually just fine this year!], I won't have to take extra time grilling you on these items OR will I have to ask, "Hey, uh...could you spell that for me? I'm not familiar with it." I believe HCC had these forms in previous years; should we provide them [which I am going to lobby for], we should have them up on the site here.

Hopefully with those two things we can avoid conditions like we experienced on Saturday. We didn't anticipate that many people lining up so early!

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I know constructive criticism is extremely important, especially here so that you all can aim to improve your work. However, there isn't really a feasible way that I can think of to do that. Don't take my word for it entirely because I'm not in charge...

Judging is a big, time-consuming job. The score cards are to make the judging process point-based and a bit simpler, and they might be writing notes to themselves for the sake of deliberation, but it might not necessarily be coherent enough for you to be able to say, for example, "Okay, I need to work on my stitching, or use a different kind of stitch for this thing to fortify it."

For them to be able to give you feedback-either mentioning MORE than they already do or taking the time to write thoughtful, detailed feedback to give you at some point-would be quite time-consuming; our judges' schedule would have to be extended, and the contest consumes a great deal of their day as is.

On top of that, not everyone might want it...which means that it would have to be a by-request basis. I can't imagine it would be too great to write out helpful feedback for everyone and not have only half the contestants show for it. That would be a lot of thought and effort wasted, I think...

But hey, we can always look into it for next year and see what sort of thing could be worked out within our time constraints.

Edited by helixy
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I know constructive criticism is extremely important, especially here so that you all can aim to improve your work. However, there isn't really a feasible way that I can think of to do that. Don't take my word for it entirely because I'm not in charge...
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See being the type of person I am, if this is the case with the judging, I'm worried about the fairness of a winner's victory. If a judge can't tell me what exactly is wrong with what I did, I am going to question their ability to adquately judge the contest. (not that our judges have that problem, I'm speaking in hypotheticals)

And things like stitching. If there are deductions because a line isn't straight than I would like to know that. My hands shake, no matter what I do, therefore everything I touch tends to reflect the fact that I don't have steady hands and will never have steady hands. If I will constantly be deducted for something like that, I'd like to know so I don't bother allocating time to a contest that is going to take off because somethings a little crooked.

I'm not saying that they are not capable of telling you what they felt needed improvement at all-this is why pictures of the costumes are taken, this is why they ask questions about your method, and this is why they make little notes to themselves. Our judges are undoubtedly skilled people both in terms of just sewing and in cosplay are are, I assure you, competent judges. We would simply have to coordinate that type of thing.

Granted, it could be time consuming or it could not be, depending on how in depth the inital notes are. And more to the point, there is a good chance that only a handful will really want constructive critisism. If online reg comes back then there should be an option either then or at check in to request feedback.

I had a similar thought for inclusion of such. I don't know that it would be included in online registration; if it is decided that it is a good fit for the contest, it might be included in the contest check-in system.

Along the lines. What exactly are we being judged on. Craftmanship is a broad term and where I think something was nicely crafted someone else may not think the same. It might be nice to know what the judges are judging, instead of giving it a catch all description.

I'm no stranger to competitions, I've done everything from writing competitions to horse shows. And for most part I already knew what I was being judged on. Number 17 off the HCC page: "Costumes will be judged on a variety of criteria, including craftsmanship and overall effect. " Well that is fantastic, but offers me absolutly nothing to go off of. And what exactly is overall effect? From the FAQ section, number 6. "During this time, you will be given a chance to talk about how you made your costume, materials you used, and the time it took you to make it."

Alright, I can see how this fits into the craftmanship aspect of the judging, but how does one actually judge how you made your costume? Will I get judged poorly if I used the wrong type of fabric because i didn't have the funds to spend 10 dollors on 1 yard of fabric?

As far as Craftsmanship and overall effect, we look forward to providing clarification in the rules for those topics for next year. Such revisions will be made in ample time for interested potential-contestants to familiarize themselves with them before Otakon 2010.

Will I be judged differenty if I was able to put it together in a day instead of taking a week to make it? In all actuallity this information is best served in a write up with a picture documentary. Submit it before Otakon, it gives the judges more time to look things over.

If you spend 16 hours on it in one shot versus 16 hours on it over a week that should really make no difference. Picture documentation of the crafting process is welcome as part of the reference material that you may supply at your judging.

Submission prior to the con is not going to be an option any time soon because that will give early submissions a potential unfair advantage over other contestants; no contestant is going to be offered more time for consideration than any other...that introduces problems.

Edited by helixy
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I have addressed many of the things mentioned previously in other posts as well as in PM's. Your main concern here is that you wish to be judged fairly (at least that is what i got from your post). The scoring system is point based and comes from the following categories. Portrayal of character, Construction of costume, use of materials, attention to accessories and detail. now do keep in mind that these areas are scored at the discretion of the judges. The judges will judge you based on what you show them and describe to them. Also, if you want the best score on your character portrayal and attention to detail and accessories, be sure to bring the exact pictures that you designed the outfit from. This way, the judges see exactly where you got each idea for props as well as being able to see exactly how much you had to work with in regards to detailing of each item.

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Well, biggest issue first. Online registration will be available for next year. You will still have to check in next year and your place will not be confirmed until you do so (as it has been for many years). vegyangel actually pointed out part of the reason that i didn't rush to get pre-registration up this year. In past years we would reach our 50 slots in the preregistration and at con we would have 20 of those people show up by 12 noon when they are suppose to. After that all spots have always been free game for the people who didn't register before the convention. This then creates lots of issues with people saying "well i pre-registered and you gave my spot away". The at con registration system does cause a little bit of chaos with lines and such, but i think that this year the lines went reasonably fast. If you honestly want to compete to have your costume judged.. you would wait in line and have it done. On saturday i know for fact we had some people there as soon as the doors opened waiting in line so they would have a spot. The preregistration system this upcoming year will be back but with the limit of 12 noon will again be in place where if you complained about a line, you will still have to deal with a line. The registration process will still take just as long. You will still need to fill out the paperwork for the photography (i'm sorry i didn't get that online in time this year so you could print it yourself). So, the only real difference between having the preregistration system and not having it is the 12 noon buffer you have to show up, which actually just slows things down in the long run due to the time restirctions we have for judging.
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Thanks for replying! Though I'm confused as to why it would take just as long if there were online registration...

I was in the HCC in 2008 and check in only took a few minutes - which I much preferred to the on site reg this year. I was there shortly before registration opened at 10am and still had an hour and a half wait with no idea if 50 contestants would be reached before I made it. That's not "reasonably" fast to me lol

I'm glad online registration will be back though!

I know exactly how registration has been run and how fast or slow it has gone for each individual person entering for the past 3 years. I have run the contest registration for the past 3 years.. There is a literal 10 second difference between having preregistered and having to register at con because there are still forms that need to be filled out that haven't been put online in past years.. and that information still needs to be entered into the time selection database that we have at the convention when you pick your judging time slot. This hasn't and won't change. Therefore, it will still take the same amount of time that it always has. The only way to speed things up is by everyone to have their forms filled out correctly when they get to the front of the line so the person registering them can type in the information, get you a time slot and send you on your way.

If you have entered in previous years, then you would know that there are people that wait in line from 8:30 AM till 12 noon hoping that there will be an at con registration spot when we do online registration. Also, if you take into comparison your registration for this contest taking say 1.5 hours as to the registration taking until 3 PM to fill all 50+10 spots (which typically ends up making open spots in the time slots which are wasted entry positions) i would say you should be thankful that the saturday registration line lasted 1.5 hours and you didn't get turned away because it is 12 and the only available judging times left were 10:55 and 11:05 because they just hadn't been picked. Also, if you got there at 10.. and waited for an hour and a half.. then you had the same wait time that the first person that showed up, who got there at 8:30 AM when the doors opened, had even though s/he got the first slot.

If you can't see the logic in seeing how that works to your own advantage, then i can't really explain it any more clearly.

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Thanks for replying! Though I'm confused as to why it would take just as long if there were online registration...

I was in the HCC in 2008 and check in only took a few minutes - which I much preferred to the on site reg this year. I was there shortly before registration opened at 10am and still had an hour and a half wait with no idea if 50 contestants would be reached before I made it. That's not "reasonably" fast to me lol

I'm glad online registration will be back though!

...If you can't see the logic in seeing how that works to your own advantage, then i can't really explain it any more clearly.

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If you registered online last year, check in was fast and easy. And there were no extra forms to fill out. All we had to do was pick a judging slot.

That's why I'm so confused that you're saying check-in for online registration takes the same amount of time. But I don't know if you understood what I was talking about.

When you come to check in at the convention, we still have to enter you in the system that everyone else is entered in. As stated, you don't pick a time slot when you pre-reg...you still have to come to us to pick that and to say, "Hey, I didn't have a last minute change of plans/I didn't flake--I'm here, this is the time I want." You still come to me, hand me your pre-reg stuff, I still have to type it in, you still have to get a call-number, etc.

Contest pre-registration only saves you the hassle of having to hand-write some info that most people had filled out before they got to me anyway AND it has the character/series info; even then, it only saves you that hassle if you actually remember to bring your pre-reg forms. If you don't have them, you have to fill out paperwork.

We had trouble getting a form printed this year that we had before (which we will have for Otakon 2010)...hence the delay between this year and last year. Lack of pre-reg really didn't have anything to do with it. On Friday we didn't have our printer so we had to have someone handwrite the call sheets and then on Saturday we had more groups enter...so for one entry, I had to get, say, four names, four birthdates, characters, etc.

Please do trust us, here...we make the contest happen, and we know why aspects of it went the way they did because we have been around before. :]

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I don't know if this was discussed or not yet on the forum for this year - but I was a bit let down by the "judging experience"

Out of the 4 judges there - only one got up to check anything on my costume - and this was my corset.

Not to be mean or anything; but if your judging Hall Cosplay - its really really heavily weighted on costume construction - since there is no performance aspect for hall cosplay. If the judges aren't getting up to check it - it's kind've depressing. Especially for my costume where every layer down to the petticoat and panties were hand made.

Also one of the judges was so busy writing information down on the pad - I honestly don't think they really looked at the costume at all in the few minutes I was in there.

And honestly - as much as I love Javier - he should not have been in the room if he wasn't a judge. He seemed to have a lot of influence in things that he should not have had. As well as slowing down the general flow of the runway show Saturday night at Masquerade.

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  • 1 month later...

Like what I meant by it depends on the costume, for instance, they didn't get up and look closely at my costume mostly for the fact that the main part was my huge Bankai Zabimaru (which was big enough to see from their seats and I had compiled and printed a sort of progress journal of it).

Anyway, actually have no qualmpertaining to the HCC this year. I actually had a blast the entire Otakon. And the at con-registration was not a problem with me. It actually was less nervewracking than refreshing a page, or worrying if they would post the sign-up when you were at work or something.

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