Sunday, September 28, 2008

MINI-REPORT: Sac-Con Sept. 2008

Well I just got home from dinner with the Console Game Room (CGR) staff over at Olive Garden, a smashing time with them.

Even though I worked for 6 days straight, I still found the strength to get up and actually do something instead of sit around and do nothing on my day off; so I went to Sac-Con. The first thing I learn when I get there is that there's no Masquerade for this con today since Imari and the Cosplay staff could not make it. Apparently there was a post on the forums about this, but given the fact I haven't visited the forums in awhile I didn't know. CGR was happy though, because they had more time to game without any interruption from the Masquerade. For me, it meant less pictures this time around, although I did find enough cosplayers and events to fill out the roster of today.

Like I mentioned in the Day 3 Wrap-Up video, there was another con yesterday and on Friday that focused on Sci-Fi and Horror. From what I heard, the attendance count for Sac-Con at 11am totaled the attendance for the other two days all day. I had a feeling that the last two days were an experiment and odds are won't happen again (but that's just my opinion).

So the whole entire day I found myself kicking it with the CGR crew, taking pictures around the con, catching up with people, and just relaxing myself after a hard week. I also did a bit of the Charity Auction, although the loot wasn't worth it given my interest level; I got outbidded for an Desert Eagle-looking airsoft pistol by a mother and her son, which I didn't want to happen. But since I have more than enough (most of them the real thing in terms of airsoft) I let them have it. I also won a KHII necklace, which broke off 3 minutes after I bought it. So I stripped it on both ends, hung the end parts on my camera case, and gave the remaining pieces to someone else, probably to modify for cosplay or something.

One of the highlights of the con was the Futurama and Simpsons Panel, which rocked. I was able to see the people behind these great TV franchises, and it was fun to listen in at their panel.

The con came to a quick end (it must of given there wasn't a Masquerade), and I was stuck outside waiting for the CGR staff to conclude their meeting to determine where to eat. I suggested Olive Garden, and after determining they still had their Never-Ending Pasta Bowl deal going, we all headed out there.

It was nice seeing everyone after Sac-Anime, and it was nice to hang out with them without being "stressed."

I'll guess I'll see you all in December, and if not January for Sac-Anime!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Showing Up

I'll be showing up at Sac-Con tomorrow to hang out, take pictures, and blog. Until then, peace!

Monday, September 15, 2008

The Missing Link

Because of that takedown e-mail that I got, you probably have noticed a omitted portion of the 2nd part of the Fashion Show that I reuploaded.

Well here is that missing portion, courtesy of ACP.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Not Posting Masquerade Videos

I've decided to not post the Masquerade videos for the time being as ACP is starting to post theirs on YouTube; plus, they had a better angle than me (judging by the videos up so far and comparing them to mine) and that ACP's video don't switch from the back to the front row halfway through. Instead, I will continue to focus my videos on other events at the con. Next up, the Rave (Friday night).

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Temp Header

Due to legal conflict with FanimeCon (that's the best way to describe to it), I had to remove the header. I'm not saying it's a bad thing, though.

For now, there's a temporary header until I can create an original header.

Fashion Show Video Reuploaded

After editing the video to reflect the takedown notice, part 2 of the Fashion Show is back up!

Monday, September 8, 2008

VIDEOS OF THE DAY: Bleach Photoshoot

VIDEOS OF THE DAY: Outside Conga Line

Lessons Learned

When I started blogging from FanimeCon back in 2007, my first ever entry into the world of convention blogging, I knew that good things could come out of these experiences. My first ever event that I covered in this blog was Sac-Con June of 2007. My first blog report from Sac-Anime was a month later in July of 2007. Since then I've covered many events and have purchased a custom domain, which shows the dedication of my efforts to give a first-hand account in near real-time if not real-time.

Sac-Anime Summer 2008 was the first time I blogged under a press badge. This was a golden opportunity to show who I am and what I can do. One of things I did is went out and purchased business cards so that I can spread the world and also give people a outlet to contact me in case they wanted material off my blog (which I have received already). The other is video coverage, and I plan expand at the next Sac-Anime in January and FanimeCon in May 2009.

I have learned a ton from having a press badge. One of them is that some people just don't want to be on a website, and that most of them can exercise their legal rights. The first person who sent me a notice told me that I didn't give her permission to be put on the blog and that the rights weren't given to me. And honestly, and won't fight back; I'll just listen and do what you say unless I can sense something more than just legal rights. I am also learning the way in which I report, which now comes in the realm of video and text blogging. I expect to provide better coverage the next time I head on out to a con.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Stupid Keychain

So during Sunday, one of the dealers was having a sale - a collection of key chains for 3-4 dollars (it was one of the two). I was deciding on two to compliment my Ed and Winry key chains, so for now I settle on a Renton from Eureka seveN key chain.

It's now been a week since I got the key chain, and the logo on the other side has completely faded.


Con Report: Sunday

Day 3

The first thing I notice is that unlike Saturday, the line for Sunday is pretty much dead. I was guessing everyone was still hung over from yesterday and the only ones who would attend would be the weekend attendees.

Still, there was some business to take care of. I sat in Jodon Bellofatto's panel, titled "You Not Your Own Anime Character," which basically was a crash course in con etiquette in general, because there are far more cons out there than just this one, and people need to know how to conduct themselves especially when large-scale hotels and convention centers come into play. One story that I remember was that a couple of attendees who thought they were re-enacting DBZ put a hole into a wall at a hotel, and the hotel stuck the con with the bill for fixing the hole in the wall. It's that and other stories that makes us as a community look bad. Just because we're there for the weekend to be ourselves doesn't mean common sense can be thrown out.

The only thing that I have to film today is the Fashion Show, which I promised I would tape to BSahpire, a long-time connection at these cons. She has moved on to bigger and better things, but she came this convention after resigning back in January. Actually, the Fashion Show went without a hitch; no technical problems here. It lasted about 20 minutes, and there were some very nice costume designs. I had posted both parts, but a participant of the show didn't want their portion of the show up on YouTube, so for now I have to go in and edit their part out which means part 2 does not exist on YT.

Either than that, it was a pretty slow day - caught some of the Rock Band Freestyle tournament, although the Gaming Room wanted me to film that instead of the Fashion Show. I filmed a bit of a Bleach photo shoot that took place across the street, and in between that a Conga Line.

By 6pm everything had shut down for Sac-Anime. I didn't leave until 7pm after everyone else was leaving, after I got in all my talks with the people I know. While the rest went out to eat, I decided to go home. After all, I was tired and I found out that I was going to work for 7 hours on Labor Day, plus I needed to start working on editing and uploading all the footage that I captured over the weekend.

Tomorrow I will post my finals thoughts on this con, as well as the lessons learned from being a first-time press member.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Con Report: Saturday

Day 2

Day 2 started out like every other Saturday at Sac-Anime: nice and early. By 9pm I was already near the Center, I was over at Crape Escape chowing down on a nice breakfast. I couldn't find their breakfast crapes, so I went with some pancakes, sausage, eggs, garlic potatoes, and a hearty glass of OJ. When I got there, the line was much longer for Day badges - almost 10 fold.

I started out the morning taking more pictures and video, then started off the Gaming Room with...Tetris Splash. Single player if I might add. Then again, I was sitting there for about 2 minutes in Multiplayer; no one wanted to play me, so I jumped in Single Player mode and waited for someone to join me...or for Jonas to remind me that it was for multiplayer, which I then told him "I know, I was waiting for someone to join me." Come on, I'm not going to sit there and wait, I'll quit when someone comes up to me. Eventually, someone did and I got a few rounds in. I would of joined the TS Tournament that they were doing, but given everything else I did I passed.

I decide to peak in Katie Bair's panel about building weapons and props. Given that she's the master of wigs, I wouldn't mind take a few tips from her. She's been a guest at Sac-Anime for a long as I can remember it, and she's a pretty cool gal.

The first major panel is at 12pm - the V&A Panel with Freeman, O'Brien, Riegel, Kaplan, and Spencer (who was chilling waiting out for his panel at 2pm). I set up shop in the panel room and await the start of it. I really got some good video, which most of it I have already posted, and a ton of pictures featuring the voice actors.

After the panel was over, I packed in my video equipment and waited for the Masquerade to start. Meanwhile, outside the con the masses have formed on the grass area. There was a huge Naruto gathering, although I didn't catch any of it. Instead, I caught people waving at cars that drove on H street. Eventually the crowd got a bit too far on the street and were ordered back onto the sidewalk.

By 3pm, I know that I need something to eat - the Masquerade is in two hours. So, I head to Quiznos - but the one on H Street next to Starbucks closed down (two weeks ago, according to my manager). Defeated, I go back only to realize that my parking spot is gone. Luckily, I found someone leaving and took their parking spot; I even told them. I settle for some Japanese Ramen, with a whopping 2,290mg of Sodium - 90% of the DV! No wonder it's "imported" Japanese Ramen.

I notice that a huge line is forming outside the main doorway - everyone must be jumping in for the autograph session. I pass this one, given the fact I have to set up for the Masquerade. I spend the next hour bouncing from place to place waiting for 5pm to come.

By 5pm, Dealers Room had closed and it was time to set up for the Masquerade. I ask the Cosplay staff where ACP was setting up, and they tell me to wait a bit since the person didn't arrive yet. I was hoping to piggyback off of their power to keep my camera rolling. Eventually, I find out ACP had set up shop in back, and that's where I plotted myself. Unlike last year, there were no problems getting everyone seated and whatnot, although standing room was probably the only concern, but then again it was a packed house.

If you were there at the con, there were a TON, and I mean a TON of technical problems. For one, the ones in the Masquerade didn't follow the rules of track burning; it was supposed to be a one-track burn, but some had 3-4 tracks burned which caused a headache when it came to timing. So there was a lot of standing time while the staffers figured it out.

Eventually, I ran out of juice in my battery. I was jealous of Mr. Wayne Kaa, the person from ACP who came to film everything, because he had a massive battery; he could burn for basically the whole Masquerade. I ask for his backup battery, and ask for my battery as collateral. But I find out that battery was dead, and I thank him for lending me his dead battery. So the only other thing to do is move up while the Masq is frozen. I find a seat in the front, plug everything in, and tape the rest from the front row. This means I have two different angles for the Masq - one from the back and one from the front. In all. I captured the majority of the Masquerade. I stick around for the Kung Fu Femmes performance, which dazzled me. I didn't tape because my battery was dead and my tapes were running out, but if you were there you loved it.

Despite all those problems, the Masq ended at 9pm - it's intended time. This gives me enough time to wait it out for the Poker Tournament. For the rest of the night I played some poker, although really it didn't start until about 10pm. In between the wait I got more pictures, mostly from the rave. By the time we start, we only had an hour or so before the Scottish Rite Center closed its doors for the night. I didn't win, though - I busted out on A-K against K-K on the short stack. Hey, you don't win all the time, you're going to lose a lot.

Soon it was time for me to head on home. I get home by 12:30, get everything prepared for Sunday, and then round out the night with Code Geass R2...and literally was a mindfuck after mindfuck after mindfuck, with the ending I couldn't believe. I went to sleep happy.

VIDEO OF THE DAY: Crispin Freeman Goes Deep

Plus a bonus vid!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Con Report: Friday

As a week passes since Sac-Anime, I finally got my report together.

Over the next three days, starting today, I will be posting the Con Report.

Day 1

Honestly, it was weird that I started off the day of Sac-Anime with school. It also reminded me that August was almost over and that soon I would grinding once again in the Community College circuit. Might as well take these three days to finish off the summer (although technically summer ended for me on the 25th).

After getting home and grabbing what I needed, mostly my multimedia equipment that I would use, I headed off to the Scottish Rite Center about 12pm, grabbing some lunch on the way over. Unlike Saturday, there were a small amount of attendees gathered but most staff members had already arrived. I hung around the Cosplay Masquerade table, catching up on life and seeing that their plans were for the weekend. I also went into the Game Room as they were calaborating their tools for the weekend; they needed someone to finish of the band in Rock Band, so I did. Once I got my press badge I was off to take pictures. My first panel was the Con Ettiquette panel @ 1:45pm. Since the majority of the intended audience - the younger set - were still in school, not that many people attended. Still, it was a really nice panel and I even shared some stories. This panel would one of many that I would grab on tape, wanting to upload these ASAP, although it will take me awhile to capture, edit, export, and upload.

By then, the con had crowded a bit. School was out for Labor Day by late afternoon, and I decided to take a spin around the Dealers Room. It was pretty much the same dealers dealing the same items. Mostly I was looking for items that I couldn't find at Fanime, especially a Misato figure from the new Eva movies that I was looking for the last con. I also grab dinner while waiting out for the "Dub Your Own Anime" panel to start at 6pm, and got my game on over in the Gaming Room.

By far this panel was the highlight of Day 1, well next to the Rave but I'll get to that later. It was packed house for what would be a entertaining panel of sorts. What even made the panel more interesting is that the anime had some Yuri/Hentai undertones...seriously. All the attendees that went up did a fine job, but the icing on the cake goes to Crispin Freeman, who was just a specator on the sidelines, dubbed a waitress in two different tones. The scene played back, and it sounded fantastic. I did also capture video on that especially the playback, although both Liam O'Brien and Sam Riegel warned me that I would indeed get a takedown notice from the anime company if I had put that playback on YouTube. But I did promise the attendees that I would, and now that video is up.

The panel ended before 8pm, leaving me to cover the rave. Now, if you there both Friday and Saturday night, you would agree that the Saturday rave was much better than the Friday rave. I'll get into more detail in Day 2, but given I didn't have much to do, I got some video and pictures from that night, along with more "What's going on at the con" pictures and Spike Spencer doing his panel which started at 8pm. And whenever I came in to take pictures, he would stop and pose for me, creating some funny moments.

Usually I leave the con early on Friday, given there's nothing to do after 11ish. So what did I do? I left around 11:30pm. That gave me enough time to upload my Day 1 recap, get everything situated for tomorrow, then sleep.

Con Photo Philosophy

For now, I will call it a "Philosophy."

Out of the 1,000 pictures that I took at Sac-Anime last weekend, the majority of those really weren't cosplayers - they were hallway shots, pictures of the dealers room, the staff trying to ready the stage for the Masquerade. Pictures that aren't people, but of the con itself.

I think of it as being the eyes of the con and that people want to see more than just the cosplayers; they want to see what's going on at the con, who's doing what and how everything is.

And a ton of those shots are blurry, grainy, unfocused, and not "perfect," unlike most "professional" cosplay photos that have nice lighting, focus, and exposure. The quality of the pictures is like the reality of any con - you would think it would be perfect, but it's grainy and grinding and not so "perfect" (but at the end of day everyone is happy).

I like my style of con photography. Not just the cosplayers, but everything else.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

VIDEO OF THE DAY: Dub Your Own Anime Panel Playback

And BTW, I'm still waiting on that takedown notice from the anime company/distributor/whoever-owns-the-rights-to-that-anime they promised me I'd get if I actually did post this video...

Monday, September 1, 2008

VIDEO OF THE DAY: Fashion Show

Photoshoot Found

OK, remember the time when I said that I would eventually find a link to Darkain's photoshoot from Friday?

Well, here it is.

And as always, I am very impressed with the quality of the shoot. Since I was his only client that day, we were able to get fabulous shots.

I have always taken cosplay photos under Darkain, and will continue to do so.

Con Photos

I should have the con photos up by now, but uploading videos makes it near impossible to upload 500+ pictures at the same time. I hope tomorrow I can get all of them uploaded to share.

I was able to get Friday's photos up, and definitely Saturday and Sunday will come tomorrow.

Day Two and Three Recap

Day Three Recap

Again, I apologize for the lack of a video overview for both Day Two and Three, but I need to split the recap video and it's getting late...

Anyways, Day Three really didn't seem like the last day of the con. There was the Fashion Show, which offered some very spectacular costumes. I got a ton of photos and videos off of that event. There were still panels and other events going on, although by around 6, the official closing of the con, it got dead.

Anyways, I will be going through all my tapes & videos and hope to get something up soon.

Tapes full of footage: 6 (@ 60 mins. each = 6 hours of video coverage)
Total Picture Count: 1,054