Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Choosing characters- Casualty Cosplay edition

Many people wonder which character they should choose and why. I've been planning on writing from this subject in general, but first I'd like to reveal how we have ended up with the characters we have cosplayed. I will go trought our pair cosplays original ones not included.

When we did our first cosplay pair, I was the one who chose the character first. I had just been introduced to Bleach and after a marathon of manga and anime published to the date, I took a liking on Matsumoto Rangiku, because of her feminity and outgoing personality. And perhaps the fact that she enjoyed alcohol had something to do with it too. The con we were going to attend was Ropecon, which I had participated two or three times before in random costumes. It was first time for Yoki and she had hard time choosing the character. She wanted to cosplay character from Bleach as I did. In the end she just picked up Hitsugaya Toushiro. She didn't particularly like him, but it would be natural to see these characters together. The uniforms was easy to make with the skills we had back then and we just couldn't resist the fact that we would have swords. When I look at the costumes now, there are many things I would like to redo, but then again, everybody have their first costumes which sometimes are just things to set aside.

The second pair we did was Sasori and Deidara from Naruto. God... I can't remember what was the reason why we chose them, but then again they jus fitted us really well. I think Yoki has a opinion on this one. I have some idea though... I think this was the first cosplay we chose as a team. Usually one of us come up with an idea and then the other one just goes with the flow. But in the case of Sasori and Deidara we ended up with our favorite characters in the series and they just matched. The height was so and so, personalities varied like ours do and we liked them. What else do we need? The funny thing with this cosplay was, that we had thought of doing one other pair cosplay, but then chose to drop it, because it seemed a lot of time consuming work. May I laught now? Making complex pieces of Sasori's body and Mayuri's head gear at the same time isn't a lot of work? Hohhohho... We had to use our imagination with Sasori, because his puppet form hadn’t been shown in the anime at that time. As colour reference we used one manga cover and if I remember correctly, one original art. I recall that Sasori debuted in the anime week before Animecon 2007.

At the time we were really ambitious and decided to do two cosplays. Yoki wanted to do Kurotsuchi Mayuri from Bleach. I had no clue that I would end up doing Akon. It was just a natural solution to our ”we need to do connected characters”-thinking. I think I also chosed Akon, because I hadn’t seen more than one person portraying him. The costume was easy and it would not take too much attention off from Mayuri's costume. I could concentrate on doing Mayuri, when my own part was quite humble. For Mayuri, his Yoki’s ultimately favorite character from Bleach. In fact, everyone of her favorite characters have some sort of mental issue. Mad scientist syndrome in this case. And Mayuri was the highlight of this pair cosplay. I was more like an add-on, which was fine really. I was satisfied with my work on the costumes and Yoki is like a hanger for my creations. And the more photogenic one.

Jasdero and Debitto was purely my idea. I had read D.Gray-man for some time and when I saw these twins the first time I just couldn’t pass them. I introduced grey-skinned Noahs to Yoki, and she approved them. Of course I had already thought that Yoki would portray Jasdero and apparently he was enough of a nuthead to fit Yoki's taste. The height difference between us, which is something like 10 cm at most, didn't matter, because Jasdero hardly ever stands straight. If I were to portray Jasdero, I would have serious problems with showing off my waist and stomack and also grinning the way Jasdero does. Yoki did not have any issues with these. Only thing she wasn't too happy about was the long blond wig. Without the grey make-up she looked really bizarre.

Our current project, which I can not reveal, fits the neutral-evil personality zone we have been accidentally been following. And if we ever finish this huge project we have another one already selected. The characters are more in the nuthead zone, I think.

When we choose characters we try to take in concideration our height, porpotion and on some level the personalities. We hardly ever cosplay characters we don't like, but can pick up the other persons interests. The restrictions we have are usually costs and a level of skills in costume making combined. I'm personally not going to start a project I know will include expencive fabrics and stuctures sewing-wise that I am not too familiar with. But as I always say... Imagination.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Weekly- Pick a pic

The outcome when taking pictures and having two dogs running around (2009).

Thursday, November 12, 2009

New wig, new storage problem, new ideas

Yay, I have a new wig! Now I have a nice base to build Deidara's hairdo freshly. The previous one got partially send to where ever retired wigs go to... The part I could in anyway use have been fused with a similar one to be born as a short, boyish wig. The ponytail is from the original one and happens to be almost the right shade with the new one even though the producer isn't the same.

Not styled, only pinned to see how it would look like

After I have finished with the wig, we have planned with Yoki to do photoshoot with our crazy artists in their Akatsuki outfits. I think I will redo the undergarments also. They need some improvement and another choice in material. Current ones have uneven dye, which bothers me greatly and have suffered from seam ripping.

I don't know why, but I suddenly realized that we have some resemblance to these characters. Not only do I have long, blond hair and Yoki has short and spiky, we have some similar attributions in "art" as Deidara and Sasori. Well... I don't exacly blow up everything I have created, but Yoki is the more conscientous than me. In the series Sasori is portrayed as a teenager while Deidara looks like an young adult. I'm six years older than Yoki, but sometimes Yoki just acts more mature than I.

No wonder we picked up these guys from the bunch.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Weekly - pick a pic

and up we go...maybe, 2007

Friday, November 6, 2009

Tick mark for Snufkin

It took over half a year for us to make a vid from Yoki's Snufkin cosplay, but I must admit that I'm happy that we waited this long. The weather was perfect as Yoki described in the earlier post. Few more clouds would have reduced flares, but that is just a minor error seen only in couple of shots. Snufkin vid can be found from our Youtube channel.

Goddamit, it's really troublesome to be behind the camera! This was our most scripted shoot of all times and I was really driving for a good outcome. I didn't expect that it would take some serious work. I was exhausted after the day. Exhausted indeed, but happy. I'm not a professional, when it comes to cameras and all, but I think we managed well.

So what happened during the photoshoot? I took over all the practical stuff along side with the camera work. Looked place for the campfire, prepared it, carried stones and logs, tried to find stick for the fishing rod, chose the places, gave orders around and took care of Yoki's outerwear... to name some. We both got frostbites on our toes. It was close call that I didn't accidentally swim in the forest river AND in the lake. Then there were some minor casualties, but in general everything went fine.

When we were done with he shoot on the forest river and were walking back to our car, an another car passed us and one of the passengers, older lady stared at us with a big smile on her face as if she had recogniced Snufkin. Other than that, because we were surrounded with fields, few farms and forest we didn't have audience. We were toying with idea to stop by on the way home at the town centre, Yoki playing the Snufkin melody with her harmonica. But we were to tired, cold and hungry.

The other thing that was my responsibility was to edit the material. It took swearing, hours and crashes to complete. Now I'm considering an all out cleaning process for my nasty and evil friend. I bet Yoki was suprised when the vid was out on the next day of the shoot, knowing what the conditions are related to my computer.

This time I used royalty free music. Great pieces can be found here.

Here are some pictures from the day. Yoki will add some on her account.

Kuura (Frost if you translate it to English) chasing Snufkin