Tuesday, September 4, 2018

We Went To Dragon Con 2018 And All We Got You Are These Awesome Videos

Friends, geeks, fellow con veterans.

I come to you today exhilarated, bone-tired, and still in my jammies at 3:30 in the afternoon.

Yep, it's the day after Dragon Con.



This year John and I did something radically different with our coverage, and I'm beyond excited. You might remember that last year we finally puzzled out a way to take crisp photos in the low light by using black-out flash, but I wanted more. I wanted to capture the feel of the place, to show you all the madness and community and spontaneous play-acting that happens in the crushing Dragon Con crowds every night.

So in addition to my normal photography - both flash and non flash - John and I decided to shoot video every day of the con, and - here's the hard part - to produce a new video for each day of the con, too.

I won't lie, it was the hardest we've worked at any Dragon Con. We didn't attend a single panel or concert, and never even went into the vendor hall or Walk of Fame. Instead, WE FILMED. We took photos and video until the wee hours of the morning, then we were up 'til 5AM editing in the hotel. Sleep a few hours, then repeat, for five long days.

And it was SO. MUCH. FUN.

We got to attend two Epbot meetups, then met a dozen or more of you randomly throughout the con. So there were still plenty of breaks for socializing, laughter, and hugs. I honestly don't feel like I missed out on a thing. I got to do what I love most: commune with fellow geeks & capture great cosplay in new creative ways.

 Thursday Epbot meet up, photo by Jen Allen 
(We forgot to take a group shot for the 2nd one!)

What's more, by prioritizing our schedule & planning all my Low Fodmap meals ahead, I felt physically better and braver than ever: not a single Xanax needed all five days! YAAAAS. (That's also thanks to my new doctor and hormone regiment; thank God for modern medicine. I feel like a new person, so much stronger and calmer than just two months ago.)

I'll have lots more to show and tell you later, but while I'm still recovering, let me start by showing you our Thursday, Friday, and Saturday videos. (John hopes to have both Sunday and Monday up by tomorrow, so subscribe to our YouTube channel to see those as soon as they're live!)


Thursday:
(This includes the famous Bunny Hutch, where cosplayers mashup their favorite fandoms with Playboy Bunny and Hef outfits)


Friday:




Saturday:



We filmed almost everything on John's iPhone 6s Plus, using this gimbal from Amazon. Maybe 6-8 shots from each video were filmed on my own iPhone 6, for the times when two awesome things were happening at once, or when we weren't set up with the gimbal.

Though John handled most of the camera work, we still operated very much as a team. I would usually talk to the cosplayers first to get permission, since my voice cuts through the crowd better, and also because I'm tiny and female and non-threatening, which goes a long way when asking a girl in her underwear for a video, JUST SAYING. (Ha!) Then John & I worked together to brainstorm new angles and shots, which was just so, so fun. That first shot on Thursday with the TARDIS? Me. ALL ME.

The editing, on the other hand, is all John. He knocked out each video in just over 3 hours after a long day of shooting, with my only contributions being to suggest a few small things and giving a final Ok. John's got a knack for editing, and though you might not notice it, he works with the music to make the downbeats line up with transitions, and so the softer parts have more beauty makeups and the faster-paced stuff has more action, and I think it's brilliant. Especially considering we're both newbs at this!

We had so much fun with video that we're planning to upgrade John's phone for a better camera soon, so you can expect more - and hopefully better - video segments here on from conventions, along with my usual photo coverage. That's right, don't worry, I'll still have photos! We took plenty of black-out flash portraits at Dragon Con, plus a TON of regular photos, and I'll be posting the best of those here. (Those photos are mostly costumes not in the videos, since we couldn't do both at the same time.)

And last but not least, I had a blast updating Instagram with lots and lots of Stories from Dragon Con, like this:





Just like with video, I'm really enjoying the immediacy of Instagram Stories for cons. I can edit and share right on my phone, which cuts down on my work later at home, and gets the fun stuff to you guys that much faster.


You can see the rest of my Stories here in my Dragon Con Highlights - and if you don't already, follow me on Instagram for more goodies and updates. (And cat photos. So many cat photos.)

Now I'm off to collapse again on the road to Dragon Con recovery. Love y'all. Talk more later!

29 comments:

  1. Fabulous! Thank you for getting such fun coverage and sharing with us!

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  2. There was so much cool stuff in those videos, but I think the color-changing Aurora dress was my favorite! :D

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  3. It took me a few seconds to get the "Wilson" guy. And I loved the Wendy's lady. But --- too, too many to list them! Wow! Loved these videos. I totally caught on how the music fit what was going on, and the transitions. I can't imagine the work it took to do this, but THANK YOU Jen and John! You really did a fantastic job and the chocolate syrup and cherry on the top of it all is that you both enjoyed it so much. Reading that made everything I saw that much more enjoyable for me, too. Thank you again for sharing that.
    Maureen S

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  4. Saturday's video - 4:05 mark - deadite in the cellar from EVIL DEAD! Such a simple costume but so perfect! That little glimpse made me squeal with glee. Thank you for sharing the con experience with us and for all the hard work on the videos. It really paid off - you both have a great eye and skill. Now, go take a nap! :-)

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  5. I loved finding a magical surprise on my phone every day, even when the text vanished before I could read it all. And the videos were a delight. I am sure I will watch them again and I am waiting, impatiently, for the videos to come. Thanks for filling screens with so much fun and life.

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    1. If you're viewing my Stories on Instagram, then you can hold your finger on the screen to pause them! That's an invaluable trick when there are chunks of text to read.

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    2. THANK YOU! I did not know this. Frustration with fast moving font has led me to avoid Stories. Tested this trick and it works! :D

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    3. I am trying so hard not to fall down the Instagram hole. I hope you will share the story about helping the lady who nearly passed out here on the blog so I can catch it all! <3

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  6. I just realized that John could pass as Riker. Change tha hair color and make his beard match. Or do a brilliant crossover with anther character that has John’s hair color.
    I loved watching your videos. I was blo wn away by the costumes on Friday. WOW!

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  7. XD I'm dying over the Lex Luthor Math cosplay. So many great ones in there!!

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  8. Such amazing costumes, as always! I love your con coverage.

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  9. Someone DRESSED UP as "Lex Luthor stole 40 cakes. 40 of them. And that's terrible"! That made my day.

    Also, that Mrs. Lovett looks so much like Helena Bonham Carter. I guess that influenced her choice.

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    1. Yes! I had to explain the Lex Luthor meme to John, but I knew others would get it. :D

      The Mrs. Lovett is Emma J. Rubini, who is crazy talented - she's a chameleon with her makeup skillz!

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  10. My son and I watched the videos right after they came out and we loved them! He kept asking me who everyone was and I only had answers for half of them, but still so fun.

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  11. *kermet flails* Epbot videos!!!!!!! They look AMAZING!

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  12. Wow, thank you so much for giving those of us who are worlds away an opportunity to - kinda - participate in this great, mad thing!

    So much to see! Those pixel and cell-shading people look a lot more disconcerting when they're moving... And so many Steven Universe cosplays on Saturday, love it! And wow, didn't expect the Spanish inquisition there XD

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  13. We tried so hard.

    Hubby and I made it about five hours before we had to run away. We thought we would try one day and just come Saturday. We spent the whole time getting our badge and then going to the vending hall. I was in panicked tears by the end and I think Husbot was close behind. We went out for food, and a nap, and decided to watch it on TV for the rest of forever.

    Thanks for giving us a way to see everything we couldn't.

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    1. Oh my goodness, your one day was SATURDAY?! I'm so, so sorry. That's the worst possible day to come, even *we* left a little earlier than usual that day. (Though Sunday is about as bad.)

      I really hope you'll come on Thursday if you ever try Dragon Con again; you'll have half the crowds and a million times more fun, trust me.

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  14. I love love love these. Thank you so much for putting them together and posting.

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  15. LOL @ Lex Luthor sneaking away at the end with his 40 cakes!
    https://knowyourmeme.com/memes/lex-luthor-took-forty-cakes
    (for the uninitiated)

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    1. Thank you, I still have to show that to John! I tried to explain, but he looked pretty bewildered, lol.

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  16. i loved the ballerina Wonder Woman you posted on IG. especially with "good guy Steve" which was STEVE ROGERS! the best of the Steves!!! he and Diana would get along like gangbusters! She loves guys named Steve who stupidly stay on the doomed plane! He loves women that can kick his ass. I’d put them in a boat.

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  17. So, slightly weird comment, but I saw your absolute doppelganger at the Toronto airport on Wednesday. Even wearing Epcot gear! Not going to lie, hoping it wasn't you, as I would be kicking myself for missing the chance fr effusive praise. So I shall leave effusive praise online!! You are an excellent human, and I adore Epbot!!

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    1. Oh wow! No, that wasn't me, but next time you should say hi anyway, since it must have been a fellow FOE! And thank you so much; I'll take effusive praise anytime, anywhere. ;) <3

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  18. I don't comment nearly enough, but this brought me to tears of complete joy! I didn't stop smiling all the way through the post and the videos were wonderful. You and John are some of my very favorite people to grace the internet. I'm so glad your hormone therapy is working out! It's inspired me to see if my daughter would benefit from having her hormones looked at.

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  19. Thank you so much for the extra effort put into creating videos as well as the photos! The latter are always amazing, but these videos made me unexpectedly teary as well. The passion that people put into their costumes and poses was palpable, and I enjoyed these enormously.

    Also, all the yays for feeling stronger and better! <3

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  20. So my household has been watching a lot of DragonCon cosplay compilations and I just wanna say--yours are the only ones that happily feature a lot of plus-sized cosplayers. As a Fat Cosplayer™ myself, it's really nice to see. So thank you for recognizing that awesome cosplay is awesome regardless of size.

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