Tuesday, May 24, 2022

WE'RE HOME: MegaCon Orlando 2022


WHEW.

Y'all.

What a weekend.

For our first convention of 2022 John and I dove in head-first with Florida's largest, the appropriately named MegaCon. To give you an idea, Mega is bigger than even Dragon Con, hitting 100K attendees several years ago and growing steadily up 'til Covid. This year they came back strong and broke all records with 140,000 attendees - and more than 70,000 of those on Saturday alone. It's big. It's overwhelming. And once you navigate the hours of traffic gridlock and parking nightmares to get inside, it. is. GLORIOUS.






The calm before the storm.

John and I attended all 4 days as Press, and we set a goal of filming, editing, and uploading a new cosplay video to YouTube every night. It's a massive amount of work for four days in a row - we both get very little sleep - but also SO DANG FUN. The cosplay, merch, and crowds were all off the charts, and I never wanted it to end.



In between filming for YouTube I also captured lots of photos and video for my Stories on Instagram/FB, which some of you have been following. Plus on Friday we delayed filming for a few hours so John could officially bring out Boba Vet to play:



(The Jawa is hiding her Porg's eyes, haha.)

It was a lot, and I'd like to nap for a few days now, but totally worth it. I've missed this so much.


Actual photo of me wheeling John out Sunday night... while still looking for fun cosplay to chase.

All of our daily videos are already up on the Epbot YouTube channel, but I thought I'd run through each day here, show you a few highlights and cosplay I missed, share some stories from behind the scenes, that sort of thing. I also have a bunch of Boba Vet interactions and silliness for later. So you can click over and binge all the videos now, or wait and take it all in at a slower pace with me. Or both.




We expected Thursday to be dead, crowd-wise, but MegaCon slashed their Thursday prices so drastically that it was almost as busy as Friday.



Crowds don't bother me, but I was a little surprised how few folks were masked - I'd say less than 5%. As photographers that's a good thing, because we want to film faces and smiles, but it also meant John and I were that much more diligent with our own masking and distancing to eat/drink. 



The details on this Jafar are jaw-dropping, SO GOOD.

Thursday didn't have a ton of cosplay, so we also filmed a bunch of the experiences around the con, like photo ops, vendors, and the enormous - free to play! - "Human Claw Machine":



This was an advertising stunt for a new shopping app, and quite the spectacle. They'd strap blind-folded folks into a harness, and lower them into a huge pit of prizes to try and grab things.


Some boxes were empty, so even if you managed to pick one up, there was no guarantee you'd win anything. Highly entertaining for the participants and on-lookers alike, haha.



Then there were some INCREDIBLE photo ops - most with an extra fee - like riding the life-sized Battle Cats from He-Man, posing with the cast of Rocky Horror, or sitting in the Delorean from Back to the Future.


 
You should have seen my face when the attendant offered. This was before the show floor officially opened, so I got this beauty all to myself for a few minutes.


The 30 seconds I spent resisting the urge to punch all the buttons was the most I felt like a little kid all weekend. (And I felt like a kid a LOT this weekend.)



The MegaCon vendor hall has grown so much I'm not sure even 4 days is enough to see it all - and trust me, you do want to see it all. Shopping NERD-VANA. After Thursday we shifted to filming cosplay exclusively, so we barely scratched the surface of all there was to see and buy.

Two little things I did snag as we were filming down one aisle:


If you're a Disney fan you will LOVE Artistic Flavorz.

 I didn't get to peruse Artist Alley as much as I'd like, but Nat Rogers had an end cap booth, and her art made me cackle:


Here's our Thursday video so you can see the rest for yourself:


We're still learning, and looking back I can already see improvements from this to our next videos, so I hope you'll stick around for them all. John and I had a blast playing with cosplayers and brainstorming new angles, transitions, and ways to joke around so they'd be more comfortable on camera. We caught so many adorable grins and sudden bouts of laughter, I love it.

Y'all know how much I love portrait photography, but after these last few years away I wanted to capture the life and laughter of a con. With every video we included more dancing, more laughing, more bloopers and silliness. It's so different from portrait photography, but I think it's just what we need right now. All that joy definitely filled ME up.

In fact John and I enjoyed this so much we've decided to upgrade our camera equipment, so hopefully next con our video quality will be better and smoother. We've been putting this off for ages, but it's time to take the plunge.

Last thing for now: in case you missed all my play-by-play Stories on Instagram/Facebook, I've put those in a video, too:





Stay tuned for more from the rest of our weekend!

*****

If you like the silly stuff I do and feature here on Epbot, and want to help fund the fun - or maybe new camera equipment - you can support me through Paypal! Whether it's a one time tip or a monthly donation, every little bit helps me and John keep pouring our time and hearts into this little corner of the internet - so THANK YOU.

3 comments:

  1. Did you happen to look at the autographs on the inside door of the Delorean? Who were they from? I noticed the new angles and transitions, it really livened up the videos! ~LST

    ReplyDelete
  2. So glad I was able to see the con through your eyes this year since I couldn't go! ♡ And I had no idea that MegaCon was actually bigger than DragonCon! I had always assumed DragonCon was still going to be another level more than what we're used to here in Orlando just because it's so widely known. That makes me even more interested in maybe attempting DragonCon for the first time this year, especially after missing this Mega. *goes to start checking calendars and running potential budget options*

    ReplyDelete
  3. Not so fun fact: New USA covid cases are running three times what they were at this time last year. Glad to hear you were staying as safe as practicable.

    ReplyDelete

Please be respectful when commenting; dissenting opinions are great, but personal attacks or hateful remarks will be removed. Also, including a link? Then here's your html cheat sheet: <a href="LINK ADDRESS">YOUR TEXT</a>