Orlando MegaCon 2016: Here’s to Another Amazing Convention!

MegaCon was a blast!

A handful of Deck Ape’s crew was present for all four days of the event, and I think it’s safe to say that we all had a great time. We met plenty of other geeks, talked with celebrities, and bought lots of cool merch. It was also a learning experience for each of us, as we were all trying out new equipment and facing interesting challenges. (One of the biggest challenges for me was operating on no sleep for four days straight!)

Wolverine
Video screen cap: J. Paul Roe

Robert was working on a story for the newspaper that employs him (I sure as hell can’t afford to pay him) while also finishing his documentary about a local cosplayer’s first journey to MegaCon. Mike and Chris were taking the lead on social media/buying things/getting autographs.

 

Wedgie
Photo: Mike Miller

I, on the other hand, spent a good deal of my time trying to figure out how to hold together a camera rig with Gorilla Tape (we call it “Ape Tape” around here.) The LCD screen of my EM5-MKII fell off. The HDMI connection to my field monitor was snapped when someone crashed into me. And I finally got the answer to the question: “I wonder if my hot shoe can actually handle the stress of this mounted top grip?” The answer was no.

Despite all of these problems, I managed to capture a decent amount of footage for my own pet project. If you spoke to me at any point during the con, you know that I set out to film action scenes of cosplayers so that I could add special effects in post. Since getting back from Orlando, I’ve run my on-the-fly ideas by Anthony, our SFX guru, and things are looking good. I’ve begun editing the videos, and I’ve also taken a few screen grabs where possible, some of which are in this post.

 

Special Effects, Ahoy! Filming Cosplayers in Less-Than-Ideal Conditions

megacon-2016-pics-deck-ape
Photo: Mike Miller

I was really impressed by all of the awesome costumes that I saw out there. I wish I could have filmed more, but I learned very quickly that even short video clips can become involved and time-consuming. I also had to choose my subjects based on how well I could imagine incorporating visual effects, so if you saw me walking past you with my cumbersome, taped-up camera rig, it did NOT mean I didn’t think you were worth shooting…it just meant I wasn’t immediately struck with an idea for how to shoot you dynamically.

That being said, I’m still learning how to pull off this master plan. I’m far from a professional cinematographer. Most of my experience is in still photography…I’m just trying something new that excites the hell out of me.

I had to come up with scenes on the fly, and most of the time, I was trying to block and execute the scene in the midst of a living, breathing crowd. It was a hell of a lot of fun, but it didn’t always yield the best results once I got back to the hotel and viewed the dailies. If you did meet me and we filmed a clip together, than I am going to do my best to make it awesome. For those of you whose footage just didn’t work out for some reason or another, I apologize. We’ll try it again at the next con!

 

Whether the video was perfect or not, it was really a pleasure working with so many great cosplayers. I’m super stoked about what we’ll be able to accomplish at Metrocon and Tampa Bay Comic Con. As for right now, I have lots of video to edit (and a camera to fix). Slainte! StormTrooper


All opinions are that of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Deck Ape...or anyone else. Arrr!

J. Paul Roe

I'm a professional writer and amateur filmmaker from Miami, Florida. Huge fan of the Dark Tower Cycle, strategy games, photography, and food trucks.

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