Fanime 2013 After Action Report

FanimeCon is a fan-run convention in San Jose and the first one I seriously considered being a cosplay photographer over 5 years ago.  A lot has changed in all that time, but I am sad to say that not all of it was for the better.  Poor staffing decisions and numerous cancellations caused a busy convention into a lot of sitting and waiting for the eventually cancel message.
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Convention Problems (you can honestly skip this part)

I am going to get the biggest complaint out of the way: the Pre-Reg line.  Fortunately my brother helped me get my badge before I could arrive at the convention.  My friend LionBuggy made a great post about the situation, along with ways this could have been prevented here:  [link] )

As for the rest of the con, many of the usual problems that plagued Fanime in the past were still there.  I was still hassled by the Fairmont Hotel staff), random security services at the public parks, as well as con rovers who threatened to take my badge away.  I had to move my shoots so many times it tired me out faster.  If I had to give Fanime one improvement, it was having vendors of bacon-wrapped hot dogs in spots where the Westboro Baptist Church usually spew their garbage.  That being said, I wonder if it was the sellers and not Fanime who placed them there.  :O_o:.

I know I have yet to talk about Artist Alley and Dealer’s Hall.  Truth is, I did not go to either one.  Nor did I attend any of the concerts or the Masquerade.  Having Artist Alley outside of the normal convention area made it hard to find and get to.  And hearing that the people running the Masquerade having “technical difficulties” with the equipment during the show (aka: no one knew how to run the machines) strikes me as blatant incompetence that should be rectified.

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Personal Problems

I’m not sure how much of what happened above affected the cosplayers I had planned shoots for, but I had a lot more cosplayers drop out.  A few of them gave me a message at least an hour beforehand (which I am grateful for, even though it still sucks).  The ones that get to me though are the ones where I got no warning about the cancel until way into their appointment times (usually about 30 minutes in).  In that time, I could have at least done some hall photography or shot others who wanted me to shoot them but could not find a schedule time that fit.  Hell, I could’ve taken a shower during that time.

However, it is becoming an increasing trend for cosplayers to outright cancel right when we were supposed to meet and I had already walked to where they wanted to meet me: far from the hustle and bustle of the convention.  And it was hard enough scheduling so many cosplayers beforehand.  I’ll write about this later, but I am serious considering a new system for “scheduling shoots”…..it’s called “not scheduling shoots….sort of”.  I still have some thinking to do.
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Friday:
:iconelber-chi: + Kimihako Blade (FB) + Neeka Cosplay (FB)

Saturday:
:iconyayacosplay: :iconlaladawncosplay: :iconphavorianne: :iconspiffzaya: :iconcityoffog: + Rose + Kyoka Ichina (FB) + Sylpharios Erebus (FB) + Love_and_peace (cosplay.com)

Sunday:
:iconpaxingcai:  :iconlimitlessedge: :iconlulukohime: :iconsamchuu: :iconrasmirin: :iconxxfruit-cakexx: + Sylpharios Erebus (FB)

Monday:
:iconphavorianne: :iconcharmiesweets:

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Final Thoughts

From how long I talked down about Fanime, many of you might think that I thought this was the worst convention ever.  Honestly, it is more like the Mass Effect 3 controversy: a lot of expectations and a not-so-satisfying ending.  Fanime had always been a highlight convention with lots of shoots and even some laughs while doing it.  This year, it was just shoot shoot, cancelled and try to find someone else to fill the spot but they can’t, shoot shoot shoot, and not being able to hang out with any of my friends.  Seeing the various staff members struggling with crappy orders or being straight up incompetent hurts me.  Fanime was the first convention I was a cosplay photographer.  See how it went from being one of the best conventions to look forward to become lackluster does not fill me with hope for the future of NorCal conventions.  I sincerely hope this was an off year for Fanime and that next year will be the one to remember.

2013.  You are certainly living up to the unlucky number 13.

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Good:
:camera: – Still had a lot of great shoots
:hug: – Still got to meet people I never would have had I not go to Fanime.

Bad:
:faint: – Too rushed

:steaming: – Incompetent Staff

Ugly:
:movingon: – Last-minute photoshoot cancellations.

Con-Rating:
:star: (Terrible)

Fun Factor:
:star::star::star: (Good)

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~ by BlizzardTerrak on June 5, 2013.

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