March 11th to 12th, 2006
This year's Spring (March) Toronto Anime Con was a learning experience as well as endurance run. Over the weekend I booked over 9 hours on Greyhound to and from the con. It left me with little time to work with the pictures and videos but it was an advantage to be home and backup my pictures of the day.
The camcorder worked well but not perfect. I didn't have much time to play with the features nor practice shooting video. Some of the video capture was less than idea and largely due to my inexperience with this new camcorder. Still it was worth the expense and will pay off in the long run. It was good to sit on many of the panels as I didn't have to run around collecting 4 koma from artists. Spring TAC is one of the few cons I can enjoy without the expense of taking pictures or videos.
Unfortunely renovations of my apartment played havoc before and after the con which once again lead to delays of posting stuff. I changed the format of the pages. That help since I made the format changes then copied them to separate directory for next year's con.
As always there will always be loose ends after each con. I just found my old photos for CNA 2001 or 2002. As I dig my way through stuff dating as far back as the original Anime North cons in the late nineties, I'll try to put them up sometime.
With less than a week with the new miniDV camcorder, I was ill prepared for the con. Also jumping into DV (Digital Video) editing cold turkey didn't help either. After trying 3 video editors which wouldn't run on my system, I used brute force and Windows Movie Maker to capture and edit the clips. I stayed up late to capture nearly 8 gigs of raw footage to compress to just 25 megs of online videos. Sadly the quality sucks but driving up the quality means driving up the bandwidth and web space.
As oppose to last year's show I've recorded the judges comments. I thought they did give a solid performance. Some of which have done Cosplay Idol before. The lighting in the room was standard with not additional lighting which made it difficult with the new camcorder. Having Scott McNeil in the dark half of the stage area didn't help.
Cosplay idol is a two camera event since the show doesn't slow down for one second. The mono pod (retractable stick with camera mount) helped only slightly. I still had to steady the camcorder with my hand which made it tiring. Obviously a tripod is a must though there is always no room to setup such equipment. I quickly check with those behind me to ask if I was blocking their view. With the camcorder being so small, it wasn't a issue.
Next time, I will have a second battery and spare tapes and simply hit record and go. I would have one person in front to capture close ups of judges and contestants. the other would be much further back than I was sitting. (Once again the third row and only seats away from were I sat two years ago.) If it were possible, I would have stood by the camera guy capturing images for the large screen. As it was, my LCD screen was being caught by his camera and lucky I was able to move over one seat.
As for a HQ torrent of the show, I've just manage to get the web version
up for now. I might have to go to a friend's place to properly re-record
the video and edit from there.
Here is Cosplay Idol 2006. Sorry about the poor video quality but as
it stands the videos alone are 25 meg. WMV9 format.
Sunday Morning in the Dealer's room
Sunday morning as the dealer's room was an excellent time to shop as
there wasn't the rush of people as Saturday was. It was also an excellent
time to take some stock photos to use for banners for Anime London's blog
page. I wasn't concern for specific items or characters. I
wasn't even trying to get a full shot of something. Just something
to suggest alot of manga, posters, etc. While I haven't gone over
the results of the pictures yet as I'm concern to get con photos up first.
I did offer the results to those dealers omce I processed them for their
own use as I do for all the cosplayers I take pictures of.