Heroes of Cosplay (2013) s01e01 Episode Script

Wizard World Portland

1 Video games, comic books, anime, science fiction/fantasy movies, and television have turned into a global, multi-billion dollar phenomenon, creating characters so beloved, some fans are actually compelled to become them.
Welcome to the artistic, sexy, and cutthroat world of cosplay.
Cosplay is an amazing art form.
Anyone you want to be, any story you want to tell, you can do that through cosplay.
International superstars are created.
Cosplay has gone from subculture to pop culture.
And fandoms are brought to life right before your eyes.
Now convention centers around the world are being transformed into arenas where elaborate costume competitions take place We're going to have a blast.
There's a lot of money to give away.
Testing the creativity These are kitty tubes.
The talent To get a lot of motion in a head this big is really difficult.
And will of their contestants.
I can't even figure out how much I've spent putting this whole thing together.
In the world of cosplay, the stakes are no mere fantasy.
Why is everything so serious with these competitions? Just because there's money involved.
Thousands of dollars are up for grabs at every competition, and the potential for millions of new fans.
It's no longer the body of work that defines a cosplayer.
Now it's how many followers they have.
Winning a competition can lead to unlimited business opportunities.
Blizzard is concentrated on developing the most epic gaming experiences ever.
We are showing this to Guillermo del Toro.
Tomorrow, our lives are gonna change.
At the competitions, judges demand accuracy and perfection.
Poison Ivy, she was not in character.
Ah! The competitors are ruthless.
But that's really rude of you guys.
- We're done.
- We worked hard.
It's okay.
It's okay, I'm sorry.
I understand her life is cosplay, but mine isn't.
Aagh! It all comes down to the moment of truth when the cosplayers take the stage.
Those who survive can call themselves No! The heroes of cosplay.
The first convention stop for the heroes of cosplay will be Wizard World Portland.
Drawing as many as 50,000 visitors to an event, Wizard World Portland is an important stop on the convention circuit.
This is the inaugural year for the convention, and to be the first cosplayer to take home best in show gives you serious bragging rights, as well as a hefty cash prize.
And already, cosplayers are preparing for the competition.
In Los Angeles, Victoria, known in the community for her accurate cosplay, has chosen an ambitious costume to impress the judges.
Every time you see a photo of a costume of Lulu I know, it's gray.
- Images.
Yeah, like a nice, dark gunmetal.
My name is Victoria, and I've been cosplaying for 14 years.
There are different types of cosplayers, and one type is just fun in a costume, and I don't really do, like, "for fun.
" I'm trying to replicate a costume that has been on TV or in the movies.
I mean, there's a specific way it looks in the video game, and that's what I want.
It's awfully last minute, but I really want to do Lulu from Final Fantasy X for Wizard World in Portland.
- What about this stuff here? - It's not long enough.
Are you really just trying to screw with me right now? Like, I don't know why you have to make this so difficult.
I've been dating my boyfriend, Jinyo, for about seven years now.
Part of what makes our relationship work so well is that we want our costumes to be top-notch.
For me, like, it has to have standards to it.
It has to be perfect.
That is not at all what I want, though.
Well, I don't really get why you're so intent on doing this costume in the first place.
In a week and a half? That's crazy.
Look at Yaya.
She, like, puts together costumes in, like, three days.
Like, I would think that we should be able, with two of us, to put this together in a week and a half.
I'm a really crazy perfectionist.
I don't care what Jinyo says.
I don't care if he's tired.
I am going to keep after finding what I need to find until I get it.
With the Wizard World costume competition two weeks away, cosplayer superstar Yaya Han is making one of her many convention appearances.
Someone who I probably don't need to introduce to this crowd, a costume designer, model, and cosplayer, let's welcome Yaya Han.
My name is Yaya Han, and I've been cosplaying for over 13 years.
I live and breathe cosplay 24/7.
I've been called the queen of cosplay, but I prefer to call myself the ambassador of cosplay.
I've been a huge fan of yours for, like, ten years.
Wow.
Oh, my God.
So it's wonderful to finally be able to meet you.
I go to conventions for a living, and I go to 25 to 30 conventions all over the world.
Yaya Han.
Please join me and the other judges in the costume contest.
I don't compete anymore, because I'm being invited to cons to judge contests.
All right, so who do we like for the master prizes? But there's a lot riding on Yaya maintaining her expert cosplay status.
I'm very fortunate that I took my hobby and actually turned it into a business.
Literally, cosplay pays for my mortgage.
My cosplay business has many different aspects.
First of all, I promote myself as the Yaya Han brand, so I sell merchandise that feature my face on it.
So I have posters, prints, and I also have a line of cosplay items that people can purchase at conventions.
Yeah, they don't want to buy autographs from me.
They want to - really? No, it's you they want.
Brian is my fiance.
He is my lifeline.
Our business is owned by him and me together, and it's really a 50/50 partnership, even though I am the boss.
Can you help me tonight at all? No, I can't help you tonight.
I have to make a fricking suit of armor.
Time is really limited for me.
In less than two weeks, I start a back-to-back convention tour.
I have six conventions coming up every weekend.
Up first is Wizard World, in Portland.
I am constantly striving to stay on top through creating better, bigger costumes.
If I don't come out with these great costumes, then my fanbase will shrink, so it is a lot of pressure on me to maintain the high standard for myself.
You mind putting in some overtime, just for the next couple weeks? Please? - All right.
- Thank you, baby.
In Los Angeles, scrappy cosplay veterans Jessica and Holly are wasting no time getting started on their costumes.
Did you make any kind of list? We need to get stuff for your head cast.
Let's look at the makeup first, 'cause that's more fun.
- All right.
I'm Jessica Merizan, and I've been cosplaying for nine years.
I'm Holly Conrad, and I've been cosplaying for ten years.
We have our own show on the Nerdist Channel called "Try This At Home!" We are here with Guillermo del Toro.
In 2010, Holly and Jessica were at the top of their game in the cosplay world and were featured in Morgan Spurlock's documentary, Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan's Hope.
This exposure gave them the momentum to launch their own business.
Crabcat Industries is our costume fabrication shop, cosplay community, and new media Now, Holly and Jessica plan to return to competing to help spread the word about Crabcat Industries.
This decision comes with some risk.
In the past, the stress of the competitions brought out the worst in Holly and Jessica and strained their friendship.
Holly, like, threw a spaz attack every time.
She's like, "no, why didn't we win? "I have to over-analyze this.
I'm gonna get all crazy and pee in jars now.
" That is Holly.
That is my biggest fear of what she will become.
She takes it so personally.
We are doing makeup on her.
It's a drow, which is, like, Dungeons & Dragons.
It's like a dark elf.
The drow is people's hero, who escaped the Underdark and all that kind of stuff.
I guess, for the Tiefling Palette, I like the death wheel, actually.
So I'm gonna make my drow sorcerer, and Jessica is going to be a Tiefling Ranger, as kind of a love letter to our affair with Dungeons & Dragons.
Are we using pros-aide for the horns? - Yes.
- Okay.
The iconic look of a Tiefling is having these half-demonic horns, so Holly's gonna do a head cast of me so that she can sculpt some awesome Tiefling horns.
Are you gonna have cleavage? I don't know.
I haven't really thought about it.
I am too uncomfortable to wear a low-cut shirt.
What? You never wear a low-cut.
I can't do it.
- Come on, just slut it up.
I can't.
No.
- Show the ladies a little.
- Ew.
You're in a competition.
About costumes, not cleavage.
This isn't a cleavage competition.
I just want to say, sex sells.
- What? - That's all.
That's all I'm saying.
You realize that Wizard World Portland is less than two weeks away.
Are we getting too ambitious with this? We're always ambitious.
We can literally make anything and do anything.
You've said it yourself.
Yes, but just promise me you're not going to have a freak-out.
I can promise nothing.
Thanks so much.
- Absolutely.
- Thank you.
- Good luck, guys.
I'm sure you'll see us again.
For competitive cosplaying newcomer Jesse, Wizard World is the first stepping stone in his prop-making career.
That's gonna look really good when it starts to dry.
Though he's been cosplaying for over five years, Jesse has yet to compete.
I learned to make props and costumes on my own, a lot of trial and error.
I wanted to cosplay because you get to be somebody else.
I'm a network technician.
I work a normal 9:00 to 5:00 job.
I hate the, "you have to grow up, you have to be an adult.
" In the cosplay world, I don't have to.
I don't want to be stiff and in a suit and tie.
I don't want to grow up.
My end goal through cosplay is, I want to build costumes for a living.
I think it's looking a lot better.
I really like that build.
It's, like, coming together? - That makes you look huge.
- Yeah.
My girlfriend keeps me stable.
I freak out about things, panic that nothing's good enough.
Chin Chin will come in and go, "what are you doing? This thing is perfect.
It looks gorgeous.
" What do you think? Costume contest? Bada bing, bada boom.
I don't know.
We'll see.
Wizard World, it's their first year in Portland, and this is a perfect opportunity for me to enter my power armor and get it in front of everybody in Portland, and kind of get my name out there and get seen.
Wizard World is going to be the perfect launching pad to get me to be a professional prop maker.
We'll see if I get the jitters and just decide not to run it.
But I don't know if I can compete on everybody else's level.
Your butt is totally not centered.
I'm working on it.
Back in Los Angeles, theatrical cosplayer Becky is getting into her character.
To be going back to an archery range, it's been a long time.
My name is Becky.
I've been cosplaying since 2006.
I love getting into a character, and showing the world, "look, I am this person come to life.
" Wizard World's coming up, and I'm really excited about it.
For the costume competition for Wizard World, I'm doing Merida from Brave.
I feel like I go a little bit farther.
I want to be that character, have the accent, have the look, everything.
So I'm doing Merida from Brave, and she's an archer, so I want to make sure my stance is correct, and Okay, good.
Okay, so, relax.
Shoulders down.
Good.
I'm kind of the method actress of the cosplay world.
When I cosplay, I cos play.
It's not enough to just look like the character.
I have to be the character.
Especially when it comes to competition, that can really propel you and take you to the next level.
Ready for some, uh, friendly competition? With Wizard World Portland approaching, the L.
A.
cosplayers are meeting up to get the scoop on their competitors.
So Holly and Jessica aren't doing an armor or a puppetry piece this time around.
They're doing something that's cloth, which isn't their strength, so it's a little bit odd that they would be going into competition with something that they don't really know that much about.
- Really? - That's awesome.
There's a big difference between personifying a character and just saying, "well, I look just like the character.
" If you don't have it in your heart that you're doing it because you love it, people are going to be able to tell that you're not enjoying yourself.
What are you planning? - Really? - Yeah.
If Victoria hadn't said that Jinyo was helping her with Lulu, I would have to be like, "honey, it's an ambitious costume.
" Are you kidding? If anyone knows what's gonna be done right, it's gonna be Yaya, and so I really I can't have any mistakes here.
You would think that I just told Becky and Victoria that Snape killed Dumbledore.
Spoiler alert, Yaya's the judge.
I wasn't worried before, but maybe they know a side of Yaya that we don't know.
- I'm second-guessing competing.
- Really? I don't think I've ever seen anyone so freaked out.
You have never been judged by Yaya.
Knowing that, in a week, Yaya Han will be one of her judges at Wizard World Portland, Victoria begins working with Jinyo to figure out the exacting details for a winning costume.
This looks like a pretty complicated costume.
It's more embroidery than we have, I think, ever done.
Are you saying you want to do all this stuff here, and yeah, why wouldn't I? I'm not gonna paint that on.
Yaya is judging at Wizard World Portland.
If anyone is gonna know if it's done right, it's gonna be her.
This is going to take a lot of embroidery.
Okay.
Trying to get Lulu finished in the really, really tight time frame that we're dealing with, I think that embroidery is gonna be a hurdle.
You think we can get it done in time? While Victoria and Jinyo wonder if they have time to finish Lulu, Becky prepares in her own way for Wizard World Portland.
- Are you ready for this? - Yes.
When I saw Merida, one of the first things I thought is, with my body type the way it is right now, is that something I can actually pull off? I've put on quite a bit of weight.
Right now is probably the heaviest I've been in a long time.
It's been a real, real struggle to try and stay thin enough.
For girls, it's so tough, because all the good characters are drawn with such, you know, skimpy outfits.
And the Internet is unforgiving.
It's like, "oh, my gosh, it's the fat version of this," or, "she needs to do sit-ups.
" You try not to let it hurt you, but After a while of hearing it, it's like Okay, I've got to do something about it.
I like this one 'cause I can feel it in my butt.
On the other side of town, Holly and Jessica have big plans for their original D&D characters.
So what I've been doing is, I've been thinking of horn ideas.
- For mine? - Yes.
In order to sculpt Jessica's tiefling horns, we need to have a head cast of her.
But it's super time-consuming, and it has a little bit of danger.
I guess if you were going to kill anyone, you might as well kill me.
All right, big guy.
In Portland, Jesse struggles with a major piece of his costume.
The gun's got to spin.
It's just the wow factor.
It's that little bit that goes so much further to impress the judges and to impress the audience.
It's kind of the problem with the extended barrels on it, though.
I can't have something on my costume not work.
This could be a huge disaster.
Are you freaking kidding me? With Wizard World Portland less than a week away, even Yaya is feeling the pressure of creating a new costume.
For Wizard World Portland, I'm tackling Fiora from League of Legends.
Even though I'm not competing, people hold me to a higher standard than other cosplayers.
I have to make bigger, badder costumes to appease my fans.
I'm going to use a material called worbla for Fiora's armor.
It's a thermoplastic that a lot of European cosplayers use.
Back in Los Angeles, Becky is using some tricks of the cosplay trade for her Merida costume.
With Merida, the wig is the most pronounced piece of it, because it's bright and in your face.
The only way to get the perfect color is to use marker, every single strand.
That's gonna be a good 15 to 30 hours.
Wizard World Portland's competition is three days away.
Victoria has left herself no room for error.
Jinyo and I have been busting our butts on the Lulu costume.
And there's so many intricate details on it.
Like, what I'm really concerned about is the embroidery.
How many individual pieces of embroidery are there? Looks like 22 separate pieces.
With embroidery, the first step is to recreate the pattern exactly as possible.
I'm not looking for close.
I'm looking for exact.
Everything has to be perfect.
What was that? Was that the embroidery machine freaking failing? Yes, it was the embroidery machine freaking out.
If that thing doesn't finish the pieces, then, like, all of this is hopeless.
With Yaya judging, I cannot send something crappy in front of her.
There's no way I'm gonna be stepping up on that stage and not have every part of my costume as perfect as it can be.
I got bad news for you.
There is no bad news allowed.
I'm gonna need to replace it.
What the hell are you talking about? We only have a few more days until Wizard World.
We don't have time to fix this.
I have to leave basically tomorrow.
I have to have this all done.
Do you not understand that? So what happened with the paint? You first said it was this color.
And then you said it was this color.
So I'm down to the wire, finishing Fiora for wizard world.
I haven't slept in two days.
All of a sudden, we touch up the paint and realize that it's a completely different color.
Okay, this was the wrong shade, too.
I know.
And I need the whole thing to be done.
Yaya has already announced that she will debut the Fiora costume at Wizard World.
Her reputation depends on getting this costume finished.
I put the heater over here in the corner.
This'll help it dry.
Any time I do anything wrong on any of my costumes, they notice it.
Here's what I think we should do.
30 minutes before you're about to pack, we'll gloss coat it.
It'll still be soft underneath, but it'll seal it in.
We just need to be very careful how we pack it.
I hate painting.
Oh, my God, we've entered a cult.
Are you really that worried about getting dirty? Holly's gonna do a head cast of me.
The head cast is so that we'll have an exact replica of her head to actually sculpt the horns directly to the contours of her face.
Let's get this party started.
- Holly delegates everyone.
Thankfully, Holly's husband Ross, Graham, my husband, and our friends are gonna help, and hopefully I won't die.
Your quest objective is to not suffocate Jessica, and get it done in five minutes.
All right, Graham, you're in charge of her nose.
Everyone else - All right.
When this is mixed up and I say go, we're gonna start putting it on top of her head.
Okay, let's go.
Take chunks of it.
We put it on top of her head.
Alginate takes the impression of the face.
It has about five minutes to get hard, so once the alginate is hard enough, we'll start making the plaster bandage mold.
See, like, you can't know.
You're still you guys know.
So we have to make sure that everything is vaselined, 'cause even one little piece of plaster, like, touches this, then she'll be entombed in plaster forever.
We have one batch to get it right, and if we don't get it right, then we're not going to be able to have horns.
That could mean a bad name for Crabcat.
It could mean us looking silly.
It could mean us being not as good fabricators.
Personally, I'm just really, really nervous right now.
So I'm gonna start trying to pull this off.
And of course this is kind of, like, stuck.
Did you guys make sure to get all of the vaseline on here? No, no, no, like, it's not funny.
I really don't want to have to call an ambulance.
If we have to cut Jessica out of this head cast, she will not only have no costume, she will have no head.
Sorry.
Of course this is, like, kind of stuck.
Sorry.
Jessica is stuck in her head cast, and I'm freaking out.
I really don't want to have to call an ambulance.
Having a giant cement head as a friend is gonna make cosplaying a little bit difficult.
This is not good.
You okay, Jessica? Oh, it's coming off! It's coming off! Yay! Yay, nobody died.
Thumbs up.
Yay, it's okay.
We don't have to call 911 again.
You did it! - She's been reborn.
- Yay.
Hi.
- You did really good.
It was an existential crisis in there.
The whole time, I was thinking, does it hurt to die? How much is it gonna cost to be buried in plaster? Yay, it worked.
It's me! But at the end of the day, the head cast looks pretty good.
We should bring your forehead up a bit, and then put the horns there.
- M'kay.
The reason that we need the head cast is we're gonna sculpt horns directly to Jessica's forehead.
So we don't have to use a headband or anything.
It just sticks pop! Right here.
The judges are gonna be really impressed.
Once I sculpt the horns, I have to go in and mold them.
And we're really, really cutting it close.
It's just a really labor-intensive process.
Victoria's costume depends on having all the details in place.
With construction at a standstill, her chances of placing at wizard world are slipping away.
We've got, like, five hours before I need to leave.
Are you telling me we can't get it done in time? Yeah, that's exactly what I'm telling you.
With the embroidery machine broken, there's no way we're finishing the costume here in L.
A.
before I have to fly out to Portland.
I'm gonna stay here and finish up the pieces.
I'll overnight it to your hotel.
Well, I'd rather you come with me.
Babe, it's the only shot that we have of finishing this thing.
It's the first day of Wizard World Portland, and the convention center is filled with cosplayers from around the country.
Many of them have spent months and thousands of dollars on their costumes, preparing for tomorrow's competition.
Okay, we're checking in.
- All right.
So the competition is tomorrow.
I'm still not 100% confident in the way I look right now.
So what brings you into Portland? Portland Wizard World.
Jinyo's gonna continue to work at home on the embroidery pieces, and just overnight ship them to me.
There's literally no other options I have to finish this costume.
What else is in this box? It's very heavy.
I padded clothes around the sword.
I've been invited to judge Wizard World Portland, and if I'm going to judge, it is important for me to appear worthy to be a judge.
Today, I'm going in a costume I made, Carmilla from Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust.
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the floor Yaya Han.
With the convention underway, Jesse is putting the last minute touches on his enclave armor to take it for a test drive before the competition tomorrow.
I was thinking maybe I go running around in this a little bit and make sure I can actually, you know, walk around in the Con with it on.
I've spent eight months on this costume.
I finally got the kinks worked out of the gatling gun.
I hope I get some recognition, because it's what I want to do for a living.
Ugh.
My legs don't bend that way.
Oh, come on.
I don't think that's doable.
I'm gonna go with no.
- Wuss.
It looks like we're walking.
Since I'm not getting the embroidered pieces from Jinyo until tomorrow morning, I'm gonna go throw on my rainbow dash and have some fun at the convention with Becky and Lance, and try not to think for a little bit on how much I still have to do on the costume.
Oh, look at that guy's armor.
uh-oh, I see somebody that I recognize.
She's so amazing in that costume.
So here's Yaya, and she's in her Carmilla costume.
Oh, hey.
It kind of put it in perspective, like, "oh, crap, she's our judge.
" She's scary as all hell, and she's extremely intimidating.
I can't believe you wore this here.
How about you guys? - Trying to have fun today.
- Yes.
I'm a little bit worried, because Victoria sort of has a history of being very, very last minute with her costumes.
I'm gonna be my usual sternness tomorrow, so I just wanna make sure that you guys are fully prepared for the contest.
All right.
I'm really overwhelmed right now.
I'm stressed beyond belief.
I really need Jinyo here, because this is what happens when he's not here.
I just become a complete mess.
Hey, babe.
- How are things going? Um, not that great.
Becky and I went to go say hi to yaya at the booth and stuff.
And, it's just, you know, she was making, like, very pointed reminders about the craftsmanship.
I mean, the stuff that we have together so far is top notch.
I don't think you have to worry about the craftsmanship.
But you but you say that, and it's, like I don't even have anything finished.
Don't give up, okay? All right.
I'll talk to you later.
All right.
I love you, sweetie.
- I love you too.
- Bye.
With time running out, Holly and Jessica have to make a decision that may compromise their creative vision, and cost them a chance at best-in-show in the competition.
I don't have any time to do this.
We're still in L.
A.
We are still finishing our costumes.
All of the other cosplayers are probably in Portland right now.
We're stressed out.
This is our reputation.
This is the future of Crabcat.
This is whether or not we have it in us to keep competing like this.
I'm gonna say something, and I don't want you to freak out.
But I think that we should just get off-the-shelf horns.
I am just worried we are not going to have time to mold and cast them to the level holly has to get to.
I think we need to go buy a pair of horns and just alter them.
Are you serious? None of them are going to look professional.
I can't believe you wanna do this.
I don't think that we're gonna look professional if we buy horns.
If we walk in there with a store-bought item on our costume, that completely brings us down a notch.
This was about having fun.
If you can't have fun with this, and sometimes roll with the punches, then I'm not gonna do this with you.
It's not about that, it's about quality.
No, it is about that.
It is about that, Holly.
It's about quality in our costumes, and making it look good.
- No.
You just do whatever you want.
I'm gonna be in the car.
I'm gonna be in the car.
With time wasting I'm gonna be in the car.
And her cosplay partner putting her foot down, Holly has few choices left.
here's your stupid horns.
Thank you.
I can't believe, after all of this work, this is the outcome.
I just wanna get on the plane and play some DS.
This is gonna be a good convention.
Just go, please.
Right here.
So Lance and I decided that we're gonna go out and sample the nightlife in Portland with a bunch of cosplayers, and Victoria wants to come along.
She's got a lot of work still left to do, but I'm not her mama.
Wizard World and costumes.
- Wizard World.
- Whoo.
Are we supposed to have it all at once? - You needed more anyway.
- There I go.
Hi.
- What's up? How's it going? I could be in a hotel room alone, or being out with, like, a bunch of friends and just being the awesome geeks that we are.
It's like, is there really a choice there? I'll need another one of these.
Victoria's had enough drinks for the both of us.
Everybody kept bringing drinks over.
Portland is a very friendly town.
I think Victoria is swimming way down in the deeps of the ocean.
You know, a little in over her head.
You drank way too much.
- I know, let's go home.
- Are we going now? Yeah.
- Yes.
Today's the day of the competition.
And I have to get into my judging costume.
It's Fiora from League of Legends.
In a lot of ways, the pressure is the same as when I competed.
I still have to finish a new costume.
It still has to be spectacular.
It still has to be better than the last-year costume I made, so I can't disappoint my fans.
All right.
Let's go show them all.
I love this costume.
I'm very proud of it.
And the reaction on people's faces when they see me in the costume makes it completely worth it.
It's the day of the competition, and Victoria is still feeling the effects of sampling Portland's nightlife.
Seriously? Great, I've overslept.
And the embroidered pieces are coming this morning.
I probably could've been working on the costume or been done with it.
I don't know what I'm gonna do now.
Um, I think there is a package that got delivered.
Oh, no problem.
Thankfully, the embroidery is at the front desk.
It's amazing that Jinyo was able to get the embroidery machine working in time, but I only have a few hours left to get all those pieces sewn onto the skirt.
Hi, we are checking in.
Oh, my God, it's Scruffy Rebel.
No, it's Victoria.
Oh, my God.
We see Victoria in the lobby.
She's picking up a package.
Which, to me, is a red alert in that something has just been shipped to her, and maybe she's not finished with her costume.
Well, we'll see you later this afternoon.
Yeah, yeah.
I'm gonna go finish working on my stuff.
Not only am I exhausted from last night, I'm up against the likes of Holly and Jessica.
They're known for being amazing.
I'm pretty much screwed.
With the competition looming, the competitors begin their cosplay transformations.
I'm not at all happy with this costume.
Can do it anymore? 'Cause I hear my shoulder pop.
It just brings it right back in my face that I have put on weight, and any confidence that I had is just evaporating.
I'm really concerned about this dress now.
So we have to hustle.
I'm just gonna do some quick dry-brushing on the horns.
We're coming in five hours before the competition.
I am super stressed out.
Every time I compete, I have a little bit of that, like, spark of crazy come back.
- Don't worry.
- Hurry it up.
If it stops being fun, I have no problem pulling the plug.
Don't tell me to hurry.
I learned that from Mary Poppins.
Whoo! Oh, there's a lot more people today.
There's a difference between getting into a character and knowing how to do a great impression of a character.
If I'm not bringing that character to life, then I don't think I can win.
It's my princess friend Belle.
How are you, dear? - Nice to meet you.
Oh, it's so nice to meet you.
When I grow up, I'm gonna shoot arrows just like you, Merida.
- You are? You're gonna be an archer? - Uh-huh.
Are you gonna hit the target right in the middle? Yes.
Having this innocent little girl really believe that I was the character Give me five.
Okay.
Now I feel like Merida.
Have a great day, princess.
- Uh-huh, bye.
- Good-bye.
With the crowds and anticipation mounting, it's time to start the costume competition.
In line, you know, I'm standing there, looking at every costume around me, judging up the competition.
It's a little intense.
- Don't panic.
- Don't panic.
So we're waiting in line, ready to go into the competition, and I don't see Victoria anywhere.
I have no idea what to think at this point.
Last night was the stupidest thing I ever did.
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, geeks and freaks of all ages, welcome to the Portland Wizard World costume cosplay contest.
I'm gonna introduce an esteemed panel of judges.
I would first like to introduce the world-renowned Yaya Han.
Next up, the Green Ranger, Jason David Frank.
Having Jason David Frank, somebody who is in a costume every day, having to be a character, that's kind of cool for me, because that's what I'm going for.
So next up Jesse Snider.
Jesse Snider wrote the comic Evil Ernie, which is pretty awesome.
I cannot wait to see all you guys onstage.
Criterias for judging at the Wizard World contest are showmanship, craftsmanship, and difficultly.
Craftsmanship means everything to me.
If you're gonna make a suit of armor, I want it to look like armor.
If you have chosen a sewn project, I want it to fit you well.
I want a lot of emotion, a lot of energy.
And we're gonna have a blast.
There's a lot of money to give away.
Bring it, you know.
Whatever you got, show us, all right? I need to get up on that stage and be Merida.
I need to forget all of my insecurities, because that's not who Merida is.
If I can do that, then I think I can win.
With the competition already begun, Victoria struggles to hand-sew the last pieces onto her costume.
Seriously? All right, contestants, are we ready? There's a lot of nerves.
All eyes are on you and your costume.
It's awesome, but it's wholly terrifying in the same sense.
Oh, I just got nervous.
Let's get this show on the road.
Roll it.
Ohh! Iron Man.
Can I ask what material you used? It's made out of yoga mats and a Snapple bottle.
Wow.
Galactus.
I mean, that helmet looks like I could buy it at a store.
- How'd you make it? - The helmet is fiberglass.
It's so shiny.
Automotive paint.
So it's my turn to go up onstage.
I need to just think about that little girl who thought I was Merida, not letting this get in the way of this.
Please welcome, from Brave, Merida.
Now don't panic.
There may be a bear roaming around.
Not only is Becky doing her voice, but her self-assurance and confidence, they're coming through onstage.
She really convinced me that she's Merida.
I'm standing there at the edge of the stage, panicking.
I spent hundreds of dollars putting this whole thing together.
I have this moment to walk up on the stage and get it all judged.
I want more recognition.
That's what I want everybody to know my name.
All right, next up we have the Vault Dweller, Fallout 3.
That is a big gun.
Why would you like to win? I love making costumes, and it's really what I wanna do.
I could definitely tell that Jesse is very dedicated to the character.
And I really think Jesse could go very far.
Round of applause for the Vault Dweller.
You're gonna walk out, and I'm gonna, like, stalk out.
And then you're gonna see this, like, come by your head.
We're inching closer and closer to the stage.
This is a big moment.
I'm getting a little bit nervous.
Next up, we have a Tiefling, the Drow.
Ooh.
Did Holly just drop the mic? Is this happening right now? I don't even wanna see where this is gonna go.
Do you wanna just do a hero pose? - Let's do a hero pose.
- Let's do it.
Four years ago, I probably would've freaked out, ran offstage, and hid in a hermit hole somewhere in the middle of the desert.
But honestly, everything turned out okay.
What was your inspiration behind these characters? They're very unique.
These are actually our D&D characters.
- Hey, I play D&D.
- That's awesome.
I see hooves, I see horns.
How did you make those things? These, actually, we didn't.
We had our sculpted ones but then time was of the essence, so we actually altered these ones.
Buying such an important part of a costume where you could have made it, obviously they lost points immediately in my book.
And hit the next marks here.
So I'm watching as all the contestants come through and strut their stuff.
And then I realized, "where's Victoria?" Our last contestants.
One of my favorite games of all time, Team Fortress 2: The Engineer.
What happened to Victoria? I mean, did she not finish her costume? I don't know.
Hi, sweetie.
How's it going? Obviously not that great.
I'm gonna have to ditch Lulu.
Jinyo is clearly my soul mate.
And I can't do this without him.
If he's not around, I really am unable to actually finish a costume.
I'm sorry I couldn't be there to help you, sweetie.
I know, it really sucked doing this without you.
I came in to this competition to try to, you know, at least kind of impress Yaya, and, like, it's just all completely fallen apart in front of me.
I love you, baby.
I love you too.
I'm gonna consult with the judges.
Soon as they're done, we will announce all the winners and the prizes.
The main prize is the best in show award, but there's also best team and honorable mention categories.
Did you guys like the girl with the crazy orange hair? Cosplay is a really expensive hobby.
Cash prizes really matter.
He did some good showmanship.
Yeah, I thought he did well.
Did you guys like Dungeons & Dragons, Holly and Jessica? I know Holly and I said that we wouldn't get too serious and stressed about about competing again, but now that we're up here, it would be really awesome to be able to take home hardware.
We do not have enough awards, seriously.
All right, next up, Yaya Han and her co-judges are gonna announce the winners for us.
Cosplay competitions are very good launching points you know, it's the crucible of your work, especially as a prop master.
So I'm gonna have to win one.
Everyone deserves a round of applause.
All of youse contestants.
All right, honorable mention will go to Brave.
This proves that having confidence and having an amazing presence onstage and embodying a character trumps having the perfect body type.
Okay, so now we're moving on to the big money prizes.
Third place goes to Totoro! For Totoro to have the impressive height, I mean, he was a real life-sized totoro.
It was above and beyond.
Second place goes to Futurama Group! You guys are amazing.
All right.
Best team.
Dungeons & Dragons.
Whoo! That's us.
I give Holly and Jessica credit for thinking outside the box and being creative.
We do appreciate that they created some original characters.
- Well done, guys.
- Thank you.
Good job, y'all.
We won a trophy Aren't you pleased You can, like, celebrate a little bit.
We could have done something more oh, God, you're touching me.
No! - I am gonna hit you.
- Smile, smile, smile.
We won.
All right.
First place, master, best in show, Wizard World, Portland! Galactus!