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01 Dec 2008 - 13:128025
Event Report: Grand Cosplay Ball London V1.2
Event Report: Grand International Cosplay Ball
Location: Clapham Grand, South London UK
Date: November 30 2008
Type of Event: Formal Cosplay Ball with Anime and magic theme.
Reporter/ Event Videographer: James Fedora of Otaku Punch Pictures & Media


The Grand International Cosplay Ball in London, was by far one of the best Cosplay events I have ever attended. This gala event was in a spectacular venue with ample space and top notch entertainment.

I feel privileged to have the honour of filming the ball on behalf of the event organizers. Last night had the best convergence of cosplayers from Europe in one place. Never before have I seen so many well dressed cosplayers at a single venue or event. I personally met and interviewed/filmed cosplayers from Germany, USA, Spain, Austria and Japan just to name a few.

The location was the Clapham Grand in South London. This classic turn of the century Opera house opened in 1900 and is on the national historical building list. It was recently renovated for the modern age yet keeping true to its classic feel. As soon as you walk through the wide Victorian bronze doors, it’s like stepping back in time 200 years with a modern 21st century feel to it. The Grand is a perfect example of a venue that really set the mood for the night’s festivities.

The setting and theme decorations in the privet boxes and in the venue overall was very nicely done. The Alice in Wonderland theme really resonated with the classic feel of the Grand. Even the bar staff were dressed in theme. The champagne in the privet boxes was a nice touch as well as tactfully placed things throughout the Grand; such as chess boards on the tables, over sized playing cards and red and white roses.

The night’s entertainment was extravagant and imaginative, worthy of the finest theatres and cinemas in London, Paris or Tokyo. Having a fire dancer dressed as Col. Roy Mustang was a spectacular delight. The addition of live singers for the first dance sets made this a truly gala event. The presenter Johnny Lighting was very entertaining and kept the evening going quite nicely.

Ya Ya Han stage performance was by far one of the best mixes of cosplay and music work I have seen in years. The mix of cosplay as well as pop idol singing was superbly done. The performance complete with her mid act wardrobe change was true to a “moe” pop idol show like they do in Akihabara, Tokyo.

Having the pre ball events at Tokyo Toys store on Saturday in Central London was fantastic. It helped include people in the festivities who were under the 18 age limit that could not go to the ball. I found Ya Ya Han’s Q & A talk about cosplay to be insightful and highly informative. She bought and sold her custom made cat ears and calendar’s in store. This reporter has not seen cat ears of that high quality since he left Akihabra. Having Genki Gear on hand to do art work and showcase their product line was an added bonus.

Being able to meet and interview the World Cosplay Summit Champions Isabelle Jeudy and Damien Ratte from France was a true and unique delight. The official KOEI cosplayers Laura Sindall, Jacob Kimber and Kahman Fong were a delight to talk too as well. The whole day’s event was enhanced by the new and more modern looking shop location of Tokyo Toys.

I have worked and filmed at events where I have had no support from the staff. However everyone from the organizers down to the door staff treated me with respect and kindness. Many times people see my toeing my camera and video equipment at events and are put off by it. That was not the case at all while filming this event.

However as with any event there is room for improvement. The main one is the late start time of the ball on a Sunday night. I understand this is sometimes the only time you can book a venue like the Grand. However an earlier start time would have been a bit better. Unfortunately I had to leave at 10:30 so I could catch a train back from London. However my producer was on hand to film the rest of the evening’s events from our privet box.

In closing The Grand International Cosplay ball holds true to its name. This reporter will not hesitate to attend and film the next one. It is my sincerely hope this event will continue for years to come.

Cheers and thanks

James Fedora
Otaku Punch Pictures & Media

* On a personal side note*

As a cosplay photographer and cinematographer I pride myself on doing video and photo work primarily for the anime and cosplay community. I did all the work for this event for free and asked for nothing in return. I have travelled the world doing video and photo work for cosplayers and Otaku. If you would like to talk to me please PM me I enjoy talking and meeting new people.

For more information about myself or Otaku Punch Pictures & Media Please see our Facebook page, Otaku Punch Pictures & Media. .

Keep an eye out for my new gallery on www.cosplayisland.com soon till then please view our pictures and media on Facebook.


Event links and sponsor pages

www.grandcosplayball.com
http://www.angelicstar.net
http://koeiexpo.co.uk
www.tokyotoys.com
Facebook- Otaku Punch Pictures & Media


Editors Note: 12/03/08 re edited event report to include guest names, content rework for a wider audience and sponsor links.


__________________
James Fedora
Cosplay Photographer & Cinematographer
Otaku Punch Pictures & Media
www.otakupunch.com

Facebook & YouTube Groups- Otaku Punch Pictures & Media

Last edited by nadesico81 (03 Dec 2008 - 13:04)
01 Dec 2008 - 13:198026
Is it possible to make this sticky if the mods and admin approve?


__________________
James Fedora
Cosplay Photographer & Cinematographer
Otaku Punch Pictures & Media
www.otakupunch.com

Facebook & YouTube Groups- Otaku Punch Pictures & Media
01 Dec 2008 - 15:538029
I had a great time - I thought everyone's costumes looked great, and was really happy to get lots of nice comments on my costume. So massive thanks to the organisers for a wonderful evening

The one downside of the evening for me was that, at one point I was sitting at one of the tables, minding a pint of beer for someone, and some person in a red costume came running up, smacked into the table and then ran off again. Needless to say, the pint spilled over and went all down my costume, and I was extremely annoyed.

So, person in red, if I ever find out who you are I will return the favour and pour a pint of beer down your costume. Fair's fair.


__________________
Cara bell', cara mia bella, mia bambina, o ciel!

Last edited by Sillabub (01 Dec 2008 - 15:54)
01 Dec 2008 - 16:448033
I've stickied this temporarily on the basis that everyone can put their event reports in the same thread. It'll come down as a sticky in time as the event is past ^_^

My first OFFICIAL act as a moderator LOL


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CosplayIsland Staff Member


01 Dec 2008 - 16:498035
Thanks Mr Mod for the sticky.


__________________
James Fedora
Cosplay Photographer & Cinematographer
Otaku Punch Pictures & Media
www.otakupunch.com

Facebook & YouTube Groups- Otaku Punch Pictures & Media
01 Dec 2008 - 20:298040
Not a problem ^_^


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CosplayIsland Staff Member


02 Dec 2008 - 06:128050
OHHHHH MY GOD!!!!!

This was probably the best cosplay event i have been to!!

It was an roaring success and considering its a first time event, the time of year and credit crunch it had an amazing turnout!!

I already cant wait till the next one

Thanks to Jess, Emily x2 and everyone involved for working so hard for the past year to make such a fantastic event

I have to say on the cosplay front all the work was outstanding so well done to all the attendees too... XD


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02 Dec 2008 - 09:218053
Quote Sillabub:
I had a great time - I thought everyone's costumes looked great, and was really happy to get lots of nice comments on my costume. So massive thanks to the organisers for a wonderful evening

The one downside of the evening for me was that, at one point I was sitting at one of the tables, minding a pint of beer for someone, and some person in a red costume came running up, smacked into the table and then ran off again. Needless to say, the pint spilled over and went all down my costume, and I was extremely annoyed.


Yes I have had that happen to me a few times covering different events. That’s why I don’t do video events in night clubs for the most part. Lucky for me I always hold my camera and equipment up high when negotiating large crowds. I once had some dump kid try and steal my camera right out of my hand while filming in a large crowd.


Quote MangaChild:
OHHHHH MY GOD!!!!!

This was probably the best cosplay event i have been to!!

Thanks to Jess, Emily x2 and everyone involved for working so hard for the past year to make such a fantastic event



Yes indeed it was a galla event and was worth almost missing my train.


__________________
James Fedora
Cosplay Photographer & Cinematographer
Otaku Punch Pictures & Media
www.otakupunch.com

Facebook & YouTube Groups- Otaku Punch Pictures & Media
02 Dec 2008 - 16:008063
Words cannot describe just how great and magical the ball was. ABSOLUTELY loved it. I had such a blast at the event, it was THE anime event of the year (and I've done at least 10 events this year!). Total highlight, best thing I have been to in aaaaaages.

The venue and decor was gorgeous, the set dances and general DJ playlists were great, all of the attendees made such an effort to dress up in fabulously extravagant and formal costumes, the little touches like champagne in the VIP balconies, Alice in Wonderland oversized cards and roses scattered across tables and in the restrooms... :love: :love: :love:

Kudos to the events organisers for being so amazing and dealing with sooooo much logistics (in particular Johnny Lazer for not only being an excellent MC but an AMAZING performer, I was absolutely electrified by his act). All of the guests and acts were fabulous ^____^

You'll have to drag me kicking and screaming away from the next one XD

Alas, I only have a few photos on my own camera, as I was too busy enjoying myself!! XD I made a beeline for other Toribura cosplayers. I was Abel, my husband was Antonio, I bumped into a Young Caterina (Uni!!! *heart*) and a grown-up Caterina! And I found a Quistis (my fav FFVIII chara)! After that though, more alcohol and dancing, so no more photos XD.

My little set on flickr:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/sonia_leong/sets/72157610578949555/

I know that lots of photos were taken by the many photographers present, so I'm looking forward to seeing those come in eventually!


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Websites~ fyredrake.net ~ sweatdrop.com ~
Next events ~ Japanese Art Fest, J-Culture Con,
02 Dec 2008 - 21:278072
You left at 10:30. Does that mean you missed the stripper?

Gotta say, that was certainly a surprise.

I'll be honest when I say it was hit-and-miss for me. While I did enjoy the few dances I had (Only had the courage to ask one girl I didnt know, even then, most people looked to busy with their own friends to be bothered) I was surprised at the amount of music that didnt seem to fit in with the whole ball-room dance scene.

Unfortunately, I had a bit of a bad time due to personal reasons, which meant I spent a little too much time moping on my own...


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Current projects:
My Almost Perfect Life - Written out story draft, converting into script.
Netherworld Chronicles - Initinal planning finished, writing first draft.
Urban Warfare - Researching and planning
02 Dec 2008 - 22:398073
I'm kicking myself for not going now but I vow to go next year!


02 Dec 2008 - 23:288074
Quote MattDark:
You left at 10:30. Does that mean you missed the stripper?

Gotta say, that was certainly a surprise.

I'll be honest when I say it was hit-and-miss for me. While I did enjoy the few dances I had (Only had the courage to ask one girl I didnt know, even then, most people looked to busy with their own friends to be bothered) I was surprised at the amount of music that didnt seem to fit in with the whole ball-room dance scene.


To be a picky arse she wasn't a "stripper" but a "Burlesque performer" there's a slight difference Her act was advertised before the evening also.
I thought a lot of the music played was very ball suited. They had to add a bit of variety however which made way for all the anime/game themes which are popular among cosplayers. Which obviously suited as it was a "cosplay" ball...

I myself had an amazing evening, really enjoyed myself and it was great to meet up with so many people I talk to online. The organisers put in so much effort and really did themselves proud.


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03 Dec 2008 - 05:288075
Quote Manga Girl:
I'm kicking myself for not going now but I vow to go next year!


Yeah, me too!

::shakes fist at the dissertation::


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My english sucks because hablo espanol :O
03 Dec 2008 - 07:228076
Quote Leonie Heartilly:
To be a picky arse she wasn't a "stripper" but a "Burlesque performer" there's a slight difference Her act was advertised before the evening also.
I thought a lot of the music played was very ball suited. They had to add a bit of variety however which made way for all the anime/game themes which are popular among cosplayers. Which obviously suited as it was a "cosplay" ball...

I myself had an amazing evening, really enjoyed myself and it was great to meet up with so many people I talk to online. The organisers put in so much effort and really did themselves proud.


I must have missed the notification about that then, I seriously didnt know that it was happening.

I dont think I minded it so much during the lead upto midnight. I think it was probably when songs like that came up during the midnight waltz section. Like when I'd just finished dancing with one person before Gun's and Roses came on.
Just I figured the midnight waltz would have been more of a slow hour for people to enjoy a quiet few dances with one-another, especially if they may have hit it off with someone that night.
Well, thats just my opinion (Against the majority by the looks of things)

I think I saw you before the ball. You were with Liz werent you, at the travelodge?


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Current projects:
My Almost Perfect Life - Written out story draft, converting into script.
Netherworld Chronicles - Initinal planning finished, writing first draft.
Urban Warfare - Researching and planning
03 Dec 2008 - 07:478077
Quote MattDark:
You left at 10:30. Does that mean you missed the stripper?

Gotta say, that was certainly a surprise....


Well even though I did leave early my producer was there the whole night. He was very drunk but he managed to set up our HD camera on a tripod and film the rest from his prvt box after I left.

I should have all the footage he shot on Friday then the editing starts!

On a side note Otaku Punch Pictures & Media now has its own place on Facebook. Please feel free to join 90% of the updates will be on there.\

NOTE: I edited the event report to include new content for wider public viewing.


__________________
James Fedora
Cosplay Photographer & Cinematographer
Otaku Punch Pictures & Media
www.otakupunch.com

Facebook & YouTube Groups- Otaku Punch Pictures & Media

Last edited by nadesico81 (03 Dec 2008 - 09:12)
03 Dec 2008 - 21:468127
Quote MattDark:


I dont think I minded it so much during the lead upto midnight. I think it was probably when songs like that came up during the midnight waltz section. Like when I'd just finished dancing with one person before Gun's and Roses came on.
Just I figured the midnight waltz would have been more of a slow hour for people to enjoy a quiet few dances with one-another, especially if they may have hit it off with someone that night.
Well, thats just my opinion (Against the majority by the looks of things)

I think I saw you before the ball. You were with Liz werent you, at the travelodge?


The midnight waltz was one song. Same as the other waltz & set dances. After that it was back to whatever DJ set/act was next.

Yes indeedy I was ^^


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04 Dec 2008 - 07:368140
Quote Leonie Heartilly:
Quote MattDark:


I dont think I minded it so much during the lead upto midnight. I think it was probably when songs like that came up during the midnight waltz section. Like when I'd just finished dancing with one person before Gun's and Roses came on.
Just I figured the midnight waltz would have been more of a slow hour for people to enjoy a quiet few dances with one-another, especially if they may have hit it off with someone that night.
Well, thats just my opinion (Against the majority by the looks of things)

I think I saw you before the ball. You were with Liz werent you, at the travelodge?


The midnight waltz was one song. Same as the other waltz & set dances. After that it was back to whatever DJ set/act was next.

Yes indeedy I was ^^


Yes the DJ was quite good I think he was the same one who does all the J-pop DJ gigs in Metro London. He did a good job of mixing J-pop anime and normal music.


__________________
James Fedora
Cosplay Photographer & Cinematographer
Otaku Punch Pictures & Media
www.otakupunch.com

Facebook & YouTube Groups- Otaku Punch Pictures & Media

Last edited by nadesico81 (04 Dec 2008 - 07:46)
04 Dec 2008 - 12:408158
Just to let you know that you that the ball has appeared on the bbc front page here

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7759483.stm

Check it out to see if you are on there.

I really enjoyed myself even though it was a little expensive.


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04 Dec 2008 - 12:528160
Quote Zanarkandangel:
Just to let you know that you that the ball has appeared on the bbc front page here

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7759483.stm

Check it out to see if you are on there.

Aww, they didn't include me. I guess my face mask really did muffle my voice too much ^_^


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Cara bell', cara mia bella, mia bambina, o ciel!
04 Dec 2008 - 13:408162
Quote Leonie Heartilly:
The midnight waltz was one song. Same as the other waltz & set dances. After that it was back to whatever DJ set/act was next.

Yes indeedy I was ^^


Hmm, not to be cynical or anything, but it doesnt seem much of a ball if you only had a single song each hour for the set dances.
Then again, I've been mislead by the name of something before...

I wish I'd known it was going to be more of a party then anything beforehand now, my own fault I suppose for not checking for anything that would have said otherwise.

Edit - Probably wouldnt have seen me at the ball. You may have seen me in the hotel though as the guy just sat there in the entrance.
(I really need to start booking my own room for these things)


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Current projects:
My Almost Perfect Life - Written out story draft, converting into script.
Netherworld Chronicles - Initinal planning finished, writing first draft.
Urban Warfare - Researching and planning

Last edited by MattDark (04 Dec 2008 - 14:13)
08 Dec 2008 - 13:028359
Animetion have just uploaded their report on the Grand Cosplay Ball:

http://www.animetion.co.uk/features/cosplayball/cosplayball1pg1.htm

As well as teh report, there is also a gallery of pics. If you see yourself in any of these pics and would like to have your name on them, please drop me a PM.


08 Dec 2008 - 15:318362
Quote MattDark:
Hmm, not to be cynical or anything, but it doesnt seem much of a ball if you only had a single song each hour for the set dances.
Then again, I've been mislead by the name of something before...


They used modern music for the set dances and continued on with similar music for a while before phasing it back into the DJ set, so it wasn't like there was a posh dance every hour then it suddenly turned back into a disco. There were also a lot of stage shows that broke up the sets.

I think the set dances were just to encourage dancing and give people the confidence of which dance would go with the music

Edit:
I'm glad someone fought for the last song. Having run out of time they almost closed with the rock high, but then after some stage confusion they announced a proper 'end of ball' and we got Choco's singing



Last edited by Amy-Lou (08 Dec 2008 - 15:37)
08 Dec 2008 - 19:328369
I love Chococat's singing ^_^ I totally wish I were there!

WHEN'S THE NEXT ONE!? LMAO


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08 Dec 2008 - 19:398370
From the Grand International Cosplay Ball forums:


Re: Next Year

Postby Orihime on Mon Dec 08, 2008 2:27 am
I can confirm that we are definitely working on one for next year (!!!) although there may be some changes. We will make an announcement at the beginning of 2009 so keep your eyes peeled!


Horray!


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08 Dec 2008 - 22:358386
Needs more slow dances, burlesque/stripper - splitting hairs - she took off her clothes...

The only niggles I had were the staff for clearing FULL drinks when they had no right or reason to take them and when I queried it was left standing like a pillock in the room for 20 mins over 2 cokes they should have just replaced and the VIP Boxes - I was VERY angry to go up and find people in our private box during one of the shows on stage. They were more expensive than the standard ticket and the glass clearers even took or bottle of champaign before it was finished. The only time security took an interest in the VIP Boxes was when it came to kicking us out and then...well they were rude...I had left my bag and purse in the box on the assumption it was private and that would be respected but I continually found photographers barging in (thank you James/Nadesico81 for having the decency to ASK before just assuming you had free roam of the box) and just interupting our privacy.

That said I'd still recommend a box but the staff at the event need to be better managed.

It must have looked odd seeing Madame du Pompadeur telling a glass clearer to piss off and not come back LOL...


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