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20 Nov 2012 - 00:2994192
Con-Girls Documentary
Hi everyone,I am creating a documentary titled "Con-Girls" which is about, you guessed it women that attend conventions! I have the teaser posted on my kickstarter page http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/dtsm/con-girls and I am seeking feedback from people so that I can create the best product possible. You can leave your feedback and criticisms here, in the comments sections of my kickstarter page, or email me at I thank you all advance and am looking forward to what everyone has to say.


20 Nov 2012 - 01:3294193
TBH, you kinda cheapen yourself with the fanservice con-girl thing. Before I watched the video, I felt immediately that this was going to be ANOTHER video targetted at men for them to drool over. The video was not, but your page just seemed that you expected the donaters to be men.

TBH, I don't understand WHY it has to be about con-girls. Why not just con-goers? IDK, in my experience and looking at stuff on the web, females are normally more accepted to being in costumes than males by most people. We're allowed to cosplay males or females, and no-one cares. Guys? No, guys cosplay guys (which is BS, IMO).

But maybe it's different in the US? IDK, I've never had someone be like "OMG, A GIRL!" when I've gone to a convention in the UK.

Wrong target audience, perhaps.


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Ayacon Plans
20 Nov 2012 - 03:1094194
Hey Nixie thanks for the feedback. Initially we were going to the documentary with both guys and girls but unfornately most "con-guys" didn't want to be interviewed, and the few guys we did interview provided rather (for lack of a better term) weak interview responses which is why the content focused on the women. Thanks again for the feedback I'll be taking what you've given me in consideration when I make the next changes to the page. If you have any more thoughts or feedback on the project please feel free to share them, as I said I would like to get as much feedback as possible in order to deliver a finer product.


20 Nov 2012 - 03:3694195
definitely must be different over there in the US then...

there's tons of male cosplayers around in the UK base who do everything from giant iron man suits, fantastic life size Warhammer costumes, people who really push the boat out and would love to talk about why they do it and what they enjoy most about their hobbies.

M


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20 Nov 2012 - 09:3794198
It doesn't matter what gender someone is, we are all just "cosplayers".


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20 Nov 2012 - 11:2294201
Definitely a catchy title, but you will encounter a lot of negative feedback as it's a very sensitive topic! :3


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20 Nov 2012 - 13:1594204
Will you be covering the sexism experienced by these girls* at convention too? The "slut-shaming", the low angle sneaky photos, the wandering hands when a member of the public wants a photo with them, the bitchy comments on "bad cosplay" websites, etc?

Or will it just be a fluff piece focussed on pretty or sexy cosplayers?

*=maybe "girls" in parts of the US, but in the rest of the world some of these cosplayers are women, and it can be demeaning to call them girls.

EDIT: Sorry. This comes across as unnecessarily hostile and heavy. It wasn't my intent, but there's been a lot of ill-considered casual discrimination in the geek community of late, particularly aimed at women, and this hit a bit of a raw nerve.


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Last edited by PandoraCaitiff (20 Nov 2012 - 13:26)
20 Nov 2012 - 15:0094206
You'll get various accusations about your motives given you declare to be a group of guys in your trailer & your focus on female only cosplayers - this is in part because we have had kickstarters posted here before that were "sexy cosplay pinups using professional non-geek models". In addition there was recently an article from a female US cosplayer about a group of guys being all nice to start filming and then once filming and surrounding the cosplayer to make escape challenging, started being incredibly inappropriate in terms of questions & behaviour.

The cynical amongst us may go so far as assuming its so you can go to cons for free and talk to pretty women - prove why its not, especially given some of your rewards feature 'fanservice' aka and I quote directly "autographed 8x11 glossy print photos of some of our select Con-Girls"! On the one hand you profess covering the woman's side of the convention/cosplay experience by exploring "their stories of empowerment, community and acceptance" and then on the other offer fanservice images of them which can be argued boils this down to the seemingly most common geek stereotype when faced with geek girls and women of "tits or GTFO" - contradiction perhaps?

I also note all of your locations and plans are for the US and yet we're predominantly a UK site - given the differences between conventions and general geek culture here and in the US (alongside some similarities, including I have no doubt the bitchyness/rumour mills etc), why should we potentially want to be involved?

This isnt really meant as sniping, more in a general curiosity way. I mean obviously you guys get something out of it, so are likely to be casting your net as far as you can to try and drum up interest, but the onus is on you guys to prove you aren't like other groups who have come before you spouting honourable intentions and following them with disgusting behaviour.



Last edited by Junta (20 Nov 2012 - 15:08)
20 Nov 2012 - 15:2994207
Quote Junta:
The cynical amongst us may go so far as assuming its so you can go to cons for free and talk to pretty women - prove why its not, especially given some of your rewards feature 'fanservice' aka and I quote directly "autographed 8x11 glossy print photos of some of our select Con-Girls"! On the one hand you profess covering the woman's side of the convention/cosplay experience by exploring "their stories of empowerment, community and acceptance" and then on the other offer fanservice images of them which can be argued boils this down to the seemingly most common geek stereotype when faced with geek girls and women of "tits or GTFO" - contradiction perhaps?


This was my issue at first. The rewards immediately made me think this was just going to be a video with just eye candy for guys, and that whatever they had to say was just going to be flirting with the camera or totally ignored or taken out of context.

I notice that the only place you had been to to interview people was somewhere that looked like a very very minute convention. Maybe you'd have a bit of luck with guys if you went to a bigger one? Also if you talk to the guys in the fantastic costumes, as normally they're a lot more excited about cosplay than other people, so more willing to talk about it.

OR! don't do one on one. They're super awkward. A small group, 3 maybe, will get a varied amount of answers and they can discuss with each other some of their own thoughts if they agree or disagree. It'll be more dynamic and easier for them too, as when it's informal it's a lot more relaxed.


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20 Nov 2012 - 15:5894210
In response to PandoraCaitiff - Yes we are covering the sexism aspect of it, its actually an optional question we asked. We had some women feel comfortable answering the question in front of camera and some who didn't, but yes those responses will be included in the final product.

In response to Junta - You've given me quite a bit to think about and this feedback will help me quite a bit when I make updates. Firstly I hope the trailer itself addressed the issue that we're not out to just harras women. As for the "fanservice package" those are actually being donated to us by local cosplay models and they laughed when I showed them the wording I may reword it if it seems to hurt me. Finally in response to shooting in the UK, do you really think I could trust US airports with tens of thousands of dollars in film equipment? Last time I flew the airport went through my luggage twice and stole my bible, ya they stole a bible, and thats why all the locations are based on places I can drive to.


20 Nov 2012 - 16:1194211
Quote NixieThePixie:
I notice that the only place you had been to to interview people was somewhere that looked like a very very minute convention. Maybe you'd have a bit of luck with guys if you went to a bigger one? Also if you talk to the guys in the fantastic costumes, as normally they're a lot more excited about cosplay than other people, so more willing to talk about it.

OR! don't do one on one. They're super awkward. A small group, 3 maybe, will get a varied amount of answers and they can discuss with each other some of their own thoughts if they agree or disagree. It'll be more dynamic and easier for them too, as when it's informal it's a lot more relaxed.


While I didn't use it in trailer we do have floor interviews that have 2+5 people in it at a time the issue we had with group floor interviews was audio, especially during peak hours. But you're right a con with a larger audience would help us with getting more male interviews than the one featured. Fun story, we did have a guy dressed as a french maid who did FANTASTIC during the prelim interview but he was 17 and his parents wouldn't let him be filmed while he was in said costume.



Last edited by RobertM (20 Nov 2012 - 16:13)
20 Nov 2012 - 16:2194212
Quote RobertM:

In response to Junta - You've given me quite a bit to think about and this feedback will help me quite a bit when I make updates. Firstly I hope the trailer itself addressed the issue that we're not out to just harras women. As for the "fanservice package" those are actually being donated to us by local cosplay models and they laughed when I showed them the wording I may reword it if it seems to hurt me. Finally in response to shooting in the UK, do you really think I could trust US airports with tens of thousands of dollars in film equipment? Last time I flew the airport went through my luggage twice and stole my bible, ya they stole a bible, and thats why all the locations are based on places I can drive to.


Personally I have no real issue with what you're trying to do, you seem to have actually thought a fair bit and you're open to criticism and suggestions, which is always good on projects that can potentially polarise people.

As for shooting in the UK, it wasn't intended that my point by "you should shoot over here", as "because you aren't shooting over here, why should people over here give you their money"

As for the article I mentioned previously heres a link: http://www.geeksaresexy.net/2012/10/15/a-female-cosplayers-message-to-rude-guys-nope-stop-talking/ From what you've been saying and the footage I've seen in your trailer, you're about as far away from those guys as can be, but you may need to keep in mind there ARE people like this out there that make it harder for you to do your chosen job by colouring peoples expectations.

As an example, we've (cosplayers as a whole) had various small bits of media coverage in the UK over the last few years, some of which have been excellent, some neutral and some has been...misleading at best, outright lies at worst; given I was in photos attached to one of the worst articles myself, its made me wary of agreeing to talk with anyone proclaiming to be from the 'mainstream' media about myself and my hobbies. As a result, I can imagine any women that have found themselves subject to the kind of jerks in the above article or appearing on various forums/boards/photo sites of 'unauthorised' (for lack of a better word) upskirt or cleavage shots, will also be wary.

Its the unfortunate element of being a guy (or group of guys!) in a culture that is somewhat infamous for either being utterly socially inept with women or just throws abuse at them, while simultaneously complaining they can never find a partner - these stereotypes precede us, which means we have to work extra hard to prove we're NOT like that If your project does do well, you may find it's easier to do follow ups of a similar style once you've established who you are and have a body of work you can point to - something to consider while applying for media passes is linking them your trailer etc (thats assuming you aren't already), as they may well have the same kind of reservations both myself and some of our forum members have stated.

The arguably amusing thing is, if it was a group of women or a mixed group doing this instead of just guys, you'd likely face far less scepticism.


20 Nov 2012 - 16:3394213
People like this are the very reason I hold prelim interviews prior to rolling the camera and even offer them the option of signing the media release form after the interview is over.


20 Nov 2012 - 18:4394216
OK, so some thoughts. As others have said, you need to be careful how you approach this as it can be a sensitive issue, as most con-going females will have had at least one run-in with a weirdo guy toting a camera or camcorder and trying to get panty-shots or being overly touchy-feely.

I agree with Nixie (et al) that the actual documentary footage teaser looks good (though the logo-type and titles look amateur-ish, you might wanna think about spending some of the money on a decent graphic designer), but the wording of the pitch and especially the rewards isn't great. You need to big up the fact that this is about the women of cosplay and their experiences at cons, female empowerment and the sleazy side of media portrayals. Plus, you need to interview some female crossplayers as you don't just get creepy guys fawning over you in tight catsuits, you also get creepy guys AND girls being scary as all hell when you're dressed as a male character. And more female cosplayers who don't dress as "sexy" characters and why they don't, because if geeks love a character, they can be hellishly creepy even if you're not a "sexy" character.

I've done approximately 4 deliberatly cleavagy/sexy costumes (any other costumes in my gallery containing cleavage are not supposed to, boobs just sort of happened...) and 4 out of 50 plus costumes isn't many(not all of my older cosplays have made it onto CI cos they're terrible and some things have been squashed down into one entry).

One of those is Shizuka Marikawa from Highschool of the Dead and those ain't real baby. I did it for a laugh and was letting people squeeze them (and making a honking noise when they did) because they're pillows and it was funny. However, unless you know the person well and/or are given leave to do so, it's just not cricket to go up to someone simply because they're dressed in a catsuit and harass them.

In Posion Ivy, which I did cos I love the character and I think she's totally kickass, my friends (who were Harley and Catwoman) and I got lots of positive "attention", but we did get one drunk off his face Anon swearing at us and calling us "whores" and telling us we were cheapening ourselves by being "Booth Babes"... which as we were volunteering at the cosplay desk was laughable. Also, he didn't say "cheapening", but I'm not repeating what he did say in polite company. It took me 5 years of cosplaying to build up to doing a revealing costume... So that put me off doing "sexy" costumes for a really long time as I hate having cleavage irl as, like most geeky women, I'm quite self-conscious about how I look... though I'm a lot less so now and, hey if I want to do a "sexy" costume, not because it's "sexy", but because I chuffin' love the character and have wanted to be them since I was 8, well, I'm not going to let a few idiots spoil my fun. But, it was years before I realised that.

Didn't really have problems (related to how I was dressed anyway, some people are just asses for the sake of it) as Scanty from PSG and the only comments I got as Ladydevimon was some builders, one of whom was appriciative of the costume and was ribbed by his friends about it: "You already have a wife, Gazza." And that was funny, not scary or creepy... well OK it was a bit at first cos it was unexpected, but then it was just funny. I am the least sexy person I know, so any attention like that just makes me laugh...

Plus, you don't have to be dressed "sexy" to get harrassed. I'm frankly scared by several Yaoi fandoms atm because of cosplaying certain characters and being terrified by the fangirls of them while dressed as a character from either the series they like or a rival fandom that they hate *coughHetaliacough*.

The one American con I went to, I dressed as Peter Pan. Now I pretty much look like a 14-year-old boy out of costume, so in crossplay it can be hard to tell if I actually am a 14-year-old boy or not. Also, I'm a little bit hard of hearing and have a tendency to daydream.
So, most of the day was fine and as we were at AX during Michael Jackson's funeral/tribute/whatever it was at the Staples Centre, we got a lot of members of the public wanting photos of/with us as Peter, Wendy and Tinkerbell; one man stating that "Michael would have loved it!" (which it took us about 10mins to figure out as we had forgotten about how close to the Staples Centre we were). And that was before we got to the con, again, mostly positive reception there and we had a great time at the Disney meet-up.

Then, in the dealer's room coming round the corner the fattest, smelliest Otaku I have ever seen (everything's bigger in America), who appeared to be wearing an old, damp carpet which smelled worse than he did, suddenly swore at me and stormed off in a huff. I had no idea what had happened, until my friend told me that he had asked for "a hug from Peter" and then, as I had not heard him and responded immediately, had decided that I was stuck up. I would have said no anyway as he was terrifying and stank and probably would have crushed me as I am really short, but I would have done so politely... as I have turned down many free huggers politely in my day. Now, I wore that same Peter Pan cosplay to a UK con and all that happened was I made some small children's day.

Again, as a lot of people have said, the UK and US con scene is totally different (as evidenced above). The US con scene is much, much larger and more impersonal; the difference in scale of the UK con scene means that most people at least knows of, if not actually knows ("Oh, you're x, I recognise that badgename, we've talked on the forums!" a large proportion of other UK congoers; though the scene is getting bigger, so this is not as true as it was even 2 or 3 years ago.

I've been to roughly 17 UK cons, 1 French (where it's more about Lolita and other Japanese street Fashion than cosplay) and 1 American and the con scenes differ hugely from country to country. So, if something happens on the UK con scene, it's more likely that people will know exactly who was involved and there are certain people you just know to avoid. Stuff still happens and bitchiness still occurs, but not on the scale of the US con scene.

So, you really need to figure out with pitching if you're focusing on "Con-Girls" in general or "Con-Girls of America". If you are focusing just on the US scene, then you have to say so in the title and description because congoing women are not the same the world over. If you want to look at just ladies who go to cons then you have to either film in other counties (which I understand is not cost effective for you) or do Skype interviews or ask "Con-Girls" in other countries to send in videos responding to your interview questions to be included in the film. Obviously this route would mean varying qualities of film, but you can't do a documentary on "Con-Girls" and then just interview Americans as America is not the only place in the world with conventions (or just the only place in the world).

Also, long post is loooong....

EDIT: And now it get's even longer as sudden inspiration has struck! lol. As Junta said, you'll face a lot of sceptisim from the ladies you're trying to interview purely because you're guys and like we've all been saying, that can be intimidating because of previous experiences with guys that are AWC. Maybe (and you can just ignore this cos my brain just works like this and is too full of stuff) you should get some female cosplayers you're aquainted with to conduct the interviews? That way it's less intimidating and less formal, like get them in a group and get them to ask eachother questions as well as randoms at cons. I know that's not explained well, but I guess you can figure out what i mean from it? Half-formed ideas lol.


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Last edited by Pudding (20 Nov 2012 - 18:56)
21 Nov 2012 - 16:1994240
Quote Pudding:
EDIT: And now it get's even longer as sudden inspiration has struck! lol. As Junta said, you'll face a lot of sceptisim from the ladies you're trying to interview purely because you're guys and like we've all been saying, that can be intimidating because of previous experiences with guys that are AWC. Maybe (and you can just ignore this cos my brain just works like this and is too full of stuff) you should get some female cosplayers you're aquainted with to conduct the interviews? That way it's less intimidating and less formal, like get them in a group and get them to ask eachother questions as well as randoms at cons. I know that's not explained well, but I guess you can figure out what i mean from it? Half-formed ideas lol.


Also by getting cosplayers to ask the questions you put the interviewees at ease, and fellow cosplayers will be able to ask more insightful questions. (I get the impression the video producers are con-goers but not cosplayers which puts them at a disadvantage)

edit: What's "AWC"?


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Last edited by PandoraCaitiff (21 Nov 2012 - 16:20)
21 Nov 2012 - 18:4394242
PandoraCaitiff, I have a shorthand for different camera toting types both at cons and with irl work I do; it's modified to suit Cons from a sort of modelling meme (I'm not a model except to help friends with college projects, but I do fashion design and styling at a semi-professional level, so encounter a variety of different photographers).

AWC = Arsehole With Camera = Someone who is rude, abrasive and otherwise thinks they are important and obviously needs a press pass even though they're not LCP, Press or even Con Bloggers. They may not have a press pass, but they think they deserve to be there for free because ZOMG they are awesomez photographers. They generally carry massively over-expensive DSLRs with about 20 extra lenses, but often don't even know how to use them. And if they do know how to use them, then their photos are usually sub-standard and very badly composed.

TGWC = That Guy With Camera = A subset of AWC, basically only looking for panty and boob shots. Is more creepy than AWC, but often more socially awkward and lacking in understanding of personal space than actually arrogant. Probably you will never see the resulting photos and this will always slightly worry you...

LCP = Legit Cosplay Photographer = Highly professional and know what they're doing. Are actually entitled to get press passes should they wish it (unlike AWC, who just thinks they are). They'll have the kit, but not generally extraneous and unnecessary numbers of lenses; they will know how to use it. May offer paid shoots at or outwith cons and can often be found at the Cosplay Photo Room at cons or up the front at events.

HCP = Hobbyist Cosplay Photographer = A subset of LCP, except they just do it as a hobby and not for real profit. There's often a lot of crossover between HCPs and LCPs. They may not know as much as an LCP about DLSRs and are more likely to just have an entry level camera with a standard lens, but they're learning every time they do a shoot and one day might become a LCP. They are often cosplayers themselves and may mainly be taking photos of their friends in their costumes.

EFP = Excited Fan Photographer = They may or may not have a DSLR, they may or may not know how to use it. They just chuffin' love being at cons and want to take as tons of photos of the awesome cosplayers dressed as their favourite characters and as many silly pictures with their friends as humanly possible. They may have some sort of gimmick, whereby they need everyone to be photographed with their plushy Pikachu or sign their Deathnote. Life is just so much fun for the EFP.

SFP = Shy Fan Photographer = Like the EFP, but less excitable, they will have to build up the courage to ask that Sailor Moon over there to pose with them for a photo, but they will be so happy when either they finally do or get a friend to do it for them. They just really like your costume of their favourite character ever (TM) and want a picture of it.


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21 Nov 2012 - 19:0694243
lol those are good definitions actually

guess i fall somewhere between HCP and LCP... i do it for a living, but have only been in the industry for 2 or 3 years now...

M


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21 Nov 2012 - 22:1094250
I laughed when you told me they took your bible.

Ahahaha. I got away with carrying works of Friedrich Nietzsche on my trips for the past few years in and out the country.

Like Pudding says, this is a community with 6 degrees of separation. Trust me fella, if you even have a slither of negative vibes about you, the political correctness in this country which is amplified within this community will come down on you like a fat man who sat down too fast.

I think if you had started in a forum where the ambient IQ couldn't give you an informative debate or use words with more than three syllables, you'd have got somewhere.. albeit with a metric poopton of xbox-live style flaming about sodomy, shrinkwrap and sexuality (we like to flame people using packaging comebacks)

Also, you're choosing the wrong time to reply to this thread. Get yourself a clock and set it to London Time. Get another one and set it to Manchester Time. Now, between the Queen's hour on London time and the Northern Chime on Manchester's clock, the people of the UK are susceptible to anything you wish to sell.


22 Nov 2012 - 00:3394260
First off I'd like to say you've all convinced me to move to the UK, not sure which area yet but some day its gonna happen.

In response to Pudding: You've made some very interesting notes especially regarding the title I'll be changing the title to something along the lines of "Con-Girls:America" I've also printed you're post so I can continue reading it while I make thanksgiving dinner lol.

In response to PandoraCaitiff: When we shot the footage for the trailer there were 4 of us and I was the only con goer within the crew, and while I've always wanted to cosplay I've never had the time or money to create and/or buy a costume. The rest of the crew quickly became infatuated with the idea of cosplaying and are looking into buying costumes for the next con we go to.

In response to JaeXD: I'll be going out and buying 3 more clocks after I get I awaken from my thanksgiving coma.

To everyone: Thank you all so much for all the feedback and criticisms, you've given me a lot to think about and I'll be looking seeing you all here again once thanksgiving weekend is over.


22 Nov 2012 - 09:0094270
Quote RobertM:
In response to PandoraCaitiff: When we shot the footage for the trailer there were 4 of us and I was the only con goer within the crew, and while I've always wanted to cosplay I've never had the time or money to create and/or buy a costume. The rest of the crew quickly became infatuated with the idea of cosplaying and are looking into buying costumes for the next con we go to.


Awesome. Interviewees will probably be more at ease if you are cosplaying too. The worst offenders from Pudding's list are generally outsiders who don't get involved.

When getting your costumes, it's worth spending the money on decent quality wig (Kankelon or heat-resistant fibre) rather than crappy nylon "Halloween" wigs too. Apart from looking better, you should get a better reaction the interviewees too.

Maybe one of the high-donation rewards could be choosing your costume ^_^


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Last edited by PandoraCaitiff (22 Nov 2012 - 09:02)
23 Nov 2012 - 00:2094297
Quote RobertM:
First off I'd like to say you've all convinced me to move to the UK, not sure which area yet but some day its gonna happen.

In response to Pudding: You've made some very interesting notes especially regarding the title I'll be changing the title to something along the lines of "Con-Girls:America" I've also printed you're post so I can continue reading it while I make thanksgiving dinner lol.

In response to PandoraCaitiff: When we shot the footage for the trailer there were 4 of us and I was the only con goer within the crew, and while I've always wanted to cosplay I've never had the time or money to create and/or buy a costume. The rest of the crew quickly became infatuated with the idea of cosplaying and are looking into buying costumes for the next con we go to.

In response to JaeXD: I'll be going out and buying 3 more clocks after I get I awaken from my thanksgiving coma.

To everyone: Thank you all so much for all the feedback and criticisms, you've given me a lot to think about and I'll be looking seeing you all here again once thanksgiving weekend is over.


As someone mentioned earlier, can't you call it 'Con-Women:America' ?...unless you plan to interview -16's, it's kind of offensive to some 16+ ladies to be called 'girls' and it's a little creepy!!


08 Dec 2012 - 03:2294828
Hey ya'll sorry I haven't been on to keep up with ya'lls feedback I somehow ended up on Roswell's film festival and cosmic con board so I've been locked up in meetings the past few weeks. I'll be caught up Sunday and look forward to seeing everyone's responses.


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