Fan Convention 14.06.2024 Poznan
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Masquerade FAQ

Are you wondering what this whole Masquerade business is all about, want to take part in it or be in the audience and admire this wonderful show, but you’ve got some questions? Then you’re in the right place! Here you will find the answers to all the most frequently asked questions and detailed information about the Masquerade and cosplay at Pyrkon.

GENERAL

The Masquerade is a costume contest, that is held on Saturday during Pyrkon at the Earth Hall.  The participant’s task is to prepare handmade costumes and present them on stage during the contest and before the jury. Therefore, if you like cosplay or are a costume creator yourself – you’ve come to the right place!

Cosplay is a precisely recreated costume of a particular character, namely a costume that is created based on an existing graphic design. Judgement in this category is executed based on the costume’s similarity to the graphic source sent by the participant (e.g a frame from a comic, a poster, an illustration, a screen from a film or game), the maintained proportions as well as precision and quality of execution.

The costume should be made by hand to be admitted to the contest. Only small elements may be purchased, however information regarding this must always be provided to the jurors and entered into a special section in the application form.
Items that are usually regarded as acceptable as purchased include: the base of shoes (you have to re-make them yourself), wigs (you must stylize them yourself), underwear (unless it is a valid and visible item of clothing, e.g. as an outer corset), contact lenses jewellery semi-finished products (e.g. chain mail rings, gems).
Of course the more you make by hand, the better – the jury appreciates everything hand-made and that is how to get more recognition for (a well-made, neat and consistent with the reference photo, of course) jewellery, cast by yourself than assembled from semi-finished products or shoes made from scratch, not just painted with acrylic.  Nevertheless, the winners were both people who bought these small items and those who made them by hand.

Yes. You may use manufacturing technologies in the costume creation process (ex., 3D printing, laser cutting, milling, or printing on fabric). Still, a majority of the cosplay must be authored by the contestant (through prepping the files, processing, and finishing).

In the submission form, we ask for photos of the progress, documenting the subsequent stages of the costume’s execution. During the so-called jury round, the jury will ask you questions about the technical execution, and they will check the seams, linings, etc. Essentially, we believe that our contestants are telling the truth.

In the case of the use of manufacturing technologies (ex. 3D printing, laser cutting, milling, or printing on fabric), prepare to be asked about your process of file prepping and processing and finishing of the materials.

We encourage you to document all the stages of your cosplay creation process on camera.

The Masquerade serves as a preliminary round for European Championship – European Cosplay Gathering. We award prizes in two categories: individual and group. One person will be awarded first prize in the individual category. Two or three persons will be awarded first prize in the group category. The winners will receive a title of the national cosplay team.

The winners will go to Paris on 13-18 July 2022 to compete against other countries for a place on the podium and world fame. The entirety of the trip will be sponsored by the European Cosplay Gathering and Pyrkon.

No.

The Masquerade can be watched both in the Earth Hall and on jumbotrons located throughout the convention grounds as well as livestreamed on Pyrkon’s fanpage.

Zofia Skowrońska, Zula Costumes, answers e-mails sent to the address: maskarada(at)pyrkon.pl and the phone number to contact her is 609 385 832.  However, before you ask a question it is always worth to read the FAQ and the Regulations carefully.

APPLICATIONS

The submission forms are open until 6th June 2022, 23:59.

The information will be given out before 8th June 2022, 23:59. The organizers will choose the contestants who will take part in The Masquerade. The main criteria are the costume’s quality and the concept of the performance on the scene. The decisions will be sent to the contestants via e-mail. The limit to the number of contestants is linked to the constraints of the Masquerade’s duration.

Pyrkon is a huge convention and many cosplayers come here.  We accept only a couple dozen of the best applicants who previously filled in the form and successfully went through the elimination phase online, to participate in the Masquerade. Unfortunately, we cannot allow volunteers to do presentations on stage outside of the contest.

You may submit costumes that were already presented and awarded in other contests as long as those contests were not preliminaries to/ or international championships. Costumes you presented in any of the previous editions of the Masquerade are not eligible for the 2022 contest.

The source artworks for the costume and the props (high-quality origin materials you used as a reference for your costume; the resemblance between your costume and the source is one of the jury’s criteria for awarding points), pictures of your progress in making the costume (showing you and your work in progress, which serve as a proof of your input in the creation process; maximum 30 photographs per costume), pictures of the finished or almost finished costume and the props, a list of all the parts you made yourself as well as those you obtained from outside sources, description of your stage performance, description of lighting for your scene, your audio/music video backup file (mp3 or mp4).

Unfortunately, there is no such possibility. Applications without background music will be treated as incomplete and will not be taken into consideration.

Contact the contest coordinator, Zofia Skowrońska of Zula Costumes immediately to establish how to proceed further.   Zula answers e-mails sent to the address: maskarada(at)pyrkon.pl and the phone number to contact her is 609 385 832.

File format – mp3; file name – your alias/name and your character’s name. The audio backup should be cut to the length of your performance. If your backup includes dialogues, please, make sure they will be audible and understandable for the audience (the preferable language is Polish or English). The usage of videos during your performance is not possible. We also remind you that you need to have the copyright for your audio backup in order to use it.

Conciseness and precision are your friends.  It will be much easier for the person who will be servicing your performance to understand the information ‘00:06 second of music – strobe lights” than ‘where the drums start, please make the lights flash’. It would be great if you could familiarize yourself and use such terms as: fade out, blackout, follow spot, spotlight, backlight. If you do not expect us to add a WOW factor and you just want to be visible on stage, use the term “neutral lighting”.

The photographs of the costume should showcase the costume from each side, best worn by the person who will be performing in it to show the proportions.  We do not require stage make-up, however if it is a significant element of the costume, it is worth to put it on. Please pay attention to the elements you are particularly happy with, photographs of details are welcome, they will help us to decide, who to chose for the finale.  Photographs may be taken in any surroundings. Please do not retouch your photographs.

Yes, the participants should receive a reply to the e-mail address provided by them. Should you come across any problems, we encourage you to contact the coordinator.

The information will be given out before 8th June 2022, 23:59. The organizers will choose the contestants who will take part in The Masquerade. The main criteria are the costume’s quality and the concept of the performance on the scene. The decisions will be sent to the contestants via e-mail. The limit to the number of contestants is linked to the constraints of the Masquerade’s duration.

BACKSTAGE

The participants of the Masquerade and their previously reported helpers as well as organizers, technical staff and volunteers can enter the backstage. Unfortunately, due to the small space, you cannot visit your friends backstage.

The equipment available are: chairs, tables, mirrors, electricity, a basic repair kit (among others: threads, glues, scissors), access to water and snacks.

Yes. For the sake of the comfort of the participants of the Masquerade, a screen will be placed there.

THE JURY ROUND

The jury invites each contestant individually for a meeting lasting 5 (for one person) or 10 minutes (for a group). They examine the costumes and ask a series of questions about the creation process. Contestants competing in a group attend the jury round together. The jury secretly awards their points for costume quality during that time. The order of presentations during the jury round depends on the size of costumes and the time contestants need to dress. All meetings in this round will take place on Saturday. The contestants will receive e-mails before the Convention specifying details about the time of their meetings with the jury.

This is your 5 minutes (or 10 for groups), so it’s your chance to demonstrate the initiative.  Think about what you will say during your round, the most popular questions include: why did you choose this character? What are the techniques you used? What was the most difficult part? What is it that you like best about your costume? Why did you make a given element in this way and not the other? Avoid explaining that something looks not exactly like the reference photo or that you had too little time.  The jurors will notice it themselves. It is better if you focus on what you like and have the best opinion possible about your own costume.

Yes.

You can take a helper with you to the jury round, who will help you present the props, hand you subsequent elements and provide moral support.  We ask that the helper not answer the questions for the participant.

It is conducted in Polish. In the case of a foreign participant or a foreign juge, there is a translator present there.

The Masquerade jury consists of experts in cosplay, concept art, handcraft, acting, and stage make-up. We strive for a diverse line-up and invite new professionals to ensure fair competition each year. We will be announcing the jury’s line-up before the Convention, one at a time.

STAGE PERFORMANCES

A rectangular stage combined with a runway (6×8 m with an added runway of 10×2 m, that together form a T shape), colourful lighting and a sound system with technical support are available to participants during rehearsal and the contest.

Individual performances shouldn’t exceed 1 min 15 sec and group performances – 2 min 3 sec. Remember to cut the length of your audio backup accordingly.

Yes, the stage rehearsal is mandatory. You will receive information about the time of your rehearsal beforehand. It doesn’t take long, but it allows you to check the stage set up and rehears your performance once or twice, and it allows us to test the lights and music.

Yes.

Yes, but they are unavailable to the contestants in order to imitate the conditions at the finals in Paris. The best practice is to record an audio backup of your performance to play on stage.

Yes.

No. Strobe lighting may negatively affect the viewers in the audience so we do not use it.

Yes.

No. There is no possibility to blackout the stage entirely due to the cameras working. It will never be truly dark on stage!

Absolutely not. You can be disqualified for use pyrotechnics and fire without the organizer’s permission (and they are not likely to give one).

Yes.

Yes, you may receive additional points for the scenography. You can find exact details about the Jury’s criteria in the Masquerade Regulations.

1, 2, or 3 persons may perform on stage.

No.

No.

The organizers provide help with handing the props and carrying them onto the stage. The Masquerade Regulations specify rules for the size of scenography and setting it up on the stage.

COSPLAY AT PYRKON

It would be great if you just took your costume and come to Pyrkon wearing it. 🙂 Age, body type or experience do not matter.  Cosplay is for everyone and it’s great when more and more people dress up.

Points 15 and 16 of the Regulations of the Pyrkon Convention include guidelines concerning weapon replicas.  If there is no information there regarding a particular type of a replica you want to take to the convention, do not hesitate to write to bezpieczenstwo(at)pyrkon.pl.

We provide a couple of special booths in hall 8 for the cosplayers to change in, they will be marked on the map.  You can change there, but remember not to leave your belongings there. A separate changing room will be available for the participants of the Masquerade, located at the backstage of the Earth Hall, cosplayers who do not participate  in the contest cannot use it.

There will be a couple of cloakrooms available to the participants on the convention grounds.  A cloakroom with luggage lockers will also be made available near the eastern entrance. A separate changing room will be available for the participants of the Masquerade, located at the backstage of the Earth Hall, cosplayers who do not participate  in the contest cannot use it.

Cosplayers at Pyrkon are treated like all the other convention participants and they are not entitled to receive discounts.

A special gate will be open during the convention for persons with large luggage.  However, you need to remember that in order to go through it, you must first collect your badge.