Please be sure to read the following rules before submitting to the forms at the bottom of the page!
Want to show off your costume or awesome skit on stage? Why not compete in our Saturday Cosplay Contest? To ensure your place, register online prior to your arrival at Colossalcon. At-con registration for Craftsmanship will only be allowed pending availability.
Because it is extremely difficult to contact us via e-mail at the convention, we advise that if you have any questions or concerns regarding registration or your entry once you’re at-con, to come see us at the cosplay registration desk or repair booth on-site.
The Colossalcon Cosplay Contest is split into two competitions – Craftsmanship and Performance. You can choose to compete in either, or both!
All competitors must have an official Colossalcon badge. This includes attendee, panelist and artists badges. Those with staff badges or guest badges are not allowed to enter the Cosplay Contest.
Craftsmanship and Performance are separate competitions. Participants may enter in both Craftsmanship and Performance and if the judges see that a group has both excellent craftsmanship and an excellent performance, they are eligible to win awards in both competitions.
Craftsmanship Competition: You will be judged solely on the construction of your costume in a private, scheduled interview. All costumes must have been made by the entrant. (Shoes and wigs do not need to be made from scratch, but we encourage modifying these items to fit your character!) You will walk onstage to show off your costume.
Performance Competition (skits): You will be going onstage to do some sort of cosplay performance for the audience. Acting, dancing, etc. These take some time and planning to do, but they are a great experience! You do not have to have made your own costume if you are only entering for Performance.
Exhibition (walk-ons): You will walk across the stage fashion-show style during the cosplay contest to show off your costume alongside the Craftsmanship entries. Fan art designs, original characters, and costumes you did not make are all welcome. Exhibition entries are non-judged and just for fun!
Please email the cosplay staff directly at email@example.com if you have questions.
A division is simply your placement and competition level. We advise all entrants to enter at the divisions/skill level they feel comfortable at within reason (see below).
Novice Division: This division is intended for those new to making their own costumes or performing on stage and have not competed much, if at all.
No more than 1 major awards won previously at a comparable-sized convention or larger for their costumes or performances. These include “Best Of” awards (“Best Overall” or “Best in Class”) only. At your discretion, “Placed Award” (such as a 2nd or 3rd place award) and Honorable Mentions or Judges Awards, do not have to be considered.
Journeyman Division: This division is intended for those who are more experienced with creating their own costumes or performing on stage.
No more than 2 major awards won previously at a comparable-sized convention or larger for their costumes or performances. These include “Best Of” awards (“Best Overall” or “Best in Class”) only. At your discretion, “Placed Award” (such as a 2nd or 3rd place award) and Honorable Mentions or Judges Awards, do not have to be considered.
Master Division: This division is intended for those who have advanced experience with creating their own costumes or performing on stage.
More than 3 major awards won previously at a comparable-sized convention or larger for their costumes or performances. These include “Best Of” awards (“Best Overall” or “Best in Class”) only. At your discretion, “Placed Award” (such as a 2nd or 3rd place award) and Honorable Mentions or Judges Awards, do not have to be considered.
Note: The Cosplay Staff has the right to place a competitor in an appropriate division at their discretion.
All About Craftsmanship Judging (2021 Edition)
Hello everyone! Welcome to the Colossalcon East 2021 Craftsmanship Competition Information page! We are so thrilled to have you all back for this year. I know so many of you are excited to sign up and get more information on our cosplay contest. And we are happy to introduce to you our cosplay contest rules and guidelines for this year.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the staff have discussed how to hold our judging to be balanced, fair, and safe for all our participants and judges. Therefore, we have decided to try a new system to limit in-person judging contact.
For 2021, Colossalcon East will be introducing our first ever “Hybrid” Craftsmanship Contest.
Contestants will be asked to create a short video of them in costume, fully discussing their construction process in detail. This video will be submitted to the Colossalcon East Staff and will be reviewed prior to the event. On Saturday of the convention, contestants will have a short appointment to meet with our judges in person for a quick review of the costume and answer any questions that might arise. Awards will then be given out during the Masquerade event.
You and/or your whole group must have a valid Colossalcon East registration in order to compete.
Video Length: MAX 5 minutes. Videos that exceed this time will be subject to disqualification. Videos must be uploaded as an unlisted video on Youtube and a link provided on your entry form. We will not be taking raw file formats.
Format Shot (for Cell Phones): Please make sure you are holding the phone horizontal/landscape/sidesway and film as such. Filming should be in a well-lit area with a simple background so not to distract from you and your costume.
Audio: Please make sure your audio is clear and easy to understand. Voice overs are recommended while showing your costume, but not mandatory.
Must Include the following:
-Reference shot of the character being portrayed (front and back if possible)
-Front shot of you in full costume.
-Left and Right side shot
-detail close ups of elements
-wig details (if applies)
-prop 360 and close ups (if applies)
-SLOW 360 degree turn in full costume
-Three “action”/”in character” poses
This video is your opportunity to discuss your construction in detail with our judges. Tell the judges everything about how you made your costume.
Things you should talk about include:
-any special methods you used to get around a problem in designing the costume.
We want to hear about every technique, fabric, and process you used to create your project. Please include progress pictures if you have them as all of our judges would love to see your construction.
Feel free to get creative with how you present your costume to us. You will not be judged on how flashy your video will be, but getting creative with it can make the process a little fun. We ask that you do not include any SFX that could alter your costume in any way. Text, lower thirds, or any kind graphics showing information about the costume are completely fine, and encouraged if you can.
In-Person Judging Check-In
On Saturday of the convention, contestants will be required to check-in with the judges in full competition costume.
This will be done through a 2 hour block of time that will be announced at a later date. This will give the contestants a chance to meet their judges in person and answer any questions our judges might have after their video submission.
We will be keeping this timeframe short to keep with social distancing and safety measures.
A Sidequest for Contestants
We all know that masks have been a big part of our lives for the last year. But instead of feeling down about them, let’s make them fun!
The judges have decided to include a special award this year for “Best Incorporation of a Mask”. If you have a mask that you made yourself that is coordinated to your cosplay, you will be entered into the running for this fun award! Masks must meet the guidelines for proper face coverage and protection.
So show us your best coordinating mask to go with that amazing costume!
The deadline for submissions is Saturday, September 4th by Midnight.
How long does this video have to be?
Contestant submissions should be no longer than 5 minutes MAX. This would be the same amount of time you would have in an in-person judging session. Therefore it should be perfectly acceptable for your videos.
I don’t have a video editing program! What do I do?
Most computers do have some very basic programs available to use without installing a new program. However, if you are looking for a program, here is a list of some of the best free video editing software:
VSDC (For Windows)
Movie Maker 10 (For Windows)
iMovie (For Mac)
Vimeo Create (For iOS and Android)
OpenShot (For Windows, Mac, and Linux)
Lightworks (For Windows, Mac, and Linux)
Shotcut (For Windows, Mac, and Linux)
DaVinci Resolve (For Windows, Mac, and Linux)
I don’t have a camera! What do I do?!
Cell phone cameras are insanely powerful and with a high quality these days that using that should be just fine. If Ariana Grande, Selena Gomez, and Lady Gaga can shoot full music videos on an iphone, then your phones can do it too! Just take your time and ask for help if you need it.
So I’m shooting on my phone, how should I hold my phone?
Horizontal (or sideways) is the best method to film on any phone. This will give you a wider shot and fill the screen or “frame” more. Please make sure that everything is shot in horizontal to make sure you are filling the frame. Here is a photo to help remind you:
I get nervous talking on camera. What should I do?
If you are nervous about talking straight to the camera, maybe try a voice over instead! You can script your notes and then record your audio to put over your video. Writing out your notes can also help you make sure you include everything you want to say to the judges. You can record your audio using the program Audacity. (For Windows and iOS)
What is considered “good” lighting?
You don’t have to have a huge lighting setup to create good lighting for your video. Natural light can be your best friend when you are looking for a well-lit area. Try shooting your video outside if you can. Windows are your best friend when finding the best lighting for videos indoors during the daytime.Make sure the window is generally in front of you when filming. This will give you the balanced lighting you’re looking for.
If you have access to something like a ring light, then please feel free to use it to shoot your work.
How do I get my files to the computer to edit?
You can use programs like Dropbox, Google Drive, or even the cloud to upload your clips to a computer. It can take a few minutes to upload, but it can be the most effective method.
Can I have music in my video?
You can have music in your video, but please do not make it so loud that we cannot hear you talk about your costume. We want to hear you talk about your work and this is your time to shine!
My character levitates and shoots fire from their hands. Can I include those in After Effects?
No. This is about showcasing your costume and construction. Any other visual effects will pull from your work and we just want to see you and your amazing costume.
Can I share my video publicly before the competition?
We request that you do not share the video until after the convention is over. These videos are meant for you to give your judges an in-depth description. Once the competition is complete, you may share your video with the world.
Any advice for judging to make this easier? How should I talk about my work?
To help ease nerves and keep your mind calm when discussing your costume for your video or any in-person judging, start from the top of your cosplay and work your way down. So discuss your wig/hair accessories, then go down to the shirt and jacket, etc. Focus on the parts of your costume that you are proud of! I promise that our judges will not bite and are all very nice.
- Q) Why are you opting to do a hybrid contest rather than a full in-person judging session?
- Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we are looking for ways to have judging be detailed and thorough while still being safe. By having a very brief meeting on site, it will limit the interaction in a small room and allow everyone to still be seen in person to answer questions from the judges.
- Q) Do I have to attend the in-person meeting?
- Yes. This is a required part of your judging for your costume. If you do not show up, you will be disqualified.
- Q) Do I have to show up for this short meeting with the judges in costume?
- A) Yes. The judges would like to see you in your full competition costume at the time of your meeting.
- Q) I’ve never competed before! What is my category?
- If this is your first time competing, you may technically enter at any level that you feel is appropriate for your quality of work. However, if you are unsure, always start with the Novice category. There is a full breakdown of the categories in our rules page.
All About Performance/Skits
All performance entries are subject to the following rules. Disregarding these rules may result in disqualification and/or you could be asked to leave the convention.
-Costumes and skits must be PG-13. If it’s appropriate for a PG-13 movie, it’s appropriate for the competition, but please keep in mind that there will be children in the audience. If you are unsure whether your skit is appropriate, please feel free to email the cosplay staff for feedback.
-You do not have to have made your own costume to enter the Performance competition. Fanart costumes are also permitted in Performance. Cosplay is required, however. If your skit has original characters and/or non-cosplaying characters, they should make up the minority of characters in your skit. (Stagehands are considered part of your group but not considered for the “cosplay required” rule.)
-Skits must be no longer than 3 minutes (within reason) in length. In addition to the performance time, you will be given time to enter and leave the stage.
-Pre-recorded audio is recommended and preferred. Microphones will be limited.
–One skit per person. We do not allow for individuals to enter multiple skits.
-Audio must be already edited for length and content. You will be required to submit your audio before the convention. Failure to do so will result in disqualification.
-No surprises! What you present to us during practice on Saturday morning is what we should see when you go on stage during the event. Any dangerous stunts, messy stage props, or anything that could hinder the performance experience for others will result in instant disqualification.
-If it comes on stage with you, it must leave the stage with you. Nothing dangerous or messy. Throwing objects off the stage is prohibited. Reckless Behavior resulting in falling off stage, or breaking/damaging equipment (or nearly doing so) will result in disqualification. If you break stage equipment, you buy it. Extremely physical acts may need approval from the Cosplay Director at rehearsal to ensure safety.
Mandatory Performance Rehearsal
Rehearsal will take place bright and early on Saturday morning. A run-through will be given to all skit performances to allow the tech crew a chance to learn your cues and to allow cosplay staff to pre-screen your skit for content, subject matter, and length. If you miss rehearsal, you will be disqualified from the competition.
We are so excited to welcome you back to Colossalcon East! If you have any questions, please feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Best of luck on all of your prep and submissions and we will see you at the convention!