As you may have seen in the video above, Girls Of The Con was founded by myself, Jason L. Bohannon and my friend and now business partner Traci Tant. Our focus in creating this project was simple. To bring attention to the creativity, the talent, and the jaw dropping beauty of the ladies that inhabit the world of the sci-fi / fantasy / horror convention culture.
Even though it has grown in popularity immensely over the past 10 years, there are still those who haven't a clue as to what culture I may be referring. The "Geek" culture, the "CON" culture, short for Convention of course. With the airing of "Four Days at Dragon*Con" the curtain was pulled back to reveal the world of fan driven conventions where a person can dress as their favorite character, interact with television and big screen stars, and party with friends from all over the world who've converged merely to share a common interest.
These "Cons" as the fans call them range from small one day gatherings to large multi-hotel, multi-day events. Like Dragon*Con, MegaCon, Spooky Empire, World Steam Expo, and ConNooga to name only a few. Some fans spend all year designing and perfecting costume representations of their favorite comic, movie, anime, game, or book character and more. Some make a profession of it even, designing and building costumes for others, sometimes even drawing the attention of major television and media coverage.
Sites like Three Muses Clothing, God Save The Queen Fashions, Volpin Props, Penny Dreadful Productions, & A Touch of Magic Costumes, The Artifice Club, and Charitable organizations as well such as Costumers With A Cause showcase the talents of only a handful of the thousands of specialized groups whose industry revolves around the culture these fans have built over the years. this is the community we want to showcase. All our models originate from within this community. We are proud members of this community, and we want to see it thrive and get the attention it deserves.
For the past two years we've brought the Girls Of The Con calendar to life. With limited resources, limited time, and limited funds we put together 12 months of Talented costumers and cosplayers showing off their creations. Every skill level is represented. From amateur to expert each a testament to the creativity these ladies bring to the convention culture. The real "Girls Of The Con". The 2011 calendar and the 2012 calendar both stand as solid examples of that diversity.
Working with a point and shoot Olympus, a 10 year old Alienware desktop computer, and 15+ years experience in graphics platforms we set out to create something that combined both photographic and design elements. Something with a fantasy feel, where the ladies become a part of the fantasy they invoke when wearing their costumes.
This year we want to take the 2013 calendar to new heights. We want to give the fans a serious photographic art book that you hang on the wall and it just happens to have a calendar in it. We want to bring that level of imagery to each and every month because our fans deserve nothing less. We want to create a calendar that people will keep, long after the year has ended. Any artist out there knows that feeling when you know what you are capable of creating, but you just don't have the budget to bring the project to life in a way you know you are capable of.
WeI have a vision for the 2013 calendar, a vision that involves new lighting setups, more elaborate sets and props, less digital editing and more real world production vs. post effects. We wan't to bring the sense of Superheroes, Monsters, Fairies, Villains and the like as they would exist in our world. To put the unreal among reality and see beauty in the magical world these ladies have created for us come to life on the pages of our calendar.
We realize there are a ton of "Geek" girl calendars out there, many of them cheesecake style photo spreads showing more skin less costume, but that is not what we are about. We've always tried to take a more PG-13 approach to our layouts. Our calendar is for the fans by the fans. Our ladies are the real deal, no posers allowed. They make their own costumes, do their own makeup, and ask for nothing in return but smiles and excitement when people meet their favorite character in the flesh. From the beginning our slogan has been "Flesh Meets Fantasy" because that's ultimately our goal with every click of the shutter, to bring fantasy to life.
Top To Bottom and Left To Right allow us to introduce the lovely ladies who've volunteered their time and talents to be a part of the Girls Of The Con 2013 Calendar. Not all have fan pages or websites, but those that do will be linked below as well.
Hayley Dawn Decker
Marie Bailey Sheppard
Quorra of Quorra's Cosplay
This is our current lineup for the 2013 Girls Of The Con calendar. These ladies volunteered their time graciously in order to be a part of our project. We are fortunate in the friends we've made and continue to make in this community. They've become like family to us, kept us going. They are the reason we are here, pleading our case in order to keep going. So let's get to the question you are probably asking.
Obviously we are here to raise money for this project. We've asked for $4000 as a minimum. That money, should our funding be successful, will go to a few specific areas. Should we go over our goal I'll add new rewards and detail new plans on a live convention coverage website in the works specifically for Girls Of The Con.
This project lives and breathes in the digital realm. From the scouting and recruiting of models, to the capturing of the images, post processing and effects, all in the digital realm. That being said we are in desperate need of updating camera and computer equipment. $1500-2000 spent on these items is part of our budget. Again this is a minimum, the more we have available the higher production quality we can achieve. We feel we've achieved alot already, but there is always room to grow.
For the past two years we've self published. We learned that the best way is to start with small orders and progress as needed. This year we will continue that process and self publish again. The costs typically are in the $600-1100 range per run depending on the quantity. So we've budgeted a minimum of $800 for the printing costs. Our calendar is printed on 11"x 8½" 80lb gloss paper with a seamless wireless bind, it's high quality and very durable and looks great on any wall.
With the remaining cash we have in our budget we would use those funds for travel and shoot expenses involved in photographing all the models. In past years we've covered these expenses ourself and we will continue to cover the majority of these costs as best we can on limited means. The extra cash would just pave the way to speed the process along and make sure we get all principal photography complete in time for the final editing process which usually requires around 2 weeks to get every detail perfect before final proof and print.
WE THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR CONSIDERING OUR PROJECT FOR FUNDING.
Please keep in mind we've asked for the minimum we feel we need to help take this project of ours to the next level. Traci and I both have put a small fortune in time, work, and money to make Girls Of The Con the entity it is currently. With time and a greater budget I feel we could not only become a permanent and expected feature at the larger conventions, but a wonderful multimedia outlet for all things "CON" culture. Helping to showcase these events, the wonderful menagerie of souls who inhabit them, and the happiness they bring to the lives of those in the know.
We are just so grateful to all our friends, family, collaborators, models, merchants, organizations, and con goers who've supported our efforts these past 5 years since the idea was merely an inkling. We look forward to many more and hope you'll share in our growth. Thank you so much for your time.
Jason L. Bohannon and Traci Tant,
Girls Of The Con
Typically we submit an open call to anyone that wants to be a part of the calendar, usually around the beginning of October of each year on our facebook and our website, we'll take photo submissions through January 1st, and then in February we choose who will be in the calendar based on several criteria. We try not to use cosplays or costumes we've featured previously and so far have been successful in not repeating the same costume twice. Not to say we wouldn't use the same model twice (because we have) but never the same outfit. Location, What conventions the girls will be attending, and their willingness to travel usually are major deciding factors simply due to the fact that logistically, producing the calendar from our own pocket for the past two years we've had to be extremely budget conscious .
That being said we are willing to travel as far as a 3 day weekend will allow by car. Our hope for the kickstarter is that we'll be able to extend our range to include ladies who can't always attend events we attend or be within 1000 miles of our location. We've had to turn down several huge names in the costuming world due to travel and cash constraints, something which we hope to be able to change once this kickstarter has ended.
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