Cosplayers are a frequent sight at MCM London Comic Con, but the convention hosted a panel on the VidFestUK stage on making cosplay videos for YouTube. The panel included Youtubers, Hannah (WatchThisHannah), Vicki (Nerd with a Manicure) and Lowri Ann.
They began by explaining how they got into creating DIY cosplay videos. Hannah revealed that she was originally making videos while working at Disney World Florida. After coming back home to Australia she didn’t have a reason to make videos anymore, but she had started making cosplays. “It sort of just came together naturally,” said Hannah. “I’ve been doing cosplay for about three years now.” She also added that she has also uploaded SFX make-up videos.
Vicki explained that when she went to university, she would go out to socials every week and she had to have a costume, citing how the videos she was uploading were related to things she was already doing.
“I’ve always been a bit of a nerd and I’ve always loved YouTube,” said Lowri as she explained how because she liked dressing up, it was just a natural extension. Asked on her process of making a video, Lowri said, “I’m very much, ‘Let’s just wing it and see what happens.’” She then added, “I didn’t say I did good cosplay.”
When asked on shooting cosplay videos at conventions, Hannah noted how some of the videos she has seen sometimes involve cosplayers at a distance and so they don’t know that they’re being filmed. “I think it’s really important that you ask people if they’re okay if you take photos, if they’re okay with being filmed and that they know it’s going up online as well,” said Hannah.
Asked where they get their ideas and inspirations from, Vicki said, “I always take the essence of the characters.” She was cosplaying Daenerys Targaryen from Game of Thrones, and explained that the costume she was wearing was not an exact replica. “I look at the outfit and think, ‘What can I actually produce from this?’”
Hannah said, “I pretty much just do what I want at that moment. Whatever my new obsession is, whether it’s a TV show, musical, movie, game. If I like it then that’s what I’m doing.”
When conversation came to biggest mistakes and fails, Lowri mentioned that her common mistake is not making sure that her SD card has enough space before filming.
Hannah replied, “I do some special effects make-up, but I’m really bad at it. So there’s a lot of videos I make where I’ll just get halfway through and I’ll look into the camera be like, ‘Yeah, this is going nowhere.’” She then mentioned that she doesn’t like watching videos where everyone is perfect, adding, “I do include a lot of my mistakes, to show that I’m trying to learn this just as much as anyone else.”
They were then asked what advice they would give to anyone else thinking of starting out making cosplay videos on YouTube. “You should only be doing it if you’re actually enjoying it,” said Hannah. “Don’t keep forcing yourself to do it if you’ve lost love for it.” She also suggested surrounding yourself with friends with a similar hobby.
Vicki agreed and also added that you should try and experiment. “Find your own style and just continue making. It will be difficult for the first few months, especially if it’s your first cosplay video, but the more you do it, the easier it will become.”
Lowri suggested watching content similar to what you wish you achieve, saying, “It’s amazing how much you absorb throughout this process. She then said that she wanted to do it for so long, and a friend brought her a camera and challenged her to start a YouTube channel.
When talk turned to help or collaborations for videos, Hannah explained that for her cosplay convention videos, she usually stops and talks to cosplayers. “At the end of it, I’ve made like 50 new friends,” said Hannah. “A lot of them I’ve gone on to talk to online later and then we become actual friends.”
The trio were then asked whether they treated using YouTube as a business or a hobby and whether they uploaded videos for themselves or for their audience.
“YouTube is just a hobby, but it feeds into what I want to do as a career, as a journalist,” said Vicki.
“I make all my videos just for me… mainly, and all my friends,” responded Hannah, saying that she was not trying to be “super successful,” but if it did magically happen, she would be okay with it.
“I would like it to be a career, so I do take it seriously,” said Lowri, saying that while she does treat YouTube as a hobby, it’s one she would like to evolve.
As the panel came to a close, the trio were finally asked to give a shameless plug to their YouTube channels.