“Since Cosplay 24‘s Kickstarter beginning,” said Chase Lawrence in a Facebook update last week, “many supporters have expressed active interest in accomplishing this dream more effectively and efficiently.” In the update, Lawrence, the driving force behind Affliction Cosplay Photography‘s Cosplay 24 project, discussed recent changes to the campaign and highlighted the importance of feedback from campaign backers.
“I recently reevaluated different methods and logistic approaches and successfully arrived at a solution,” Lawrence told his Facebook followers. When we wrote about the Cosplay 24 campaign earlier this month, Lawrence was looking to raise $27,000. While this number was well within the range of similar projects on Kickstarter, Lawrence agreed with backers who believed that it could be done for less.
“Instead of the initial Kickstarter budget,” says Lawrence, “Cosplay 24 will now only require $12,000 for successful completion,” less than half of the original budget.
This update accompanied the announcement that the Cosplay 24 campaign was being moved from Kickstarter to Indiegogo. In an email to us, Lawrence explained that the move was motivated by his desire to donate any remaining funds from the campaign as well as 10% of all book proceeds to the American Cancer Society in honor of his grandparents who passed away from cancer.
The move to a new platform was a setback in one sense. The campaign had nearly thirty backers on Kickstarter and more than $1,000 in funds. “For those that were backing the kickstarter,” says fellow cosplay photographer and freelance multimedia designer Trevor Toma, “I ask them to consider that in art sometimes we have to completely destroy our work and start over to achieve our vision.”
Toma has already pledged his support to the new Indiegogo campaign and is enthusiastic about its future. “There will be unpredictable things that will occur during a project like this. The fact that [Lawrence] was able to to cut his cost so dramatically for this reiteration I can only guess how much he had to review and make tough decisions. I think the new donation tiers though make the rewards more accessible to everyone and well worth what you’re investing.”
“This is a huge project for me and my crew,” said Lawrence in a video representing the campaign. “Within the realms of photography and cosplay, cosplayers are working their hardest. They work hard on their craft, they work hard on their projects, and with this project, I want to show that.”
Cosplay, is the art of designing, building, and wearing costumes in order to portray characters from movies, graphic novels, video games, anime, and more. In admiring the costumes and getting the chance to see our favorite fantasy characters up close, though, it is sometimes easy to miss the hard work and dedication that these artists invest in creating authentic, stunning cosplay for fans to enjoy.
Cosplay 24 represents a chance for artists and fans alike to go beyond the mask. Lawrence plans to create “a photobook about 24 cosplayers in the US,” but the project is more than that. “The book,” he says, “is based on what cosplay means to them and their everyday lives.”
“Over the years, I have seen people grow both as cosplayers and as personal individuals,” says Lawrence. “Skill sets have tremendously expanded, and their upbeat enthusiasm has only become more intense.”
“I look forward to seeing how he grows during this project,” Toma recently said of Lawrence. “I’m sure the images will be very inspiring. For people seeing the project for the first time, I would encourage them to view his page and work. It will speak for itself.”
Lawrence, whose photography can be found in We Rise Magazine, Syfy, Arcade Sushi and elsewhere, is looking “to highlight the wonderful personalities behind the fabric and armor and explore extraordinary locations while we collaborate to produce the most incredible cosplay photography we have ever achieved.”
You can show your support for the amazing artists featured in Cosplay 24 by checking out the campaign on Indiegogo and becoming a backer. For the latest updates on the project, don’t forget to like the Cosplay 24 page on Facebook.
(Roggen Wulf, 2015)