THE FAN EXPO SAN FRANCISCO COSPLAY CRAFTSMANSHIP CUP
Cosplayers, get ready to show off your craftsmanship skills and compete for cosplay glory in the 2023 FAN EXPO San Francisco Cosplay Craftsmanship Cup!
NEW: We’re happy to introduce the Sustainability Award. Did you use recycled materials or environmentally friendly crafting methods in your cosplay? Then, be sure to complete the sustainable section of the application for your chance to win an additional $100.00 cash prize.
Contest entrants must have a valid ticket to FAN EXPO San Francisco for the day of the competition.
Entrants must be 13 years of age or older. Any cosplayers 12 and under may compete in the Kids’ Cosplay Contest on Sunday.
Participation is restricted to those who have completed the online registration. Online registration is on a first come first serve basis and is limited to 40 entries, whether that be individual or group. Once the cap has been reached, the remaining entrants will be placed on a standby list and notified if a spot becomes available.
While registration reserves your spot in the contest, contestants are still required to complete a prejudging appointment on the day of the event.
Online registration will require the following information for each participant:
- Legal Name
- Cosplay Name (optional)
- Each additional name, age, character of group members
- A brief intro for the emcee to read as you appear on stage. Max 50 words.
NEW: FAN EXPO San Francisco is happy to introduce the new Sustainability Award. Contestants who use environmentally friendly methods and materials will be considered for an additional $100.00 cash prize.
The following criteria must be met to avoid disqualification:
- Entrants must have made or significantly altered at least 50% of their costume to compete.
- Creators may elect to have a model wear their costume during the contest but must be present for both the pre-judging appointment and the on-stage event.
- FAN EXPO reserves the right to disallow any contestants on basis of appropriateness of costume as FAN EXPO San Francisco is a family friendly convention. Nudity and simulated nudity are strictly prohibited. Costumes that are deemed to be racist, obscene, or otherwise derogatory will not be allowed to compete. Costumes with hate symbolism will not be allowed to compete.
- FAN EXPO HQ staff has the final say on all entries. Their decisions cannot be appealed.
- Entrants must be able to wear their costumes for 2+ hours without incurring medical distress such as: overheating, lacerations, excessive strain on muscles, etc. Entrants who are deemed to be in medical distress by staff will be removed from the competition and escorted to first aid. This decision cannot be appealed.
- All special effects and props must be pre-approved by staff prior to the day of the contest. All information supplied to FAN EXPO will be held in the strictest of confidence. Any electrical effects must be self-powered. FAN EXPO retains the right to disallow any prop for any reason.
- Any prop or weapon must have passed inspection and be approved by the Weapons and Prop Compliance Team prior to the contest.
- Entrants must leave the stage as clean as it was when they first walked on it. Glitter, confetti, silly string, etc. will not be allowed on stage.
- Absolutely no flame or pyrotechnical props are permitted due to fire regulations.
- FAN EXPO cannot accept lighting requests.
- Individual music will not be permitted.
- Posing only. No skits permitted.
To ensure fairness to all contestants, entrants will be split into skill divisions.* Please select the appropriate division to compete in. Group entries must enter the division that their most experienced member meets the criteria for. The costume contest director and the judges retain the right to bump a contestant into a higher category if they feel a costume deserves to be recognized at a higher skill level.
Novice – professional costumers** may not enter the Novice division.
1. Cosplayers who have never entered a contest
2. Cosplayers who have NOT won an award in any costume competition at the adult level
Journeyman - professional costumers** may not enter the Journeyman division.
1. Cosplayers who have won one (1) but less than three (3) awards in adult competition such as: Best Costume, Best Skit, Best Workmanship, First Place, etc.
2. Cosplayers who have NOT won a "Best in Show" or "Best in Class" award at the Journeyman level
3. Cosplayers who have NOT won any kind of award at the Master level, including Runner Up or Honorable Mention prizes
4. Any Novices who wish to compete as a Journeyman
Master - for advanced costumers and professionals** in the costuming field.
1. Cosplayers who have won three (3) or more awards in adult competitions
2. Cosplayers who have won a "Best in Show" or "Best in Class" award at the Journeyman Level
3. Cosplayers who have won ANY kind of award at the Master level
4. Any cosplayers, regardless of experience or past awards, who wish to compete as a Master
* FAN EXPO reserves the right to combine or split skill divisions, as required for any reason and without notice, to meet the needs of the competition.
** A professional costumer/cosplayer is defined as any individual who is hired for pay on a part-time or fulltime basis to create costumes for any kind of studio or theatrical organization, OR who obtains more than 25% of their yearly income through commissioned costumes.
Prejudging times and location will be emailed to all registered participants prior to the contest. Prejudging must be concluded within the assigned time frame. Contestants are encouraged to arrive 5 minutes before their scheduled prejudge time.
Participants must bring their build books to their judging appointment. Your build book is a visual representation of your costume’s construction. Please include reference photos, work in progress photos, close ups of detail work, written descriptions of your process, materials lists etc. Build books can be collected at the end of the stage portion of the competition. Books that are not collected will be disposed of.
Each contestant will have a 3 minute time limit with the judges, please prepare accordingly.
Competitors must be in full costume at the time of judging.
Judging is based on the following criteria:
Fabrication: Clean edges, paint job, seam work, construction and durability, attention to detail, innovative construction methods. Props and accessories included.
Materials: Fabrics, leathers, etc. are believable to the costume, innovative use of unconventional materials, functionality of the design, and execution of simulated materials.
Fit and Presentation: Tailored and scaled to the cosplayer, complete character (makeup, wigs, and prosthetics), and overall presentation of the character.
Adaptation: Accuracy to the reference material (photos, drawings, or literary descriptors, references to variants, mash ups, etc.), original designs will be judged on the believability of the costume based on the character described in the reference material.
Contestants who wish to be considered for the Sustainability Award will also be evaluated based on use of recycled/repurposed materials, low energy consumption construction methods, use of environmentally friendly/green certified supplies, and other sustainable elements.
All contestants are required to appear on stage. Contestants will be lined up as per their assigned order determined at check in. Each contestant, individual or group, will have a maximum of 30 seconds on stage. Should entrants go over the time limit, they will be disqualified from the contest.
Only registered entrants are allowed in the staging area. Please be aware that this means friends, children not participating in the contest, and animals (except for certified service animals) are not to accompany entrants. Costumes must allow freedom of movement to navigate stairs. Contestants in costumes that cannot safely navigate stairs may be asked to walk in front of the stage instead.
There are no change areas available for entrants. Contestants are to arrive at the staging area in costume.
We ask for no sewing, gluing, spray painting, soldering, or welding in the staging area.
What to expect on stage:
- The emcee will read the submitted introduction as each contestant approaches the stage.
- The staff will provide a soundtrack for the walk on performances.
- Microphones will NOT be available for use by contestants.
- Contestants will walk from their entrance on one side across the stage to the opposite side exit.
The Contest Judging
Contestants will appear on stage in front of a panel of judges who will be scoring each entry on the following criteria:
Costume: complete head to toe character, fit and scale, accuracy to the source material or believability as an original creation, overall visual impact, creativity, and originality of the costume
Presentation: appearing in character, Q&A, stage presence, overall preparation
Audience Impact: fun factor and audience response
Best in Show – The FAN EXPO San Francisco Cosplay Craftsmanship Cup, $500.00 and a VIP pass to FAN EXPO San Francisco 2024
Best Masters - $100.00 and a VIP pass to FAN EXPO San Francisco 2024
Best Journeyman - $100.00 and a VIP pass to FAN EXPO San Francisco 2024
Best Novice - $100.00 and a VIP pass to FAN EXPO San Francisco 2023
Sustainability Award - $100.00
The Fine Print
The Costume Contest director and representative of FAN EXPO HQ both have full authority to eliminate anyone from the competition on the grounds of unsportsmanlike conduct witnessed backstage, violation of the rules, or any other reason deemed sufficient. There is no appeal. Arguing with the director or representative may result in further action being taken, such as a lifetime ban on participating in any future FAN EXPO HQ Costume Contests.
Contestants are expected to obey all local laws, state laws, federal laws, and bylaws governing FAN EXPO and the venue location. Those who do not comply will be removed from the premises and their badge will be revoked without warning. If the nature of the infraction is severe, the authorities will be contacted.