Miniature model maker Fon Davis has worked on over thirty feature films across a two decade career. He’s an alumnus of the Industrial Light and Magic Model Shop and Disney, having produced concept art and made models for Starship Troopers, Galaxy Quest, The Nightmare Before Christmas and Coraline. Recently, he’s worked on Interstellar, Guardians of the Galaxy and Neill Blomkamp’s Elysium.
Fon founded his own design and fabrication studio, Fonco Creative, in 1997 in San Francisco, and after setting up shop in the premises of Vanaheim Studios in Los Angeles, he bought the whole 16,000 square foot facility out at the end of first quarter 2017, renaming it Fonco Studios.
Join us for a fantastic chat about the importance of a portfolio in the special effects industry (and why Fon didn’t wind up needing one when he interviewed at ILM), the possibilities of virtual reality in entertainment, how special effects folks insert themselves into the movies they work on and the questions from the show’s Patreon backers!
Geek collectable company owner Shaun Paulet decided to take a slightly different approach to the collectable market than most vendors. Instead of sourcing all the usual lines of stuff from the producers for the toy and collectable business, Shaun levered his passion for affordable collectibles to create, in conjunction with a collection of top Australian artists, a line of limited edition collectable prints available online or nationwide at Australian conventions for his company COMICS2MOVIES.
But after finding success within the artistic world of prints, Shaun decided to bring his own creativity and passion for comic books to the table, and thus was born XCT, a comic book series about clones of mythical monsters and ancient warriors like Spartacus fighting to the death for an audience of billions in the Xtreme Champion Tournament. XCT was successfully launched in Australia, New Zealand and the US in 2014.
Shaun and I have a great chat about high school sporting achievements, being the most funded Australian comic book crowdfunding project on Kickstarter, letting other people play with your stories, competing with the iconic American comic books for shelf space in Australian stores and ensuring your daughter shares your love of comics!
Cosplayer and YouTube show host Feisty Cuffs has been in love with the cosplay community since her very first convention. She enjoys the creative process of constructing her own costumes and props, and picks her next cosplay projects based on whether she can learn a new technique or skill.
Feisty loves attending conventions as a cosplayer, panellist and cosplay judge, and connecting with like-minded geeks. You may even recognise her as one of the hosts and of the Kapow! Comic Book Show on YouTube.
Feisty and I have a great chat about being that friend you invite to a fancy dress party, a love of European comic books, meeting those crazy people you just click with, the awesomeness of being asked to host a cosplay competition at the Rooster Teeth Expo and her favourite comic book character of all time!
Keep listening after the chat wraps for a retrospective on the first 100 episodes of The Paid to Play Podcast!
Evey Dantès’ skill as a cosplayer has got her to the place that many cosplayers wish they were at: Being paid to cosplay. Evey has tried her hand at several ways of earning money from her craft, from commission shoots to children’s parties. Nowadays, Evey not only sells prints at conventions, she is also sponsored by an online video game store, a clothing label and a dentist!
I’ve been meaning to get this cosplayer on the show since before Tropicon, and I’m proud to have her episode up a day before Evey’s next appearance at Sugar City Con in Mackay! But keep listening for Evey’s next venture – helping to organise a geek convention in her own neck of the woods, south of Sydney!
We geeks are every where, and in force. That, I reckon, is the main takeaway from this chat with Charlie Kennell and Grant Robinson. One is about to do what conventional wisdom would dictate as impossible – organise a pop culture convention in a semi-rural Queensland city. The other is about to do it again.
In this episode, I chat with Charlie Kennell, the organiser of Cairns’ first pop culture convention, Tropicon, and Grant Robinson, organiser of Sugar City Con, which had its first outing in Mackay last year and returns to Mackay this year, about just what it takes to manage and run a convention in your off-hours.
Major Sam is one of the better known cosplayers on the Australian scene. Although it’s partly because she makes sure to attend at least five of the Supanova pop culture expos held across the country each year, Sam still wouldn’t have the reputation she has if she wasn’t such an exceptional craftsperson!
Though Sam’s day job in the bridal industry employs her seamstress and milliner skills, becoming a full time cosplayer is still Sam’s dream, and she’s taking steps toward her goal, selling prints of her cosplays through her online store! Not only that, but she’s also garnered the attention of Australian geek female fashion label Living Dead Clothing, for whom she models!
It was great to chat with Sam about her love of cosplay, geekdom in general and discovering where your true joys lie, even within the hobby you love!
Forty-two episodes! Does that mean my guest for this episode is the Answer to the Question of Life, The Universe and Everything?
Even if not, it’s great to chat with someone who’s found some pretty good answers to the Question of Getting Paid to Play – and I mean answers, plural! Ash Chain is not only monetising her hobby of cosplay through print sales at conventions, she’s also been able to get into a day job that is all about artistic expression and her personal interests: Tattooing.
Ash has already made her name in both the Brisbane ink and cosplay scenes, and just recently she made the move from the Big Smoke to Cairns, where she will be running a stall at our first ever pop culture convention, Tropicon!
In her handful of years in the hobby, Vicky-Vic has risen to the forefront of the Australian cosplay scene, a feat doubly impressive when she not only lives a little off the beaten track in Queensland, but also works as a registered nurse, a job that would take the spare energy out of anyone.
Nonetheless, Vicky-Vic’s enthusiasm and fantastic results have made her star rise so much that organisers of pop culture conventions across the region have begun inviting her as a guest and also a judge of their cosplay competitions. And she’s not even monetised her play (yet)!
It was a pleasure to chat with Vicky-Vic, who will be one of the three guest judges of Tropicon’s cosplay competition, about her love of the hobby, the fun folks in the scene and some of the unique difficulties of being not just an Australian cosplayer, but a slightly remote Australian cosplayer!
I also make a couple of exciting announcements on the Patreon front at the beginning of the episode!
Beethy is a photographer based in Australia who has chosen to focus his craft on portraits of cosplayers; people who not just make costumes based on fictional characters, but also go out in public and bring life to those characters. That focus has garnered him not just a living wage but also a fantastic reputation amongst the international cosplay community.
Cosplayers around the world know that the name Beethy means eminently sale-worthy portrait prints of their craft and art, but they also know it means a fun being who brings joy to the process of making great photos. I got to sample his warm personality in this chat, during which he tells his stories of the community and how he became so well known within it.
Beethy also gives a good chunk of practical photography of business advice, including a crash course in taking good cosplay photos and the rules that Beethy built his business around. You may find his experiment into who produces the best photo prints to be a real eye ear-opener!
Oh, and there’s some random geeking out about video games and consoles at the beginning too! I love asking folks what they’re digging right now!