Fort McMurray film crew commits to celebrating cosplayers despite expo cancellation

A film company in Fort McMurray says it will produce its annual music video featuring cosplayers despite the cancellation of the hugely popular Calgary Expo. 

Every year the group, known as M’Guphynn Media, travels to the expos in Edmonton and Calgary to shoot a music video featuring cosplayers — people who dress up as characters from books, movies, video games or TV shows. 

Over the last seven years the team has made 20 videos. 

“The reason that we really wanted to do this stems from just wanting to encourage people to stay creative and not fall into a slump of feeling stuck at home,” said Steve Reeve, one of the project’s partners. 

Some people work on their costumes for ‘years and years,’ says Steve Reev. (Submitted by Steve Reeve)

The Calgary Expo is a four-day event that draws nearly 100,000 people. It was originally scheduled for April 23-26, and has since been cancelled. 

That means the 2020 Quarantine Cosplay Music Video may be the only way the hard work people put into their costumes will be celebrated, Reeve said. 

“Some people will put years and years into the same project,” he said. 

Anyone looking to be part of the project must submit a video produced following physical-distancing guidelines. As well, the team has a detailed list of instructions for the resolution, frame rate and runtime on the M’Guphynn Media website

Reeve said so far 10 submissions have come in, but he’d like to get more. 

For M’Guphynn Media member Ashley Laurenson, the Calgary Expo is more than just a convention. 

“It’s kind of like how I take vacation,” Laurenson said. And while she expected the event to be at least postponed, she was still “gutted” when it was. 

Laurenson had already booked her time off work and was in the midst of preparing her accommodations when she found out about the original postponement. 

A still from one of the video submissions for the quarantine edition. So far 10 groups have submitted videos. (Submitted by Steve Reeve)

“I was upset, but relieved to know that they were doing what was best for the community.”

Laurenson is reaching out to cosplayers across Alberta to see if they’d like to be part of the quarantine edition of the video. 

She said some people are finishing up their costumes, because they stopped working on them after the expo was cancelled, but now they are getting them ready to be part of the video. 

Every year the team takes video of attendees at the Calgary Expo. (Kryptonite Photography)

“It’s been really hard on me to be locked up in my house all the time, but when I’m sitting and I’m crafting and I’m making props … it really helps.”

The team is accepting submissions until April 26, although Laurenson said they may extend the deadline if people indicate they need more time. 

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