The DragonCon Forum

Giant Superhero Photoshoots Cancelled for 2018

Offline KPK

  • Formally KungPowKirby
  • ***
  • 1547
  • 612
  • Skyscraper
Giant Superhero Photoshoots Cancelled for 2018
« on: February 26, 2018, 07:12:44 PM »
This was just posted on the DragonCon photo shoot Facebook  page... super sad.


Hi, I’m Allen, the Owner of The Superhero Costuming Forum (SCF).  I’m also the founder of the Giant Superhero Photoshoots at DragonCon from way back in 2009, back when we thought 80 people was HUGE!!!  (lol)

Since that time, these superhero shoots have grown to be, by far, the largest at DragonCon.  What started off with just me (without a megaphone), eventually turned into behemoths, requiring teams of 20-30 people and months of planning. 

These shoots became so large that we began using every single set of steps at the Hilton, for an hour and 45 minutes straight!  Even in that extended time frame, it’s been difficult to squeeze everything in.

In 2016, we heard that the #1 question asked at the DragonCon Information booth was:

“When and where are the Giant Superhero Photoshoots?”

Unfortunately, in 2017, things changed. 

To address the increase in foot traffic, DragonCon, unannounced, began using the Hilton Back Patio steps for panel lines.  We arrived to find that some sets of steps were completely unusable with panel lines permanently snaking up and down them.  We found that other sets of steps were only intermittently available, as attendees exited down the steps when panels ended.  (Not to mention the outdoor DJ and Telescope issues.)

Frankly, these presented logistical - and safety - nightmares for our teams.  (Ex: try herding 500+ people on and off a set of stairs in 20 minutes.) 

Rather than just complain, we went to DragonCon with a proposed solution – not just for The SCF, but for ALL of us.  If you remember from some months back, we gathered public input and then presented an idea to DragonCon for an indoor photoshoot space, with bleachers, water stations, a costume repair area, backdrops, coordinated guest appearances, etc.  We believe this would have been a huge public relations & marketing WIN for DragonCon. (FYI: This was actually the second time we’d approached DragonCon with this idea.)

I am sorry to inform you that DragonCon has again rejected our proposal and will be implementing None of the ideas presented. 

DragonCon has simply (politely, albeit) let us know when they’ll be using the steps for panel lines in 2018.  They’ve also said they plan to have more and better signage in the stairs areas, so that groups will know what is happening and when.  Additionally, they plan to give groups a 5-minute warning before they know an area will need to be accessed/exited, so that stairs can be “cleared” and exiting can go as quickly as possible. 

Angelle and the DragonCon Group Photoshoots Page Team will soon be making an announcement going into greater detail on what we’ve learned from DragonCon, and how these changes are going to affect the 100+ other groups planning photoshoots this year on the Hilton Steps.  I’m asking that you please be patient with her and her team, and respectful of your fellow DragonCon attendees and volunteers.

I am sad to announce that Steps C, D and F are effectively no longer available for any planned photoshoots.  Furthermore, there will be severe time restrictions on largest set of steps: Steps E.

Due to the announced loss of Steps C and D, the abbreviated open blocks of time on E, and with only an assurance from DragonCon that all times are “approximate,” we simply cannot logistically plan how to reliably manage the 1,000-1,500 DragonCon attendees on each day and guarantee them a positive experience. 

Therefore, The SCF has made the decision to cancel the Giant Superhero shoots in 2018.

Please know we did not come to this decision lightly.  The shoots have become an “institution” of sorts at DragonCon, and well, we love you guys.

I am sure that many of you will want to offer your own suggestions / solutions.  However, and please trust me on this: we’ve already looked at this from *every* angle, and with well over 1,000 people attending each day, the logistics – and safety issues – are simply too difficult to overcome with the severely restricted use of time and space. 

Finally, I’d like to thank the many thousands and thousands of DragonCon attendees who have attended The SCF’s Giant Superhero Photoshoots over nearly the last decade. 

It’s been quite a ride.  Thank you for coming.

Owner of The SCF

Director, SCF GIANT Marvel Universe Photoshoot

Director, SCF GIANT DC Universe Photoshoot
« Last Edit: February 26, 2018, 07:15:40 PM by KPK »