Tuesday, September 2, 2014


So Sunday was the last day of Toronto Fan Expo and thereby (duh) the last day of my shoot. It was the day I was supposed to meet up with Nadia and follow her through her Fan Expo experience

When I first envisioned this project I was thinking I would follow around some ardent fan as they interacted with the rest of Nerdom. Well, that is not what I got. Nadia is not a fan nor a nerd nor a geek. She came in costume as Black Cat but she is not really a cosplayer either. She is a roleplayer but not the sort you would find at a family friendly event.

Nadia showed up complete with her Spiderman, her own photographer and a couple of other superheroes. Not to mention a backback filled with handcuffs, riding crops and caution tape she later used to bind poor old Spidey up.

Yeh, not your average fan.

She was very much in "play" mode and was not very interested in stopping and talking to me. Some of that had to do with her entourage, they quickly became lost and disorganized without her. Most of the day was spent me following Nadia as she was stopped every four feet to have her picture taken, being asked for interviews etc

It did not take long for the play bag to get opened and soon Spidey was handcuffed, wrapped in caution tape, collared and led around by Nadia on a leash. I was curious to see what the reactions from the giant crowd would be and they were overwhelmingly positive. There were a lot of giggles, many "holy shit look at that" and from one little boy "Daddy, what did Spiderman do???"

It was interesting how some of the dedicated comic nerds seemed to totally disregard the fetish aspect of the scene and concentrate on the nuances of the costumes "That's the Black Cat from Issue 20" "Oh no, I would say it was from earlier than that" etc etc

Although mainstream comics probably do not dabble much in fetish it certainly is a large component in the fan scene. Nadia was attracted to some of the cosplay elements like corsets and waspies of course but there was also a lot of art on display that almost mirrored her play.

I know that that fan fiction, stories written purely by fans, often veer into the erotic and two of the most popular areas are LGBT and fetish. Fifty Shades of Grey, after all, started out as fan fiction based on the Twilight vampire books

An interesting moment happened when Spiderman (real name Brandon) asked Nadia to reverse the roles. So he collared her and led her on the leash. Miss Nadia was clearly unamused. More interestingly, there was very little reaction from the crowd. They seemed much more interested when Nadia was in control

As I followed them around I began to wonder how all of this would fit into my video. As I stated in an earlier post it's counter intuitive to shoot all the B roll before you do the principle shoot. How am I going to bring all this together; hours of convention footage and interviews with eager fans and Nadia playing our her fetish games on the convention floor

What I need is context.

My first instinct was to gather some shots of Nadia as she encountered certain events on the floor, showing her the footage and getting her reaction on cam. Then I could cut that into the video, perhaps mostly as voice over. Then I could contrast that with the other interviews I have, showing the diversity of experiences people are seeking when they go to the expo

Or, I could further explore the fetish elements of fandom, from costplay and art (which is ripe with stilettos and corsets and chicks getting tied up) to the fan fiction to roleplaying. That would require more info, back ground research and really, more interviews with people into the fan-comic-fetish scene, not just Nadia's perspective. That sounds like a whole other video to me, and perhaps I will go there but that would be a larger project with much more work ahead

At this point I need to touch base with Nadia, get some interviews from her, try to get that context before I can even determine if I have an actual video here

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