Documentary on Newstalk: Princess Alien Doctor Hero

Are you a superhero in your spare time? We explore the Irish Cosplay scene...

In “Princess Alien Doctor Hero” we meet ordinary Irish people who become superheroes in their spare time.

Every day, all over the country, people are donning capes, masks, and wings, and boldly going out in public. Cosplay is more than a hobby for sci-fi nerds. It is an art form, an escape from the mundane world, and for some it is the means to become stronger, happier, and braver.

The documentary meets Cosplayers, costume and prop-makers, and event organisers. It journeys from a costume maker’s workshop to the noise and excitement of a comic convention.

In a garden shed in Dublin, Bryan Campbell sits surrounded by body parts. His speciality is the Predator, from the film of the same name. It takes him up to six months to create a costume, but when he wears it at a convention the time and effort are worth it.

By day, Chloo Cosplay works in a lab in Galway. In her spare time she is an award-winning Cosplayer. She explains how the Cosplay scene in Ireland has developed in recent years.

Eternally Miku is a Cosplayer from Offaly. She vividly describes her transformation from shy student to a powerful stage presence when she is in costume.

Stephen Lynch is a Cosplayer and costume-maker from Dublin. At first his family thought that his Cosplay was a phase, but they have changed their minds as he has received press coverage and feedback from professional designers.

At a comic convention we hear the sounds of Cosplayers, gamers, and attendees. It is described as a dozen different movies being made at once, full of excitement, action, and colour. Wayne Talbot is a podcaster on nerd culture in Ireland, and hosts cosplay events. After conducting a charity auction of fan memorabilia, he recounts the history of Irish Cosplay, and says that Irish conventions have the best atmosphere and the friendliest fans.

During the documentary we meet Emma, who is entering a Cosplay competition in a costume she made based on a pet dog she once had. Inside the costume she becomes a friendly dog, and is able to dance on stage, something she could never do in real life. At the end, we learn the competition judges’ decision.

Ultimately, through the words of the Cosplayers, we learn that there the main reason to Cosplay is not to pretend to be someone else, but to become a more confident version of yourself.

“Princess Alien Doctor Hero” will be broadcast on Newstalk 106-108 FM this weekend, Saturday 6th February from 7 to 8am and repeated later that day from 10 to 11pm.

BROADCAST DETAILS: “Princess Alien Doctor Hero” is part of the Winter Season of Documentary on Newstalk.

BROADCAST TIMES: “Princess Alien Doctor Hero” will be broadcast on Newstalk 106-108 FM this weekend, Saturday 6th February from 7 to 8am and repeated later that day from 10 to 11pm.

“Princess Alien Doctor Hero” can also be listened to online at www.newstalk.com

Podcast available at www.newstalk.com/documentaryonnewstalk after the broadcast.

CREDITS: “Princess Alien Doctor Hero” was written and produced by Michael Cullen. Narration by Leonie Quinn. Editing by Conor Lonergan.

The project was supported by a grant from the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland, as part of the Sound and Vision Scheme.

QUOTES:

“The neighbours always think it’s great fun looking out the window when I have tons of body parts hanging up on the washing line.” – Bryan Campbell, costume maker

“Fan creations are getting closer to the Hollywood film industry. Today’s Cosplayer is tomorrow’s wardrobe supervisor.” – Stephen Lynch, Cosplayer and designer

“Whenever I get into Cosplay it feels like Cinderella, in rags, going into a beautiful dress. I boost in confidence. I feel so powerful. I would love to feel like that every day.” – Eternally Miku, Cosplayer from Offaly

“If you ask any of the professionals that come to Irish conventions, they rival, if not beat, any of the conventions in the States for atmosphere.” – Wayne Talbot, Cosplay competition host