Justin “Fred” Reed, artist and propmaker, is a featured contestant on the series premier of Syfy’s new transformation competition COSPLAY MELEE – an epic showdown of creativity, eye popping costumes and one of a kind characters. Premiering on Tuesday, March 21 at 10/9C, the hour-long battle is hosted by actress and self-described “super fan girl” Yvette Nicole Brown (“The New Edition Story”, “Community”) and executive produced by Jay Peterson and Todd Lubin of Matador Content (“Lip Sync Battle”).
Each week, four world class cosplayers compete to create not only intricate full-body costumes – but fully-formed characters that they must bring to life through their own realistic performance. Guiding and critiquing them are a panel of judges including world class cosplayer LeeAnne Vamp, and A-list costume creator, Christian Beckman (“The Hunger Games”, “TRON: Legacy”). At the end of every episode, the winner will walk away with $10,000… and the right to claim cosplay supremacy.
When not starring on cool TV shows, Fred is a professional wargame miniature painter with over twenty years of experience. Before becoming a painter, Fred was a member of the British Army’s Royal Logistics Corp. After being medically discharged in 1992, he joined the team at Games Workshop (GW) in Bristol, UK, as a sales assistant. He worked his way through to a regional manager where he oversaw more than thirty stores throughout Europe. During his time with GW, he perfected his figure painting skills and won the Golden Demon staff award for painting and began to produce life-size props. After eight years with GW, he branched out and started his own figure painting company and built his worldwide business with clients on every continent.
In 2004, Fred met his wife, Elle, through a mutual love of figure painting and all things nerdy. After proposing to her in a drunken online chat at 2pm Eastern Standard Time, she accepted his proposal (the following morning after a blood alcohol test) and he moved to the United States in 2006. They married and resided in St. Mary’s, Georgia, for two years before relocating to Jacksonville, Florida. During that time, they discovered their love of cosplay and costuming and Fred took his talent for painting to the cosplay world, creating a portfolio of award-winning costumes. When not sewing ornate and elaborate gowns for cosplay, Elle is saving the planet as the Executive Director of an environmental nonprofit in Ponte Vedra Beach, hosts her own weekly radio show on WSOS 103.9 in St. Augustine, and watches Sci-Fi with their dogs, Dotsie and Creamy.