Thank you very much for this information. You stepped right into the middle of this storm to tell us your side of the story. I appreciate that greatly.
I hope that you manage to obtain a variety of viewpoints of the furry fandom. This quite fuzzy topic can be approached from a myriad of angles. Even being in it for so long, I have a hard time reconciling how such a diverse group of people arrive at the same point. To focus on just a few of those viewpoints could risk misrepresenting large chunks of the whole group.
Realize that I do not support your documentary. Most documentaries that I have seen were done to expose information that is relevant to those who watch it. For example, corporate or government scandals that directly affect people's lives. These are necessary to inform the public of important information so that we may learn from those mistakes. Or documentaries about completely objective topics such as nature shows. What is to gain from informing the general public about a subculture of people who they have no interest in knowing about? Let me suggest that you make a documentary about hardcore bridge players next. If not, why not?
Regardless of your intentions, you 'will' get it wrong. Every news organization gets details wrong, even for seemingly simple stories. Furry fandom is a far more general and nebulous topic. There is too much within this group of people that can be adequately portrayed by a limited time production. You will step on many people's toes, and few will end up satisfied with the end result.
From what I have seen, you have so far kept to Southern California and only to Califur. Even within that group, you have focussed on a few individuals who may have played an important role in furry's past back when the fandom was more easily contained. Furry has evolved and progressed significantly in the past 15 years. You cannot hope to portray furry fandom accurately if you focus on the past and portray it as the present. There are tens of thousands of furries out there, perhaps more, with more joining in every day. Most would look upon the people you have focussed on and ask, "Who?"
I find it reprehensible that Califur as an organization decided to 'use' me to promote their very limited viewpoint. They did not go out on a limb to trust you. They put all of the attendees out on that limb. If the media reneges, who gets hurt? A corporation does not matter. Confurence has already withered and died due to mistakes such as these. Some of these same people now come back as Califur. Different name, same bitter taste. But it's the people who pay travel and hotel expenses to enjoy the company of friends who end up getting hurt when the media reneges on their agreements. It's happened before many times; I expect it will happen again.
While your documentary has a chance to be a shining example of how to portray furry fandom, the progress I have seen so far does not seem promising. It is too limited in scope.
Once again I apologize to those hard working members of Califur who were there, expending all their effort to make sure we all enjoyed ourselves. You all did great. Thank you for your time. Please see to it that your hard work does not go forgotten because of a select few members of your staff who decided to promote an agenda.Edited at 2008-05-21 09:19 pm (UTC)