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Filming at Califur- documentary
 califur - (masinacat)
11:58am 21/05/2008
Hello Califur attendees,

I’ve said these things in the comments but as they tend to get buried I’m making a post here.

I am the filmmaker (Rabbit hole films) who is making the documentary. I had one cameraman with me at the convention.
I sincerely apologize for disturbing anyone at the convention, I feel really bad about it.

If you think you were filmed and do not want to be, then please do email me and I will not include you. There are many furs who are gladly participating and there is no need, nor do I have any wish, to include anyone who does not want to be in the documentary.

I totally understand anyone's not wanting to be filmed. The signs that were put around are the ‘standard’ signs that you legally have to put up, but  I realize (from a suggestion by a fur, and also a head of another convention) that a better way to do it would have been to make it very clear to every attendee, like at registration or something, that there would be filming going on, in addition to the signs that were posted.
Also we should have made it really clear to every attendee- not to worry, that if you don't want to be filmed to have a simple way of letting me or the camera guy know- so that we would be sure NOT to film you- and if you were in a scene by accident, we would be sure to not use that shot in the documentary.

Please know that in the documentary I will and have always intended to carefully edit the material and to be very careful with crowd scenes, etc. in such a way so as to not focus on people's faces who have not consented to be in the film.
By filming in the common areas I am trying to convey a sense that this is a real community, and to dispel the stereotype that furries live in their parents' basements and have no friends. Also when people see that there are hundreds, thousands of people who share this interest- it makes it harder to bash them or call them freaks.

That said, I understand and respect if you don’t want to be filmed.  Again, if you think you might have been filmed and don't want to be, please just email me, and I'll do everything I can to respect your wishes. I’m truly sorry to have upset anyone or to have gotten in the way of anyone's having fun.

As for the Califur organizers, I cannot speak for them- but I believe that they have gone out on a limb in trusting that this documentary is a genuine attempt to portray furries in a positive and fair light, and I know that was their sincere hope and intention in allowing me to film, after seeing how furries have been so misrepresented in the past. So if you are upset about the documentary, please blame me, not them.

I welcome any comments or suggestions; please feel free to email me at: info at rabbitholefilms dot com.

Thank you.
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(no subject)
05:48pm 21/05/2008 (UTC)
Tasty Eagle: Brillo-SK
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)
picword: Brillo-SK
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(no subject)
11:14pm 21/05/2008 (UTC)
you beat me to almost every word. im glad im not the only one who thinks the same on this topic <3
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(no subject)
03:09am 22/05/2008 (UTC)
Very well said thank you. I agree with you 100%.

we can only hope for the best, but must prepare for the worst when it comes to documentaries like this, hence the reason I have asked to be excluded from the final product.
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(no subject)
08:30pm 22/05/2008 (UTC)
Johnny Blanco
And yet these are the same people who want to have "furry acceptance" and the same people who dont' want to be treated like a freak and such. They want these things and yet do NOTHING to change things.

If you disagree with the viewpoints in this documentary that's fine. But at least know that this person is trying to shed some light on the subject.

I love it when people will think "Oh they'll get it wrong". You know what? If they get it wrong.. and the whole thing is "narrow in scope" why not INSTEAD OF posting this whole diatribe here..give her ideas on how to broaden the scope and make it more appealing to the masses

http://johnnyblanco.livejournal.com/97661.html is my response to this whole damn fiasco. Read it or don't.. but at this point all I hear is "waaah my con was ruined because of someone filming a documentary" Yeah? The crappy hotel screwing furries over had NOTHING to do with califur being "ruined"



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(no subject)
08:48pm 22/05/2008 (UTC)
Tasty Eagle: caspian dance
You misunderstood my statement. I had a great time at Califur. But the executive staff sold out their attendees to promote their agenda.

I do not support her documentary because she has not made it clear to me what direction she is taking. She can make it, and I don't care. I do plan on sending her information about what I think she may be doing wrong.

I am not looking for 'furry acceptance'. I'm not looking to justify my hobbies to anyone. I am secure in what I like to do. It's not illegal, and it does not affect anyone in the real world. Why should I thrust my hobby in front of everyone's face and demand that they accept what I do?

If people want to get in front of a media camera and let them write up whatever they want, that's fine. It's their neck on the line. I'm saying that 'I' did not go to Califur for Califur to put 'my' neck on the line. If Califur wants to have a documentary made about Califur, that's fine. But leave 'me' out of it.

Califur staff did not inform anyone about the film crew, or the still yet unnamed photographer from an unknown publication which may end up being far worse than the documentary. I do not want someone else's words and viewpoint attached to a photograph of me or my character. I'm there to enjoy myself in the company of my friends, not to promote someone else's agenda.

The very fact that you have such an opposite viewpoint behooves me make it clear to all involved that I would not want my image associated with your viewpoint.
picword: caspian dance
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(no subject)
04:33am 23/05/2008 (UTC)
I will have spotty web access until Monday... so can't really respond to this or your previous comment- but even though you don't support the documentary I appreciate your viewpoint and it's very helpful to get feedback and suggestions, even negative ones, because if you feel this way chances are that someone else does too, so it's important and helpful for the integrity of the film to know these viewpoints.

If you want to know more about the direction the documentary is taking, or rather more of my approach and point of view, you can look at what I wrote on my website.
Anyway, I welcome all comments, positive or negative, as long as they are said respectfully.
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