Sdtrk: ‘What you want’ by My bloody valentine
On 31 Jul and 01 Aug, Sidore-chan and I were once again in front of the camera, for another documentary about high-end love dolls, Gynoids, and Synthetiks in general. Allison De Fren and Grant Mitchell, creators of the 2001 documentary ‘ASFR‘, had been working on this film for about four years, and upon Elena Dorfman’s recommendations, advised to arrange a visit and an interview with myself and Sweetie, due to my many insights on the aforementioned subjects. Despite the fact that I thought it would have been better to conduct the meeting later in the year, when the temperature was less volcanic, and despite having to make several snap decisions on arrangements and scheduling, I’d say the whole experience turned out rather well..
SUNDAY, 31 JULY
I awoke at an inconceivable 7am, in order to get myself and Shi-chan prepped for our impending festivities. Even though Allison’s flight was landing at 9.30, and it would take about an hour to get from Metro Airport to mine, I wanted to get ready ASAP, so I could get some Gundam vs Zeta Gundam in to take the edge off while we waited. 🙂
Shortly after finishing dressing Sweetie, I rang Marika, as she was slated to appear at some point to provide the perspective of someone who personally knows an iDollator, but she wasn’t awake. (She didn’t get up until 2pm that day.) I left a message saying that we’d be commencing shooting at noon, and I’d have my phone off, so I’d give her a ring when we were done.
What were we wearing, you axe? Shi-chan was wearing her black slingbacks, purple sheer hose, Hello Kitty knickers, short black PVC skirt, a black PVC waist cincher (the one with the buckles), a white blouse featuring cleavage, her silver O-ring collar, and her mid-length purple wig with the black streak. (She was pretty much dressed like she was in her ‘Black, white and purple’ shoot, for the most part.) I was wearing my German tank driver boots, black cargo trousers, a grey shirt, and a slim black tie with my steel tie clip. So, nothing unusual for either of us, really..
A little after 10am, I got a call from Grant. Sort of. I answered to the sound of Allison speaking to him, with some noise in the background. ‘Hallo? Hallo?‘ I repeated. What d’ya know! I’d been ass-called.
An ass-call, if you’re not familiar with it, is when you have a cellphone that has buttons on the face, and it’s wedged in a trouser back pocket, and through shifting and reseating yourself, a part of your body (usually your arse) manages to hit the Redial button. You have no idea that you’ve called someone, but there you are, letting your bum do the walking. I once received an ass-call that lasted a rather surreal two minutes, as this person that I knew was talking to her boyfriend. I really couldn’t make out what they were saying, but I could distinctly hear the Jackson Five on the radio in the background. I don’t know what to make of that..
They made a legitimate call shortly after that, letting me know they were en route but needed to grab some breakfast, so I directed them to Xhedos cafe over on 9 mile. Having done that, I got back to Gundam vs Zeta Gundam..
Round 11am, a red Taurus containing the film crew arrived outside my house. Allison, the director, a cheery and well-studied lass who could be Elena’s near-twin sister, and Grant, the producer, a tall Texan transplant, comprised the crew, as that’s what being an independent filmmaker is all about. One of the many odd-but-good-kind-of-odd occurences was that Allison looked rather like Elena in appearance and build. (I even jokingly greeted Allison with ‘Hey, Elena!’ when she stepped out of the car.) The truly odd part about that is that, as I’d said, she and Grant have been working on this Doll- and Synthetiks-based project for four years, and they’d started roughly around the same time that Elena began her ‘Still Lovers’ project. Neither one knew the other was practically working on the same thing until a year or so in, as they had both met Matt McMullen as well as a few other luminaries in the world of Synthetiks, and I’m sure at some point, someone said something along the lines of ‘Oh, you’re doing an article about RealDolls, just like _____ is!’ So at some point, since Elena had the lead with her project, she recommended that Allison attempt to get hold of me for an interview, due to my outspokenness on the subject, and also due to Shi-chan’s distinctive appearance. It took a while, but here we are, really..
In due course, we drove over to Woodlawn cemetery, reaching it shortly before noon. As I’d stated on several occasions, my greatest fear was that it would be unbearably hot and/or humid, but to our surprise, it was rather breezy, despite the fact that it was in the upper 70s, and pleasantly sunny. After some minutes’ setup time, Grant then shot footage of Shi-chan and I driving up one of the cemetery roads as if the rental car was ours, and stopping next to where I had chosen a particular monument a few days ago, where I was to carry her out to the filming area while filming continued. From there to the car door was about fifteen feet, and I guess I seriously overestimated my abilities, as about eight feet into our walk, my left arm supporting the Missus’ torso decided to retire early, leaving me to rapidly drop to my knees to avoid dropping her. Shi-chan escaped injury, praise “Bob”, but I don’t mind telling you; that was fucking embarrassing.
Things got markedly better after Allison helped me lift the Missus to the monument. I’d chosen it based on three factors: closeness to the road (ha!), relatively well-shaded, and with a great view of the algae-coated pond near the back. So as I regained my strength, Shi-chan and I sat in the shade, watching the dragonflies flit across the surface of the water, whilst Grant did some additional shooting. I would’ve had Allison snap a couple of still pics, but I’d left Clicky Mk II at home, unfortunately.. But I don’t mind telling you, it felt extraordinarily nice to be able to sit holding Shi-chan, in one of the few places where I don’t mind being out-of-doors, and I’m certain she enjoyed every minute of it as well.
We filmed for quite a while at the first monument, then we moved on to another one nearby, which was a well-shaded affair featuring columns and a bench. After getting ourselves photogenically arranged, Allison fired some more questions at me. Between the first location and here, the various topics covered (not in order, of course) were:
How I discovered the RealDoll phenomenon / Making my choices as to Shi-chan’s appearance, as regards her face, body, makeup, and dress sense / ‘Kitten with a Whip!’ / What Shi-chan ultimately means to me / What others think of the Missus / My estimation of Elena’s work / What is Goth? / What is Gothic-Lolita? / Detroit’s current downward spiral / Meeting other Doll owners in person / ‘Love object’: Good or Bad? / The meaning behind Sidore’s name, and some of her articles of jewelry / What’s in Sweetie’s purse? / Proper makeup application / Organiks vs Synthetiks / When did I first realise that I had a Mannequin and Doll fetish / Hans Bellmer and Oskar Kokoschka
And there’s about a third more subjects that were brought up as well, that I can’t recall immediately, but yeah, we covered quite a bit! As Allison said, we really should’ve brought more water, as we were getting parched..
Our party migrated to one last location, where Grant filmed me reading a interview-specific book with the Missus on the steps of a mausoleum. By that time, it was after 5pm, and we were beginning to lose light, so Allison wanted to drive round downtown to get some location shots. We packed everything back up in the rental Taurus, and shuttled the Missus back home, as it had been quite a day for her, as you could well suspect. Not to mention that she was in various poses for long periods of time, and I wanted her to relax in the neutral position for several hours, in order to let her silicone unstretch.
Allison, Grant and I took I-75 downtown, and parked in a car park adjacent to Hart Plaza. While Allison and I blabbed about several Doll- and non-Doll related items at great and engaging length, Grant wandered off and got some shots of the Joe Louis fist. About an hour or so later, he returned, telling us that he had been trying to get shots of the Renaissance Center (now the GM Headquarters), and security guards advised him against any filming. So he went across the street to film the GM building from there, and the guards still told him he was forbidden to shoot, even though he was on public property. The guards asked for ID, which Grant refused, saying he wasn’t doing anything wrong, and one of the four guards actually called for backup, at which point three plainclothes guards materialised in a car. Grant showed them his ID, figuring apart from the fact that he had nothing to hide, but he doesn’t live in Michigan anyway, and he’d said the plainclothes guys were relatively nice about it; at least, nicer than the rent-a-cop guards. Probably the most action those security tossers had seen in years, and they wanted to make the most of it..
So when the three of us were in Hart Plaza proper, Grant shot the RenCen from behind the Noguchi fountain. oooh, sneaky.
After supper at a restaurant in Greektown, it was time to bring an end to Sunday’s activities. Allison told me that with most of the people she’d interviewed, she has an average of three hours of good, usable footage. With me, she has around five hours. Plus, my informative, humourous and relaxed demeanour on-camera will make for good scenes. And of course, Shi-chan’s natural and unique beauty is a definite selling point. Heh, flattery will get you everywhere.. 🙂
I climbed into bed exhausted and with my arms and legs still throbbing from carting the Missus round so much, but she and I had done an ace job, and the day had turned out better than expected. Full points all round!
NEXT UP: Monday!