Sdtrk: ‘Angle’ by John Oswald
Well, this past Saturday afternoon, I finished the first leg of filming with a whole new film crew. Yes, Shi-chan and I will be on telly again in a number of months; this time in England! HOOREJ
Several weeks ago, just after the wildly inaccurate Marie Claire UK article went to press, I was contacted by about five different media crews almost simultaneously. One was a photographer from Slovakia; one was a woman from Canada that I’d spoken to last year about conducting an interview, but the project was shelved for something else; two were from England; and the other was a television crew from Sweden. Due to my bitterness at the Marie Claire UK hack job, I pretty much told them all the same thing — sorry, there’s been some erroneous press about us, so I’m a wee bit discouraged, and Sweetie’s joints are really loose, so she’s a wee bit discouraged. Also, the weather’s really been shite* lately. However, both the Swedes and one of the English crews, unbeknownst to each other, made me an offer that I really couldn’t refuse — they asked if I would be more interested in participating if they were to send Shi-chan on an all-expense paid trip to the RealDoll Doctor‘s place in California, and have her refurbished at their expense? Needless to say, I didn’t expect an answer that enticing, but now the problem was which crew would I end up working with?
Several chin-stroking days later, I heard from Nick of the English crew first, and that solidified things more. We spoke over the phone for about three hours, and I pretty much sussed that he wasn’t out for a sensationalist approach. What he wanted to do was make a documentary that would be much like Meghan Laslocky’s famous article, where it would detail the relationships that various iDollators have with their Synthetik companions. A point in his favour was that he had previously directed a series of short films that dealt with owners and the bonds they formed with things dear to them — one of the subjects was a woman who had several AIBOs, for instance. Despite the fact that the weather had been filthy hot for the past couple of days, I agreed to participate. After all, anything that greatly benefits the Missus is a Good Thing..
After roughly seven hours’ worth of flying from London to SE Michigan, Nick, a Geordie by birth who resembled a slimmer, younger Harvey Keitel, and his cohort Tanya, who was born in Capetown and lived in Bogotá (cheerfully described as ‘the most dangerous city on the face of the Earth’) for a while, met up with me at my place on Thurs afternoon, so we could fully discuss the proceedings. The previous week-end, they had filmed fellow iDollator Everhard and his lasses, and their plan was to film me in almost a slice-of-life kinda style for Friday, and on Saturday, they’d film me prepping Sweetie and having her shipped out. Then, Nick & Tanya were to fly to the West Coast and film the RealDoll Doctor restoring the Missus, as well as get a couple of shots in the Abyss factory. Then they’d film Gordon Griggs & Ginger as well; they were going to film PB Shelley and his lovely lasses, but that deal apparently fell through; and then, they would return on 7 July, in time to shoot the Missus being returned to me. The whole approach struck me as being very innovative and sympathetic, and is the stuff of good ‘human interest’ stories. Plus, we didn’t have to worry about it being altered through editing, as Nick is the editor. Before we ended the eve at a Coffee Beanery, I showed them round the neighbourhood, as well as a few miles north, while Tanya regaled us with a couple of rather funny anecdotes dealing with Michael Caine and Sascha Baron-Cohen. Good stuff!
Friday was filmed mostly indoors, as it was rather warm out. Nick, with his HD-quality Sony videocamera, shot me eating brekky and answering a volley of questions dealing with how I became an iDollator, how I chose Shi-chan’s appearance, what she means to me, etc etc. Friday’s proceedings started at 9am, and went until 6, with about a 90min break at Quizno’s, so it was pretty knackering. People don’t realise how much filming takes out of you!
Saturday, however, was our stunning denouement. There was the fact that whenever we filmed, we had to turn the fans off, otherwise the lavalier would pick up the noise, plus the weather reached an oven-fresh high of 94°F that day, so you undoubtedly get the warm idea. Ugh. I’m going to put together a list of requirements, so that next time photographers or filmmakers come sniffing round, that either the visit takes place in Autumn, or not at all. Sweating’s really undignified, especially if you’re on camera at the time, but I just kept reminding myself that it was all for a good cause… We began at 10am; Nick filmed me going through highschool-era pics of myself and mates, while Tanya asked more questions. Since Nick wanted to provide the perspective of someone who knows an iDollator, yet isn’t involved in the culture, they got round to Monti‘s place at noon to interview her for a bit, as not only had she been the one to tip me off to the whole concept of RealDolls years ago, but she and I are the best of friends, and have known each other for about a quarter of a century. Egad, that makes us sound really old…
Nick & Tanya got back to mine at 3pm, where they shot me dressing Sweetie and doing her makeup proper, with additional Q&A all the while. They then filmed me going through the complicated process of carrying her down a flight of stairs, sitting her in a rolling office chair outside, wheeling her to the garage, extricating her crate from the toolroom off to the side, getting her into said crate, making sure she was properly seated, strapping her in, and locking the crate, all of which was completed just in time for the expeditor’s truck to arrive at 5pm on the dot. Again, apart from the heat, the entire operation went like clockwork.
It was a very surreal feeling to see the expeditor driver close the door to the cargo area, as that would be the last time I’d see Shi-chan for several days. I prefer to think of it as a case of she’s gone off on a holiday at Spa Jackson’s, for a nice makeover and some R&R. Maybe she’ll get to hang out with a couple of Dolls while she’s up there! Shame I didn’t lend her Clicky Mk III, in that case… Between now and the time she returns, however, my day-to-day existence will be odd. She’s been away for refurbishment before, but it’ll still be odd. Guess I’ll get some more reading in!…
But overall, the whole filming process went without a hitch. Nick & Tanya drove off Sat afternoon, in order to get some decent rest in before their departure Sunday morn. Undoubtedly when they return, it’ll be even better, as not only will Sidore be back, but we have some plans for that leg of the filming that’ll be pretty damn fab. I know what they are, but you lot will have to wait for the subsequent report. 🙂
EDIT: You can check out Monti’s take on her end of the experience right here. If you don’t agree that she’s a wonderful friend and a sexy individual, you are a tosser, and I will fling something heavy at your head
ANOTHER EDIT: Peer into the Future, and read Part II!
*to paraphrase Anton LaVey, ‘Summer is the only season that validates stupidity’. This is an irrefutable truth