The Geordie Film Experience, Part I

typed for your pleasure on 18 June 2006, at 5.09 pm

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. 🙂

Stay chooned!

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

Technorati tags: Davecat, Sidore, RealDoll, iDollator, MontiLee

Random similar posts, for more timewasting:

A perfect day for iDollators, Part II on October 10th, 2005

On being seen on May 21st, 2007

13 have spoken to “The Geordie Film Experience, Part I”

  1. PBShelley writes:

    Hi DC (& the ever-exquisite but touring Sidore-chan),
    What a great write up! Thank you for posting it, it was very informative. I can’t wait to see the final results.
    I’ll bet you really miss her though; time to bury yourself in projects and catch up on um… “stuff” That should cover it 🙂

    The only reason Nick and our deal fell through is that Nick’s money people wouldn’t okay his trip out here to the wild ‘n’ woolley NW Territory. We were all set. Well, Lily and I were very disappointed but rather expected that would happen; we are pretty far off the beaten track (thank God, for the most part). I was really looking forward to it, though apprehensive; Lily was not (go figure LOL), and I’d gotten a gardener out to landscape the back lot in case they wanted to film out there. That cost a pretty penny, d’oh!

    Anyway, I think I am done with it for now. Enough ups and downs for a llifetime, methinks. I have something to do. Keep us posted on the progress, I’m very happy for you and the soon-to-be-even lovelier missus ( and serious regrets for letting the cat out of the bag prematurely, really mea and extremely culpa; I’ve been very stoopid lately).

    Good luck in all your endeavours 😉

    PBS & Lily (& Eden who couldn’t give a toss, my guess is bitterness LOL)

  2. MontiLee writes:

    I posted my rememories. (RETRO-EDIT: they’re here)

    They were lots of fun, I look forward to seeing them again.

  3. PBShelley writes:

    Hi Monti,
    I’d love to read them (your rememories); I went by both the Diner and the Homepage that beareth your name, but didn’t find them! Where are these thoughts displayed? (However, I WAS extremely jazzed & happy to see your Neil Gaiman stuffs, he’s my favorite writer.) Veering dangerously off-topic, I remain.

    Oh, PBShelley & etc

  4. Wanda writes:

    Terrific story, DaveCat. Sounds like Nick was an okay guy. Glad they sprung for the dough to send Sidore-san to the fat farm or wherever. LOL.
    You have got a lot of moxie to go public the way you do, knowing what you know, knowing what has happened to you.
    Like you said once yourself to me, if I had a hat, I would take it off to you!
    TF1 was out here a couple weeks ago. I fed them bagels with peanut butter and pink chabls out of a box. One guy commented on the Franzia, “Je pense que ce vin a déjà été bu.” Hahahaha.

  5. MontiLee writes:

    PBShelley – I trust you’ve found them by now?

  6. Davecat writes:

    Wanda –
    Remember: one person’s moxie is another person’s idiocy! I think Lord Byron originally said that.

    Nice work with the bagels and chablis! That’s something I’d expect from you. 🙂 I hope they come to a good decision regarding filming you soon. You need more fame in your life! Maybe!

    Shame that Nick & Tanya didn’t get to meet Zeus. ‘Are all of the cows in the US this small?’ they would ask, incredulous. Perhaps when they return! Tell Zeus to get ready in the meantime. 🙂

    I gotta put some thought into what the Missus is gonna wear, that’ll actually go with the Lolita Legs. Isn’t she supposed to have handlers to mull over this bollocks? O wait — that would be me..

    PBS-san –
    Thanx for the thanx! 🙂 It sucks that they wouldn’t bankroll the visit to your (literal) neck of the woods — suckier still, as you had your garden redone. 😛 Although, that’s a good excuse to get a shoot of Lily & Eden enjoying the outdoors, hint hint..

    I’m fairly sure that Elena, our de facto agent, will have some other curious film crew/interviewer asking round again relatively soon. And that’s when you STRIKE!! 🙂

    Hugs & handshakes and etc!

  7. SafeTinspector writes:

    How exciting! I clap my hands and giggle in appreciation and anticipation. See my silly face light up for you? Well, it is.

    Are those other filmers out of the picture, or are they still interested in coming by for a chat after these brits wander off?

  8. PBShelley writes:

    Monti (& virtually DC as well),
    Ah, yes… yes… um (*loosens collar*) well you see, when I originally clicked on the link, your page came up with a blank body and I thought it was your Diner being re-done. Only the right column had stffs on it. And when I saw Gaiman’s book I became distracted hehe.
    So, today I clicked on the EDITed link in Davecat’s OP, and found the same page. THIS time I scrolled allllll the way down, where I found your “Inrerviews” article 😀 (*does happy dance but since I can’t dance stumbled about a lot*).
    I’ll read it with pleasure once the coffee kicks in 😛

    Funny, I have the same prob with Wanda’s Blog (Hi Wanda!), kind of; the left and right columns “stack” though.
    Maybe it’s time I get an actually “good” browser *sigh*…

    Anyway, thank you, looking forward to reading your take on things 🙂

    PBS & etc & etc

  9. MontiLee writes:

    It’s your screen size – you’re probably set to 800 x 600 and my blog is a pretty 1028 x 768.

    Firefox handles it beautifully.

  10. PBShelley writes:

    Hi Monti (and Davecat vicariously, Sidore-chan in abscencia) (sp),

    *now entering experimental temporary no-smiley-zone. Buckle up for safety*

    Nope, I too have my screen at a lovely 1024×768, and it’s pretty too. For a monitor setting, anyway. 800 x 600 is for weenies, anyway. Weenie PCs I mean. Sure.

    I at least was able to read your article just now, and enjoyed it immensely. I really felt as if I were there. After reading what you decided to wear, I really was! Um… feeling , that is. Er… as if I were there. I mean. *loosens collar*

    I hope you can report on The British Invasion, Part the Second, as it was great to read it from a woman’s perspective. And from a good and close Davecat-friend, as well. Lends an air of credibilty, as you know, DC is just TOO incredible.

    I actually managed to post a response and was DELIGHTED not to have to register in order to do so. YAY!

    Thanks again, and regards to all…

    *now leaving experimental temporary smiley-free zone. You may unfasten your seatbelts*


  11. MontiLee writes:


  12. PBShelley writes:

    Monti, the blush is becoming on you as well, if I may say so 🙂

    Just an addendum to/for you: That column-problem thingy has worked itself out; i just checked your page again, and everything is in its place, and all is right with the world (except the parts that are FUBAR )…

    Thanks again,
    PBS & the etcs

  13. *waves to the traffic* | little black duck writes:

    […] pair of stockings that will be completed when Sidore gets back from her stint in rehab. As Davecat said, there is more filming in store for when she gets back and I hope the weather cooperates for […]

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