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My new cosplay documentary being shot on film


Tyler Purcell
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Thanks guys!

 

The film is going to be titled "Beyond the Mask" most likely. The story is actually about artists who can't have jobs due to physical or mental ailments that prevent them and how they survive in a world that doesn't treat freelance artists well. The focus is around this cosplay/furry community because it's the most outcast group of people, with the most issues and it has the most drama. There are some really awesome stories to be told with some very emotional moments already shot that I can't wait to share.

 

The goal is to humanize a group of people who are being used for their skills like slave workers and are not being treated well by the general population.

 

I'm unsure of length, but depending on how much footage I can get from now until the end of 2019, it maybe a short (under 50 minutes) or a feature length (over 72 minutes). We will be finishing the project digitally and then lasering it back to 35mm for a festival run.

 

Yea it's been a lot of work. I've got over 8,000ft of 16mm and around 5,000 of 35mm shot so far. I'd say I'm around half way done shooting B-roll at conventions and the next goal is to do the interviews and go to people's residences to start sharing those stories. The interviews will be done digitally on either my Blackmagic Pocket 1080p or if I have the money to buy the 4k version I will use that instead, depends on budget and time. All of the B-Roll at people's residences and telling their life story is going to be on 35mm, where the convention footage is all 16mm. This is simply because when I'm shooting convention footage, I need longer rolls of film that cost less money.

 

We start the 2019 shooting season in a few days and will be traveling to Seattle, Portland, Phoenix and Boston for interviews. Our conventions are in San Jose, Austin, Reno, Pittsburgh and Seattle in 2019, which by the end of the year we should be finished shooting.

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Did you see Confessions of a Superhero? It's a documentary about the aspiring actors who dress up as superheroes in Times Square and pose with tourists. Might be worth a view to see what worked and didn't.

Yes! I did see it. For sure pretty darn cool doc. I actually really enjoyed it.

 

There have also been 3 documentaries made about this cosplay/furry community, focused on the social aspects of the community, rather than the people. Before I actually write my story (which will be soon) I will re-watch those doc's for insight.

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Hey guys! Little and EXCITING update!

 

Finally got my first teaser cut! Keeping it a bit on the down low right now as the producer doesn't wanna show it around too much. However, I wanna show it to help generate some buzz.

 

ENJOY!

 

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really enjoyed the clip teaser......love the tones and textures of beautiful film.....the voice over was excellent and very compelling to me......I am looking forward to watching the final piece....Im very much into watching things like this....the BBC are excellent at producing stuff like this that you would not imagine existed

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Thanks Stephen, yea this is kind of a BBC doc. Vice did a few stories about this community before, but NOBODY has focused on the artists themselves. Every video and film I've seen has brushed on the art aspects, but nobody has done a single long-form production on them.

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Excellent work. It would probably be the first "real" furries doc.

Thanks! Yea it for sure be a real film, vs the handicam/iphone shot "movies" about the fandom that have come out. I also am not focusing on the fandom, just the people and telling their stories. Hopefully my tactic will win! I got around 18 months to make something that works.

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Someone wrote it above already, but let me repeat it. Wow. That production looks wonderful. And the film image looks really wonderful too. Film at least sometimes (and maybe more often than not) seems to have a bit of an emotional edge, if I can put it that way, at least for many Digital has an emotional effect too but in a different way. Different emotion. It's not just the music, or the way it's photographed. I realize that's rather an inexact statement to make. There, I've done it - I've mentioned the film/video dichotomy/thing-amy again, and it's only February into the new year.

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haha well done Jon.. got in early :)..If I might be au contraire .. this is a great example of the opposite ... its the lady at the start.. the shots of her.. that's the interest here.. its about the people.. as Tyler rightly says.. these observational doc,s are just that..observational.. the skill is finding the story and the people..gaining their trust..being there with a camera and they forget you.. its also obviously nicely shot.. but the thing is.. it grabs your interest boom at the start.. we want to know more about this lady .. it could have been shot on anything.. if its good .. its good.. no viewer of this doc will care or more importantly , should care.. what its shot on.. IMHO.. (but Im always right)..

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The viewer doesn't care, no. But one of the things about film is that the film-maker cares, because it's his money running through the gate every second he has his finger on the button.

When archive film comes my way for viewing on the Steenbeck, I never get shots of the dog or holidays to Margate. It's occasionally historic, sometimes fascinating, but always interesting- because film always was (is!) so flipping expensive. Even if it was rubbish, it was well-produced rubbish.

Edited by Mark Dunn
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The viewer doesn't care, no. But one of the things about film is that the film-maker cares, because it's his money running through the gate every second he has his finger on the button.

When archive film comes my way for viewing on the Steenbeck, I never get shots of the dog or holidays to Margate. It's occasionally historic, sometimes fascinating, but always interesting- because film always was (is!) so flipping expensive. Even if it was rubbish, it was well-produced rubbish.

 

 

I think its a double edged sword really.. when those BBC Obs docs were shot back in the day.. actually they did shoot a ton of film.. I was loading it !..like a machine.. they didn't care about the film /lab costs..was the smallest expense in the budget .. the only pain was a mag running out right as something good happened .. of all genre the obs doc has benefited from video .. a good film maker /dp is not just going to shoot rubbish in the first place regardless.. but a lot of these doc,s its true that sometimes you do need to burn a bit to get the right moment .. and film is a drawback in these situations..the money constraints of the cost of 400ft 10 min load is a big negative in doc,s..

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my friend and fellow film lover Tyler, why did u shoot the interviews digitally?

Well, honestly I've only physically shot one interview so far. I just made a new friend with a great XTR Plus package, who is willing to travel with me to shoots. So we may use my other trick, which is to record audio of the interview and when they say something great, run the two film cameras for that one moment and then stop until another moment happens. It's hard to use that trick for emotional moments, but if we get the funding I'm expecting, we'll have enough money to blow some film on interviews as well, especially now that I have another camera/operator willing to help out.

 

We have Four huge interview shoots this year. First Portland in May. Then on the east coast in fall; Boston, New York and Connecticut. Arizona for a week somewhere in there and then up to Seattle to finish it off in the fall.

 

I plan on shooting around 20 400ft rolls of 35mm and around 40 400ft rolls of 16mm for those shoots alone. Then we have 3 more shoots at conventions on top of that... probably another 20 rolls for the conventions as well. So 60 rolls of 16mm will give me around 600 minutes of 16mm and another 100 minutes of 35mm, that should suffice.

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I think its a double edged sword really.. when those BBC Obs docs were shot back in the day.. actually they did shoot a ton of film.. I was loading it !..like a machine.. they didn't care about the film /lab costs..was the smallest expense in the budget .. the only pain was a mag running out right as something good happened .. of all genre the obs doc has benefited from video .. a good film maker /dp is not just going to shoot rubbish in the first place regardless.. but a lot of these doc,s its true that sometimes you do need to burn a bit to get the right moment .. and film is a drawback in these situations..the money constraints of the cost of 400ft 10 min load is a big negative in doc,s..

Not back in the day, no, but nowadays no-one wants to pay for your film. Tyler must feel like he's just emptying his wallet into the camera.

BTW I meant poor material, not bad work, of course. No danger of that.

When I was at college it was £10 a minute for stock, process and one-light. Quite a piece of money in 1980.

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Not back in the day, no, but nowadays no-one wants to pay for your film. Tyler must feel like he's just emptying his wallet into the camera.

BTW I meant poor material, not bad work, of course. No danger of that.

When I was at college it was £10 a minute for stock, process and one-light. Quite a piece of money in 1980.

 

 

Yes today it must be a pain .. I admire the people who are really sticking to film.. for sure it looked a lot nicer than the early video days.. but now I think its often very hard to even tell the difference.. even Roger Deakins says this..! personally I wouldn't want to be very conscious of using up budget just by the act of shooting.. sometimes you do just have to roll and see what unfolds in front of you.. and now with cards.. its only costing you the storage .. which is also being very cheap.. but yes not that you should just hose pipe all day long ..

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Not back in the day, no, but nowadays no-one wants to pay for your film. Tyler must feel like he's just emptying his wallet into the camera.

I'm not worried about getting my money back. This isn't a financial investment. This is a career investment. I've already edited two feature documentaries and have crewed dozens of documentaries. I feel ready to make a feature length documentary about a subject that's unusual, that may spark some interest in the greater world out there. As a storyteller, I'm constantly looking for stories like this and since joining this group myself, I've fallen in love with the stories these people have to tell.

 

My first forte into feature length documentary filmmaking had to be on film. I've spent so many years working up to this point in my life, if I copped out and shot it digitally, even with a great story, in my eyes it would be "average". Remember, we're not just shooting on film, we are doing a laser out to 35mm and presenting this on film as well. The press from that point alone will keep this on the mind of artists everywhere. We can use the "shot on film" aspect to help separate this from everything else out there. Thus, more eyes on our story, which maybe a costly angle for some people, but for me I think it's worth it.

 

I mean let's face it, if I had to pay retail pricing for everything; .44/ft for film. .25/ft for processing. .60/ft for scan, I'd be able to shoot 10 rolls of film and probably make a 7 minute short film out of it and be done.

 

However, I've spent years building up a low-cost alternative for all of these issues. It's literally taken me 5 years to get here and now I finally own cameras, lenses, support and have connections for stock, processing and transfer. Let's just say, my total (stock+processing+transfer) is less than an average 4k scan.

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