We've been working on the "really big shoo" (as Ed Sullivan would say) at Furry Night Live at Further Confusion since February 2007. We've thrown around all kinds of ideas, have had lots of head-banging-against-the-wall script writing sessions, informal meetings at Crack Chicken, and later, heavy involved day-long sessions where we bang out scripts in the heat of summer and while the autumn leaves blew by. I spent the whole year going after it as hard as I could, but the time flew by so fast regardless.
For this time, rather than just doing a fun stage act at FC itself, we were filming a full-blown movie or two on location, with HD cameras, a set, and with all the annoyances and needs that such a thing requires. We pretty much reached the point where the things we wanted to do for a fursuit performance couldn't be done with the limitations of the stage before, and so we went hard after doing our own furry movies. But being in location was a real challenge. I've done nine years of fursuit gigs now, and even then I had no idea how involved it was going to be.
The filming sessions of November and December were especially grueling. Man, it was cold. The sun is your #1 enemy when filming on location there, as it goes down at about 4:30pm and you scramble like hell to just get your filming done before the light fades. The fursuiters do fine in 38-degree weather, but the cameraman and the director freeze their asses. We now have the legend of the 4-hour slow-roasted lasagna, and the Safeway sandwich campout in the parking lot (followed by debauchery at the Duke of Edinborough).
For one of our major projects I took the highly perilous drive up Smash Mountain to rent some equipment from him, and he told me... for every minute of footage you take, it takes about a day to film and produce it. Actually, it took a little longer than that. I thought the tough part was the film shoot, but the editing was really the hard part. Doing all the editing sessions, the audio recording sessions and all the snippage of footage and audio was a huge amount of work. My hat goes off to Dax for being such a kickass video editor that he dropped our jaws most of the time. Also I want to similarly doff my hat to Kiswara, who did the most amazing movie score for our project in a mere four days from the rough cut. You guys are nothing short of amazing.
Also I want to mention Dusty, who has been my partner through the whole production, and a relentlessly motivated go-getter who wouldn't leave anyone alone when things needed to be done, least of all me. The big Samurai project would not have been possible without Dusty renlentlessly charging after it and challenging me to figure out what needed to happen next. I originally thought a few years ago that he was a big scary biker dude, but he's a brilliant and sophisticated artist that I have grown to understand these last several months. Dusty, I love ya, man.
Most of all I want to thank all the amazingly creative people that jumped in and lent a hand to get our film projects going when all I had were ideas and energetic drive to make them happen, without my even knowing all the details. It has been a bit weird being a producer (Executive Producer, even) rather than a director or the guy that's actually in the show, but I have learned to lay out my ideas, bring in people that know what they're doing, and get out of their way. In many cases we went in not knowing what we were doing, but we learned fast, and the story and the sequencing was developed as we all worked it out. The original script is marked up to hell now, and is only readable by a few people, as we've fleshed out the story.
I feel incredibly lucky and privileged to have worked with so many talented people, from the directors and the actors, to the soundtrack musicians and everyone all the way down to the foley artist and the Key Grip. I can now understand why people want to make movies so badly, it's both terrifying and exhirilating at the same time, kind of like riding a bull at a rodeo, only if it's Chthulu instead of a bull. I now understand why people in the movie biz in Hollywood are such a-holes, as they deal with this sort of stress all the time. Even a few months' taste of it in an amateur indie and furry setting has given me an idea of what it must be like. Triple OMG.
I can thank those that held things together and knew what they were doing for making things happen, and though there are too many names for me to remember and list here, I thank you all. Again, I feel incredibly lucky to have worked with you and made something as amazing as what's going to show in Furry Night Live 2008.
Ever since we started doing acts in the Masquerade/Furry Night Live at FC, we've pushed the envelope and tried to do a big-time show (or even a Mr. Big Project) to push the art further along and show what's possible and what would rock the house. I hope that going to film and doing things on location (and with the right editing) will bring it to the next level. It's going to be one helluva show, and I think we're going to break into the world of furry movies with this one. You just gotta be there.
I hope you'll all join me at Furry Night Live 2008. I hope to make it an event that people talk about where they were when it happened years from now. I want it to rock the house that much. Those of you in the audience at FC 2008's Furry Night Live will see that happen.