Archive for the travels Category

The Thrill of Being An Extra

Posted in movies, travels with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 20, 2012 by vagabondsaint

Last weekend (November 17 & 18), I got to be a part of something awesome.

I was an extra on the set of The Gamers 3:  The Hands of Fate. How did that come about?  I’m glad I asked!  I’ll tell you.

As I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned before on this page, I am the tournament organizer for the Legends of the Five Rings (L5R for short) playgroup at my favouritest comic shop in the world, Dreamstrands Comics and Such in Seattle (which is also the highest-level Stronghold Store in the state, at level 6 as of this writing!).  As an L5R player, I’ve traveled to other cities, like Tacoma and Portland (so far) to play in the big tournaments, and at those I met a guy named Casey, who is the TO for tournaments at Game Matrix in Tacoma.

Well, it so happened that Casey became the extras coordinator for The Gamers 3: The Hands of Fate and placed a call for extras on the Western Washington L5R Facebook page.  Unfortunately, due to scheduling conflicts, I could only make two days of the shooting,  the 17th and 18th.  But I, with another member of the group, went down to Game Matrix Saturday morning at the ungodly hour of 9 AM, hoping to be. . .an extra!

I’ll tell you, it was a blast!

Being just background players was a lot of fun.  Doing multiple takes can get a little repetitive, and miming playing a card game was something new for me, but you know, it worked out well!  I can’t give away too much information because I don’t want to ruin the movie for anyone (and I don’t remember if I signed an NDA or not), but it was really fun, the movie will be really funny, and with any luck you’ll see me in the background of several scenes (and one stellar turn as an arm double)!  All of the crew was friendly, easy to talk to, and a lot of fun to work with!  Also, Brian Lewis is a really cool dude and Trin Miller makes really good cookies.

While I was there, I got into several good games of L5R with people who beat me mercilessly but taught me mechanics I hadn’t thought of and learned to play AEG‘s new game Smash-Up, which was really easy to learn and a lot of fun to play.

You know, being in front of and behind the camera, being on the set, talking to the director and actors. . .it kinda makes me want to get back into theatre work. . .

VS

P.S. If you haven’t seen The Gamers 2: Dorkness Rising, check it out here, then buy the DVD for some sweet extras!

FurLife For Life

Posted in travels with tags , , , , on July 9, 2008 by vagabondsaint

Over the weekend, I attended a meeting of FurLife, a Seattle-based group of furries. (For those unfamiliar with “furries,” click here for a Wikipedia entry about the furry lifestyle. For those too lazy to click the link and read the damn article, I’ll sum it up: furries like literature, cartoons, and drawings about anthropomorphic animals and adopt furry personas, sometimes including a full costume, for roleplay online or in real life; sometimes for sexual play as well.)

Having seen this Youtube video (watch it for the song, if nothing else) a few days before the meeting, I was a bit apprehensive about, well, going there and seeing something I couldn’t unsee, particularly sexual aspects of the fur life. I was a bit calmed by the knowledge that the meeting was in a public park, but still a bit wary; it was my friend G who told me that, if nothing else, I would at least get something interesting to write about out of it. That decided it for me.

Well, I went, and I honestly had a good time. The people I met and talked to weren’t super-obsessives (as I’d feared), they were just normal people with the hobby of occasionally putting on costumes or role-playing as anthropomorphic animals online. I unfurtunately (ha!) did not get a chance to conduct a deep interview with anyone; hopefully, that will come later. From the conversations I had, though, they’re just like anyone else with a hobby; really not much different from model railroaders (i used to be one), comic-books fans (of which I am one), gamers (one of those too), obsessive readers (me again), or people who spend way too much time online (starting to get worried about myself here. . .).

You know what? I’m probably not a good judge of what constitutes normalcy. Whatever my capabilities of judging such may be, I went, I had a good time, and didn’t get freaked out or hit on (to my knowledge. . .I tend to miss such things when they happen) by anyone in or out of a furry costume.

Here’s what I learned about furries, this group in general and the lifestyle in particular, with pictures (where applicable) from the meeting:

1. FurLife (also called “Seattle’s Fur Mafia”. . .think of that what you will) started last year, on July 8, and this was their first anniversary meeting.

the original FurLife members

the original FurLife members

2. The costumes are expensive as hell; a good costume can cost $1500 and up. Some people make the costumes themselves, which is arduous but cheaper and involves a lot of trial of error.

Treever and Hush, wearing about $4000 worth of fur costume

3. The costumes are hot; of the members that actually had their costumes with them, they didn’t keep them on for long.

You can't tell from this picture, but this guy sweated off about 10 pounds that day.

4. A “furpile” is, well, pretty self-explanatory; a bunch of furries get into a big pile. While the reasons for such escape me, I have to admit it looks like it would be fun if there were more women and fewer men involved. (I should note that personal boundaries are well-observed in such piles.)

Furpiles: an easy way to get some tail (sorry. . .I couldn't resist)

6. Some furries feel their hobby has been given a bad rap by the “Fur And Loathing” episode of CSI, which has its own Wikipedia entry. From that entry: “Members of the furry fan community felt the show deliberately misrepresented elements of their subculture for the purpose of entertainment. Complaints ran from the lack of any real (or fun) events on the convention schedule to the incredibly high proportion of fursuiters, participating in novel activities (the “furpile orgy”) which would lead to hyperthermia almost immediately. Several singled out Rocky’s projectile vomiting scene as particularly unrealistic, as well as the fact that his suit was lined with latex.” Having seen and felt those suits myself, I have to say: lining one with latex would be akin to climbing into an oven set on “broil” and locking the door behind you.

The "Fur And Loathing" episode of CSI

The "Fur And Loathing" episode of CSI

7. Being a furry does not automatically mean you have to be vegan or vegetarian; most of those that attended were omnivorous. Only one person asked my dietary preference, and I explained to them that I am becoming a “compassionate omnivore” (thanks to Solitary Vegan for that term) and then had to explain what that meant.

8. Furries are just normal, cool people having fun and indulging in their hobby/escape from reality without harming anybody. While I can’t say I have any desire to become a furry, I can say that I enjoyed hanging out with them and may do so again in the future.

Some random pictures from the meeting:

FurLife, The Furry Mafia

FurLife, The Furry Mafia

A furry with her fans

A furry with her fans (she's a girl under there; I checked)

Ummmmmmmmmmm. . .

Ummmmmmmmmmm. . .

VS – 7.9.08