As most people reading my blog probably know, my claim to fame is that I was featured in a meme where I am observed stating “On all levels except physical, I am a wolf.” and then barking at water on a pier. These infamous seven seconds come from a one hour ~documentary~ I was featured in that aired on (depending on region) LogoTV, TLC, or other networks. The word documentary was used by ZigZag Productions, the company that produced the aforementioned television piece, and is not a word that I feel accurately describes the production. This blog post is going to be revisiting that documentary, which was shot in 2012 and aired in 2013, as well as my appearance in it. Let’s just get the obvious out of the way and say that I’m not a fan.
First and foremost, this is not a documentary in the literal sense of the word. The term mockumentary is decidedly more accurate, both because it mocks the subjects it covers and because it fits the literal definition of a mockumentary.
A mockumentary (a portmanteau of mock and documentary) or docucomedy is a type of film or television show depicting fictional events but presented as a documentary. TheseEnglish Wikipedia
So, let’s get down to business and I’ll pick apart each thing that bothers me about this documentary and my appearance in it:
- The production blurs the line between otherkin, therian, and furry. It is filmed in such a way to make these concepts seem as if they are the exact same thing, and groups of furries are filmed as if they are members of the otherkin community. Not only is this terribly inaccurate, but during an interview with the production team, I took a great deal of time to explain the differences between the communities.
- The language used throughout the production is entirely inaccurate. ex. “These people do not believe they are human at all” or “they think they are animals” – we know we’re human; we simply identify as a non-human entity in on SPIRITUAL or PSYCHOLOGICAL basis. We don’t think we’re literally animals, and most of us lead productive and relatively normal lives.
- The production cut many relevant and actually informational bits that were filmed out of the final production, including an interview with me lasting about an hour describing the otherkin and therian communities, shifting, and similar concepts. They were more interested in filming me shop at a pet store.
- I object to the inclusion of Paradox (Caleb), Shroud (Steven) and Menokh (Timothy) entirely. These people are way more active in the Furry Fandom than the otherkin community. It was also inappropriate to focus on their polyamorous relationship (polyamory has nothing to do with otherkin and is an independent concept) and blurr their fandom participation with their otherkin identity. Also, ensuring famed furry porn made it into a shot was NOT a classy move.
- The radio show they ran is specifically for furries and is called FurCast. Again, not an otherkin specific thing, despite the fact the mockumentary seems to portray it as such.
- I object to various aspects of my participation, specifically, various verbal agreements made with the production team were broken by them, including:
- The inclusion of my dead name in narration. I had specifically requested it only be brought up once, in reference to the name change, and not repeated. They consistently used it despite agreeing not to.
- Members of my family were interviewed while I was asleep, despite my request for them not to conduct such interviews, which they agreed to.
- I object to the inclusion of Luna’s depiction of a shift. That was not what a mental shift looks like at all. I’m not even sure what she was doing there other than making a fool out of herself on camera.
- They had the chance to film me at a wolf preserve, interacting with real wolves. I had this all set up for them. Instead, they took me to a dog store and told me to shop around. There were many such scenes where the ideas came from the production team or were otherwise scripted, rather than a depiction of my actual life.
- They included information about medical conditions, without my consent or knowledge.
- The infamous barking scene was fake and scripted; I was told to “look at the water and give us a bark”. I wanted to and would have preferred to howl.
ZigZag Productions had an agenda when creating this piece. They had a story that they wanted to tell, and they were not above manipulating and using people in order to do it. Despite them approaching the therian community as honest documentary producers, their conduct and their final production proved them to be anything but. I would also like to point out that none of the people who appeared in the documentary were compensated. It was a pure exploitation piece; nothing more, nothing less.
I’ve had many people tell me that watching the production helped them come to terms with their identity as a therianthrope or otherkin. Rather than feel proud, this concerns me and I wonder if they have a totally inaccurate depiction of the community after having watched it. I maintain that you can watch the entire (approximately) 42 minute piece and learn absolutely nothing about the otherkin community or the people featured within the production. It’s absolutely terrible and I give it zero stars. I would not work with ZigZag Productions ever again, even if they paid six figures for doing so.
Two cents from the wolf girl…