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Thread: Animal Planet Otherkin series

  1. #1

    Default Animal Planet Otherkin series

    http://community.livejournal.com/otherkin/545137.html

    Apparently! I pretty much agree with what the people commenting over at Livejournal have said. It sounds dodgy to me.

  2. #2
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    The email itself smells a bit fishy to me, why would an animal planet representative use a gmail address? Furthermore, it just seems too juvenile to be real. My first instincts tell me its some kind of exploitation scam.

    However if I am mistaken, I'm severely concerned with how animal planet would represent the otherkin community. Would we be displayed as people with real thoughts and feelings or would we be displayed to the world as delusional freaks? I suppose that even with the best of documentaries its left open to public interpretation, but at the same time the way its presented could sway public opinion of communities like this, turning us into public pity cases or social pariahs.

    But I'm ranting, all I will say it smells fishy and disconcerting to me. I don't like it.
    "I believe I am what I feel I am" -Farley Mowat

  3. #3

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    I agree. And as somebody said at LJ, most people in the otherkin/therian community don't live especially different lives. I'm a therian, but I don't think my life is entertaining enough to make good tv. They'd want to use people who are especially 'out there', and we aren't all like that. And that concerns me because it would mean a poor representation of the community as a whole.

  4. #4
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    I wonder how many people volunteered for this by now.

  5. #5
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    I’ve already commented on the livejournal entry about this but I‘ll say it again - I don’t buy it. I smell someone looking for anyone to buy into it and send them their name, phone, and picture.

  6. #6
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    With the slightly incorrect details (otherkin for animal planet?) and the sketchy email address,(gmail address coming from a big tv network?) I just get this sense that exploiters, or perhaps something like 4chan, is behind this... Call it a gut feeling
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  7. #7
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    I would contact Animal Planet and see if it's either legit or a scam. They would be aware of something like that, even in the slightest. It will also be a good idea to bring it up with them in case it IS someone scamming around since they are using Animal Planet's name.

  8. #8
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    I commented on LJ, I'm Child0fBalance. It's highly suspect in my book.

  9. #9
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    I have reason to believe (beyond just being suspicious) that this either a fraud or highly unlikely to come to fruition. While Animal Planet does use independent film crews and producers, the caliber of the ones they actually use and the methods by which they seek people to appear on the show are not being represented here. I'm familiar with their M.O. and this is not it. When confidentiality is a potential issue, producers tend to be very careful to be respectful and professional in their outreach, and to reassure people of their credentials before asking for sensitive information. They do not use mass remailer services as their primary contact email for this reason.

    I'm sorry, but I think this is an attempt to "out" people for purposes that may range from 4chan lulz to blackmail. If you do respond, please ask for a verification phone number to an Animal Planet production office, and independently verify that number before calling. It is quite possible for a skilled individual to spoof an email address or an http: or https: address in your email (this is done for bank fraud and PayPal phishing email scams all the time), so I would ask for the phone verification and look up the number online to be sure it is what they say it is.

    And frankly, even then, please be careful. If this is real, they *will* sensationalize you and make you look much more exciting than you are, because they're making "edutainment" television in sound bytes. Their job is to entertain viewers, not actually documenting real science. Ask Coyote about "Animal Imitators", or ask Wolf Van Zandt about his experience filming a therian "documentary". They gave every promise of being respectful and not sensationalistic, but it doesn't matter. It never does; they always "shock it up". That is the nature of television; they are subject to increasing pressures to do this at every level of production. It generally does not end well for you or for the community, so please think long and hard before accepting even if it is real. If there is any possible way they can misquote you for greater drama and exaggeration or take what you say out of context and give it shock value, they absolutely will, and you will look like a crazy person because that's what's in their best financial interest to depict.

    The people actually doing the filming may convince you of their sincerity and they may even mean it. What you don't know is that there are multiple levels of post-production editing and voiceovers that are not done on the set where you are, and the scriptwriters who come in to do those things get paid to produce better ratings, period. They don't know you and they don't care about you. It is their paid job to "shock it up" and heighten the drama and excitement of existing footage that was quite sensible when it was originally taken. They do it on Animal Planet every day at the expense of scientific accuracy, ethics and professionalism. They do it to perfectly ordinary animal researchers on a regular basis, to the point that there are many who will not work with them. I guarantee they will do it to you too, and in your case they have a lot more potential "shock" material.

    The postproduction people will look for a good drama angle in every bit of footage and they will use it, even if it is dumbed down or exaggerated to the point of real inaccuracy and every actual scientist watching the show will shake their head in anger and disbelief. **This is what they do to regular scientists.** They will do worse to you.

    I'm sorry, but this is almost certainly not going to end well for the community whether it is real or a fraud. Because of the unprofessional M.O. however I'm going to call it as a fraud. I'm not thrilled with the academic standards or scientific ethics at Animal Planet, but the one thing they do right is basic professionalism at the field production level, and these people definitely aren't doing that.

    Imagine how many inquiries a serious animal researcher or large zoo gets from idiots who just want to waste their time asking stupid questions. Trust me, it's a lot. If a film producer wants anyone to bother contacting them back, they have to show their credentials up front. So they always do. It's just the default standard in this industry. Most researchers and zoos would ignore a query framed like this or stick it in the "probable nut case" pile and take weeks to get around to bothering with it if they did at all, because it patently looks that amateur. A real producer wouldn't be able to do business for Animal Planet this way.

  10. #10

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    You make very good points Savage ~ especially about the post production issues that might come up. Another user at LJ sent an email in reply to try and dig up some more details.

    http://community.livejournal.com/oth...18563#t8018563

    The whole thing sounds highly scam-tastic and unprofessional to me... Thinking about it, how many times have we seen things like this and how many times have they fallen through? Lots.

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