Monday, February 8, 2010

Creating doll stories; or Mulder, Scully and Doggett are taking over my life!

Yeah, I started this post a few days ago, but of course I got sidetracked by the X Files gang - hence, the title!

And "Welcome!" to my latest follower, Chelle!


You may or may not be following my other blog, Doll Nation Network (and if you are - THANK YOU!) It's where I post my doll stories. It's an imaginary network for the Doll Nation, where I create stories for my dolls to watch.

Making up stories for dolls is nothing new - kids do it all the time. However, photostories have really taken over the internet as doll collectors find outlets for their creativity --- OH, WHO AM I KIDDING?!?


When I got into doll collecting, I spent my time on the internet looking for other people who enjoyed making dioramas for their dolls. I discovered Doll Divas, and especially loved their section called "Diorama Divas" I was IMPRESSED! Those folks on that board really inspired me to bring my A-game to the whole diorama thing. Take a look at their archives - I'm proud to say that I have a diorama there!

But after a while, I got bored with looking at pretty houses for fashion dolls. My dolls - not to be a reverse snob - are regular "people". I like making realistic dioramas, not just high fashion ones.

So I searched the web for other diorama sites, and discovered there was a whole world of collectors making dioramas...

...just don't call them "doll" collectors. Those guys who collect G.I. Joes and other "1:6th scale action figures" wouldn't like that.

These guys have some incredible sites and I'll try to list a few (along with some links.) But what impressed me the most was their story telling abilities, along with their dioramas. A whole new world was opened up to me. I even started collecting G.I. Joes and World Peacekeepers cause, well, they're cute guys! (Yeh, I can hear all the action figure collectors going "EWW! Girl Cooties!" - shut up!)

(Sidebar: One of my favorite doll stories addresses this - Mutant Goldfish Designs' "Rescue Mission" My favorite line? "Its ok dude, you're a civilian now...We all are, no wars to fight here." Hee!)

So what does all of this have to do with Mulder, Scully and Doggett from the X Files? Well, when I started collecting World Peacekeepers, I found a blond guy that made me say, "HEY! He looks like Doggett from the X Files!" And when I got up the nerve to repaint his hair so that he looked more like Robert Patrick (I used a freeze frame on the pilot episode of "Stargate Atlantis", on which RP played Colonel Sumner), then I had my Doggett doll. I'd already had Mulder and Scully and played around with doing an X Files story (and alternately a Stargate Atlantis story), but nothing came of it.

Until this year. I've been working on novels over the years and finished a few (four to be exact), but I needed a new outlet. Dolls and dioramas have been my obsessions for the past few years, and I guess it was just time to finally "man up" and make my own photostory. And I have to admit that the X Files were my first choice because, well, I wasn't inpressed with how the show ended.

(In fact, I HATED how the show ended. Don't ask - it's too long to explain, and I don't need a headache thinking about it.)

But doll stories, like fan fiction, are a way to recreate everything you loved about a show, and "correct" everything that you hated. Hence, the title of my doll story is "The Real X Files" because you know, as opposed to that stuff that happened on the show. (This makes more sense in my head.)

And now Agents Mulder, Scully and Doggett will not let me rest until I finish their photostory. It's like creating scenes for a mini movie - I even write a script! I try not to let each "episode" get longer than two pages handwritten. However, I admit I had no script for the first episode - sometimes you gotta let the dolls "speak" to you, just like I let my characters speak to me and suggest ideas. But it helps if you write a script to at least see if your ideas make any sense.

I also decided that I would treat this as a "season" of a television show - but not 24-26 episodes like most shows, because to me, that encourages "filler" episodes. No, if this is a real network - IF?? wash my mouth out with soap! - then the show has to have 13 episodes, which means, tell the story as efficiently as possible with no wasted effort, and have a story arc that MAKES SENSE.

Sometimes I come up with ideas for one-offs as well, and it's all just another way to have fun with your dolls. I've got some ideas for future "seasons" - but let's see how it goes with this first season of The Real X Files.

And here's that list of sites I promised:

Sean Huxter, 3D animator - Start from the bottom of this page and read his stories of his G.I. Joe Adventure Team's adventures, then go to his INCREDIBLE story "The Second Key to Time". That's right; it's a Doctor Who adventure. Not only is the story awesome, but the sets are too.

Deering Productions - He has other stories on a different page, but I recommend starting here because of the incredible sets for this (never produced) Star Trek photostory. There is a teaser story; makes me long for what might have been.

About My Work: The Dunedin Blog - Mick Baltes has incredible dioramas; this link is to the archives page (which updates). His Roman city is jaw-dropping in its detail - this is what I aspire to in my own dioramas.

Plastic!Winchester Theater - low tech sets; hi-larious stories based on the show "Supernatural". My favorites are the cracktastic crossovers with Doctor Who (the Tennant era) and Dexter (makes me want my own Dexter!Ken doll.)

The Brettish Aisles - a tribute in doll form to the career of actor Jeremy Brett. It was an article by the creator of this site in the now defunct Barbie Bazaar that got me hooked on making dioramas. No stories, but a made up universe featuring dioramas based on Jeremy Brett roles - and an interview with the doll actor who portrays him!

City Circlez - long running doll story, that I'm recommending based on the older episodes (before 2009 - in fact the only 2008 story I recommend is "Over at the Rultans".) I really wish I could recommend the newer stories, but alas, like the "Roville" doll story, it's a shadow of what it used to be.

Roville - I really liked this doll story better when the dolls were Mattel-ish dolls. Now I only recommend it for the fabulous high fashion dioramas. There's no archive for the older, BETTER stories, alas.

This is by no means is a complete list of the doll stories that have influenced me - however, some like the now defunct Kelley Avenue, are no more. But I hope the ones that are still around will entertain you and maybe inspire you to create your own doll stories!

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