Furrywood was a location on FurryMUCK, modeled after a Hollywood movie studio. It was created in the summer of 1996 by Carrizo Kitfox, who is the owner and manager of the studio. He also directed nearly all the scenes shot at the studio.
Furrywood was created by J. Mateo Baker, the player of Carrizo, who at the time of Furrywood's creation was a graduate student at the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts in Los Angeles, California. Originally intended as a private residence for Carrizo, Furrywood blossomed into a center of roleplaying at FurryMUCK. Between 1996 and 1998, dozens of scenes were 'shot', with characters playing roles in preplanned, loosely-given 'scripts' and their actions being recorded and replayed using Squirrelly's movie.muf program. In 1997 and 1998, "Oscars" were awarded to the best performers in the previous year, being handed out the same evening as the real Hollywood Oscars.
Furrywood: The Golden Years
Between the summers of 1996 and 1998, Furrywood had a remarkable run as one of the more popular sites on FurryMUCK. It occasionally boasted more visitors than the West Corner of The Park. Some saw it as one of the best places on FurryMUCK for non-sexual roleplay. During this time, Furrywood attracted many actors, with visitors volunteering to play roles in scenes. Some only did one scene, but others returned many times, playing different roles in different scenes.
Some of Furrywood's first actors were Oswald, Patch O' Black, Manilow, Cainam, Fealous, Mistoffelees, Diskmaster, Thumpy, Shades McKatt, Melonny, Mahogany, Syrin, Sian, and Squal. Later on, new talent arrived with actors like Ronnie, Lanya, Champagne, Genevive, Olivia, DarkKitten, RocRolDis, Babs, Setsu.Mi.Sen, Rayjack, CanCoon, and Tyrannix. Since the Golden Years, Furrywood has found some even newer talent with Belize, Vrkur, Yule, Greycloak, and FoxPaws. Many more actors have performed at Furrywood, and some have even assisted in shooting without appearing on camera, like Artemus and Larna.
The Crew of Stage 1
Furrywood has two stages, with Stage 1 being Carrizo's favorite, and Stage 2 built for other directors to try shooting scenes.
Each stage has a 'crew' of spoofed characters designed by J. Mateo Baker, featuring some unique and interesting personalities. Particularly on Stage 1, where nearly all shooting was done, the crew was based on real crew members J. Mateo worked with while studying at USC.
- Arri, a male morphic wolf, is the cinematographer. He enjoyed flirting with actresses and often made passes at some of Furrywood's most famous leading ladies. His name is based on Arriflex, a company that builds professional film cameras.
- Nagra, a male kangaroo morph, is the production mixer. He is a constant sourpuss, always grumbling and feeling unappreciated. At the time, J. Mateo was considering a career as a Hollywood production mixer. His name was based on the Nagra, a device that had been used for on-set audio recording. His species was based on the kangaroo logo featured on the carry case for the Nagra J. Mateo used on his own movies.
- Senn, a male maned wolf morph, is the boom operator. He is usually very quiet and reserved. As a maned wolf, his long arms are perfect for keeping the microphone out of the shot. His name is based on the Sennheiser 416T, the microphone J. Mateo was using at the time for on-set audio recording.
- Janny, a female zebra morph, is the assistant director. She has a very loud voice and yells often. She is based on an assistant director J. Mateo was working with at the time.
- Urtha, a female hippo morph, is the makeup artist. She is very bouncy and constantly cheerful. She was based on a character in the movie Cats Don't Dance.
- Squib, a male squirrel morph, is the visual effects designer. He is very twitchy and can only speak in movie quotes. He is named after the device used in movies to make fake blood squirt from a simulated bullet wound.
- Merriweather, a male weasel morph, is the costume designer. He is openly gay and extremely flamboyant.
The crew of Stage 1 has remained the same since the beginning of Furrywood, with the exception of one character being added in 1998:
- Ellis, a female fox morph, is the prop vixen. Her name is based on the company Ellis Mercantile, a prop shop in Hollywood, California.
The Return of Furrywood
After J. Mateo's graduation from USC in 1998, Furrywood faded in use. The descriptions of its facilities were badly outdated and only one or two scenes were shot a year.
On January 1, 2016, 20 years after its initial creation, J. Mateo Baker announced a new Furrywood project, centered around a website at http://furrywood.com. This new site promotes narrative storytelling mostly through voice acting and motion capture. It opened featuring 394 recordings made by J. Mateo Baker during numerous Voice Acting Workshop panels at furry conventions.