A journalist, I will call 'Simon' from the BBC contacted me 20/11/09, asking if I wanted to be filmed for a documentary about the Pickup Artist Lifestyle. He emphasized that he would not be taking a 'sleaze' angle on it; more to do with me helping clients enhance their communication skills.
Simon also said that he would like to be coached in the documentary & asked if it were possible for me to find a client who had difficulty attracting a girlfriend to be coached as well. We also agreed that there would be other PUAs in the film.
I contacted two other PUA's explaining the situation. They agreed to be in the film. I made numerous attempts to find a fresh client. Many guys were interested in being coached though understandably not in front of a camera. I was not able to find anyone appropriate for the film.
After three postponed attempts at finding a suitable filming evening, 5/2/10 was agreed on. Tom, Richard & I from the Brighton PUA Community met Simon in a Brighton bar 8.15 p.m. Within the 1st two mins of meeting Simon, I noticed that he had his arms folded tightly in front of him while he spoke with the three of us & he had a negative vibe about him. I discovered that his research on PUA appeared to be a quick scan of 'The Game' by Neil Strauss which I feel would be equivalent to Freud trying to understand human behaviour by reading Viz.
We moved to another bar as the 1st bar did not allow filming. On the way, Simon did some staged filming of the three of us walking along one of the city streets. After we entered the 2nd bar we sat outside as Simon set up a large tv camera on an obtrusive tripod & radio miked one of us up. With Simons request, we then took turns at doing approaches with groups of girls. Naturally, most of the conversations quickly went down hill as the girls immediately wondered what was going on. This created an awkward vibe.
After each interaction Simon explained the reason for filming to the girls, then questioned them, which naturally created an uncomfortable response. Tom, Richard & I were also questioned by Simon. His questioning style appeared to be to habitually use negative presuppositions. E.g. 'I suppose that didn't go too well for you, did it?', to try an elicit a negative response.
While Simon was 'interviewing' some girls outside the front of the bar about their reaction to one of the interactions with us, unknown to Simon, Tom had also walked outside for a cigarette & overhead Simon saying to the girls that he would rather watch the programme '24' on tv than be watching Pickup Artists. Tom, Richard & I were also questioned about why we would need to use PUA psychology.
Had we suffered from a lack of confidence or had some difficulty attracting girls at some stage? No, we said. We were happy & were interested in improving our social skills as well as helping others. We saw it as a positive experience. Simon certainly was committed to discovering a downside to PUA if he could.
Most of the filming experience was poorly orchestrated, with Simon losing attachments off his camera twice in one hour under peoples tables with him groping around on the floor to retrieve them. I was not sure exactly what to expect from the BBC though this wasn't it.
After Simon completed his filming around 11.15 p.m, Tom, Richard & I left the bar, went round the corner, walked passed another bar where 4 girls were sitting near the street window. I smiled at them. one of the girls produced her digital camera & took a picture of me. I suggested to the guys that we go in there briefly. Within ten mins these girls had taken more pictures of us, freely handed out kisses & mob numbers, given us lots of physical contact & one had shown me her silicone implants & suggested we meet up.
The following afternoon I had arranged to meet a former film producer. I explained what had happened the previous night. She told me she had made films for the BBC & Channel 4 for 15 yrs. Other than expressing an obvious disgust at Simons attempted portrayal of the PUA Community, she said the first step to making a decent film is to make sure you know your subject properly before working on it. Common sense really. She also suggested the PUA community get a video camera of our own so we can post videos on the Net in a way that is less contrived & biased which I thought was a good idea.
Simon told me at the end of the evening that he would contact me telling me when the documentary would be aired. He didn't, consequently I did not see it on the night, however a friend saw it & kindly recorded it for me so I could show it to the guys who naturally wanted to see it too.