When Bears Attack

Out actors, horny extras, and dirty jocks keep the fur flying as we visit the set of Outfest selection BearCity, a romantic comedy set in the bear scene, on the last day of filming in New York City.




The pitch? "Sex and the City with bears,” says Ferber, an entertainment journalist (and frequent Advocate contributor) also known for his short films Cruise Control and Birthday Time. “Bears will now finally have their own date movie.”

“The New York bear community has come out in droves to support the film, which could not have been realized without their creative input and passion,” says Langway, who’s either a bear or a chub or something else entirely, depending on whom you ask. But along with manly men of all imposing shapes, sizes, and hair patterns, there are some suspiciously smooth and slender sisters on set. 

Among a group of beefy, baseball-capped extras now emerging from their handsomely catered holding den is a tall, thin, full-bearded 20-something hipster-type rocking a necktie and white corset. He tells me he brought in his own corset from home “just in case” and that the wardrobe department loved it. Sure, his face looks like a schnauzer, but what’s this dude doing in a bear movie?

“It’s definitely for the bears, but we want our film to resonate universally,” says Ferber, who may or may not qualify as a cub. “Our lead character, Tyler — our ‘Carrie,’ if you will -- is actually a twink who enters this world of bears, so there’s an entry point for everyone. To me, a bear is a stocky, hairy, masculine guy, but there’s this whole politicizing of the labels that I’m not really involved in. My job is to make every line as witty and noncliché as possible. I’m somewhat familiar with the bear scene, but Doug is our bear expert.”

Though he’s not crazy about the label “bear expert,” stressing instead the idea that “bear is a state of mind,” America’s first bearcentric rom-com does appear to be in capable paws with Langway, who helmed the 1996 gay mobster flick Raising Heroes.

Tags: film