During my last year in film school, I took on an independent study project for three hours credit. I decided to write and direct a film adaptation of Glamorama, my favorite Bret Easton Ellis novel. It would be a short film with barbie dolls instead of actors, an idea I took from Todd Haynes underground film Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story.
About 20 friends of mine had agreed to do voices, but I still needed someone for the lead. So my friend Christina, who I was living with at the time, introduced me to the photographer Joseph Strand. I knew right away his voice would be great for Victor. He agreed to do it and also went on to co-produce the movie with me.
So this script I’d written suddenly sprang to shaky life during the week-long revolving door party/production. The voice actors would swing by, we’d have drinks, then they’d sit in the closet with a microphone and do their lines. It was a chaotic time filled with hilarity and with total euphoria and total madness.
As we photographed the scenes, the dolls began to revolt. They kept falling over and refusing to perform. Even simple tasks like holding the telephone were non-negotiables for them. So what did we do? We drank. We strategized and we made it happen. Then, we edited and edited. Deep-into-the-fucking-night-editing. Eliminating micro-seconds of extra space, adding breaths after key lines, and on and on and on and on.
And one sunny morning it was over and Joseph drove me to LAX.