Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Women's Wear Daily Recognizes the Outsider

The Outsider
Published: Tuesday, November 27, 2007

By Sarah Haight

There's a moment in Jennifer Venditti's documentary, "Billy the Kid," when the film's 15-year-old star, all dangling adolescent arms and legs, paces the pavement outside his school. "I know I'm unique," he says in a voice-over in the film, which makes its theatrical debut Dec. 5 at New York's IFC Center. "I just don't let it go to my head."

It's an apt line for a film made by a woman whose career has heretofore been defined by hitting upon specific, even rare, beauty in unlikely people — the finely creased face of a coal miner, the sloped slouch of a Penn State undergrad. As a casting director for magazines (most often W, for which she has collaborated on 14 shoots since 1997), fashion shows, film and advertising campaigns, Venditti has stomped through one-traffic-light towns in West Virginia, crashed an African-American prom in Detroit and corralled a young butcher hauling meat on a downtown New York street (the latter for a Harry Winston shoot, no less). Long before Dove soap ads began celebrating the supple curves of "real women," Venditti was scouring suburban malls and street fairs, chasing after little girls and old men alike — the so-called ordinary folk whose specific appearances, and indeed flaws, have made them compelling models in campaigns for Levi's, Benetton and Banana Republic, among others.


Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The Academy & Documentary Film

Billy the Kid was not shortlisted for the Oscars, and Director Jennifer Venditti was not surprised. She knew it was a long shot for her film to be noticed by The Academy, as it does not follow an obvious issue based formula. That said, she already feels like she has won an Academy award with all of the support,recognition, and feedback she has received from other filmmakers and audiences across the world.

Thank you AJ Schnack for articulating so beautifully the thoughts we have all had as film makers working in the medium of "Documentary".


"...But as word began to leak last week about which films had not been named to the Academy Shortlist and, later, which films had, emails and text messages and phone conversations flew with words like "sad", "disgusted", "appalled" and "abomination". The feeling of anger and despair was not based in the exclusion of a single film but in a whole group of films, many of which pushed creative and stylistic boundaries or marked the arrival of a major new talent.

Instead of recognizing a few of these films, the Academy - following in the footsteps of the IDA just days before - ignored nearly every single one of them. And in doing so, put the lie to a year's worth of bluster that the Academy only desired to nominate "truly theatrical films"."

For Full Article, check out ALL THESE WONDERFUL THINGS

Monday, November 12, 2007

Bully Proof Underwear

We hate FOX, but we like these kids.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

...And Nothing But The Truth

Thank you Arne Johnson for shedding some light on this on going debate about what documentary truth really means. Whatever you decide the answer is for you, hopefully people will keep expanding their ideas and continue to make passionate films. Keep the discussion going!

Thank you John Anderson for thinking it wasn't possible that I could do what I did and have it be reality. Because it is.

To all that haven't seen Billy the Kid, come see my interpretation of my time with Billy and in turn have your own experience.

Read the Article in the Fall 2007 Issue of Filmmaker Magazine.

(Click below images to englarge and read full text of article)