It’s been a long time in the making but we finally finished up our interviews this weekend. Rosario and I just got back from a trip out to LA where we were able to sit down with Jaime King, Milla Jovovich, and Chris Brenner.
We’ll have more updates shortly as we keep truckin’ along. Thanks for sticking with us in making this film a reality.
Sorry for the lack of updates recently. We’ve been hard at work on the doc but I wanted to take a second to let all of you wonderful supporters know where we are with completing the film.
Since the last update we ended up back in New York where we finished up our interviews with the Sorrentis. The interviews with Mario, Vanina, and Francesca were some of the most moving and powerful stories about Dave we’ve been lucky enough to hear and we’re so incredibly thankful to be able to include them in the film. We were also able to sit down with Richard Pandiscio, a close family friend who gave Dave his first editorial job while he served as Creative Director at Interview Magazine during the 90’s.
Since those interviews things have taken longer than we would have hoped…but it’s beginning to seem that delays are simply part of the process when making a film, and it’s something we’re coming to terms with. However with that being said the delays have been well worth the wait as things are wrapping up better than we could have hoped for.
About a month ago I was able to get back in touch with Jaime and after chatting with her about where we are with the project we met up in LA and went over the interviews we’ve assembled. After seeing what we’ve done so far she agreed to be a part of the project and do an interview which we’re really happy about. Also, we’ve been able to confirm interviews with some really important people from Dave’s life that we’ve really been hoping to include in the film. We’ll be going back to Los Angelas in early January for one last round of interviews and while we’re there we’ll be sitting down with Jaime King, Mila Jovovich, Chris Brenner, and Med Arbrous.
With that trip our interviews will be complete and it’ll be back to the dark of the editing room until we have our finished film. We’ll keep you posted when we finish our interviews and let you know how everything turns out. Thanks again for hangin’ in there with us through this process, we’re seeing things really come together and we can’t wait to share Dave’s story with the world once we’re done.
In recent years, America has become obsessed with “girls,” and the fashion world has a theory about why: actresses have lost their glamour by turning into real people, and models have replaced them as the stars of our time. Certainly models are this decade’s contribution to our already crowded celebrity pantheon. They are what rock stars were to the 70’s and visual artists were to the 80’s. The rise of models has less to do with the fashion industry, whose business has slumped since the 80’s, than with the potent blend of cultural preoccupations they embody: youth, beauty and, perhaps most of all, media exposure. Models are perfectly suited to a culture obsessed with fame for its own sake. Appearing in the media is their job — their images are their stock in trade. They are famous for being famous.
In the fashion world, there is a feeling that models have changed. “Today, you’re not looking for perfection anymore,” says Michael Flutie, the owner of Company Management, one of several new modeling agencies that have been founded in New York in the last decade. What matters more than any particular look is a model’s attitude, her ability to project an inner life for the camera: the inner life of someone whose surface fascinates us.
Hey everyone, so sorry for the lack of progress news about the project. We’ve got some cool updates coming soon but we can’t talk about them quite yet. Needless to say we’re still working away and we’re excited where things are headed. We think you will be too.
Helmuth von Moltke the Elder once said “No plan survives contact with the enemy.” Why might we be quoting a Prussian Field Marshals you ask? Well, lets just say things didn’t go exactly according to plan this last interview trip.
Now don’t get us wrong, we were able to get some really incredible interviews, but we definitely had a few unexpected bumps along the way.
We began the trip by shipping off to LA to meet up with Jaime King. With the interview scheduled for Sunday at three, we decided to leave on Friday to have time to prepare. When we ended up catching the second flight Friday (we fly standby) we were pumped to be in LA early. We met up with some of our friends who’ve moved out west, and spent our extra day prepping equipment and long boarding through USC.
Just as we were prepping gear for our interview Saturday night we got a pretty rough email from Jaime. At midnight the night before the interview she cancelled without much in the way of explanation. Needless to say we were left pretty bummed.
After a few stiff drinks we set out to mentally prepare to leave our lumps in LA and hit New York with a fresh start Monday.
When we made it back to New York our luck started to turn around. We were able to get in a ton of really fantastic interviews with people we had been hoping to talk with since the beginning of the project. While there we were able to collect interviews of the last of the SKE crew including Richie Akiva, Ivan Bess, and Matt Lenski. We were also able to gather interviews with some others folk we had been holding out for who played really large roles in Davide’s personal and professional life, such as Victoria Bartlett, Danielle Z, Jade Berreau, Havanna Laffitte, Maria Hadjidemetriou, and David Lipman.
Francesca, Davide’s mother, unfortunately had to reschedule her interview leaving us just a few more interviews to do the first week of September when Mario and Vanina get back from their vacations.
After our fourteen day trek from Chicago to LA to New York and finally back to Chicago we were pretty burnt out. Fortunately we’ve been blessed since the launch of our Kickstarter to garner some attention from some really great people and we’ve since brought on board several individuals to help back the completion costs of the project and fund our final trip in September to interview the Sorrenti family and the last few elusive interviews on our list.
While we still haven’t heard from Jaime about rescheduling the interview, we’ve been moving full steam ahead with post production as we wait for the Sorrentis to get back to New York. We’ve started to put together transcriptions and a paper edit of all the interviews we’ve done to date which has proven to be a rather large undertaking in and of itself (anyone that tells you transcribing fifty hours of interviews is a walk in the park is lying to you through their teeth). With the transcriptions now almost done it’s been really fascinating to see the story start to come together after what feels like a lifetime of collecting interviews, and we’re getting really excited to start cutting things together.
So while it hasn’t been the smoothest time wrapping up production, we wouldn’t have it any other way. We’re really excited to be able to share these stories we’ve collected with the world and we’re hoping you’ll hang in there with us while we put all the pieces together into what’s shaping up to be something we think is going to be very special.
Only a couple of years ago, plenty of kids like Justin-Sean-and-Richie were what this magazine called prep-school gangsters: private-school students living a wannabe gangster’s life. Credit-card scams, shoplifting, and drug dealing were important ways of getting money and status in the scene. It didn’t seem any worse to them than what some of their own parents or people in the news were doing with great success. One boy, whose father was a well-known real-estate developer in the eighties, once told me, “My dad’s a gangster. He sits at the dinner table laughing about all the people he’s screwing over.” “Ivan Boesky made $200 million in a year off a scam,” says Kim Bailey — who at 18 has left crew life behind and is also working with friends as a party promoter — with measured admiration. “Anybody who can make that kind of money off of a scam — what can you say? But then he got caught.”
No one seems more surprised by the way he’s turned things around than Justin. “Omigod, I was a hoodlum, a little piece of shit,” he says. “Doing graffiti, robbing stores, terrorizing people — I don’t care if you say it, whatever, it’s true. I was such a little crazer.” He was kicked out of Xavier High School and St. Peter’s Prep, a school in New Jersey, before landing at the High School for the Humanities. And that was Davide Sorrenti’s school.
When Davide (pronounced “David”) Sorrenti died in February 1997, it was an A1 story in the New York Times. The 20-year-old photographer — son and brother of two other prominent fashion photographers, Francesca and Mario — had come to symbolize the dangers of “heroin chic.” (Davide’s death was actually the result of a painful blood condition, Cooley’s anemia, complicated by heroin use. His mother is now leading a celebrated campaign against the use of underage fashion models, who are arguably more vulnerable to the lure of drugs.)
"Basically, Dave dying taught us that you can’t fuck around in life," says Justin. "You can’t do something for so long and think you’re gonna get away with it. Like with this new thing, kids on some positive shit … for me, I think it’s Davide looking over us."