Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Film research trip ends exotic avoidance

I wonder sometimes what people think about a guy who would devote years of his life writing a screenplay and producing a movie about a strip club.
 "Some big perv."
Fact is, until last night, I hadn't been to a strip club for at least five years -- including the entire time writing "Pink."
For those new to the blog, "Pink" is my sexy dramatic comedy about Sacramento's 1969 "bottomless" stripper trial. The indecency trial became a national story when the judge decided in order for the jury to determine whether the dance violated community standards they'd have to see it. The girls won the trial but the government changed the law making it a health code violation to consume alcoholic beverages in establishments that allow full nudity.
So what's a guy who doesn't care for spending money on exotic dancers doing writing a screenplay about exotic dancers? The short answer is because it a local story that needed to be told. When you strip everything else away its a story about free expression dressed up in late 60s attire.
Think "American Hustle" meets "People vs. Larry Flynt."
Most of my research came from old fraying newspaper clips. I didn’t set out to write a strip club screenplay. It started as a short term project and has steadily grown.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a prude (though "Blue Lagon" was too much for me went I saw it as a boy). I’ve been to strip clubs and enjoy seeing women naked as much as the next guy, probably a little more. The bulk of my strip club experience came from Bourbon Street excursions during college and the rush of bachelor parties one endures in their early 30s.
But I could never justify expending money on the experience.
More than the money, the transactional relationship bothers me.
While I firmly believe performers should have the right to dance naked in exchange for money, I much prefer nudity without compensation.
Pink can be a beautiful movie that makes audiences laugh, causes a modest arousal, says something about art, freedom and culture -- and makes money.
So for the sake of research I, joined by a female friend, went to Gold Club Centerfolds. After an absence of half a decade, the adult establishment seemed remarkably the same in all its soft skin and curvaceous glory.
I'll spare you the details (good and bad) other than to note I drank hot tea, a legacy of the "Pink Pussy Kat" decision.

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