FREE SHOWTIME for SRIPPED “ON DEMAND” 54.4 million get free Showtime weekend
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March 23rd, 2010

LOS ANGELES, March 22 (UPI) — Showtime says its programming will be available in a record 54.4 million households for an All Access Free Preview Weekend.

The event includes everything shown on Showtime, Showtime HD and Showtime on Demand from Thursday through Sunday. It will be available to digital subscribers of participating providers only, the network cautioned Monday.

Included in the weekend programming will be the second season premiere episodes of the Showtime’s original series “Nurse Jackie” and “United States of Tara,” as well as two live events from Showtime Sports — a boxing match between “King” Arthur Abraham and Andre “The Matrix” Dirrell, and the return of mixed martial arts heavyweight Lavar Johnson after a near-fatal shooting to face undefeated Lolohea Mahe on “Strikeforce Challengers.”

Also on Showtime’s schedule this weekend will be screenings of the hit movies “Twilight,” “Tyler Perry’s The Family That Preys,” “The Reader” and the premium television premiere of “Saw V.”

Published: March. 22, 2010 at 1:41 PM

SHOWTIME TONIGHT 3/18/2010
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March 18th, 2010

Tonight’s the night… Stripped world premiers on SHOWTIME at 10PM.  Looking forward to all of your comments after years of patience.

Best.  David

Director - Stripped.

DVD avail on our website and Amazon now.

Talking with the director of Stripped, a different kind of Las Vegas movie
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March 17th, 2010

More than meets the eye: David Palmer’s Stripped documentary exposes Las Vegans with affection and respect.

Joe Brown LAS VEGAS WEEKLY

http://www.lasvegasweekly.com/news/2010/mar/17/down-essences/

Wed, Mar 17, 2010 (1:45 p.m.)

When filmmaker David Palmer set out to make a documentary called Stripped: Greg Friedler’s Naked Las Vegas, he was not a fan of Las Vegas. In fact, he set out to expose the place.

“I did go to Vegas with a preconceived notion,” Palmer says. “I thought I was going to make a film that would probably not be very positive about the place.”

In 2007, Palmer signed on to document a Vegas-centric art-book project by Greg Friedler, who had photographed everyday citizens, clothed and unclothed, for his previous books Naked New YorkNaked London and Naked LA.Stripped, which goes on sale on DVD and premieres on Showtime March 18, will be screened at the Onyx Theatre at midnight on March 24 and 31.

It all started, as do so many things, naked or not, on Craigslist. Browsing the site one night, Palmer bumped into Friedler’s ad seeking a filmmaker to follow his latest project in Las Vegas.

“When I agreed to take on the project, I was at the point in my life when I was not enchanted by Las Vegas,” says Palmer, who has made music videos for the likes of Mary J. Blige and others. “I had the Vegas experience in my 20s and early 30s, bachelor parties and Hangover weekends. I remember driving there that first time in April, alone in my car, with all my gear, and just asking myself ‘What am I doing? Why am I doing this?’ Now I can see a parallel of how people go to Vegas seeking something, but not knowing what.”

In August 2007, without confirmed subjects or even a shooting location, Friedler and Palmer began a 30-day search for Las Vegans who would be willing to bare body—and maybe soul.

Friedler’s project got a big boost from the First Friday arts festival in August. “The 40 or 50 people people we met there ran off and started talking about it, and that’s when we started getting invited to people’s houses, nudist parties and birthday parties, the Renaissance Fair scene …”

At first, Palmer operated at a remove from the artist and his subjects, a fly on the wall, observing Friedler doing his thing.

And after the month-long book shoot, Palmer took a year off from the film, nearly abandoning it. “It didn’t feel complete,” he says. “Something was missing—I didn’t know what the third act was.”

When a pre-release copy of the completed book arrived in August 2008, and Palmer saw the portraits of the 75 subjects who made the editor’s cut, he knew he had found his third act.

“I thought, I’ve gotta go find these people. We’re gonna show this book to the people in the book. So we’re meeting them a second time, going deeper into their worlds a year later. I’d seen them naked already, so there was that trust factor. It was as if I had been their shrink for 10 years.”

A single year in Vegas was like 10 years in his own life in Santa Monica, Palmer found. “These people had been married, divorced, disappeared, kicked out of their houses …”

“You cannot not respect and see the beauty in those photos and those people,” Palmer says of the UNLV professor who lost her boyfriend to the war in Iraq, the homeless gentleman, the unusually gendered couple. “The people who had the least had the most in a lot of ways, in this film. They had happiness, love, peace.”

Palmer’s camera also discovered the grotesque beauty of a mostly unseen and certainly uncelebrated Las Vegas. Treating the unique city as a character, the director/cinematographer purposely avoided any the traditional stock B-roll beauty shots of neon dazzle. He focused instead on the Double Down and its denizens, the ruined façade of the Moulin Rouge, an old Downtown theater, strip malls and motels.

“Vegas is a lot more than the Wynn and the Bellagio, that’s for sure,” Palmer says today. “The massive dichotomy is so staggering that you can go a block or two behind the apparent opulence and wealth of the Strip and see these blown-out motels and apartment buildings.

“That’s why I called it Stripped—obviously it’s a double entendre or triple, even, about stripping people of their clothes, stripping the Strip, stripping Las Vegas.

“There’s nowhere else on the planet that’s like it,” he says. “It’s such a struggle to live there, I think. Your mayor [Oscar Goodman] put it well in the film, when he says, ‘You have to know your moral compass.’ And there’s that social worker who says, ‘You will find yourself, you will find your weakness—Vegas will find it.’”

More

FROM THE ARCHIVES
Stories in our naked city(03/02/10)
FROM THE CALENDAR
Stripped: Greg Fiedler’s Naked Las Vegas
Onyx Theatre, 953 E. Sahara Ave., #16 (Commercial Center)
732-7225, onyxtheatre.com

Comment on This Print This

REVIEW - LV CITY LIFE
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March 11th, 2010

Off-stripOff-strip

Real Las Vegans bare everything for documentary filmmaker David Palmer

It’s the Las Vegas version of meeting cute: A bartender and cocktail waitress get together during a nude photo shoot at a downtown gallery. He’s looking for a little … inspiration, but gets something more.

One year later, Dana Martin and Brenda Topacio — now engaged — reflect on what brought them together, the making of the bookNaked Las Vegas.

“It was very comfortable,” Martin said. “Very liberating to get naked and be proud of it.”

Naked Las Vegas was the subject of the documentary Stripped, which premiered at midnight on March 6 at the Onyx Theater. In a way, this couple’s story captures the fundamental goal of the book, which is less about exposing breasts and more about exposing humanity — and getting to the heart of gold beneath the silicone implant.

Photographer Greg Friedler began working on Naked Las Vegas in August 2007. He put out ads seeking people who wanted to appear naked in a book. Filmmaker David Palmer documented the entire process and went back a year later to check in on 40 of his subjects. Some were doing well, and others, like the nudists, were not. They lost their house to foreclosure.

“It’s sort of like the opposite of the Taxicab Confessions,” Palmer said. “Instead of the passenger, this is the story of the taxi cab driver.”

Literally. There’s a taxicab driver in the book, alongside the familiar cast of service employees and entertainers that make up our community. They often brought more than physical assets to the shoot.

“It would happen in a moment,” Palmer said. “They would bare all, their bodies, their souls and their secrets. I could have been their shrink.”

But not everything went smoothly. You wouldn’t think it would be hard to find nude models in Las Vegas. There are, after all, an awful lot of people in this town who take off their clothes for a living.

“You have two sides of the coin with Vegas,” Palmer said. “We actually had a tremendous struggle because so many people didn’t show up when they said they would. And their e-mail addresses and phone numbers wouldn’t work.”

In other words, strippers are flaky. And don’t get him started on Elvis impersonators. But that’s not really what the book is about. Adult entertainers, nudists, escorts and fetish workers are as integral to the book as they are to the Las Vegas economy. But the book, like the city, also has attorneys, accountants, teachers and homeless people. It’s a fleshy parade of professional diversity. Here’s the funny thing: Without their clothes, there’s not much difference between the homeless guy and the small business owner.

There’s some sexual diversity in there too, especially in the touching story of one couple of genetic misfits. Both have XXY chromosomes, muddling their gender identities. They posed for the book to show people what that looks like.

“It’s a big step to take your clothes off,” said Joanna Peterson, one half of the couple. “But once you get over your inhibitions, it comes natural.”

It’s clear Peterson and her partner are more than sideshow curiosities. They’re night owls, New Agers and Double Down regulars. Most of all, they’re more than a genetic profile or a cup size. They are members of the Las Vegas community, in all its saggy beauty.

Stripped: Greg Friedler’s Naked Las Vegas plays 8 p.m. on Wednesdays through the end of March at the Onyx Theater, inside The Rack. It premieres on Showtime at 11 p.m. March 19 and will be available for purchase from Amazon.com on March 18.

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NPR in Las Vegas Interview with Cast/Director of Stripped
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March 7th, 2010
Nevada Public Radio Banner
In August 2007, photographer Greg Friedler came to Las Vegas on a mission. He wanted to find 140 Las Vegans who would be willing to be photographed naked. He also shot them in their street clothes and the book would be a series of matched portraits of these people from all walks of life - dressed and undressed.

Friedler had already done similar books about New York, London and Los Angeles. Film Director David Palmer decided to make film about Friedler’s Las Vegas book. It documents Friedler’s struggle to understand Las Vegas and those who live here. And along the way, we meet people who helped Friedler and those who volunteered to be photographed. The movie premieres tonight at midnight at the Onyx Theater on East Sahara Avenue.

Guests:
David Palmer, Director, “Stripped”
LaRue McCay, escort
Jesse Garon, Elvis impersonator
Robert Paul, “Hussla” and entrepreneur
Rebecca Zisch, Women’s Studies Professor and KNPR Commentator
Talitha Manning, Greg Friedler’s assistant in Las Vegas

Links and Numbers

LAS VEGAS Weekly 1st to review Stripped
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March 7th, 2010

Here is a link to Stories-In-Our-Naked-City.  A great first review for Stripped.

Image

Elvis impersonator Jesse Garon gets naked.

After undressing and interviewing ordinary citizens for the books Naked New York and Naked London, photographer Greg Friedler turned his lens on Las Vegas, which of course is built on people losing their shirts. While Friedler was in pursuit of willing subjects for his 2008 art book, he was followed by producer/director/cinematographer David Palmer, whose documentary Stripped: Greg Fiedler’s Naked Las Vegas has a midnight premiere Friday at the Onyx Theatre. It screens every Wednesday in March and airs on Showtime later this month.

Calendar

STRIPPED: GREG FIEDLER’S NAKED LAS VEGAS
March 5, midnight; March 10, 17, 24, 8 p.m; $10.
Onyx Theatre, 953 E. Sahara Ave., #16 (Commercial Center)
732-7225, onyxtheatre.com

Palmer’s camera trails Friedler, who resembles comedian Seth Rogen, in his meandering, amiable hustle to get people to participate. Friedler rounds up the expected showgirls, strippers, sex workers and swingers, but also gets casino dealers, CPAs and Ren Faire swordsmen to pose and talk about their lives. Friedler’s grail is an Elvis impersonator, and the elusive Jesse Garon ultimately does the King proud. There are also appearances by Downtown gallery owner Naomi Arin, who hosted the photo shoots, former KNPR interviewer Dave Berns and Mayor Oscar Goodman—all non-naked.

Friedler’s self-justifying about the Deep Meaning of self-display is a bit annoying, but about halfway through, the 78-minute film becomes affecting and even revelatory. The camera takes in views of Vegas that are seldom seen and certainly never filmed. And the nakedness becomes less an art gimmick than a reason to assemble and focus on these very individual individuals; the things they reveal about themselves and the rootlessness and anomie of Las Vegas are fascinating.

One unexpected and welcome side effect of Stripped: After watching the proudly presented, defiantly realistic physiques, you’re almost guaranteed to feel better about your own body.

Here is a link to Stories-In-Our-Naked-City.

When creative vision meets creative commitment
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October 28th, 2008

It all started with craigslist… really.

Not just how Palmer met Greg, but how Palmer and I met as well in its own way.  I suppose both Palmer and I owe a great deal of gratitude to Craig Newmark, the founder of Craigslist.  One day when I meet him, after thanking him I’ll tell him our story too as I respect his vision.

Creative vision is an incredible gift that resides in each and every one of us and if you’re really blessed with things working out well, you might even get to be called a “visionary” by those in and out of your field. Perhaps what visionaries should really be called are “risk takers” due to the thankless creative commitment it takes to even follow up on ones creative vision.

It’s my birthday today and as I type this from my home in West Hollywood during post production on STRIPPED, I find a comfort reflection of admiration in the creative vision and commitment of two men who uniquely capture life through lenses; David Palmer and Greg Friedler.

Ironically, I’ve never mentioned this to Palmer or Greg or anyone for that matter, yet to me, both Greg’s journey and Palmer’s journey of “Naked Las Vegas” are reflections of one another and perhaps when we’re out of the zone, hindsight will open up a clearer vision on that observation.

Ultimately both Palmer and Greg chose to commit to their creative vision at any cost and against every obstacle and to be ok in doing it alone respectively.  That’s not an easy thing to do… to walk away from everything and just go for it.  To risk your time, energy, bank account, career, quality time with family and go into the unknown.  You become an explorer.  I remember to this day the first piece of advice I gave to Palmer before leaving to Vegas for the first shoot… “You have to go to Vegas. Don’t let anything stop you. Never wait for anyone.  Not me.  Not anyone.  Ultimately its all up to you.”

I was watching a recent cut of the film a few days ago with less than fresh eyes and as I went through the ups, downs, sideways and backwards of the incredible journey Greg took in making “Naked Las Vegas”, I began to think about the incredible journey which Palmer took as well making STRIPPED.  I’m sure as he left for Vegas on that fateful first day, a lone driver in a red BMW packed with gear reaching into the unknown, he had no true idea of how his life would change forever in the coming months.

Although two men with creative vision committed to going it alone, in the end, both they and their creative visions took the journey together.

MA

10/28/08

Stripping down “Stripped”
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October 16th, 2008

David Palmer and I met half a year ago on set.  He told me about a project he’d been shooting, Naked Las Vegas, and asked me if I’d edit it.  I was already familiar with Greg Friedler’s work.  I remember clearly when I first saw his book Naked New York.  I was in a bookstore with my older half brother.  He took it off the shelf and flipped through it with me.  We both just thought “this is so cool.”  Since then, I’d occasionally see the book or one of the followups in stores and I’d point them out to friends.  The refreshing feeling of seeing human bodies without the baggage that we normally carry and dispense in society is still something that makes me think “this is so cool.”

I sat and watched all of the footage that David had shot over a few weeks.  The strength of the metaphor was apparent in every second of footage I watched - Las Vegas.  A place that is dependent upon facade to facilitate its own existence.  Las Vegas is a familiar destination to most people, but the city as a living breathing place…  a place where people actually live and work is not familiar to most.

This documentary doesn’t just show the living breathing Vegas.  It strips it down in every sense of the word.  As many of Friedler’s subjects defy expectations when they remove their clothing, the stories we chose to follow in editing this documentary all defy expectations.  There is more humanity and life at every turn than I had ever imagined we might find.

Many people associate Las Vegas with notions of ephemera and shallowness.  I think this documentary shows that human life in any context is never ephemeral or shallow.  I can’t wait for the journey we’ve been on putting this together to be one that we can share with the rest of the world.

Making NAKED LAS VEGAS into STRIPPED
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October 13th, 2008

I am writing this first blog entry on a flight from LA to NYC.  I realize this is the first moment I have actually had to reflect on when, where and how this all started. I have produced/directed many projects over the years, but they usually came together quickly… a few weeks or a few months. This has been a few years in the making.

Back in the fall of 2005, Greg Friedler and I first made contact, through Craigslist of all places. I was transitioning out of ten years of directing music videos and hungry to sink my teeth into a new, long-form noncommercial project.

One thing led to another, and finally, nearly a year and a half later, Greg and I met up in Las Vegas at a Holiday Inn eight miles off the strip in April, 2007. That day I started the doc. So many thoughts raced through my mind: What am I doing here? What is this journey I am on, and where will the path take us? Greg had a number of goals for that trip: to find a place to stay for the month-long shoot, to find a place to take the photos, and to find people to shoot. After the four day trip, none of those objectives had been met. Greg had intended to return to Vegas in three weeks to start the book, but three weeks quickly turned into four months.

In August, 2007, I packed up my car and made the sweltering drive from LA to Las Vegas in 109 degree heat. We lived in the Stratosphere hotel for nearly a month, and you will see some cool timelapse shots from my hotel room. The Encore (the second Wynn tower) was under construction then and only had glass on the lower half and the now-towering City Center was just a fantastic hole in the earth.  How quickly Vegas changes.

So Greg and I journeyed together on the making of his book, NAKED LAS VEGAS.

In August of 2008 - exactly a year after Greg’s shooting - I finally got my hands on a pre-release copy of Naked Las Vegas.  Almost immediately I realized that I had to head back to Las Vegas and track down as many of the 75 people as I could and follow up with them and show them their photographs.

Fast forward to mid-October ‘08.  Alex, the editor, and I finally signed off last night on what we are calling “Rough Cut #1.” Yes, it’s a film. Sure, the music is temp, as are the color, graphics, and mix, but it is a film nonetheless… and now the film has to grow, develop, and be polished.

The good news today is that we have made the submission deadline for the Slamdance Film Festival (the
other festival in Park City during Sundance and a huge launching platform in its own right). We would be very excited to be accepted to either festival.

I have to give a shout out of thanks to my editor, Alex, for all the long nights and weekends of work; to my producer, Michael Abbott, for getting the mayor of Las Vegas for the doc; my LV producer, Talitha Manning,
for making me a local in LV and for getting us key access for the film.

I’m now in New York for the official launch of Naked Las Vegas. Greg will sign books, and I will display a seven minute short from the film.

Thanks for your time and for your interest in STRIPPED.    David.