Tag Archives: films

Naked in Las Vegas

Greg Friedler is a fine art photographer.  Translated, he has a passion for capturing unique still photo scenes.  But his other finely honed artsy ability is taking photographs of willing people posed clothed and naked in front of a studio canvas. 

Las Vegas, undisputed City of Sin, was squarely in his camera’s viewfinder years ago and is now part of a documentary film, “Stripped: Greg Friedler’s Naked Las Vegas,” by David Palmer, which will premier in March 2010 and is planned to be on Showtime for two years. 

Their creative effort started in 1973, working from scratch and with no confirmed photo subjects nor even a confirmed location to shoot, Denver, Colorado-based avant-garde photographer Friedler and Los Angeles-based filmmaker David Palmer embarked on a multi-dimensional and highly emotional 30-day Las Vegas roller coaster ride, that would eventually bring together 173 naked human beings of every shape, size, and walk of life. 

Participants in the project entered a small white room with a red curtain and opened themselves up, literally, for what eventually became “Stripped: Gred Friedler’s Naked: Las Vegas,” baring not only their naked bodies, but, equally important, a bit of their inner souls. 

In 2008, with a pre-release copy of Greg Friedler’s book “Naked Las Vegas” in hand, David Palmer would journey back to Las Vegas and follow up interpersonally with 40 of the book’s true-life characters whom he had documented during Friedler’s initial Las Vegas shoot.  What would become apparent was that not only had the city of Las Vegas gone through very drastic changes, so too, on multiple levels, did the people whom Friedler and Palmer had photographed. 

Through Palmer’s discerning lens, which at times becomes so humanizing that even clothed, the film’s characters feel more naked than ever; viewers are privileged to see what happens when everyday human beings stripped of clothing, comforts and society’s judgments discover an even playing field of beauty, humanity and ultimately self love. 

The variety of visual candy is amazing.  From a homeless man who strips himself of his past regrets to find employment, a home of his own, and along with it his dignity; to a hermaphrodite couple exposing the truth that beauty and love can be shared beyond social stigmas; to an Elvis impersonator nakedly confronting his own lack of trust in society and finding faith in others by keeping his own commitments, “Stripped” prevails by sharing an honest, true story of ultimate triumph over what may seem like insurmountable social and personal odds. 

In our society that is overwrought with an obsession for money, fame and beauty, this collective of unique and sometimes bizarre individuals, living in one of the world’s most infamous cities, shows all of us it is possible to grow from crisis, to find the betterment of humanity through vulnerability, and ultimately be uplifted and inspired by the triumphs of coming to terms with who we all really are.

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The Road to ‘Fame’ Stops in Las Vegas Tonight

Tonight, Thursday, Sept 24, at 6 p.m. there will be a special “Fame” movie screening and red carpet at the Paris Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.  

Confirmed talent includes Emmy and Golden Globe-winner Debbie Allen.  Portraying a dance teacher in the original, Allen graduates to Principal Simms in the current film.       Additional cast planning on attending are Kristy Flores (Rosie), Walter Perez (Victor), Asher Book (Marco), Paul McGill (Kevin), Paul Iacono (Neil), Kay Panabaker (Jenny), Kherington Payne (Alice) along with director Kevin Tanchareon. 

A retelling of the original Oscar-winning hit film, “Fame” follows a talented group of dancers, singers, actors and artists for four years at the New York City High School of Performing Arts. 

If you’d like an article, interviews or professional photography with these stars for your publication, please fill out a comment to this post and Las Vegas Backstage Access will get back to you later today.

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Nevada Films Goose State Revenue

Although Nevada tourism slumped in 2008, producers and directors of film and television projects spent $110 million shooting and finishing shows in Nevada in 2008.  The results surpassed the $103.3 million the Nevada Film Office counted in 2007, when a writers’ strike in November and December brought production to a nationwide halt. 

Among the film projects in Nevada in 2008, were such major movies as “The Race to Witch Mountain,” released in March, and “The Hangover,” a paean to Vegas-based bachelor parties, scheduled to open this month.  

But the real revenue bang accruing from Nevada filming comes from television shows.  Programs including “America’s Next Top Model,” “American Idol,” “My Super Sweet 16,” and “Bridezilla” all were taped in Nevada in 2008.  “The Jerry Springer Show” and primetime dramas including Fox’s “Prison Break,” and CBS’s “CSI:  Las Vegas” were all filmed in Nevada, as well as countless music videos, commercials, student films and other media projects. 

Approximately 95 percent of the Nevada filming has occurred in Las Vegas. 

Since 2000, producers and directors have filmed or taped more than 4,500 projects in Nevada, for an economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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Stars of “The Hangover” Hijacked in Las Vegas Orgy-fication

Actress Heather Graham plays a single mom stripper in the new Las Vegas-filmed comedy movie “The Hangover,” which opens today.   During a break in filming, Graham went to see the Cirque du Soleil hot and naked “Zumanity” show in Las Vegas with co-star Bradley Cooper and director Todd (“Old School”) Phillips. Heather Graham

Every night, for the finale, cast members toss unsuspecting audience members onstage for a sexless orgy.  The night they visited, the Zumanity cast slipped Copper into the orgy, took off his shirt and rubbed him all over, according to Graham. 

Bradley CooperCooper was not only unsuspecting, but before the show, Cirque workers assured him, Graham and Phillips they would not be orgy-fied. 

“They were like, ‘We’re not gonna take you guys up onstage,’” Graham says.  “We were like, ‘Oh good’ – and then they grab Bradley, take his shirt off, and he’s like, ‘Ohhh!’ Really freaking out.” 

But it was all apparently in fun as they just laughed the incident off.

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Plenty of Lights, Camera and Action in Nevada

Lights, camera, action! Producers for feature films, reality shows, commercials, and other film projects are flocking to Nevada in droves, despite the sluggish economy. 

One reason that Nevada continues to draw film crews from around the world is that the locations are nearly impossible to economically replicate. 

“It’s hard to recreate the Las Vegas Strip in front of a green screen,” says Dannette Tull of the Nevada Film Office. “And the gaming – we’re obviously known for that. And we have unique locations, which is what makes Nevada so special.” 

The Nevada Film Office’s slogan is “Your Imagination, Our Locations.”  Nevada continues to be an industry leader in attracting film projects – despite the failure of a recent tax incentive bill to get out of the state legislature. 

Film projects in Nevada have accounted for more than $100 million in revenue for the past nine years in a row.

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Top Chef Filming in Las Vegas?

If the Tweets on Twitter are to be believed, the sixth season of Bravo TV’s Top Chef has reportedly begun filming on location in Las Vegas.  top-chef And apparently Los Angeles Times reporters are believers too, saying that filming for Season Six will begin today.

Las Vegas has already been an integral part of Top Chef history. The Season One finale took place at the MGM Grand and most of the season’s shows have found Las Vegas chef’s represented in the kitchen including Season One runner up Tiffani Faison, Season Two runner up Marcel Vigneron, Season Three winner  Hung Huynh, and Season Five chef Eugene “Gene” Villiatora.   

Althought the host site has not been officially named, the newly opened M Resort in Henderson, Nevada is rumored to be the site of the chef-on-chef competition.  

Other reports have Top Chef filming in Seattle, Washington.  However, it’s possible that both stories are true.  Bravo TV has announced both a “Top Chef Junior” and “Top Chef Master” series – spin-offs of the original TV show that targets a different caliber of culinary king and viewer. 

“Top Chef Master” will begin airing June 10 and will feature 24 prominent Las Vegas chefs, including Hubert Keller, Rick Moonen, Roy Yamaguchi and Ludo Lefebvre.

Keller has Fleur de Lys restaurants in San Francisco, his home, and at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas; Moonen co-owns rick Moonen’s RM Seafood at Mandalay Bay; Yamaguchi has two Roy’s Restaurants in Las Vegas and Lefebvre recently left Lavo at The Palazzo in Las Vegas to open Ludo Bites in Los Angeles.

Stay tuned to Las Vegas Backstage Access for more Top Chef details.

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Robin Williams’ Comedy Featured at CineVegas Film Festival in Las Vegas

Robin Williams is always a tough act to follow.  But at the 11th annual CineVegas film festival in Las Vegas from June 10 through 15 at the Palms Casino & Hotel he’ll be the last act. robinwilliams

His dark comedy “World’s Greatest Dad” directed by Bobcat Goldthwait will close the six-day film extravaganza.  The film features Williams as a high school poetry teacher trying to connect with his teenage son (Darryl Sabara) and an art teacher (Alexis Gilmore) – until a freak accident triggers both tragedy and opportunity. 

The very popular annual Las Vegas festival features a “Pioneer Documentaries” section featuring seven non-fiction films including the world premier of the poker documentary “All In.” 

“Diamond Discoveries” section spotlights new independent films available for distribution, among them “Palermo Shooting,” starring CineVegas chair Dennis Hopper, and “Vegas:  Based on a True Story,” about a compulsive gambler and his blue-collar family living on the outskirts of Glitter City. 

The festival’s “Area 52” is devoted to midnight showings of underground and cult films. 

A special section will also spotlight features and shorts produced in Nevada, or by Nevada filmmakers, including the world premiere of “Thor at the Bus Stop,” which follows a mythical creature on his final journey. 

More information is online at www.CineVegas.com

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