Wednesday, November 2, 2011
NOW AVAILABLE ON DVD WHERE DVDS ARE SOLD!
And for those of you following this blog, here is part of the history of this film, from its inception.
I’ve been asked several times by various naturists why I never followed up on filming “The Naked Place,” the fictional film that was in production in the documentary, “Naked in the 21st Century.”
Nudists have no product to turn to for their own entertainment, except for ClothesFree Nudecasts (informative, but not entertainment), documentaries made by their own (often BOOOORRRRRRING), and the cult movies of the 1960s like Monster at Camps Sunshine.
So I wrote “The Naked Place” in college at a time when I fell in love with the nudist philosophy and read all I could about it. The title came from an eleven year old girl at Lupin in Los Gatos, whose mother told me the story of how she used to say, “Let’s go to the Naked Place” every summer, especially in public. (!)
The storyline follows: Michelle Shimizu grows up at “Nature’s Paradise” located on the beautiful North Shore of Hawaii. At three stages of her life, we see her as a teenager falling in love with a haole boy named Dan. They break up a year later; she marries a conservative Asian American lawyer. Five years later, she comes back to try to save Nature’s Paradise from anti-nudists determined to shut them down.
She returns to the same campground in her adulthood as Nature’s Paradise is now a state park now open for camping. Her daughter has no idea she’s a nudist, but there reunited with Dan and his new family, the secret is out and both families have secrets related to being modern-day nudists.
I decided not to actually do this film for one particular reason. It’s a melodramatic romantic comedy written at a time in my life when I had still believed in romance.
Anyone who’s ever read my poetry will attest that I’m not a romantic guy. So I developed two screenplays as a result of what I went through in dealing with actors, old school naturists, reviewers of “Naked in the 21st Century.”
The comedy “The Screening Room” was the result, and it’s currently in pre-production. Inspired by South Park and American Pie, this comedy boasts fart jokes, crude humor and outrageous lampoons of public figures such as Congressman Mark Foley and “that self-righteous fear-mongering bitch” Nikki Craft.
Am I just conforming to the current market of youth-oriented films? You better believe I am. This is a business and anyone who doesn’t understand that better start studying it. A wild comedy, I feel, is the best way to express the anger and the frustration I feel at all the misinformed and ignorant public figures trying to shut down nude beaches left and right, and at the same time, make pointed commentaries at the nudist themselves for deviating from the original intent of naturism as spelled out by Adolf Koch, and then Kurt Barthel when he founded the American League of Physical Culture.
As I made my current revision of “The Screening Room” notable differences stood out. These are some of them:
1. “The Naked Place” features nudist teenagers who have a strong moral grounding, They are chaste, obedient to their parents and very well read on their nudist history. In “The Screening Room,” the teens participate fully clothed, are rebellious and only know as much about nudism as the internet can provide. This is far more realistic, and one has to look at how do teens rebel. Alex Keaton in the tv series “Family Ties” becomes a yuppie, much to the chagrin of his hippy parents. Similarly, my character of “Joy” is the promiscuous (but discreet) daughter of the resort owners. The main character “Micky” rebels against his dad by applying for a job at the resort where his dad once had membership when HE was a teenager.
2. Anti-nudist parents, cops and preachers are portrayed as shrewish, misinformed and very threatening people in “The Naked Place.” In the “Screening Room,” I asked myself, what if I did the exact opposite? The Congressman who shuts out all the minors from the resort is based on Lex Luthor, and he is more informed on nudist history than our hero Micky. And like Congressman Foley, manipulates the press into believing that children are actually at risk at these nudist facilities, despite their existence for 80 years in this country.
3. In the “Naked Place” the haole (Caucasians from the mainland) are the outsiders. In the “Screening Room” they are the majority and nudists of color are portrayed as “different.” This is very much how I feel much of the time at a nudist event and I DO get sick and tired of those few people asking me if I speak English.
4. There is very little humor in “The Naked Place.” The tragedy that befalls the camp is no laughing matter and it’s clear that a large portion of their lives were taken away from the nudists when Nature’s Paradise shut down. I felt it was time to be a little more light-hearted in my take on naturism since a nudist film should not take itself too seriously, but just serious enough for you to understand the characters. Quite often a person becomes a nudist because it simply feels great, not because they’re dying from cancer or were in therapy for sexual harassment and want to change their behavior.
So there you have it. Look for the Screening Room to come out in the near future. And if the Naked Place should get filmed, chances are it will be as a short and end up as a DVD extra. Nudists need good entertainment that does them justice. They don’t need soap operas, although that doesn’t sound like a bad idea . . .