HBO Picks Up Documentary from Adrian Grenier

4/15/2010 Posted by Admin

Television News

HBO Picks Up Documentary from Adrian Grenier

By our guest blogger, Alexandra Cervenak

In a moment of art imitating life, HBO has picked up the US rights to a documentary directed by the network’s own “Entourage” star Adrian Grenier. The film, titled “Teenage Paparazzo,” follows 14-year-old paparazzo Austin Visschedyk, whom Grenier decided to chronicle after their meeting during a night out.

Visschedyk, who was 13 when Grenier began filming his life, is home-schooled so he can spend his nights out and about in Hollywood hoping to snap celebrity photographs that could potentially be worth thousands of dollars. After encountering Visschedyk himself, Grenier was intrigued by the young but talented and apparently foul-mouthed paparazzo and decided to not only befriend the boy, but also to delve deeper into his profession.

Grenier makes use of not only his time with Visschedyk, but also interviews with other celebrities like Matt Damon and Paris Hilton, other members of the paparazzi, and even historians, tabloid editors and psychologists. Since the love-hate relationship between celebrities and paparazzi is a complicated one, Grenier soon finds that getting himself entangled in Visschedyk’s life is more than he bargained for, as the boy begins to become a bit of a celebrity himself. But in an attempt to understand the strange co-dependency between stars who want their privacy but still need to be photographed to maintain their fame, and the photographers who invade this privacy mainly because it is their job, Grenier goes so far as to try his hand at paparazzi work himself.

This isn’t Grenier’s only foray into documentary filmmaking--his first was 2002’s “Shot in the Dark,” about the search for his father, which was also picked up by HBO. Even though “Shot in the Dark” didn’t make much of an impact, Grenier may have better luck this time as “Teenage Paparazzo” was also an official selection at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. And the documentary’s subject matter seems particularly apropos, considering that Grenier plays an oft-hounded by the paparazzi movie star on “Entourage,” a show which itself tries to deconstruct the “celebrity” industry.

And indeed, it’s this layer-upon-layer meta quality that makes “Teenage Paparazzo” seem interesting. A documentary about a teenager who doesn’t just idolize stars like most peers at his age do, but instead cashes in on this obsession with fame by becoming one of the people who fan its flames would be compelling enough. But add a celebrity who plays a celebrity on TV trailing with a camera the paparazzo who once trailed him with a camera, and things get really interesting. And throw in the fact that the network set to air all this is the network that played a large role in making Grenier a celebrity in the first place, and well, that’s one mind-melting pop culture puzzle of “Lost” proportions.

HBO has yet to announce its plans for “Teenage Paparazzo,” but in the meantime, the seventh season of Grenier’s “Entourage” is set to premiere on HBO this summer.


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