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Teenage Paparazzo


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Product Details

  • Actors: Alec Baldwin, Lewis Black, Noam Chomsky, Kevin Connolly, Matt Damon
  • Directors: Adrian Grenier
  • Format: Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: HBO Studios
  • DVD Release Date: March 29, 2011
  • Run Time: 94 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004FZWDQ0
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #366,999 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Teenage Paparazzo" on IMDb

Special Features

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Shot by actor/filmmaker Adrian Grenier (Vince in HBO’s Entourage), this 95-minute feature documentary is an exploration of the tenuous relationship between celebrities and the people who make a living selling their images. After a chance encounter with a 13-year-old paparazzo, Austin Visschedyk, Grenier takes a step back to think about the celebrity- obsessed culture that has produced the boy. Adrian starts hanging out with the young photographer, learning the tricks of the trade, as well as what made the precocious teen want to spend his free time running around looking for celebrities and trying to get that “perfect shot.”

Amazon.com

You can't accuse Adrian Grenier of being unaware of the ironies directing this movie. During his documentary Teenage Paparazzo, he makes ample references to the looking-glass fact that he himself is a pretty-boy actor who stars in a TV series about the craziness and rewards of fame (Entourage), who is making a film about the camera-toting insects who also feed off the great celebrity machine. He's taken for his central figure a 13-year-old paparazzo named Austin Visschedyk; so arresting was the sight of this tiny kid clamoring for his photograph that Grenier decided to focus on the boy as the subject of his documentary--a way of exploring why a child would be so obsessed with celebrity culture these days, and what that says about us, and… you know. Teenage Paparazzo is less successful as a piece of social inquiry than it is a profile of this specific kid, although Grenier does get a collection of grown-up paparazzi on record about why they do what they do, most of which comes down to a "We have to pay our bills, too" rationalization. One longtime photographer lets it slip how much he would die to be in Grenier's own movie-star shoes, a rare moment of authentic envy showing through. Grenier also brings in some of the big names of celeb culture, including a reliably clueless Paris Hilton (and, inevitably, Perez Hilton), Eva Longoria, and Brooke Shields. More jaundiced and articulate observers, such as Matt Damon and Alec Baldwin, give the goods on what it's like to be swarmed by paparazzi. All this adds up to not much more than you'd probably already known about the phenomenon, except for the very personalized spectacle of Austin running around the streets of L.A. at night, wondering whether Lindsay Lohan might be exiting a restaurant somewhere. And that is indeed a sobering sight. --Robert Horton

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By HollyP on March 16, 2011
Format: DVD
I really love Adrian Grenier's perspective on all things paparazzi. Really cool to see what it's like for someone like Adrian- or Paris Hilton- who is always in the spotlight. This movie is completely unique and thought provoking. I saw it months ago and am still haunted and inspired by it. Adrian Grenier is proving himself to be a impressive director.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Don Schwartz on January 6, 2011
Format: DVD
Adrian Grenier, the lead actor in HBO's long-running Entourage series, discovers his life, inevitably, imitating his art. On his journey through celebrity-land Grenier has, inevitably again, become annoyed by and curious about the world of celebrity photographers - the ones with whom you don't have an appointment.

Everything in this wild and woolly world is normal - for a handsome rising star, that is - until one of his `sprayings' (When a paparazzo sets their camera to automatically take several shots in a very short period of time, the verb `to spray' is utilized to describe the phenomenon. `I sprayed her,' or, `I got sprayed'. With the flash on, the sprayee's eyesight is temporarily diminished. The metaphor to utilizing a machine gun is noted.) As Grenier's sight recovered, he noticed that the shooter was a young boy. "How old are you?" Grenier asked. "Thirteen," the boy answered.

Thus, a great documentary was born. Grenier decided to befriend the boy, Austin Visschedyk, to learn about the world of the paparazzi, and, especially, about how and why it is that a 13-year old prodigy has joined their small celebrity-chasing cult.

While providing a glimpse, as fascinating as it is disturbing, into paparazzi world, "Teenage Paparazzo" profiles Visschedyk's work and character as well as the budding friendship between the teenage `pap' and the risings star. The young boy becomes the star's teacher. Because of Grenier's tenacity in this project, his consistent presence with nomadic groups of paparazzi, he, inevitably yet again, decides to walk a mile in the other side's shoes. Visschedyk helps him buy a `starter camera', and the two go `papping'.

But all this is simply the context for a much-more fascinating story - or stories.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jim Shaw on July 14, 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
A terrific story of a boy living his dream and succeeding until an adult interferes and ruins the boys dream
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By S. Smith-Peter on August 11, 2012
Format: DVD
I watched this documentary without expecting much of a cultural critique, but I was pleasantly surprised at how deeply it went into the issues of celebrity culture in American and the world. By looking at the case of a teenage paparazzo (13 when the documentary began), the film, narrated by Adrien Grenier, explores the corrosive effects of celebrity culture.

We begin by liking Austin Visschedyk, the 13-year-old pap, as he calls himself, but over the course of the movie we see him becoming worse and worse. Similarly, we also become more aware of the negative effects of the society's obsession with celebrities as a means of escape, as a way to imitiate the powerful, and as a way for media outlets to make money.

I suppose I wasn't expecting anything deep because Grenier is a celeb himself, but one of the somewhat ironic lessons of the film is that celebrities are people too as well as commodities. Of course this is obvious but it's something well worth being reminded of.

And the scene where Paris Hilton reacts to the myth of Narcissus: believe me, you have to see it. I'm not saying anything more for fear of succumbing to celebrity culture myself.
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Format: DVD
Yes, it is "Teenage Paparazzo," not "Paparazzi." The singular noun has to be used because the documentary is about one Austin Visschedyk, a real-life 13-year-old boy chasing the Hollywood celebrity. Directed by Adrian Grenier, star of the TV series "Entourage," who encountered and was instantly intrigued by the sight of a boy holding a huge camera, the film records the life of Austin Visschedyk living in West Hollywood, and examines the relationship between celebrities and paparazzi.

To understand what drives Austin Visschedyk (or the paparazzi and some media) to go to such lengths in order to get a photo of a celebrity, Adrian Grenier decides to follow the boy and how he "works" (often at midnight) waiting for the celebrities, surrounded by adults. Grenier even joins his activities disguised as a paparazzo himself. These are pretty fascinating moments.

Grenier also interviews Austen's parents to know what they really think about what their son is doing. The film wisely avoids falling into the pitfall of being overly judgmental, though Grenier, it is clear, is concerned about the boy's future, as seen in the latter half of the film. Is he encouraging him by documenting his life?

The film has interviews with Alec Baldwin, Matt Damon, Whoopi Goldberg, Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan and Eva Longoria, plus the "Entourage" stars Kevin Connolly, Kevin Dillon and Jerry Ferrara. Adrian Grenier also interviewed some of the paparazzi, who have naturally many things to say. He also flies to New York to visit OK! Magazine to let us know how the photos are sent to them (it has to be very fast).

To some "Teenage Paparazzo" may not offer new insights into what it is being a paparazzo or a celebrity.
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