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Teenage Paparazzo

4.4 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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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

Special Features

None.

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.)
  • 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 (22 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004FZWDQ0
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #180,434 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Teenage Paparazzo" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I was expecting more of a movie narrative. "Teenage Paparazzo" is more of a reality TV style documentary about Adrian Grenier and this Teenage Paparazzo (Austin).

The documentary examines this individual relationship as a micro-causem of fame and celebrities status. The film covers all points of view, from street interviews to great interviews with academics. Grenier's view as very interesting, having made his fame playing a fictional movie-superstar.

I loved this, but I am a huge Entourage fan and interested in anything about "the business" of the business and all aspects of it. I would say for a small niche audience, this is a great film and am unsure how it would be received by the masses. If you are interested in the concept of Entourage, the actors and are interested in fame, celebrity and and our obsession with them, definitely watch this.
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The main criticism I would have about this documentary is its implied justification for what I consider an extreme case of parental dereliction of duty. This young man is 13 when his mom enables him to go out and be a "teenage paparazzo," for crying out loud! What if he were kidnapped? assaulted? accidentally injured? He stays out until 3 am????? Good heavens!

Nonetheless, this movie provides superb insights into the psychology of media consumption. I'd already read Thomas de Zengotita's book, "Mediated," and found it quite good. The fact that the book was the inspiration for this film and that the film did a very good job of illustrating de Zengotita's arguments was an unexpected and pleasant surprise.

I also did not expect the Hollywood lead, Adrian Grenier (of "Entourage" fame), to be so articulate and conversant with the subject matter, which was also a pleasant surprise. Emotionally, the best part of the film is its last 5 minutes, which I will not give away here. But suffice to say, had life not turned out as it had, I wonder if the film would ever have been commercially released.
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Format: DVD
TEENAGE PAPARAZZO (2010, 95 minutes, HBO Films) was a real wake-up call for me, though not HBO 'finest hour' of documentary film. It is a documentary that I feel should be shown in schools everywhere. I feel it may represent a side of America's downfall that no one has fully explored.

Here ersatz star Adrian Grenier ("Entourage") gloms onto 14-year-old paparazzo Austin Visschedyk, hoping to achieve some sort of deep documentary about this boy's dive into the world of the paparazzi (called "paps"). Not only did this kid dive: he swam with the biggest sharks of all. And he made adoring pals along the way ... not easy from what I saw. Even Paris Hilton befriended him and nicknamed him "Sexy".

This is NOT good. As I began watching, I felt that this little faerie-like boy had no guidance, no example, no discipline and certainly no mother. His mother (they live alone together), in her own words, has to "beg him" to do what she wants him to do. As she put it, "I'm his mother, and I have to beg HIM?!" - and the answer, lady, you earned it - YES, you must beg him. So much for American parenting.

I've seen the obligatory headshot photo of Grenier, viewing him as just-another-cutie in the parade, and knew nothing else about him. So he had little impact on me as an actor. His impact as a documentarist and as a human being was very impressive. In his quest to understand paparazzi life, and this boy who is the youngest paparazzi ever, Grenier came to understand that he made a huge error in feeding the boy's twisted dreams.

Many experts and stars (Whoopie Goldberg, Rosie O'Donnell, Matt Damon, Alec Baldwin) commented on the kid and on stardom. Paris Hilton is of course a more prominent feature, because she, like Grenier and many others, is an ersatz star.
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