I’ve lost count of how many years my @vegantreats birthday tradition has been going on for, but here it is again. Another royal bounty of sugar and joy.
Very happy that my first visit to the Mahoning Drive-In Theater was for a (clearly very bountiful) VHSfest. Now, to watch some shot-on-video horror on that big screen back there. 📼📼📼📼📼📼🎃💀🔪
Shirts are IN STOCK AND NOW SHIPPING! Finally got to see these in person. They are very very nice and soft. So if you bought one, it’s coming. (UNLESS YOU BOUGHT A CASSETTE TAPE! Orders with them ship in a week or so!) If you haven’t, link in my bio to buy yours using the special now shipping/we wrapped (almost) one year ago discount! For a few days promo code MAY19 will get you 20% off orders over $10. Several sizes of some prints are sold out or close to it so don’t delay
Two music videos I made with Aly & AJ are now online. Don’t Go Changing was shot all over New York and Brooklyn on 4 different formats: 16mm (color and b&w), super 8mm and hi8 video. (DP’d by Adam Ginsberg) Church was shot in LA on 16mm. (DP’d by Sean Conaty) Very pleased with these latest collaborations and am thankful they asked me to create a bicoastal two-fer. Check out their pages or @alyandaj to watch the full videos and for further credits.
Happy Mother’s Day. Her Smell is now available on iTunes and all other digital places where movies live. Presumably you know how to find it if these things make sense to you but we put a link to it in the Her Smell merch store (link in my bio).
Seoul has a raccoon cafe this is not a drill 🦝🚨🦝🚨🦝
Hello from South Korea.
Swipe right to see cities where Her Smell is playing this weekend or just enjoy this photo of me and the band taken before the performance in the next image. And also click on link in my bio to buy all the Something She/Akergirls shirt/pins/soundtracks etc. Some stuff is starting to sell out!
Happy 50th Birthday to Film at Lincoln Center @filmlinc. This organization is incredibly important to me, professionally and personally. I met @annakatrinabak at the 2007 NYFF opening night: The Darjeeling Limited. Seven years later I would fulfill my dream of presenting a film of my own (Listen Up Philip) at the festival, which also starred Jason Schwartzman. Last year I returned to show Her Smell. Year round, since 2005 or so, I have seen many wonderful movies at Walter Reade and NYFF. It is essential and it is an honor to be a small footnote of a long and amazing history.
HER SMELL IS IN THESE CITIES THIS WEEKEND to kick it off, the one and only @teddyblanks and I provided intricate commentary and detail for every single album cover/book/VHS from the end credits over at NY Magazine/Vulture. Here is a slideshow of some. Want the inside story of every sticker, every store, the bands chronology and so on? You are in luck. Want to buy some of Teddy’s designs of these logos and covers? Even more luck: link in my bio for Something She/Akergirls merch. (🙋♀️🙋♂️ if you identify the Kim’s CD sticker without me saying which one it is)
I’ll be honest: this is exactly what we had in mind when we made it.
Now you too can be cool like @ashleybenson aka Roxie Rotten by buying this very same Her Smell enamel pin and other great items such as t-shirts and soundtracks from the Shopify link in my bio. Everything is very limited! About 50-100 made of every item so don’t “snooze” or else things may (hopefully) start to sell out.
Merch day! Go to her-Smell.myshopify.com (link in bio) to buy one of four shirts designed for the movie by @teddyblanks, a link to preorder the @keegandewitt 2-LP vinyl soundtrack from @waxworkrecords with 7” containing the Something She/Akergirls songs written by @bullythemusic/ @anikasneaka, a cassette of those songs and two enamel pins. All this stuff is very cool and very high quality. Please validate this experiment of mine by purchasing something! If these sell out, I’ll make more designs but probably won’t reprint things exactly the same. It’s all limited!
LOS ANGELES: I am very excited to finally have a movie play at the Arclight. Come to one of these Q and A screenings, please! Today (Thursday) and tomorrow. (The Matt Pinfield one should start exactly when 120 Minutes would have been on.) Swipe for other cities the film will be playing this weekend.
Her Smell opens in NY/Toronto today and LA/others next week. Check @hersmellmovie for info. Tough call who was gonna close out this series but I guess Moss is the right choice. What else is there to say about the collaboration at this point? Nothing. Just see the movie! Listen to or read interviews with us. Come to a Q and A in NY this weekend, Toronto on Sunday for just Lizzie or me in LA/Chicago next weekend. The point of all these photos was that while Lizzie and myself will largely be at the center of the way the movie gets talked about, I needed to showcase the many hardworking collaborators who made this movie what it is. Nothing people will like in the movie and attribute to her or me would have been possible without the 30 people I have highlighted and the 50 people I did not. (Seriously: hair and makeup department! Where are you in all the photos? Working non stop on 7 highly styled women all day/every day? Thank you all specifically and I am sorry I don’t have photos of you excelling at your jobs...) I’ll continue posting stuff after taking a brief break. But let’s all appreciate the real heroes: social media influencers who selflessly provide content day after day. It’s not easy and it takes time and thought. My respect is currently at an all time high and I salute them. Anyway, hope these past few weeks were informative or interesting. If you can, hire anybody who worked on this movie. You could do no better. Now please go see Her Smell if you can and then tell somebody else to go see it. 📸: @donstahl
Her Smell photo of the day: (MOVIE OPENS TOMORROW IN NEW YORK/TORONTO. I’ll be doing Q/As with cast at IFC Center and Nitehawk Prospect Park all weekend) Hey, it’s Sean Price Williams (#seanpricewilliams) Sean has shot all 6 of my movies. This was our first on 35mm (2-perf and 4-perf anamorphic for concert scenes if anybody is curious.) Sean is my oldest collaborator, and one who I aim to irritate and challenge as much as possible with every new movie. Whether that means writing scenes to his strengths, his weaknesses or things that are actually his strengths but he thinks are his weaknesses, I always want to push us both out of our comfort zone. Sean is the model for professionalism. He is prepared, on time and happy to be at work every single day. Just kidding one day we had an 8am call time (after three weeks of 10am) and he showed up angry because “nobody who goes to work at this hour should be expected to have any ideas. All they do is make photo copies.” He then did amazing work all day. Go figure. Our best “prep” day for this was watching Showgirls, Basic Instinct, Sympathy for the Devil and Punch-Drunk Love while analyzing everything we loved and could achieve ourselves. Act 3 with the aggressive handheld was the one I was most looking forward to. I hyped up for days to the cast to get ready to see some agile work. Sean didn’t like how much I built it up but then he went and topped himself with every single shot anyway. The stunt coordinator said “I’ve never seen anybody swing a 100mm lens around like that.” 📸: @donstahl
Her Smell photo of the day: Cara Delevingne as Crassie Cassie. I always jokingly said that if we ever found an actress who already is an excellent drummer, I’d offer her the role on the spot. Well, that happened with Cara because when I learned that she has played drums, guitar and piano since she was very young, I knew that she had to be in the movie. Cara wanted to play her instruments live while filming and also sing live. It was a lot of fun to receive videos of her practicing the Akergirls song in the weeks leading up to the shoot. One time Cara amazed me because we had to let her leave a little early to go to the Met Ball, after which she was hosting a party. There was a question on how late she’d be up and if she’d be on time the following day. She was there and in makeup before I even arrived! 📸: me! Kodak funsaver.
Her Smell photos of the day: Production Designer Fletcher Chancey and prop master Dani Broom-Peltz. (The rest of the art department appears in ZERO out of 500 photos but art director John Arnos/set dec Paige Mitchell/set dresser Maddie Sadowski/graffiti artist Eric Stoltz and everybody else on this team deserves a world of credit.) Fletcher worked on Listen Up Philip and Golden Exits. I knew that building and designing these massive sets was a huge challenge but never doubted how great they would be. The simple dingy perfection of their work all but guarantees that the art department will never get the credit they deserve for how intricate and vast the work is in this movie. But nobody who stepped foot on set was less than astonished. Keep in mind: this movie only has 4 locations. One of them plays for almost 50 minutes and you see every single square inch of every room in every set. And they built them on a soundstage. I really could not have had the confidence to write and dream of making a movie this way had I not seen what @sckuzio and Fletcher built from scratch for Golden Exits. It was the biggest and most complex challenge but we made sure to fund the production design as though it was a movie with twice our budget. It was worth it. Dani had one of the most important jobs, especially since I am always deciding last minute that I want more objects and items to play in the scene. Whether it was a decal for a video camera or a stale bagel with a bite taken out of it next to a pile of knitting, the details she and Maddie executed throughout each set were specific and perfect.
Her Smell photo of the day: Agyness Deyn as Marielle Hell. I met with Aggy in 2014 for a movie that never happened, but knew I wanted to work with her. She was talking about having filmed Sunset Song with the great filmmaker Terrence Davies. When I saw the film a year later, I couldn’t believe the power of her performance. In a just world, so not the one we live in, enough people would have seen this film to put her on everybody’s mind as one of the most exciting actors working today. When it came time to cast Mari, I immediately suggested Aggy to Lizzie and said to watch Sunset Song. Next thing I knew, Aggy had read the script and agreed to be in the movie. I am in awe of Aggy’s performance and her encyclopedic knowledge about the history of this music put everybody else to shame. She lifted up the movie in many, many ways and I was glad that, four years after our first meeting, we got to collaborate. (I don’t know where the slurpee came from but this photo must have been on “Maiden Monday” which I did with the caterer to showcase our Iron Maiden shirts) 📸: @donstahl
Her Smell photo of the day: Producing movies is an insane thing to do. It’s risky and takes forever. Most people in the industry hate movies and only care about not getting fired. Movies have seven producers when they need three. It’s stupid. Matt Perniciaro and Michael Sherman from @bowandarrow.la made this movie with total confidence and faith in me. Anybody else would have made us cut the movie down from the 135 minute runtime that Her Smell wanted and needed to be. Anybody else would have made me cast actors who are not the right person for the role for some pretend business reason. Or made me work with a different “more experienced” crew. Bosh! Those gestures alone are the reasons this movie is uncompromised. We nervously showed them a 145 minute cut and their response was “it feels like it’s really nearly there. We just have a few tiny notes.” Unbelievable! Their other movie Native Son just premiered on HBO so they are having the “best week ever.” 📸: @donstahl
Her Smell photos of the day: Guess who planned this out poorly? I am running out of days until the release and also running out of photos. Here is a mass appreciation of the camera, electric and grip teams, at least those who I have photos of: some of the many people who not only lit the hell out of these huge, artificial sets but also kept the camera ready at all times, which was necessary because I wanted very little reset time between takes in order to keep momentum going strong. Helen Cassell: Third Electric Bayley Sweitzer AC and focus puller (insanely hard job...actors obviously move very fast and all the time in this movie...Bayley was a wizard!) Kevin Bacon: key grip Luke Provenzano: loader (never ever not loading / unloading mags) Rachel Fedorkova: 2nd AC Metrah Pashaee: camera department trainee. These departments were even bigger than I am able to showcase here...both essential to making things run as smoothly as possible.
Her Smell photo of the day: Amber Heard as Zelda E. Zekiel Zelda was a real tough one. The character appears rather briefly but needs to make such a huge visual and narrative impression. A bit before shooting, Cara suggested her friend Amber. I was immediately very encouraged by this idea. Cara facilitated the introduction and I had a call with Amber while she was in Syria doing charity work. Immediately, Amber had ideas aplenty about wardrobe and styling. She set about making the character her own in every way, pushing things further with wardrobe to feel as exotic as possible. I later realized that most of what Zelda wears could have been worn by Amber as Queen Mera in Aquaman, which makes sense since we described Zelda as a music superhero. Sometimes, Zelda’s footwear meant Amber wasn’t so mobile and in between takes, she would stay put and read a book. For whatever reason, that visual image looms large for me. 📸: @donstahl
Her Smell photo of the day: Here is Robert Greene, in his natural habitat: giving me the finger while reading a review of his own movie in an edit room. This is my fourth movie with Robert. It’s hard to picture editing without him. He is quiet, soft spoken, meek, and shy when it comes to expressing his own opinions about the work we are doing. Just kidding Robert and I spend all of our time yelling at one another and he is forceful and demanding and certain he is always right and that’s why the work always turns out the way it does. We edited this movie in the most compressed and urgent way we have ever done and I am certain it is all the better for it. There’s nobody else who could be pressing play on a 150-minute first cut three weeks after we started and that energy was necessary to make this one what it needed to be. Most of all, I miss the near-daily bahn mi sandwiches.
Weather app nailed my livid feelings concerning weather like this in February by providing me with a suitably angsty Modest Mouse album title about this ordeal.
Thank you @chadhartigan for finding and sending this context free photo of me at @tiff_net premiering Her Smell.
My bible for HER SMELL. This gave me everything and more. Every page is highlighted. 1- “Self-destructing or growing up?” 2- “Slash comes clean” 3- “Rose dived into the tempest that his life and career were becoming” 4- “The lost years” 5- “Buried the hatchet”
Stumbled upon a charming cinema in Oban, Scotland showing a perfect movie for this grey rainy day.
Happy Holidays, from our family to yours. -The Her Smells
Gang’s all here.
@teddyblanks turned everybody’s favorite prop poster into a TIFF/NYFF gig style poster. May even be printing a few of these... Remember: you have many music movie options at fall festivals but only one digs in on Heavy Metal Parking Lot, Charles Manson, Cocksparrer, Iron Maiden and Home Improvement (that’s the tv show, not some obscure band).
Sound mixing sound recording. Proud of the diligence in coverage up to a 26th set up.
HER SMELL WORLD PREMIERE: TORONTO INTL FILM FESTIVAL (my first time ever...a huge honor) US PREMIERE: NEW YORK FILM FESTIVAL (the most fun festival/time of the year to me, always. Can’t believe I get to present a film there again.) Been working on this a long time, and then not a long time. Journey is almost done. I’ve never been more excited for people to see anything.
Christopher Robin is out today. At last, I can share photos of when I visited set and, in a total coincidence, was wearing a Pooh Bear Red jumper when I got to meet Pooh for the first time. This has been a long, long journey (see: first draft title page) and it all started with Smokey. This was all for him.
6th (?) annual birthday cake feast at @vegantreats. Coming up: 6th annual “full and not feeling great now” drive home.
#tbt Ten years ago tomorrow I wrapped my first movie, Impolex. I was 23. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what a clear marker of time that is and all the changes and growth that can and must occur within a decade. I am now editing my 6th movie and a film I wrote for Disney will be released in almost every corner of the world next month. That’s a weird journey and I feel lucky and amazed at everything that has happened since this photo was taken. In sappy conclusion, I’ve determined that everything takes time. Maybe even ten years. So get started and keep going. (And add lots of people at every step to help.) 📸: @annakatrinabak
Novelizations forever! What a wonderful thing to know still gets made. I had no idea words and scenes I wrote would get put into an actual book. Dream (I didn’t know I had) come true.
Did you know Golden Exits is available for purchase on DVD? I didn’t and I made this movie. I had to google it. Getting this barebones release was a difficult and frustrating battle and required watching a great offer to really make this special get declined due to greed and laziness on the part of the “distributor” but if you are a completist who cares about these things (i.e. me) it’s out there for you.
Three photos from when Jake Perlin of @metrographnyc and I took a Roth/Newark sightseeing trip in 2010. Roth’s childhood street, home and Weequahic High School, down the road.
For Roth. As much as I’ll always aspire to the bar he set, I’d settle for writing letters like him.
That’s a wrap on HER SMELL. Too many people to thank but let me single out my incredible cast: @elisabethmossofficial Agyness “no instagram” Deyn @gaylelouiserankin @caradelevingne @ashleybenson @dylangelula @amberheard @thatdanstevens @estoltzwork @ekadarville @lindsaymburdge @nosluop83 @alexiskrauss Musical collaboration from @bullythemusic @anikasneaka @keegandewitt I had the biggest best crew on this but for brevity I’ll single out my repeat collaborators who ran outstanding departments: @dannyapril @sandybz @lastloox @a.mandaford @fletcherchancey @sckuzio @craigbutta @nosluop83 @prewarcinema (TK) @teddyblanks producers @mpernic @sugarsherm, Adam Piotrowicz and Sean Price “flip phone” Williams.
Can’t believe @annakatrinabak claims she doesn’t care about seeing Marvel movies with me anymore but then goes out and buys these Limited Edition Avengers Bananas like any regular super fan.
Whenever I get asked for advice about making movies I quote this eternal line from Independence Day. This question should be on the mind of every filmmaker of every kind after they have spent months or years trying to verbalize a cohesive vision for whatever is being attempted. It’s the after effect of seeing a directors chair and bullhorn and proclaiming “I have got to get me one of these!”
Important research night.
I interviewed hero Paul Schrader about slow cinema and his new movie First Reformed for the latest issue of @cinemascopemag. Out now and online, as well. As usual Schrader holds nothing back so this is a fun read if you’re into that sort of thing.