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December 01, 1989 - Image 73

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1989-12-01

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

ENTERTAINMENT

SHOOTING
REALI

Former Detroiter moves to
Los Angeles to film
life's other stars.

STEVEN M. HARTZ

Special to The Jewish News

ary Glaser has
established
himself as a
movie director
and producer
who captures the other side
of Tinseltown.
His actors aren't Meryl
Streep, Dustin Hoffman and
Jack Nicholson, and he
doesn't film his movies in
the back lots of Universal
Studio. Instead, his stars are
the homeless, disabled,
citizens on patrol, street
gangs and graffiti writers.
Glaser is an independent
film maker who primarily
shoots social-issue documen-
taries.
After receiving a film and
-television degree from
Oakland University in 1974,
Glaser cut his production
teeth in Detroit, first work-
in g as a field pro-
ducer/cameraman for the TV
show "Michigan Outdoors"
and then as stage manager
for "Bill Kennedy at the
Movies."
In 1978, he decided to head
West.
"I went to work at KTLA,
Channel 5; in Los Angeles. I
was there for about six years
as part of a roster that work-
ed on a whole range of net-
work programs, doing every-
thing from lighting to stage
managing; my respon-
sibilities varied," he said.
During those years, Glaser
worked on several nation-
ally syndicated sitcoms, talk
shows and game shows, in-
cluding "WKRP in Cincin-
nati," "What's Happening,"
"Solid Gold," "Hour Maga-
zine" and "The Dating
Game."
In 1984, Glaser left KTLA
and set out for the streets of
Los Angeles, lugging a video
camera with him.

"I didn't move out to Los
Angeles and leave my family
so I could work on 'The
Dating Game,"' he said. "I
couldn't draw any satisfac-
tion from the systematic
lowering of the American IQ
with bad television, so I
wanted to -create my own
company to specialize in
filming issue-related docu-
mentaries. I feel that it's

Gary Glaser is a Hollywood success.

even more important in cap-
turing reality because even
now TV news is into recrea-
tion. People are having a
harder time differentiating
between something staged
and the event as it happen-
ed. Filming reality is becom-
ing more and more rarified."
His first independent film,
Dare to Care, was a 1984
documentary on the Guard-

JEWISH EVENTS

JEWISH CENTER
DeRoy Theater, 6600 W.
Maple Road, West
Bloomfield, Readers
eater, 4 p.m. Dec. 3,
*Omission, 967-4030.

-

ian Angels. It took a year to
complete. The following
year, Glaser temporarily
moved down to live on skid
row, where he shot Trouble
in Paradise: A Look at LA's
Homeless. After the film won
a Los Angeles-area Emmy
Award in 1986, Glaser went
back, shot more footage and
brought in actress Eileen
Brennan to narrate the film,
renamed Justiceville.
"I completely bottomed out
during the making of
Justiceville," he said. "It
took me three years to make,
and my financial situation
paralleled that of someone
who was on his way to being
homeless."
Glaser also generated a lot
of publicity about the irony
of his situation. "I tried to
use the opportunity to let
people know that if this is
happening to a white, col-
lege-educated, middle-class
man, just think how quickly
it happens to those who
didn't have the same advan-
tages I grew up with. I lived
— on and off — with the
homeless for three months.
It was very enlightening to
see homeless people organize
themselves and try to create
their own solutions . . . "
They ultimately failed,
were arrested and bulldozed,
Glaser said. But Justiceville
stressed their abilities to do
something about the situa-
tion "and not just ask for
handouts."
In his documentaries,
Glaser tries to focus on the
people who may not always
get the opportunity to pre-
sent themselves in their best
light. He attempts to go
against the stereotypes.
When he shot a documen-
tary about three disabled ar-
tists in 1987, Picture Me
Abled, two of his stars were
a mouth painter and blind
sculptor.
"There are a lot of myths

-SPECIAL EVENTS

MOUNTAIN JACKS

24275 Sinacola Ct.,
Farmington Hills, The
Ron Coden Show, through
Dec. 31, free. 476-5333.

THEATER

ROSEDALE
COMMUNITY
PLAYERS
21728 Grand River Ave.,
Detroit, Androcles and
the Lion, admission,
through'Dec. 10,
537-0362.
Arne THEATER
2990 W. Grand Blvd.,
Detroit, Sand Mountain,
Dec. 6 through Dec. 23,
admission, 875-8285.
MARQUIS THEATER
135 E. Main, Northville,
Cinderella, Nov. 25
through Dec. 30,
admission, 349-8110.
PERFORMANCE
NETWORK
408 W. Washington, Ann
Arbor, Old Times,
through Dec. 3,
admission, 663-0681.
MASONIC TEMPLE,
Detroit, Hansel and
Gretel, through Dec. 3,
admission, 874-7850.
PEANUT BUTTER
PLAYERS
New Center One
Building, The Atrium
(across from Fisher
Theater), Detroit,
Miracles, through Dec. 23,
admission, 559-6PBP.

Continued on Page 84

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

75

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