IMDb > What We Do Is Secret (2007)
What We Do Is Secret
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What We Do Is Secret (2007) More at IMDbPro »

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What We Do Is Secret -- The true-life story of Darby Crash, who became an L.A. punk icon before taking his own life in 1980. After getting kicked out of high school, Darby forms The Germs with a collection of friends who have little experience with their instruments or playing music; Pat Smear, Lorna Doom and Don Bolles. After a few disastrous gigs, the band begins to click and Darby and The Germs soon find themselves the talk of the L.A. punk scene. When hard drugs enter the picture, Darby starts alienating those closest to him and when The Germs collapse, he's at a loss to figure out what comes next.
What We Do Is Secret -- Open-ended Trailer from Peace Arch Entertainment Group
What We Do Is Secret -- Clip: You're not going to see this again
What We Do Is Secret -- Clip: It's my people
What We Do Is Secret -- Clip: Rodney on the rock


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Down 3% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Rodger Grossman (co-story writer)
Rodger Grossman (screenplay)
View company contact information for What We Do Is Secret on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
8 August 2008 (USA) See more »
A biopic of punk legend Darby Crash and his band, the Germs. | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
2 wins & 1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
"I'm a lexicon devil with a battered brain" See more (24 total) »


  (in credits order)

Shane West ... Darby Crash

Bijou Phillips ... Lorna Doom

Rick Gonzalez ... Pat Smear

Noah Segan ... Don Bolles

Ashton Holmes ... Rob Henley

Tina Majorino ... Michelle

Lauren German ... Belinda

Keir O'Donnell ... Chris Ashford

Sebastian Roché ... Claude Kickboy Bessy

Azura Skye ... Casey Cola

Katharine Leonard ... Jena
Rachael Santhon ... Malissa
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Noah Abrams ... Audience Member #1
Daniel Alvarado ... Bar Patron
David Alvarado ... Bar Patron

Ozzy Benn ... Captain Sensible

Thom Bishops ... Tony the Hustler

Christopher Boyd ... Dave Vanian

Missy Doty ... Amber

Brian Gleason ... Regi Mental

Leslie Grossman

Amy Halloran ... Becky

Michele Hicks ... Penelope Spheeris
Kylan James ... Rat Scabies
David Nichols Jr. ... Skinhead
Chad Liffmann ... Audience Member

J.P. Manoux ... Rodney Bingenheimer
Chandra McWhorter ... Farrah-Fawcett Minor
Greg McWhorter ... Eddie Subtitle
Lachlan McWhorter ... John Morris

Howard S. Miller ... Starwood Manager
Jonathan Milliken ... Young Darby Crash

Bru Muller ... Teacher

Randi Newton ... Gerber

Paul Nygro ... Bob Biggs

Brian Oerly ... Bouncer

Ray Park ... Brendan Mullen
Trevor Parsons ... Billy Zoom

Chris Pontius ... Black Randy
Peter Prins ... Pogo Dancing Punk

Sara Rivas ... Shannon

Scott L. Schwartz ... Biker
Anna Waronker ... Joan Jett
John Westernoff ... Auditioning Drummer

Richard Wharton ... Whiskey Manager
Shane Finkenkeller ... HB Skinhead (uncredited)
Graham Hart ... Whiskey Douglas (uncredited)

Giddle Partridge ... Dinah Cancer (uncredited)

Justin Sandler ... Hippie Drummer (uncredited)
Christian Schmook ... Bartender (uncredited)

Genoveva Winsen ... Pat Burnette (uncredited)

Directed by
Rodger Grossman 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Michelle Baer Ghaffari  co-story writer
Rodger Grossman  co-story writer
Rodger Grossman  screenplay

Produced by
John W. Davidson .... associate producer
Michelle Baer Ghaffari .... co-producer
Bruce Wayne Gillies .... line producer
Rodger Grossman .... producer
Michael LaFetra .... executive producer
David G. Mack .... executive producer
Kevin Mann .... producer
Damon Martin .... executive producer
Stephen Nemeth .... producer
Matthew Perniciaro .... producer
Andre Relis .... co-executive producer
Lise Romanoff .... co-executive producer
Todd Traina .... producer
Andy Wombwell .... co-producer
Cinematography by
Andrew Huebscher 
Film Editing by
Ross Albert 
Joel Plotch (co-editor)
Casting by
Jay Scully 
Production Design by
John Mott 
Set Decoration by
Julieann Getman 
Costume Design by
Julia Caston 
Makeup Department
Matthew Kasten .... assistant hair stylist
Heather Mages .... makeup department head
Isabelle Murray .... assistant makeup artist
Elissa Prager .... hair stylist
Deborah Rutherford .... makeup designer (as Deborah Patino)
Yoi .... key hair stylist
Production Management
Christian Bevington .... unit production manager
Brian Buckland .... additional production manager
Minor Childers .... post-production supervisor
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
David Clair .... second unit director
Morgan Elam .... additional first assistant director
David Mendoza .... first assistant director
Joe Moore .... additional second assistant director
Sam Nainoa .... second second assistant director: additional photography
Blake Perkinson .... second assistant director
Kyle Sherman .... assistant director: additional photography
Kyle Sherman .... second second assistant director
Austin Sipes .... second second assistant director
Matt Tulve .... second second assistant director
Art Department
Frederick Agnew .... lead scenic artist
Kalvar Antzon .... carpenter
Jen Fiedler .... on-set dresser
McJoel Hamilton .... assistant property master
Derrick Hinman .... property master
Lori Lee Korth .... set dresser
Frank Meroney .... construction coordinator
Mungai Nguku .... swing gang
Blake Sherman .... art department production assistant
Terrance Zdunich .... storyboard artist
Sound Department
Michael Brown .... foley artist
John Fairlamb .... foley mixer
Seann Flynn .... playback
Bill Jenkins .... location sound mixer
Yagmur Kaplan .... sound re-recording mixer
Sylvain Loiseau .... post-production audio manager
Sean O'Malley .... sound
Sergio Reyes .... sound re-recording mixer
Stacey A. Washer .... boom operator
Visual Effects by
Christopher Dusendschon .... digital imaging supervisor: iO FILM
Ron Althoff .... stunt performer
Shawn Crowder .... stunts
Christopher Doyle .... stunt coordinator
Zack Duhame .... stunts
T. Ryan Mooney .... stunts
Ryan Ryusaki .... stunts
Sam Situmorang .... stunts
Bryan Thompson .... stunts
Mickey Cassidy .... stunts (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Darrick Akey .... assistant camera
Alexander Brown .... electrician
Brannon D. Brown .... second assistant camera (as Brannon Brown)
Jonathon Carmichael .... grip
Eddie San Chan .... additional gaffer
Michael Chateauneuf .... best boy electric: additional photography
Jason Cochard .... camera loader
Christian Grosselfinger .... gaffer
Matt Gulbin .... best boy grip
Michael Gulbin .... key grip
Matthew Heckerling .... director of photography: second unit
James Heywood .... key grip
Bryan Hong .... grip: additional photography
Erwin Landau .... Steadicam operator
Mareo-Ahmir Lawson .... grip
Kevin Mucha .... lighting console programmer
Michael O'Connor .... still photographer
John Orphan .... first assistant camera
Cass Rasmussen .... electrician
Nickolas Dylan Rossi .... assistant camera
Sonoko Shimoyama .... additional best boy electric
Andy Steinman .... camera operator: "b" camera
Sam Stewart .... electrician
Sam Stewart .... grip
Dwight Elliott Stone .... key grip: additional photgraphy
Reza Tabrizi .... additional second assistant camera
Raul Vasquez .... grip
Somsy Vejsiri .... best boy electric
Christopher Vinopal .... rigging best boy electric (as Chris Vinopal)
Erin Williams .... still photographer
Michael Witczak .... electrician
Bobby Woo .... lighting network technician
Casting Department
Carol Grant .... extras casting
Jennifer Rudolph .... casting: New York
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Monica Brazelton .... costumer
Amelia Buhrman .... assistant costume designer
Rebecca Fenton Brezovec .... set costumer (as Rebecca Fenton)
Moksha McPherrin .... additional costume designer
Jamie Redwood .... key costumer (as Jamie Bresnan)
Editorial Department
Gary Friedman .... first assistant editor
Zara Park .... digital intermediate post supervisor (as Zara Roberts)
Robb Porter .... post-production Coordinator: Modern VideoFilm
Eric Putz .... telecine dailies colorist
Elvio Sordoni .... assistant editor
Kathy Thomson .... digital intermediate colorist
Music Department
Dean Menta .... music editor
Howard Paar .... music supervisor
Karen Sidlow .... music assistant
Micki Stern .... music clearance
Genoveva Winsen .... soundtrack engineer (uncredited)
Transportation Department
Matthew Ballard .... transportation coordinator
Shay Morgan Brook .... driver
Other crew
Jonathan M. Abrams .... production assistant
Noor Ahmed .... production legal
Jill Becker .... pre-production coordinator
Matthew Bolin .... production assistant (as Matt Bolin)
N. Charlie Brown .... stand-in
Cameron Carlson .... production assistant
William Clark Coit III .... location manager
Jen Dougherty .... assistant to director: pre-production
Pat Fear .... technical advisor
Michael Goss .... assistant production coordinator
Rena Hanover .... production assistant
Kimberley A. Helms .... assistant production coordinator
Klara Jolesz .... assistant to director
Megan Kristen Lane .... production assistant (as Megan Lane)
Jenny Lens .... photography: original source
Sheila Louie .... set medic
Ian Menzies .... unit location manager
Lizz Morhaim .... production assistant
Lucy Ramirez-Ewart .... caterer (as Lucy Ramirez)
Mark Schaefer .... misc crew
Tracy Scott .... script supervisor
Mary Shellogg .... additional script supervisor
Rob Spence .... additional production coordinator
Sam Vlahovich .... technical advisor (uncredited)
Brandon Zinn .... location assistant
Jessica Hong .... production assistant (uncredited)
Jeff Alulis .... special thanks
Jill Ash .... special thanks
Karl Austen .... special thanks
K.K. Barrett .... special thanks
Jeanine Basinger .... special thanks
Kristen Bell .... special thanks
Solange Bertet .... special thanks
Harold Bronson .... special thanks
Stephanie Bronson .... special thanks
Jeff Byron .... special thanks
Bambi Conway .... special thanks
John Doe .... special thanks
Shephard Fairey .... special thanks
Robbie Fields .... special thanks
Tamara Garfield .... special thanks
Earl Ghaffari .... special thanks
Isa Ghaffari .... special thanks
Mellie Ghaffari .... special thanks
Greg Ginn .... special thanks
Bill Gray .... special thanks
Marshall Grossman .... special thanks
Lukas Haas .... special thanks
Tony Hoffman .... special thanks
Carrie Holt .... special thanks
Amy Horton .... special thanks
Joan Jett .... special thanks
Hellin Killer .... special thanks
Michael Le Blanc .... special thanks
Chad Liffman .... special thanks
Ellen M. Mann .... special thanks
Jack Mann .... special thanks
Doug Mark .... special thanks
David Markey .... special thanks
Wendy Marmo .... thanks: Music Clearance
Alexis Martinez .... special thanks
Erin McPherson .... special thanks
Shannon 'Little Doggy' Mila .... special thanks
Jeff Morrone .... special thanks
Howie Pyro .... special thanks
Paul Roessler .... special thanks
Phil Rowland .... special thanks
Penelope Spheeris .... special thanks
Lincoln Stalmaster .... special thanks
Brooke Stites .... special thanks
Ricky Stoutland .... special thanks
Albert Sweet .... special thanks
Darren M. Trattner .... special thanks (as Darren Trattner)
Akiko Uchida .... special thanks
Adrian Velicescu .... special thanks
Lee Vin .... special thanks
Julie Warner .... special thanks
Mike Watt .... special thanks
Monica Weinger .... special thanks
Jeremy Weinstein .... special thanks
Mike White .... special thanks
Steven Wren .... special thanks
Geza X. .... special thanks
Gordon Zacks .... special thanks

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Rated R for drug use, language and brief sexuality
USA:92 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Because he was so good as Darby Crash, Shane West was hired as the new vocalist and The Germs reunited for a tour.See more »
Anachronisms: During scene set at LA hot dog stand in late Seventies, huge wall menu in background reflects 2000 era fast food prices and even lists at least one soft drink not introduced until years later.See more »
Darby Crash:Everything works in circles. Like sometimes you're doing something, and a year later you're back at the same point. You understand that? So circle one, is what we're doing now, and someday we'll probably do circle two.See more »
Five YearsSee more »


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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful.
"I'm a lexicon devil with a battered brain", 2 November 2011
Author: joshua-nash84 from Australia

Rising out of the chaotic, drug fueled punk scene of Los Angeles the Germs while only active for from 1977 to 1980 became a band who transformed the face of punk rock. This film retells the rise and fall of this great band who's impact and influence is still felt today.

What We Do Is Secret starts out with Darby Crash being interviewed by a European journalist about his 5 year plan. This 5 year plan could either be one of pure cockiness or did Darby believe that his days were numbered? All we're told is that the plan was inspired by the David Bowie song "Five Years" Throughout the film we see the band fail to get club bookings due to the violent, anarchistic nature of their performances (even though Crash thought of himself as being a fascist), the descent in heroin addiction and a rather hilarious interview segment on Rodney Bingenheimers radio show. During the final 10 minutes of the film the Germs play their final show after which Darby is shown to be in a rather helpless state. Darby crosses path with Casey Cola and the two of them form a suicide a pact. Darby was found dead a day before the assassination of John Lennon.

Taking on the hard job of playing the punk icon Darby Crash is Shane West who is absolutely stellar in this role. Often at battle with himself (weak/strong, gentle/aggressive) West portrays crash as the intelligent and cocky young man full of self hatred in such a convincing manner. Following this film West went on to became the front man of the recently united Germs.

Bijou Phillips puts in one of her greatest efforts as Germs bassist Lorna Doom (even playing bass on the films soundtrack-with West providing vocals) Rick Gonzalez (Pat Smear) and Noah Segan (Don Bolles) put in equally effective performances. The gritty nasty underbelly of this scene is introduced to us by the cast of misfits, addicts and enablers who I'm thankful are behind the TV screen.

What I particularly liked about this film is that it didn't gloss over the fact that Darby Crash was a homosexual. The scene in which Darby is sitting in his bedroom, chest cut open wide with Rob Henley is a beautiful one. Throughout the film we see the nature of their relationship and Henley's desire to become the Germs drummer even though he doesn't have a single bit of musical talent. The punk scene of the 1970s was never one that accepted homosexuality so I found it fantastic that this important part of the story wasn't tossed aside.

The soundtrack to this film is wonderful and features the music of David Bowie (2 Ziggy Stardust era songs), Alice Cooper, X and Shane West, Bijou Phillips, Lucas Haas and Micheal Le Blanc recreating the music of the Germs. The Germs contributed to this soundtrack with new recordings of the classics with Shane West on vocals.

Darby Crash became a victim of his own creation.

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