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Gifted and Challenged: The Making of 'Shortbus' (2007)

A look at the unusual process used in the making of the film Shortbus (2006) featuring interviews, behind the scenes footage and clips from the feature film. Director John Cameron Mitchell ... See full summary »


(as Michael Sean Kaminsky)


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Credited cast:
Justin Bond ...
Shanti Carson ...
Miek Coccia ...
James / Himself (as Paul 'Pinto' Dawson)
PJ DeBoy ...
Maya Hardinge ...
Timothy Heber ...
Himself (as Tim Heber)
Jasper James ...
Bel Jordan ...


A look at the unusual process used in the making of the film Shortbus (2006) featuring interviews, behind the scenes footage and clips from the feature film. Director John Cameron Mitchell starts with the concept of using real sex in a film with a positive message. The cast of unknowns is selected from homemade audition tapes and then a callback audition workshop. More acting workshops are used to develop the characters and script. The project overcomes a number of obstacles and the rest of the film's development is followed up until its premiere at the Cannes Film Festival. Written by TimeNTide

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Documentary | Short






Release Date:

13 March 2007 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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This documentary is featured on the DVD for Shortbus (2006). See more »


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User Reviews

Interesting if slightly pretentious review of an organic creative process
12 July 2007 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Having seen the film Shortbus and been rather taken aback by the sexual content and drawn in by the emotional content and convincing characters, so I was interested enough to see the story behind the making of it. This short film covers a lot of ground, from the concept to the casting to the premier at Cannes but it does it in just about enough detail to give you the full sweep of the process. Mitchell makes for an interesting guide through this process as we see the actors audition, cast and start to deal with the challenges of making a film with the content of Shortbus.

Mostly the film is very interesting as it gives a chance to witness this rather organic creative process happening over a short period of time. As such it is engaging on this level but it is hard to deny that it is rather pretentious at times and the justification for the sex and nudity is not as well carried in casual discussion as much as it was in the film itself. This didn't put me off the short documentary though because I did find it interesting to see the process – even if some of it was far removed from my experiences as a non-acting, non-creative type (ie a troglodyte).

Anyway, not a brilliant documentary but an interesting one. Given that Shortbus was such an organic and arty creation, a documentary following the creative process does have some value even if you may scoff at some of it.

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