About The Production
Pecker, the 13th movie written and directed by John Waters, tells the story of America's most unlikely superstar photographer and the choices he must make in the face of instant celebrity
Pecker, the 13th movie written and directed by John Waters,
tells the story of America's most unlikely superstar photographer
and the choices he must make in the face of instant celebrity.
Pecker is a Fine Line Features release and stars an outstanding
cast including Edward Furlong. Christina Ricci, Bess Armstrong,
Mary Kay Place, Martha Plimpton, Brendan Sexton III, Mink Stole
and Lili Taylor. John Fiedler and Mark Tarlov served as producers
on the film, which was shot on location in Baltimore.
The Waters Tradition at New Line Cinema/Fine Line Features...
Pecker marks a continuing relationship between Waters and
New Line Cinema, Fine Line's parent company. New Line was the
first company to commercially distribute a Waters film - the cult
classic Pink Flamingos in 1972. In April of 1997, Fine
Line celebrated the 25th anniversary of the film with a theatrical
re-release. In addition to improving the quality of the film's
soundtrack, the reissued prints included an "epilogue"
of footage not included in the film 25 years ago, footage
that was, as Waters explained, "cut for length - not shock
value." The reissue sparked a flurry of appreciation for
Waters and his entire body of work, including a retrospective
of his films at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
Following the life of a goofy, cute 18-year-old who works in a
Baltimore sandwich shop and takes photos on the side, Pecker
is a tale of fame and fortune and the downside of instant
celebrity. Pecker's life changes forever when his eclectic photo
collection is discovered by a New York art dealer passing through
Baltimore. The photos, which are sometimes grainy, sometimes out
of focus and often over-exposed, struck a cord with the New York
art world. Actually, it is precisely Pecker's depiction of his
family's life that makes his pictures such a hit in New York.
"In life and in art," explains Waters, "context
is everything. The New York art world loves Pecker's pictures
for all the right reasons. To them, blue-collar Baltimore is exotic,
new and exciting, when they see it out of context in Pecker's
pictures. As a result, Pecker's friends and family suddenly get
their day in the sun, their moment of fame. But with this attention
comes a public life they had not bargained for."
John Waters has always photographed his movies in Baltimore, where
he has been making films for about 30 years. Pecker associate
producer and casting director Pat Moran, production designer Vincent
Peranio and costume designer Van Smith have been working with
John for his entire career. Peranio, for example, designed the
memorable sets for Pink Flamingos on a mere $200 art budget,
and Smith collaborated with Divine to create what would become
the actors signature look (Jane Mansfield meets Clarabell, the
clown from "Howdy Doody").
"What was great about making Pecker was taking Hampden,
a inner-city neighborhood in Baltimore that had never hosted a
movie production company before, and being able to use the real
geography," says Waters. "Pecker's family house - a
small, distinctively charming, canary-hued abode set at the bottom
of a dead end street, really existed, and we didn't have to do
a thing to it. The bar we used for the Claw Machine, which Pecker's
father runs, was a block away. The space Vincent Peranio created
for the Pelt<
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