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BODY SHOTS

About The Production
Body Shots is about the search for love," explains its director, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, Michael Cristofer. On the face of it, the story of eight young men and women and a single night that changes their lives, written with the now signature grittiness of screenwriter David McKenna (American History X), seems to be at a considerable distance from affairs of the heart. But Cristofer, who in addition to directing, did rewrites on the script, places love and the longing for intimacy at the center of this unusual story.

"At the heart of the story is a search for some kind of connection, for some kind of love," says Cristofer . "You look at the actions these kids take or the choices they make and you know right away they are desperate for something."

Early in 1998, Cristofer, the acclaimed director of the award-winning HBO movie, Gia, was approached by New Line and producer Jennifer Keohane to direct Body Shots.

"We were looking for a writer/director," recalls producer Keohane, "someone who could help humanize the script." Keohane's association with the project began in 1995 when the screenplay landed in the office of Colomby/Keaton, a company that had a reputation for working with young writers. McKenna's writing stood out from the stacks of scripts on Keohane's desk. "I read the first four pages of the script," she recalls, "and was really blown away."

Jennifer Keohane set out working with the then-unknown screenwriter David McKenna. "I was so struck by the authenticity of these characters." she recalls. "The script mirrored the lives of so many people I know. David doesn't skip over the uncomfortable things, he puts a magnifying glass on them and I think people need to see the kind of films that David writes. "

Upon his initial reading of the script, Michael Cristofer was unsure if the project was really for him. "It was a lifestyle that on the surface was foreign to me," Cristofer recalls. "There are so many films now in which young people misbehave in some nihilistic way. It's fashionable to feel that way when you're in your twenties. I didn't want to do a picture like that."

Still entertaining other projects, Cristofer noticed there was something about the story that stayed with him. "I began to become more and more fascinated by what I perceived as their dilemma," says Cristofer. "I agreed to do it and asked New Line to let me play with the story a little."

"I went back to the script approaching it, not from the perspective of a twenty-six-year-old," Cristofer continues, "but from the vantage point of someone older, someone my own age. I began to have not just curiosity, but a kind of sympathy for these young people who were living this somewhat brutal lifestyle. I found a way into these characters. I saw a sadness in the story, in their lives. I felt for them and I thought I could make an audience feel for them too."

Cristofer honed the script and added a new level of raw honesty and compassion to McKenna's characters. "The absence of intimacy and the difficulty of finding love is, unfortunately, a pretty universal theme. I wanted to make a film that explored how this generation approaches sex and dating."

The story starts out much as a night out with eight twenty-somethings might, with anticipation, excitement and se

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