Dec 31, 2009
02:20 PM

On the "Girltrash" Set

On the "Girltrash" Set

My most memorable moments volunteering as a production assistant (PA) on Girltrash: All Night Long: Standing in for Rose Rollins (The L Word), a tall and slender former model (I tip-toed out at 5 feet 2 inches); getting recruited with other PAs to jump and bump like groupies in a concert scene at a Hollywood club, and finally, passing out on the couch in the middle of a sorority house fight scene at about 3:30 a.m. with a fever of 102.

Shooting on Girltrash: All Night Long resumes in January but my peepers are already privy to what’s gone into the making of POWER UP Films’ second feature. A raucous musical based on Angela Robinson’s web series Girltrash, it’s written by Robinson (D.E.B.S.) and directed by her real-life partner, Alex Kondracke (Hung).

Watch for Tyler (Michelle Lombardo) to become the next Shane, if she wants to (like Shane, she doesn’t try to be cool, she just is).

I’m also a new Lisa Rieffel fan. Rieffel (Daisy in Girltrash) is the real-life lead singer of the band Killola, which performs as Alotta Flame in the film; she’s fun, funny, smart and I love Killola’s Crack in the Armor video on Youtube.

This behind-the-scenes venture started when I got invited to the set of Girltrash: All Night Long. I took it a step further, volunteering as a PA in the POWER UP Mentee Program. Mentee? Isn’t that some type of mint? No, the Mentee Program gives beginning filmmakers hands-on experience making an LGBT film.

While they work their gluteals off without pay, mentees get experience on a state-of-the-art set, plus get several hours with the writer, director and producer to ask questions and learn about their work.

One of the biggest complaints I hear about many LGBT films is that they look low-budget.

As I lug cables, tripods and furniture, executive producer and POWER UP founder Stacy Codikow explains that when studios/rental houses have this expensive equipment lying around, they can loan it for free to a nonprofit such as POWER UP and get a nice write-off. Because of theses donations, POWER UP is able to produce a film that looks like a big studio production.

It’s a win-win situation.

“The Entertainment Industry has always been extremely supportive, with Showtime being our longest and biggest financial sponsor," says Stacy.

POWER UP has been around 10 years now, produced more than a dozen gay-themed short films, anti-Prop 8 and marriage equality PSAs, an anti-domestic violence music video and a couple features. 

So I put on a PA hat (which I earned, by the way), and plan to report on this rockin’ ride of a film. 

More mentees are being sought as shooting resumes, Jan. 18-30. While the hours are long, the perks include working around actors such as Lisa and Michelle, Mandy Musgrave, Gabrielle Christian and from The L Word, Rose Rollins, Kate French, Malaya Rivera Drew and Clementine Ford. (I promised not to share overheard L Word gossip here).

To volunteer for POWER UP’s Mentee Program, sign up on the Girltrash: All Night Long Facebook page.


Blogger Bio: For more than a decade Laurie Schenden has covered the entertainment industry for Curve, the Los Angeles Times and Germany's Spotlight magazine. Her cover stories for Curve magazine have included Sharon Stone, Melissa Etheridge, and the cast of The L Word. She’s also an award winning documentary filmmaker and one of the co-creators of the Laughing Matters film series, seen on Logo.

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