Katherine Fairfax Wright director/producer for “Behind The Curtain”Todrick Hall” will be appearing at both showings of the film. The film has already premiered at SXSW with great reviews and fanfare. “Behind The Curtain: Todrick Hall” takes you on a journey through the production of “Straight Outta Oz” with Todrick Hall. Known for his campy, totally funky music videos, Todrick Hall—a vibrant, lovable, and fabulously gay artist bursting with creative energy. Wright was in the trenches, so to speak, traveling with the cast and filming the world, behind the scenes,which we don’t often see. She took a few moments to tell us about her adventure. Get more info about the film and showtimes here.
How have the premieres been going so far?
Pretty good! We screened it at SXSW. We had a few great screenings there. We did some awesome Q&A’s and had some enthusiastic audiences. There were a bunch of people in the film world who had no idea who Todrick was but came out and really enjoyed the film. They became new fans of his and really appreciated his tenacious effort. It was really great to introduce all of these new people to his work and for his family to see the film as well.
What most attracted you to this project?
I didn’t actually know who Todrick was when the project was first put forth to me. I quickly went home and did my research. I was very smitten very soon. It was a combination of his get up and just do it strategy matched with his absolutely boundless creativity. It just really went straight to my heart.
Did you foresee any issues with filmmaking when you took on the project?
I didn’t really see any problems, really. The hardest part was that I had to really hit the ground running so ferociously. We got together for breakfast and just a couple of days later I was getting the camera and filming. It was a very tight turnaround. He had already started making music videos. The trailer for “Straight Outta Oz” had been released but the videos had not. I try not to think too much about the big picture. I like to start filming and see where it takes me. So, I wasn’t concerned about too many filming problems at the time.
What was your favorite part of working with Todrick Hall?
I think the most fun part for me was feeling that I was making a documentary and a narrative at the same time. I was very quickly deeply imbedded in his world of production. I was running around town working on costumes and props. We very quickly achieved this rapport about the work at hand. We discussed different aesthetics choices. It was kind of fun to be exercising both sides of my brain.
What would you tell someone who is not familiar with Todrick but you think should still see the film?
At first glance, he may seem like just another teen heart-throb but in fact he has incredible wit and lyricism. He has a very generous heart. He does and incredible job of funneling that into his music. He really captures the hearts of people age five to eighty-eight, because my grandmother came to the show this weekend. She just absolutely adored it. It is great to see people from so many generations get so much from the film.
“Behind The Curtain” & Katherine Fairfax Wright Info From SIFF:
Described as “if Willy Wonka and Pee-wee Herman had a black child,” Todrick Hall is a YouTube celebrity, recording artist, songwriter, Broadway actor, “Drag Race” judge, and much, much more. But right now he has only four weeks to write, record, choreograph, film, stage, and design his upcoming “Straight Outta Oz” album and tour. Inspired by Beyonce’s “Lemonade” and spurred by not getting a hard-fought role as the Scarecrow on NBC’s “The Wiz Live!”, Hall imagines “Straight Outta Oz” as a confluence of L. Frank Baum’s oversized universe, Hall’s story of growing up as a gay black male in Arlington, Texas, with a Christian mother, and a rousing piece of activism. As every set piece, costume, bit of choreography, and note is painstakingly created, Hall and his wide-reaching team pull 16-hour days to create “something epic, but for less than epic price.” Behind the Curtain—as open-hearted and frantic as documentaries get—mixes this behind-the-scenes tour with a look back at Hall’s own career and an examination of LGBTQ culture in the wake of the Pulse shooting, a nightclub near and dear to Hall’s heart. The result is an inspiring film about grit, perseverance, and the redemptive power of art.
While Katherine Fairfax Wright has worked on many documentary film crews, Behind the Curtain is only her second film as a director. Call Me Kuchu, her first directorial credit, won awards at festivals around the world, including the Cinema Fairbindet Prize at the Berlin International Film Festival.
Sponsored by KEXP 90.3 FM, MoPOP (Museum of Pop Culture), Lux Pot Shop, Hardly Art Records, Cupcake Royale
Director: Katherine Fairfax Wright
Principal Cast: Todrick Hall, Teresa Stanley, Wayne Brady, Chester Lockhart, Jesse Pattison, Brenda Cornish, Vonzell Solomon, Jenni Thomasson, Jazlyn Nicole Miller
Premiere Status: Seattle
Running Time: 100 minutes
Producer: Brian Robbins, Matt Kaplan, Todrick Hall, Katherine Fairfax Wright
Cinematographers: Katherine Fairfax Wright
Editors: Katherine Fairfax Wright
Music: Todrick Hall, WiiDOPE, Jeeve, Jon Mandabach
Filmography: Call Me Kuchu (2012)