Beaver Trilogy Part IV (2015) Movie Script

[serene music playing]
[Trent] When you do a documentary, so much of what you're doing
is the process of what's real
and what isn't real
and how you film it,
and, you know,
do you turn the camera here
or do you turn the camera here?
How do you make the decision?
You know?
Do I put cream in my coffee?
Do I buy Coors Light? I mean,
you know, life is full of
a million of these decisions
and whichever one you make
makes a big difference.
You've just been introduced
to a man once called...
[reading on-screen text]
His name is Trent Harris.
Now, what you're now watching is a movie about his movie.
The one of a kind 84-minute
underground cult film,
The Beaver Trilogy,
which itself is actually
three short films.
And with a name like that,
you might be asking...
[reading on-screen text]
Well, that is what
we're here to find out.
This is Trent's
Salt Lake City office.
He's been kind enough
to show us a few things.
I got so much junk.
I picked this up in
Turkmenistan. Isn't that
a beautiful little purse?
Plan 10 from Outer Spacebeer.
What have I got over here?
Jeez. Picked this up in Bangkok.
Looks like a big dick
is what it looks like.
This is my friend,
Larry's ashes.
He was my best friend
and a filmmaker,
and when he died,
I put his ashes
in this oyster jar.
I was gonna go throw him out
somewhere, but I never
got around to that.
Seems like it belongs here.
I keep a lot of notebooks.
For some reason.
This is the star
of my new movie.
It's called Luna Mesa.
It's just about done.
"Listen to your visitors."
One morning I was sitting out
over here at 7-Eleven,
it's six o'clock in the morning,
I'm drinking a cup of coffee
and smoking a cigarette
I see this woman
walk across the street,
and is obviously homeless,
she didn't have any shoes on.
And she looks pretty fucked up,
and she comes walking by
and she says,
"Can I have a cigarette?"
I say, "Yeah."
And she sits down
and starts to talk to me
and it turns out
she's the most wise person
I've met in my entire life.
She's got this
incredible insight.
So, anyway,
I called her my crack angel
and I learned this thing of,
"Listen to your visitors."
You don't know. People are gonna
come by and give you information
that you'd never, ever guess.
You know.
Conversations you get into
with strangers,
sometimes they're quite profound
and you just need to be open
to that kind of stuff.
If I'd have said, "Fuck off,
I'm not giving you a cigarette,"
I wouldn't have got
any of that inspiration.
[narrator] The story of
The Beaver Trilogy
began right here...
in this parking lot.
This is
East Hollywood High school,
a Salt Lake City charter school for young filmmakers.
But years ago
this was a privately owned
television station.
KUTV Channel Two.
And in this notoriously
conservative news market,
KUTV would produce
one of the nation's
most original programs.
[commercial music playing]
At that point, my family
had quite a bit of control
of the television station.
You know, we had to stay
within the FCC rules,
and that was about it.
What was wonderful about Extra
was that we did things that
most people wouldn't do in Utah.
With such creative freedom
they would hire this man,
Larry Roberts,
who was not a journalist, rather Larry was best known as an experimental filmmaker.
He also happened to be best friends with Trent Harris.
At the time
Trent was an aspiring
young filmmaker himself
with a few films
under his belt.
He told me, "You gotta
hire Trent Harris.
You gotta hire Trent Harris."
He knew he belonged in Extra.
Trent would produce
dozens of stories forExtra,
many of which would test
the limits of television.
I mean, I had no
journalistic training at all.
I began to get out in the world and meet people.
It was a hell of a lot of fun and the people were great.
They let me do
damn near anything.
Trent's piece,
Atomic Television,
would be such a hit
that it would play at
the nearby US Film Festival.
Extra would give Trent
almost unthinkable
creative freedom.
But something new
was on the horizon.
We were shooting with
16 millimeter film and then,
eventually, the big switch came
when we discovered video tape.
The story goes that this
is the first footage
shot by Trent with the station's new video camera.
It's a simple test tape
in the KUTV parking lot.
-[Trent] It's fine.
-Is it?
-Yeah, it's fine.
-Are you kidding?
-[Trent] You hang on to this.
-Is this really going on
the TV right now?
-It is?
Are you kidding?
Well, how about that?
John Wayne. Here, Mom.
[imitating John Wayne]
Here's John Wayne, y'all.
Well, I'll tell ya something
out there in TV land.
I'm hammin' it up.
I'll tell ya.
-You do any more imitations?
-Uh, you know Rocky,
Sylvester Stallone?
Yeah, do that one.
[imitating Sylvester Stallone]
Okay, know what I mean? You know
Rocky, Sylvester Stallone?
You know, he's got a coach
named Mickey,
you know what I mean?
He's a good guy, you know?
He knows his fight.
He knows his left from
his right, he knows his left toe
from his right toe, you know?
He's a good fighter, you know?
He's a good guy
and he loves his wife,
Adrian, you know?
So, anyway...
I love it up here though.
I was just takin' some pictures
of Sky Two over there
and, man, it's really
fantastic out here.
I love it. I love it up here.
I love impersonating, and
by gosh, if I made the tube,
I'd just thank you so much.
What I found is
that he was so engaging.
He's infectious.
And also his naivete
was quite wonderful.
I mean, it took 30 seconds
and I was so enthralled
with him
that I knew that
I just had to keep filming.
Well, I'd like to get a picture
of you. That'd be great.
Take a picture
of me taking a picture.
-Well, I don't...
Would that be all right?
Okay. Let's see.
Am I on three here?
A picture of you
taking a picture
of me taking a picture.
Okay. Hang on
to your mic there, bud.
Let's see. Did I get that?
Okay. Got to go to four.
Okay, smile,
you're on candid camera.
All right.
I'm just trying to keep up
with him at that point.
I mean, it's all
a surprise to me.
I don't know what's...
It's unfolding for me, just
like it is for anyone else.
I don't know what's going on
when I'm walking over there
to his car.
I had no idea that it would
turn out to be so wonderful.
I'll show you the inside
real fast, okay?
I've got your AM, FM,
8-track, the whole set up.
[Trent] The side windows are engraved with carvings of Farrah Fawcett
and on the other side
is Olivia Newton-John
and, you know, I had no idea
how interesting it would be.
The whole thing
was just quite amazing.
I says, "If I make something,
if something happens to this,
I don't know if it will,"
I says, "Me and you are gonna
go and have steak dinner."
Okay, Trent,
I'll remember you, pal.
I really will.
As you drive off, I'll get
a shot of you driving off.
Okay. Sounds good.
Let's fire this old mom up.
I'll see you again too.
Cars gonna be...
Now, get this.
My car knows it's on television,
so hang on.
Hang on. We may have to do
a cut on that.
I have to jump it
across the front.
My car gets very upset
real easy.
[car starts]
There we go.
Okay. Well, Channel Two,
it's been great. I love you.
See you again, Trent.
-Thanks again, pal.
Appreciate it.
15 minutes later,
he walks in and he goes,
"My God, you can't believe
what I just recorded."
[Trent] He went back
to his home town of Beaver
and set up a talent show.
And then he wrote me a series of letters pleading with me to come down and film the show.
And I thought, "Boy, there's no way that's not going to be great."
You could take
a 1,000 journalists
in Salt Lake City and say,
"Okay, how many of you
think this is a good story?"
Trent would raise his hand
and he would be about it.
And from there he just had to go
to Beaver. He had to go
see the talent show.
boy, you see
the rest of the story.
[narrator] Trent embarked on his journey down to Beaver.
He was paired with
a newExtra employee
and his new partner
had ties to Beaver.
I wasn't a stranger to Beaver.
I had a grant to work
in small school districts
and I had to spend a month
in that school system.
[narrator] In the letters, the Beaver kid
clued Trent into
his impersonation as
"Olivia Newton Dawn."
It would surprisingly lead them to the Beaver mortuary,
as the town's mortician seemed the only one qualified to do his makeup.
Okay. This is...
I still am a man.
I'm doing outrageous things,
but I enjoy being a guy.
I really do.
Come on. Yes, I do.
I have to convince the audience
that I have not gone crazy.
It's just for fun.
There comes a time
when you're filming people
when you're doing documentaries and often what happens is they will say one thing,
but the information you're picking up is something completely different.
There's a subtext going on
and the subtext can...
You know, if you catch that
subtext, that's fascinating.
And I felt like I was getting a lot of that kind of subtext.
This whole piece is filled
with that sort of thing.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Olivia Newton Dawn.
["'Please Don't Keep Me Waiting"
I want to love you
Once again
Couldn't you love me too?
Don't turn away
From all that
We've been through
Everyone changes
Be my friend
Haven't you got the time?
Help me, I need you
Throw me down a line
When I watched
this metamorphosis
and I saw him come out five
or six inches taller because
of the heels he had on
and all this hair,
I thought,
"This is an odd situation
we have here."
We were pretty confused.
I think we didn't... We had to examine our motives.
I think what we got
was absolutely nothing
that we expected.
I'll tell you my honest reaction
when Trent showed the footage
he'd got from that talent show,
I was really worried.
I just thought it went too far
and exposed too much.
And we talked a lot about it,
we all talked about it
and I think we decided
not to run it, as I recall.
And I was thinking,
"There's a lot more
going on here than...
He's not a joke.
He's an interesting character.
He's got a..."
I wasn't sure whether
they were picking up on
the pathos of the whole thing.
And that was kind of
what inspired it.
"I got to do this movie again,
so let's make it
perfectly clear."
Wow, are you filming this?
Yeah, all America is watching.
I can't believe it.
I can't believe it.
I've never been on set before.
For his fictional remake
of the never-aired
half-hour documentary,
Trent would by chance meet
another aspiring
young performer.
He was trying to cast it
and I knew this actor,
Sean Penn.
[Trent] I called him up
on the phone, I didn't know
who the hell he was.
I said, "It's about a guy from Beaver, Utah,
that likes to dress up
like Olivia Newton-John."
I said, "Are you interested
in, you know, meeting?"
He said, "Yeah."
So he comes over and I said,
"I want you to audition...
for this thing."
He says, uh...
"I don't wanna audition.
What I'll do is,
I'll just be that kid.
I'm gonna be the Beaver kid
and I'm gonna follow you around
for a day.
I'll be your cousin from Idaho."
And so he does it.
And it was incredible.
I know I'll never
make it big-time,
but here's my crack at it.
[Trent] And then later, a couple of guys I knew came up to me and said,
"Boy, your cousin's
really become a big star."
Olivia Newton Dawn
is born again.
The thing about
the version with Sean
is after I finished that,
and it was just really rough
home video camera
shot and edited in five days,
and Sean did it for, basically, I gave him some pizza,
he was just great to work
and do the thing.
And after it was finished,
I still didn't feel
right about it.
So I decided
I'd better do it again.
For the next remake,
Trent would need to find
yet another
aspiring young performer.
You know, I just wanted somebody
that could play the damn part,
and I read a lot of people.
I mean, Nicolas Cage read for it
and Eric Stoltz
and all kinds of people.
Wow, are you filming this?
All America is watching you.
Oh, no kidding. Oh, wow.
Why, I've been wantin'
to get on the tube so bad.
With this, Crispin Glover
would become
the third Beaver Kid.
When you're a performer...
I mean,
when you're on TV, it's okay.
People understand
when it's on... television.
The final remake had many
shot for shot recreations,
but there were
a few differences too.
The third film
wasn't set in Beaver.
Instead it was set in a small fictional town called Orkly.
And this film wasn't shot
for 100 bucks and pizza.
It was Trent's thesis film at the American Film Institute
with a budget of $50,000.
The Orkly Kid also showed
a number of dramatic scenes
that were not in
the original documentary.
Trent had written
his character into the film
as a manipulative
and exploitive journalist.
He also included this scene.
[telephone ringing]
Terence, hiya, pal.
Uh, I hope you don't think
I'm crazy for this
but, um, I'm a little worried
about that Olivia number.
What, are you kidding?
Hey, listen.
I put a lot of time and effort into this project.
Look, people are gonna love it. You looked great.
And besides, I got
a deadline to meet, huh?
Would I lie to you?
[hinges squeaking]
[dog barking]
[gun cocking]
[dramatic music playing]
[narrator] Knowing
the original documentary,
the sight of a gun in this fictionalized version is unexpected.
But like the third film,
the second film
also had a phone call
asking that the footage
not be aired
and the main character
on the verge of suicide.
These added scenes
would prompt many questions.
Were the remakes fiction?
Did the documentary
actually capture reality?
What's real?
You goddamn fool,
you've embarrassed
the entire town.
[narrator reading
on-screen text]
What really happened
that day in Beaver?
[Starlee] At the end you have him calling the director character up
and asking to call it off
and then he tries
to kill himself.
And you're saying
this is for dramatic purpose
that you did that?
Yeah. Pretty much, I guess.
I mean, you know, when I make these things into movies
I have to take
some dramatic license
to make 'em work.
He wanted to make a short film
and why not make
this short film?
And he already knew the story
and why not make it again?
And I just didn't believe that
it wasn't like a deeper reason.
It seems to be the furthest
from the reality though
that we saw from
the documentary, though.
[Trent] You know, reality doesn't have anything to do with anything.
-You can quote me on that.
-[Starlee laughs]
-"Reality doesn't have--" -Anything to do with anything.
And it just wouldn't stop.
And she'd ask me questions,
and she just kept going,
and going, and going.
And this is not based
on anything, right?
That actually happened?
No, it's something
I fabricated.
-Something I made up.
[Starlee chuckling]
Oh, boy, I don't know.
Really, what's this movie...
-Why don't you shut up?
-[both laughing]
Well, finally I just
told her to shut up.
I mean, he told me to shut up,
and he was getting annoyed
that I kept at him,
although I think
I was right to
because I think he...
admits to feeling it being
a different thing.
How to put this?
I did get a phone call
after I'd been in Beaver
and the phone call said,
"Listen, I've been thinking
about that. Maybe...
you know, maybe you
shouldn't put it on TV."
That was horrible.
I hated that interview.
It went on and on, and on.
Almost as long as this one.
Maybe we should have
told you this earlier.
Trent hates talking about
The Beaver Trilogy.
Beaver Trilogy,I can't stand anymore.
If I ever have to talk
about that movie, God, my God,
I'm sick of that movie.
Shortly thereafter,
he would expand
on his opinions.
Normally, I come in,
they put me down,
and they set up their shot
and they ask me
the same goddamn questions
and I give 'em
the same fucking answers
and then they're happy
and they leave,
but they never get it.
It turns out
Trent has already spoken
quite extensively
on the subject.
While, surprisingly,
on the other side,
the Beaver kid
has said nothing at all.
No quotes, no interviews,
he has never spoke publicly
aboutThe Beaver Trilogy
and was credited in the film
under the pseudonym,
Groovin' Gary.
Since those final shots of Trent's original documentary,
the Beaver kid
remains a mystery.
[suspenseful music playing]
Beaver is roughly a 200-mile drive southwest from Salt Lake City.
It's a small town
in Central Utah.
But, surprisingly, this
rural location is best known
for its link to the invention of television.
In 1927, Beaver native,
Philo T. Farnsworth,
registered the first patent
for the television.
50 years later, the invention wold inspire another young man from Beaver.
To find the Beaver kid,
the question was posed,
"Have you ever seen
The Beaver Trilogy?"
The what?
Beaver Trilogy?
You'll have to
explain that to me.
[narrator] These gentlemen had never seen the film either
but helped search
through the yearbooks
and then...
-He's called the Beaver kid
or something?
-Beaver kid.
Groovin' Gary.
[narrator] His name isn't Groovin' Gary.
It's actually Dick Griffiths.
After speaking with
a few that knew of him,
the search would eventually lead to his sister.
He was the most popular, cute,
fun-loving guy in high school
and he was...
You sure you're not filming me?
She wanted to talk
off the record.
The request was obliged.
For a short while.
[Dick's sister 1]
I can't stop you
from telling his story.
And he would love that,
if you told his story
the way it really was.
These are his
other two sisters.
If you wanted to know
how many people in Beaver
know about that film,
it's a handful.
Yeah. There sure ain't many.
He did not want
anything to do with it.
For a long time he was
very wound up about it.
Yeah, he was.
So, now do you wanna
sit down and talk to us?
[narrator] Before rolling,
and off-camera microphone
caught this exchange.
[Dick's sister 2 speaking]
Or you wouldn't be here.
You wouldn't be here right now.
Everything that happened
in Dick's life
happened for a reason.
And you say you were inspired
by the movie, but you may not
know what you were inspired by.
Trent's creative mind
in Hollywood and video
left people wondering,
"What happened
to that poor kid?"
-"So we can make another one."
-"Look at that. Oh!
Can you believe that poor kid
lived like that?" That poor kid
didn't live like that.
But that's the way
the film...
You know, how many films
do you find that
that's the way they end
and you wanna put
an end on 'em?
[sister 1]
He was an entertainer
from day one.
[sister 3] Oh, he loved
being in the limelight.
He had a million friends.
He was silly.
He was. He was
so much fun to be around.
He was a blast to be around.
He would get with the kid down
the block, his name was Chad,
and they would record themselves on the tape recorder.
[on tape]
This is Chad Hollinger.
We will be interviewing
our teachers from
Beaver High School.
We did that
and we took it to school
and it was a hit.
Once they found out
how talented he was at school
and the impressions
that he could do,
he and his neighbor,
Chad Hollinger, they MC'd
almost every assembly in school.
I think that he just had
so much talent
that, uh... it was just
natural to share it.
[sister 2]
I think Dick really thought
that he'd go up there
and there would be
a lock on the door.
When he saw the news helicopter he was excited.
And then when Trent Harris
come out, it was just like fate.
You know, you go to Hollywood
and get a part.
I think Dick thought
he'd already gotten his part.
He thought
this was a big break
for him.
You watch him there,
if you look at him and him
walking back to the car,
talking to himself.
My day is come. It's shinin'.
I doubt if I'll ever get
into TV, but here's
my crack at it, you know?
Hello, people, here I am.
Hello, Utah.
Ooh, look what I just did.
I'm gonna...
What if this makes Extra?
Oh, Hollywood, hey!
Here I am, here I come.
I can see the wheels turning
in the parking lot.
Like Dick had done
in high school.
I think all the way home
he thought who he could get...
He was gonna get
to show his impressions.
You know, he was gonna do
Barry Manilow, he was gonna do
Olivia Newton-John,
he was gonna do...
I mean, he would have...
Yeah, he was gonna do 'em all.
[man] You know, I played the piano
and, you know, I thought, "Well, sure, why don't we get together and we can...
'Cause, I mean,
I'd had one or two
crappy, failing bands
that just kinda limped along.
I think I was a lot more serious about it than most of the kids in town.
But he, uh... He was really serious about it.
He wanted to be an impressionist, he wanted to be an impressionist.
That was pretty much it.
And I think he really felt like
that was the place where
he was gonna step up.
I'm not sayin' I'm great
or anything, but...
I sure would like to get into
show business, I really would,
it's been my lifelong dream.
[sister 3]
He loved to listen
to Olivia's music
and then he'd start singing,
and pretty soon,
he'd captured her voice
and he sounded just like her.
I mean, it was all just part
of that craziness that...
I was all
for shaking people up, you know?
The kids were just thrilled
that he would do
Olivia Newton-John
and dress in drag.
I realized how much he had done,
how hard he had worked
and how he had machined
this whole thing
to get Trent there
to videotape him.
"Manipulation" is such a strong
word and I don't mean it
in a negative connotation
but he was a man
obsessed with this
and he did what he needed to do
to get them down here
to tape him.
My parents had a mortuary
here in town.
So my mom was doing the makeup
and making the deceased
look as...
good as possible.
And that's where Dick went
and got made up that day.
Your impersonation
are excellent.
I hoped that you'll
be able to, uh...
another short number,
besides Olivia Newton-John.
Nah, I must be
a little bit off of it.
You know, I enjoy
making people laugh,
that's the main thing.
You know what? I take
my impersonations seriously,
I do.
But I like to... I know
if people see me dress up
like Olivia Newton-John,
I'm gonna get a smile,
whether I do it
seriously or not
because it's like, "Wow.
That guy is really crazy."
Hey, he wanted to do it,
and honestly, we were all
on the other end, going,
"Dick, don't do this.
Don't do this, honey."
You know, just,
"Oh, no, honey,
don't go up there."
But wig on
and he had all the clothes
and, "Oh, no,
don't do that."
You know, that was what he got
from our side.
I'm kinda crazy,
but I just do it for fun.
I'm a man, not a girl.
We got there early in the day
and the band got together
and just kinda played
while he went and got ready.
And we hung out at the school.
He had a wonderful naivete about that whole thing.
But it was fun.
And I think part of the fun
was just the sheer exuberance
of doing something that crazy.
To be in Beaver, Utah,
and get up in drag like that
and come out and be...
To pretend to be somebody
of a different gender,
it's outrageous.
And we thought it was cool.
We thought it was great.
Until we got there...
and kinda sensed
the feel of the room.
It was a little weird.
And I remember Dick getting the shakes.
He picked up on the vibe.
And growing up just a little bit
in that moment to realize
how other people felt
about that sort of thing.
And how misconstrued
that kind of thing can be.
And misunderstood Dick was
in that time.
You made a fool
out of yourself out there.
It's small-time, I know,
but people started calling me.
Take that silly wig off.
Listen, those TV people
aren't your friends.
People see that
on television,
they're not gonna call.
They're gonna call you a fruit.
I know that there were people
that thought he was gay
and, of course,
that's the worst thing
you could be
in Central Utah in 1979
is gay.
You can't even allude to that.
You can't intimate that at all.
He wasn't gay
and that's kinda
how they portrayed him
and it was kinda like
they made fun of him
and he was real tender-hearted
and he just thought,
"Man, I thought
I was doing something great,
I thought this was my chance,
and I not only hurt my family,
but I've hurt all my friends"
and he was
very remorseful about it.
He worried a lot,
he worried excessively.
I know he worried about
Olivia Newton Dawn
once it was all done.
I know he worried
about it deeply.
He couldn't sleep.
He was staying over with Lory
and Lory would go down and see
that he wasn't, you know, well.
He wasn't sleeping
at all at night.
And his mind went 24/7.
And he came home,
and we knew he was sick.
Mom and Dad knew he was sick.
They were taking him to
the doctor and that morning
he had an appointment and...
he shot himself
through the chest.
I mean, probably our kids
haven't even heard
some of this, but...
he was strong enough that
our dad had gone up to...
We had an old cow.
Our dad had gone up
to milk the cow
and when he went up
to milk the cow
was when
Dick attempted suicide.
When he found out
he was still alive,
he changed shirts.
And he sat down at the...
Well, he was downstairs
and our dad came down
from milking the cow
and he knew Dick was sick
and he...
fixed him some breakfast.
And he said,
"Dick, come and eat.
Come and have some breakfast."
So as Dick sat down at the table
and he said,
"Dad, I'm gonna tell you
something that's gonna shock you
more than anything
I've ever told you."
And Dad goes, "I don't know
about that, you know?"
And he said,
"Dad, I've shot myself."
[melancholy music playing]
Oh, it was terrible.
I mean,
it was a terrible thing.
It was just a few days. And I'd left the mic in his car
and so I called up his mother
to try and find the mic.
She said, "Oh,
he's in the hospital
and shot himself."
So that's when that happened.
I mean, it's a mixture
of things, you feel guilty
that I've exploited the guy,
and then I'd think about that.
"No, I didn't exploit him,
he was exploiting me,
actually, in a way,"
I started to think that too.
So I got over the guilt thing.
But to take it
to a step beyond that,
I would have felt guilty.
Because then
it becomes exploitive.
And that's the trouble
I was having when I kept
remaking the damn thing.
You know, I'm making the thing,
but if I show it,
it become exploitive
so I didn't show it,
it was ridiculous.
I did it secretly,
I didn't want it to get out
Because I didn't want it
to come back,
but I still wanted to do it
so I'd keep it a secret.
[narrator] The three films
would remain separated
and secret for decades.
But now,
knowing the real story,
let's look at the rest
of this scene.
This might be the most
obvious difference
from the real story.
In the remakes,
he doesn't pull the trigger.
In his prized car, listening
to his favorite song,
he sets off to follow
his Hollywood dream.
[woman singing on radio]
Now is the moment
We must live
You can't run and hide
I know you want me too
Down deep inside
[Trent] In my own way, I probably had this crazy a dream as he did.
I'm driving off to Los Angeles with a story in the back of my mind
and I'm gonna take
Hollywood by storm.
[radio playing]
Please don't
Keep me waiting
I can't love you
[Trent] Again,
it's the serendipity
of the thing.
I just happened to be
in the right place
at the right time.
You know, one thing
leads to another
and all kinds of things
just because of this
one chance encounter.
And I had no idea
at that point that it would
change my entire life.
You know?
That's amazing,
those little points,
the points that hit,
that just...
whoo! Takes you in
a whole direction you never,
ever thought would happen.
So when you look at it that way,
we'll say,
"Hey, bud, let's party."
For the character
of the Hollywood dreamer,
Trent had, by chance, cast two soon-to-be Hollywood stars.
I'm George, George McFly.
[Trent] I became quite fond of Crispin.
He was a good friend there
for a long time.
He said, "Come on over
to my place.
I've got something
I wanna show you."
[narrator] This is Crispin as Rubin Farr.
And he said,
"Wouldn't it be funny
to do a film
about this character?
Wouldn't he be
a great character
to write a movie about?"
And I introduced
Crispin to the desert.
I drove him out to this place and said, "You gotta see this place, it's great.
Wouldn't it be great
to put Rubin out here?"
[typewriter clacking]
So I stayed up, you know,
and focused
and I wrote that movie
and, bam, like,
sold the next day.
This would be Trent's
big break in Hollywood.
[mysterious music playing]
Trent's film,Rubin and Ed,
would put Crispin's
platform-heeled character
in the desert.
-Where are you going?
-Away from you.
Comedian, Howard Hesseman,
would be cast as Ed
and the duo would wander
the desert, searching for
the perfect place to bury
this frozen cat.
Bury the cat.
It's gonna get weird now,
isn't it?
Trent kinda knew
exactly what movie
he was going to make.
[comical music playing]
The wackiness of Crispin,
you know?
Rubin... It was hard
to determine where
Crispin ended and Rubin began.
He was very, very
into that character.
He was basically in character
for the whole time
we made that movie.
Folks, please welcome
Crispin Glover.
[audience cheering]
Letterman had no clue
what was going on.
You know, these aren't mine.
I can kick.
[narrator] Rubin Farr's visit to Letterman
has since become
one of late nights'
most legendary moments.
Okay, I'm gonna go
check on the top ten.
[audience laughs]
I'll be back.
It was kind of interventionist
live TV at its absolute best.
It was genius.
[narrator] Through the chaotic production,
they would finishRubin and Ed on time and under budget.
Trent had finished
his first feature film.
I'm on a collision course,
a head-on collision course
with the brick wall
of success.
Think about it.
Rubin and Ed, a movie
unlike any other movie
you've ever seen,
a truly original movie,
and it was made by
a truly original filmmaker,
Trent Harris.
A man from Utah, grew up here, worked here, and now he is a Hollywood filmmaker.
He was famous, he was legendary
here at Channel Two.
Now, he's not quite famous yet.
You're looking at a man
who is almost
in possession of his dream.
I was so excited for Trent,
and I knew
how excited he was.
And it just so happened that
the LA riots occurred
about the time
the film was gonna premiere.
[sirens wailing]
I had, surprisingly, been sent
to LA by the Salt Lake
TV station.
And I was in the theater
for the premiere.
Well, me and about
seven other people.
Everybody was in
a particularly mean mood.
Critics were in a mean mood.
It wasn't like
they didn't like the movie.
It was like
they hated the movie.
"This is the worst movie
of the decade."
That made Trent
change his life plan,
get out of LA, go back
to Salt Lake and kind of
start again, in a way.
You know, I'd come off
theRubin and Ed thing,
where everybody was saying
it was the worst movie
of the decade.
And then people were saying
Ed Wood, Plan 9,
was the worst movie ever made
and I said, "Fuck them,
I'm gonna make Plan 10."
Okay, ready? Roll sound.
The Mormon sci-fi thriller
would be produced
on a shoestring budget
with a ragtag crew of friends.
He was like, "What I wanna do
is rewrite the script
and you will basically be
the protagonist."
Plan 10 from Outer Space...
has begun.
He said, "I want you to play
a father." And I was a father.
"And he's gotta have
a station wagon."
I got a station wagon.
He said, "Sean,
you been in a shot yet?"
I said, "No,
because I'm, like, recording."
Everybody liked to help him
because it was fun.
It was just wild
and crazy and fun.
It was a really interesting,
diverse crowd.
It was just all his best buddies
in Salt Lake rallying to,
you know,
"Let's go make a movie."
And I helped quite a bit on securing locations.
This is the place!
That was kind of
an interesting shot to pull off.
After Trent finished
Plan 10 from Outer Space,
he was accepted to the same local film festival that had previously screened his work.
But by this time,
the once-floundering
US Film Festival
had evolved into
the Sundance Film Festival,
a key venue for the emerging
market of independent film.
It did okay
on the festival thing.
Well, I mean, I never made
a dime off the thing.
Although it had
played at Sundance,
Plan 10 from Outer Space
would be Trent's
second financial failure.
I was going to become
a famous film director.
You know?
Luckily, that didn't happen.
And now, look.
[slow rock music playing]
[narrator] With his two failures, Trent's Hollywood dreams were over.
[sister 2]
Hollywood is Hollywood and...
you have to separate
Hollywood from real life.
-Hollywood is Hollywood--
-That was a big lesson
for Dick.
He did call me,
and he said, uh...
"I guess you know
I had a little accident."
And I said,
"Yeah. Are you okay?"
"Yeah, I'm fine"
and all of that
and he said,
"But it wasn't an accident."
He told me
it wasn't an accident.
That he didn't know why,
that he wasn't
really connected up...
to a sense of reality
at the time.
I think that after
Dick survived that,
I just think
a little piece of him just...
didn't ever come back.
Does that make sense?
I'm sure Trent Harris
saw a story.
And I'm sure he had
his own reason
for doing what he did
but it put the cap
upon what Dick did.
And all of us
in the same thing.
It was like, "Well,
we thought
nobody ever sees that."
I'd read an article
in the Salt Lake Tribune
and you know that
the name they used
was Groovin' Gary
and I had no idea
it was my uncle.
It's something that the family
doesn't really talk
a lot about, you know?
And I've learned
a lot just chatting.
While you guys were talking
to my mom, we kind of chatted
and there was a lot of things
that I didn't realize
stemmed from
The Beaver Trilogy.
I can see a certain part
of his personality
would be really happy
just that he was up there
on screen,
getting his 15 minutes.
And I can see another part
of his personality would be
you know, a little...
We've all had those moments
when we put ourselves out there.
And afterwards
there's a hint of glory
and a hint of regret
where you feel like, "Wow,
I did something special,"
at the same time you feel like,
"Did I go too far?"
And I can see him
feeling both ways, feeling
really conflicted about it.
To me, that's what made
the story so interesting.
He shut that off.
For a while.
And he was more reclusive.
I know I must have run into him
a few times
when I was home for holidays
or the weekend,
come home to see my family.
But we really didn't hang out
much after that.
Honestly, for about ten years
during most of my high school
and college years, I didn't hear
anything from him.
I saw him maybe once a year.
For five minutes
he would just pop in,
and it was just a party
and laughin', and tellin'
funny stories,
and doing impressions,
and then he was off.
And we wouldn't see him,
you know, for another year.
But he was always a good time.
He was really struggling
with a lot of personal things,
because he...
he was staying a lot
in Minersville
in his mother's home.
There were some people that
when they take their kids
to Disneyland or anything,
they would put these little
harnesses on them, you know,
with a leash, so they could...
This is the clothesline
that our mom put,
the little harness, thinking
she could keep him here.
He was only about three
and he had bib overalls on him.
He would lay the bib overalls
on the ground and he was gone.
He was just runnin' around
in his skivvies, so...
It was great.
You see the artwork
over there on the wall
with Farrah
that was his...
He always had a picture of her
in that red swimming suit.
That was the only time
I ever seen him
dress up like Olivia
was that day that
he did that program.
He kinda had a hard time
distinguishing reality
from fiction.
He kinda lived in both worlds.
It was easy for me
to get mad at him
like, "Come on,
get over all this."
I think he liked it out there.
Because he could be creative
and do the things
he wanted to do.
When he was in the real world, he had to worry about the world's attention.
There's so many
who have aspired
and have that dream.
They see how glamorous
and how wonderful it is
on television
and then
they get out to reality
and it's just not like that.
[Ken] I don't think
he would have been happy
in some place like LA.
I think LA would have
sucked the life
right out of him.
You know, it can do that.
I always say that you go
to LA and you sell
a little bit of your soul.
[Trent] I lived in Hollywood
and I knew Sean Penn
and Madonna.
And now I'm out here.
[narrator] With his Hollywood dreams over,
Trent would also
get back to reality.
I think that when someone
such as myself
is actually trying
to film reality,
the Salt Flats
is a perfect place to do that.
reality out here is...
at its starkest.
It's naked.
Naked reality.
The first digital camera
that came out, I got it.
And the first day I got it,
I went out
and I made a home movie.
Me walking around,
talking like this
on the Salt Flats.
I think it's the best thing
I ever did.
One of the films of his I was
most concerned about,
that it would just be horrible,
was a series
of self-documentaries.
My heart knows
What the wild goose knows
And I must go
Where the wild goose goes
Wild goose, crazy goose
Which is best?
A rambling fool
Or a heart at rest
You don't have to go around
asking for permission.
"Please, please give me money
so I can make a movie."
"No." "Please."
This is a thing, a big thing
with me right now,
is I'm completely out of money,
I have about 40 bucks
in the bank.
I enjoy making films.
But nobody will pay me to do it.
[burps loudly]
Some might call it
commercial suicide.
I think Trent just...
said, "It's just what I'm doing,
it's just the thing
I'm doing now."
You know, he had
this blue Volvo
which was literally
falling apart when
we'd go for rides.
And I just looked down
and in the little compartment
there was a little jar.
A Pacific Oysters jar.
Oh, this is interesting.
And it was half-full
of dust.
So I pulled it out
and I said,
"What's this, Trent?"
He went, "Oh, that's Larry."
This is actually
my best friend, Larry.
His last wish was for Trent
to scatter his ashes
over the Grand Canyon.
That's Larry
right out there on the edge
of the Grand Canyon.
And he couldn't bring himself
to scatter those ashes.
So he kept a bit of Larry.
He popped him in
the Pacific Oysters jar
and kept him in his car
so wherever he went,
Larry was with him.
And if you think about that, it's hilarious and heartbreaking at the same time.
And, oh,
here is Stephanie,
my girlfriend.
Isn't she pretty?
I don't know if anyone's
brought this up yet,
they probably have,
that Trent and I dated
for three or four years.
[Trent] I just found out
that my girlfriend,
Stephanie, left me.
He is...
He's very focused on his work.
Like any artist, you know?
You kinda become like a nun or a monk to whatever you're doing.
And I was young and stupid and didn't understand that
and that distance
was hard for me.
As you can see,
things have changed...
a bit. I'm in the middle
of the Sahara Desert.
[imitating camel]
[Trent chuckling]
These people think I'm crazy.
[narrator] Trent had decided to continue his self-documentary,
but his time in Timbuktu.
[folk music playing]
Along his travels,
these self-documentaries
would branch off into this.
His feature documentary
entitledThe Cement Ball
would expose Cambodia's
deadly land mine crisis.
I'm gonna get
my balls blown off.
-[man] It's okay?
One, two...
[Paul] Witnessing
his political awakening
through his first trips
to Cambodia
and beginning to understand
about land mines
and beginning to
put together the picture,
the one-man technology helped Trent recreate himself as the person he should have been.
[narrator] Trent has since posted sections of these self-documentaries on YouTube.
The videos have been a hit with those who have seen them.
But there are not
many who have.
You know any 14-year-old
who's on their third film
right now?
They can get worldwide
distribution on YouTube.
Things are changing
drastically and fast.
I don't know exactly
what it all means.
First I thought
this was a really good idea
and now there's so much junk
out there that,
well, it's even harder,
let's say, to somehow
cut through the din.
You just go to,
Groovin' Gary.
[woman screaming]
I really did think he wanted
to be an impressionist.
I really think that was
one of his main goals.
But just as a human being,
Dick wanted to
make people happy.
Well, my common motto,
and I'm gonna get sincere on ya,
this is really the truth,
it's really to make someone
really smile.
If I can make a guys' day
easier, or a gal's day easier,
you know,
just by making them smile,
that's really what
my policy is all about.
He loved to take people
for a ride in his cool car
because it made people happy.
He liked to make people happy.
I don't wanna get
too over-mushy,
but that's the truth.
I wonder if
going through Hollywood,
if you get to feel
the love and the compassion
that you get to feel by just
growing up a normal kid
and a normal man,
and a normal brother.
You know, he wanted Trent to probably come back to Beaver and interview him
as a normal human being
and Trent wouldn't do it.
-And set the record straight.
-And set the record straight.
And Trent wouldn't do it.
So that's what
we're hoping you'll do.
[pleasant music playing]
[sister 3]
We all left the little town.
That's where
we were trying to hold Dick.
You know, what would have
happened, maybe,
if we'd all just said, "Hey,
get your car
and throw your clothes
in the back and go see?"
-But, you know, we were too--
-We were too protective.
Yeah. But...
maybe we shouldn't...
Maybe we squash
our own dreams.
Maybe we clipped his wings.
Us three, maybe we should have
just threw him out of the nest
and let him fly.
[serene music playing]
I mean, I've often said
that I think you can make
a documentary film
about anybody.
That if you spend
enough time with anybody,
a drama will develop
and if you're a good enough filmmaker, you can catch these things as they actually happen.
God, I went to the movies
last night. First time I'd been
to a movie in a long time
and I'm watching the trailers
and it's just depressing.
Comic book heroes,
special effects,
God, it was boring and loud
and obnoxious and stupid.
Who wants to make movies
about cheerleaders?
I don't get it.
How many 1950s TV shows
do we have to remake?
Two guys that are cops
and they hate each other,
but in the end
they become buddies
'cause they've gone through
this... Like, God, give me
a break already.
I don't wanna ever see
that movie again.
You'd be safe to say that
this once aspiring
Hollywood filmmaker
isn't afraid of going
in a different direction
and trying something
a little unconventional.
I got...
For instance,
I also got into this thing,
you know, randomness.
So I went out and just randomly
took pictures of leaves.
They're quite beautiful.
But I didn't frame it, I just
held the camera like that
and snapped the picture.
This isn't cropped at all.
You start out the randomness.
This is all chance.
So then I did this whole series,
it was like 12 of them,
I did it in an hour.
Just went to the park
with my camera,
I didn't even know what
I was gonna take pictures of.
It should probably be noted
that Trent
isn't just a filmmaker.
Here is a small sampling
of his less publicized work,
which includes
his photography, paintings
writings, drawings and this.
This also goes back to that
"Listen to your visitors."
You don't know,
people are gonna come by
and they're gonna
give you information
that you'd never, ever guess.
As I write scripts,
what you're doing is taking
random bits of information
and rearranging them
and constructing a reality.
The reality. A bit of reality.
So I stared thinking,
"Why not go out and construct
the random bits of reality
from stuff I gather
with the camera?"
So first I go out and start
to shoot random things
in various places.
I got this as a reality.
You know, you have this
incredibly beautiful location.
Look at that.
You can't paint that well.
It's beautiful shot.
And that's like, what am I gonna
do? Go in there and pretend
you're a photographer.
I don't know what we're gonna do
with it at that point.
But I know how to build
a sequence out of it,
so I built a sequence.
Trent has spent years
traveling the world
and shooting his latest
feature film...
[reading on-screen text]
It could be his most
ambitious film to date.
And he only has
a few scenes left to shoot.
So many times people make
documentaries about things
that have happened in the past.
So there'd be somebody
sitting down and saying,
"Yes, when I was 16..."
Or you get the Ken Burns thing
with lots of still photographs
and banjo music.
And then you get
trying to film reality,
how would you do that?
[narrator] Trent would go on
to say the story
isn't inThe Beaver Trilogy
or in the past. What's really important is usually what's right in front of you.
[upbeat folk music playing]
We've now caught up
with Trent in Cambodia.
[narrator] As it turns out, reality isn't always that interesting.
Yeah, you gotta figure out
how to film me doing something
besides drinking beer
and smoking.
Oh, I don't know
what to tell ya.
At some point
you may have wondered,
how can a man with no money
so easily hopscotch
across the planet?
The answer is journalism.
One of my favorite stories
is the Cambodian Children's Fund
and he found that.
You hear the story,
acid attack, where they throw
acid at people's faces?
This whole family...
I was out at the garbage dump with Scott Neeson, doing a story about the smell
and the toxic waste that you're walking through
and the number of people around it is phenomenal,
when I saw this little girl out there
and she just stood out to me.
I think you should sponsor her.
You know,
those pictures you draw,
elephant, pineapple,
I like them.
She sends me emails probably once or twice a week.
And I come and visit her
at least once a year.
It's been really fun.
She's pretty.
You think he's this,
you know, grumpy guy
and he's not, he's the most
compassionate person.
This is Liberty,
who would travel
the world with Trent
as the lead actress
ofLuna Mesa.
The part-documentary,
is also something else.
This is a bit of a surprise
considering Trent's seeming
obsession with... reality?
So I figured
why stay on this planet
after a while, you know?
I've gone all over.
Rwanda, Cambodia, it's like,
I don't have to stop there,
let's go to another planet.
[man] People don't understand Trent.
I think a lot of people think
he's weird,
I think he's weird.
But Trent is an artist.
Trent's abstract process
actually has a very specific
name in the art world.
[reads on-screen text]
Loosely defined
as dream and reality
fused to capture the reality
of the subconscious.
The early surrealists
had a process they went through to create things.
And they used chants
as a big part
of what they were doing.
This modern art tangent
would take place here
in London,
where Trent was invited
to premiereLuna Mesa,
his surrealist film.
[indistinct chatter]
[man on-screen]
This here's one that
comes from Maples.
So you and I will do
a little chat afterwards
so please don't leave
at the end.
We'll have
a little talk about it.
All right?
At the premiere of it here
in London,
I felt really bad afterwards.
You know, I think
three or four people
maybe showed up.
So the whole thing
was kind of a...
It's like throwing
a birthday party
and nobody comes.
You know, it's sort of...
It makes me...
It's heartbreaking.
You know, you go through
all of that work
and all of that effort
and I sit in my editing room
and look at it, and think,
"Gosh, this is really cool,
this is really working."
And then, you know,
fly all the way to London
to show it.
Three people show up.
It's like...
This was Trent three days
after the screening.
He wasn't quite so cheery
the evening of.
He did the obligatory
question and answer,
spoke with the press,
and then he agreed
to be interviewed.
Why in the hell do you do it?
You know?
Why do you do it? I mean,
you know, you can ask yourself
the same question
you're asking me.
You know, why have you gone
to all this trouble
to come here and film me?
It doesn't make sense.
You're not gonna make a dime.
Are you guys kidding me?
You aren't gonna make
a dime off this film.
Are you insane?
This is probably
even a worse idea
than I've come up with.
I mean...
In terms of absolutely
no commercial potential,
you have reached the pinnacle.
I mean, there's a lot of me
blabbering, and a lot of
my friends blabbering
but I can't see
any dramatic arc at all.
Unless I die or win the lottery
or get elected president,
you don't really have a story.
[narrator] What had started as the story ofThe Beaver Trilogy
has, by chance,
led us out here,
to the middle of the desert
without a story.
Shall we go home?
Do you wanna get a shot
from this side going that way
so you can cut something?
And the filmmaker
without a story is this guy.
Unknown director, Brad Besser,
who, like many
unseasoned filmmakers,
has just desperately inserted himself into his own film.
He was born and raised
20 miles outside
of Salt Lake City.
Here, in Sandy, Utah.
But what's more important
is this,
his childhood VHS collection.
As a young man, Brad believed if he thought a movie was great
then it must be a great movie.
And no movie in his collection was greater
thanRubin and Ed.
Trent's film was eventually
released on VHS
and this time the reception
wasn't quite so poor.
Hello, Rubin, I love you.
My cat can eat
a whole watermelon.
It was actually so popular
that the film would be bootlegged into a cult classic
where it would be appreciated by a whole new generation.
One summer when
I was visiting my cousins
in Sandy, Utah,
they were like,
"You gotta see this film,
it's so funny."
I was probably 13 or 14.
"You got to see this movie,
Rubin and Ed,
it's the funniest movie ever."
And he'd been quoting it,
"The PPR, the Power
of Positive Real estate."
His pronunciation of "puma"
is kinda funny,
he pronounces "pew-ma."
In Napoleon Dynamite,
when Rex says,
"The reflexes of a pew-ma."
The reflexes of a puma.
As a kid, you know,
that was pretty inspiring.
And here was
the Utah Film and Video Center
and he was offering
screenwriting classes
or something
and I really wanted to go,
but I couldn't,
my mom wouldn't let me.
[narrator] While he never took the class,
unknown director,
Brad Besser, did.
And it went
something like this.
By this time Trent had become a local filmmaking legend.
Film novice, Brad Besser,
would ask...
[reading on-screen text]
To which Trent replied...
[reading on-screen text]
This is probably
even a worse idea
than I've come up with.
It should also be noted that
while teaching the class,
the Utah Film and Video Center began screening Trent's work.
And time had a funny way of dealing with his failures.
In the process
he was being rediscovered.
He would dig back into
his collection and screen
almost everything.
But there were a few films
he was hesitant to share.
Which brings us to Trent's
long-forgotten secret tapes.
Trent's just going,
"I can't show that.
I have no right to show that."
You know,
the Groovin' Gary stuff.
"I just cannot show that,
it's about stuff, because...
he tried to kill himself
and I promised him
I would never show that stuff."
And then I needed money.
Here, at Channel Two,
we just went into an edit room,
pop, pop, pop.
He says, "Look,
but we can't advertise.
So how can I get people
to come?"
I can't remember the premiere
of The Beaver Trilogy.
I don't think it had one.
I mean, we can't advertise it.
Okay, so we call it
The Secret Tapes
of Trent Harris.
We got about, I don't know,
maybe 70 people, 60 people
to show up for it
and they just went
bananas over it.
I mean, everybody was...
[blows sharply]
You know? Transfixed.
People just didn't know
what to say.
They were just like
dumbfounded by it.
People, I remember
just loving it.
It's an unusual,
amazing sort of story.
It's an amazing piece of work,
that's an amazing film.
The footage with the Beaver kid,
it's just unbelievable.
It's a fascinating study
of how a person
becomes obsessed
with one story
and then tells it in
three different variations.
They all do
kind of blend together
in a funny way.
I hooked them together
and was like, "God, that's
a completely different animal
when there's three of them put together."
So with those three things,
you know,
the kaleidoscopic move
of one to the other,
it's like a synergy
and the whole is greater
than the sum of the parts.
And it gets into this level
of an archetype...
a misfit.
A stranger in a strange land,
in his own country.
-He's a heroic misfit. -And these other two misfits.
[Trent] In fact, if you look
at my movies, they are all
about heroic misfits.
Maybe I'm a misfit.
It's a technique from surrealism
because they stem
from something,
a belonging that is deeper
into the unconscious.
[Trent] Part of the thing
that's so amazing
about this whole story
was the serendipity
of the whole thing.
Just in the right place
at the right time, I guess.
He was in the right place
at the right time.
Sean Penn was iconic.
Crispin Glover was iconic.
[Alex] Now the Beaver kid, you know,
becomes more
than the Beaver kid
for the first time.
He transcends the character.
And so the Beaver kid
now becomes an icon.
The layers that are built
upon that chance encounter
added up into this
one of a kind piece of art.
It even defies labels
like is it a documentary,
is it fiction, is it...
Whatever, you can't even
put a label on it.
It's its own thing,
it's The Beaver Trilogy.
[Trent] Sundance actually called me up, I didn't even enter it.
They called me up and said they wanted to show the movie.
[man] We showed it
at The Echo Theater,
which is our big theater,
it's a 1,300-seat theater
and he never thought
that any of these,
one of these films,
let alone all three
would be seen
in that kind of venue.
So I decided, uh...
that I'd better get a hold of it
and I hadn't talked to him
in 20 years
or something like that
and I finally got a message
to somebody that knew him
in Beaver
and said, you know,
"There are tickets for ya
at the door,"
but then
he never picked up the tickets.
[suspenseful music playing]
Are you filming me
right now? Good.
Are you kidding?
How about that? John Wayne,
here, Mom.
[imitating John Wayne]
Here's John Wayne, y'all.
Well, I'll tell ya something
out there in TV land,
I'm hammin' it up.
I'll tell ya.
Anyway, man, I never...
I can't believe
I'm on television.
Just in the right place
at the right time, I guess.
Well, I'd like to get
a picture of you.
Let's see. Did I get that?
Okay. Got to go to four.
Okay, smile,
you're on candid camera.
[Dick laughs]
A big screener,
1,400 people there,
and afterwards you have
a little Q and A and then
people come up to the stage.
And all of a sudden this face pops out of this little crowd
and he says, "You probably
don't remember me."
[serene music playing]
All of a sudden all these people come running out the front door,
and around him,
they surround us
and they start taking pictures
of him
and getting his autograph.
Then he was really confused.
But it was
pretty wonderful overall,
it was...
quite an experience.
I think, you know,
when he finally ended up
at Sundance
as the biggest star
in the damn room,
at the party, I mean,
everybody wanted
to talk to him.
They had movie stars in there and nobody gave a shit about them,
everybody wanted to talk to the Beaver kid.
He's sitting there with his trucker hat on, with his plaid shirt and...
surrounded by beautiful women.
He was having
a pretty good time.
-It was a great day for him.
-It was a great day for him.
-He came home and he was... Wow.
-He was high as a kite.
It was some party.
I think that he didn't know
all that was out there.
When he got out there
and saw that those people
were cheering for him,
he couldn't even believe it.
It was like...
you know, "Are you really
talking about me?"
And so he came home
with a whole
different perspective
and he definitely
got his pride back
and his, uh...
his sense of humor
came with it.
The little bit that we'd seen.
Finally, he wasn't...
-He was out and about again.
-He turned into
our brother again.
It was really fun to see him
become his darling self again.
Oh, wow. When can I see this?
I look back in retrospect
and I think that I caught him at a very pivotal moment in his life.
And maybe I wasn't as sensitive as I should have been or could have been.
You know, maybe it was
partly my own guilt
because maybe
I didn't understand him
so well the first time.
There's things
beneath the surface
of this character
that makes him
rich and wonderful,
and ultimately I wanted people to like him like I liked him.
And that's why I began
to remake this movie over
and over and over again
just to try to get
to that point.
To try to get it right.
We finally had our brother back.
We finally had him back
and we just loved him
and we were just enjoying him
and he was so happy
and he was just like he was
when he was young, I guess.
It was like
he had his life back.
And then for him
to have a heart attack
when he was just prospering
and doing so well
and was so happy
in his life,
I just felt like
that was a robbery.
I came away from the funeral
with a profound sense
of two things.
One of them, I think,
is what The Beaver Trilogy
tries to explore
which is this idea that
we all wanna be famous.
Most of us won't become famous.
And sometimes that's a thud
when we find that out.
I think it was for him.
But at the same time,
I came away from the funeral
with this profound sense of loss
and thinking that all the years
when I kept myself
aloof from him
and didn't spend
more time with him
or try and understand
or figure out who he was
I missed this big,
exciting personality.
[slow music playing]
He keeps coming back
into my life.
I mean, even after he's gone.
And I wished I'd have
reconnected with him.
It's a regret of mine.
You know, I guess,
the big lesson is
that you can't let
something like that go.
WatchingBeaver Trilogy,
I understand the idea.
If I had a chance
to do it again,
how would I do it?
I love to perform and I like
to make people laugh
and if you can enjoy your work,
then there's no reason why
you shouldn't try
to get in something like that.
[sister 3]
He could have gone
to Hollywood.
But we are thankful
we had him like we did.
He's a great man to us.
By far I think
the most successful piece
of the three pieces
is the first one.
Everybody just loved him.
And when he saw how people were responding, he started to have a lot of fun with it.
He came up with an idea,
he said, "Hey, we ought
to do part four."
This is a mix tape
that the Beaver kid sent me
after the premiere at Sundance.
It's really remarkable,
he talks on it
and then he puts...
I think what he's got
is a little, teeny microphone
and a cassette player
and another cassette player.
And so he talks
and then he cues the music,
and then he talks and then
he cues the music.
It's that kind of thing.
But it's pretty wonderful.
Actually, I wanna make
a film out of this first part.
[Dick speaking indistinctly]
Oh, that's not it.
[jovial music playing on screen]
That's not it.
Here it is. This is it.
[serene music playing on-screen]
[Dick speaking]
"He did a movie
a while back."
Yeah, it's very haunting
for me to listen
to that, even.
But it's so beautiful.
It's just so beautiful.
It's kinda perfect.
That secret world,
he had that secret world
that he lived in
and right there,
he gives you
just a little taste of it,
that secret world.
It's phenomenal.
Wait a minute,
you gotta hear this one too.
[Dick speaking]
["Please Don't Keep Me Waiting"
[Dick and Olivia]
I want to love you
Once again
Couldn't you love me too?
Don't turn away
From all that
We've been through
Everyone changes
Be my friend
Haven't you got the time?
Help me, I need you
Throw me down a line
Please don't
Keep me waiting
I can't hold on much longer
Please don't
Keep me waiting
I can't love you
Any stronger
Please don't
Keep me waiting
I can't take
This kind of pain
Take me back
In your arms once again
Living on dreams
From yesterday
Waking and you're not here
I wanna see your face
I want you near
Now is the moment
We must live
-[audience applauding]
-Isn't he a terrific performer?
You just can't take
your eyes off of him.
He's riveting.
I know you want me too
Down deep inside
Please don't
Keep me waiting
I can't hold on much longer
Please don't
Keep me waiting
I can't love you
Any stronger
Please don't
Keep me waiting
I can't take
This kind of pain
Take me back
In your arms once again
Please don't
Keep me waiting
I can't hold on much longer
Please don't
Keep me waiting
I can't love you
Any stronger
Please don't
Keep me waiting
I can't take
This kind of pain
Take me back
In your arms once again
Waiting for the film to end.
[groaning] Oh!
And then I'll go in and answer
the same questions
that I've answered 400 times.