VIDEO SLUT by Sharon Oreck

VIDEO SLUT

How I Shoved Madonna Off an Olympic High Dive, Got Prince into a Pair of Tiny Purple Woolen Underpants, Ran Away from Michael Jackson’s Dad, and Got a Waterfall to Flow Backward So I Could Bring Rock Videos to the Masses

KIRKUS REVIEW

Film, video and commercial producer Oreck recalls her adventures as a pioneer in the music-video field.

A self-described “socialistically inclined ex–hippie chick,” the author grew up in California, got pregnant at 16 and held random jobs while taking film classes and yearning to become a movie producer. Rejected by top studios, she worked for years on low-budget genre movies. With the rise of MTV in 1981, she began her successful career as a Grammy Award–winning producer of rock videos for such performers as Mick Jagger, Metallica, Michael Jackson and Sting. Recounting one project after another, Oreck provides amusing, often biting glimpses of an array of hotties, druggies, incompetents and others who join with high-maintenance stars and pompous record-company executives to produce video promos for the latest song hits. Crises abound: Neighbors called the police when 20 crosses were set afire during a Madonna shoot; homeless cross-dressers pursued Janet Jackson on the streets of Los Angeles; and dozens of pigeons splattered on the ground after their release during the making of a Sheila E video. The author discusses her struggles to get along with a difficult business partner, her decision to not learn her personal assistant’s name until 90 days had passed without a drug- or felony-related incident, and her discovery that two longtime production assistants were dealing pot to celebrities. Oreck renders scenes and conversations vividly, displaying a remarkable gift for memory or invention, or perhaps both. In addition to describing her work at her boutique firm, O Pictures, she writes about her youthful stay at the Florence Crittenton Home for Unwed Mothers, where Miss Olive, the 400-pound assistant chef, insisted the girls eat like women, and fellow residents derided the author’s love for Joni Mitchell songs (“That is stupid white pussy shit”). Oreck’s memoir will leave many readers as exhausted as the author was when she closed her business several years ago, resolving never to produce another rock video or commercial.

Frenetically entertaining.

Pub Date: May 18th, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-86547-986-9
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: Faber & Faber/Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 2010




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