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Plagued by endless nightmares, 18-year-old Brian (Brady Corbet, Thirteen) believes he may have been the victim of an alien abduction. Neil (Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Manic) is the ultimate beautiful outsider and uses his sexual charm as a teenage hustler. Neil's pursuit of love leads him to New York City, while Brian's voyage of self discovery leads him to Neil—and together they help each other unlock the dark secrets of their pasts. Co-starring Elisabeth Shue (Leaving Las Vegas). Written and directed by Gregg Araki (Splendor, Nowhere, The Doom Generation), based on the acclaimed novel by Scott Heim.

 Mysterious Skin

Rather than write a “making of” essay, I thought I’d do something a bit more visual and share some of my continuity photos from Mysterious Skin. I’ve been collecting the script supervisor’s Polaroids of all my movies since The Doom Generation. I love the snapshot aspect of them and how they capture a transient moment of the filming that’s long since evaporated.

Mysterious Skin was logistically a really complicated production due to its ambitious nature, tight budget and schedule, ’80s-’90s period, plethora of locations (rural Kansas and New York), challenges of working with sometimes very young actors, etc. But it became a pure labor of love for every single person in the amazing cast and crew. We were all devoted to Scott Heim’s original novel and felt a huge responsibility to faithfully bring such a powerful, important and emotionally devastating story to the screen. So when I look back on these images, it’s with genuine fondness and a real sense of accomplishment because everyone’s tireless efforts really paid off. In the face of seemingly insurmountable odds, we made Mysterious Skin in an uncompromising, old school indie way—and it’s been the most rewarding, deeply gratifying experience of my career. So, without further ado…



*Click on thumbnail for larger image and description.