The Beaver Trilogy is a set of short films made in the 70s and 80s by iconic Utah filmmaker Trent Harris. Now nearly 40 years later, director Brad Besser (The World of Z) re-explores the pathos of Groovin' Gary and the filmmaker that stumbled upon him.
One fateful day in 1979, a kid (who called himself Groovin' Gary) was hanging around a TV station parking lot when Trent Harris was testing a new video camera for the station. What happens afterwards is a bizarre and beautiful character study of a young man whose dreams to be an actor soured after letting Harris too close, too quickly.
We caught up with Brad Besser and Trent Harris in Park City at Sundance 2015:
The Beaver Kid makes his appearance onto a strange stage. Here is Part I of the story:
Video is no longer available: www.youtube.com/watch?v=wgVTrafoCHA
The film was then re-made as a narrative in 1981, casting a young and eager Sean Penn as The Beaver Kid. A few years later in 1985 the film was re-made again, this time casting an equally undiscovered Crispin Glover. Brad Besser's standalone compilation is a retelling of the whole story and an excavation of its missing pieces.
Director Phil Lord has high praise for the trilogy, saying:
To me, it felt like it was a film school education in 83 minutes. It’s a great treatise in story-telling and the different ways you can tell a story just with subtle changes.
Video is no longer available: vimeo.com/63875054
What do you think about the Beaver Trilogy?