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THE DOC SHOT Q&A: Adria Petty, Director, 'Paris, Not France'

By Tamara Krinsky

The DOC SHOT Q&A is an exclusive online feature by Documentary magazine associate editor Tamara Krinsky. Through this mix of questions (some serious, some sassy) each DOC SHOT provides a glimpse into the work and lives of those creating and supporting non-fiction film.

Adria Petty
Paris, Not France


Brief description of your film:
A candid look at Paris Hilton as a case study on celebrity culture.

Your role/credit on the film:

How did you find your subject or become involved in the film?
Through the CEO of Warner Brothers records and the pages of Vanity Fair.

Was there a moment in this film that went a different way than you expected?
A lot of scenes needed to be cut strategically to capture the state of mind I felt when I was shooting with Paris. The footage itself did not convey how under siege she was at all times. Mostly because we became immune to seeing it in the media. I worked with an amazing young editor, John Gutierrez, to create a Paris POV. We did this sometimes by removing audio or skipping over an interview and just exposing how rude people are or how desperate.

If you had had an extra $10,000 to spend on your film, what would you have used it for?
A sound mix, a conform and a color correct. The film was made and post-produced on a Final Cut Pro system in New York and mixed with headphones.

What excites you about playing your film at the Toronto International Film Festival?

If you've had time to check out the TIFF catalogue, is there a particular film (aside from yours) or event at the Festival that you're looking forward to attending?
I would love to see the Coen Brother’s new film. I am a huge fan.




What's the first film you remember seeing as a child?
I think the Disney movie Sleeping Beauty.

Tell us about a film that affected you profoundly or changed/inspired the way you do your own work.
Rear Window. I think it is a perfect film. The best on every level of the technical and creative art of filmmaking. I guess that influences me to continually try and get that skilled and still be entertaining. Hitchcock was so disciplined and stylish. He made his films experiences.

What would surprise people the most about your job or the way you execute it?
How much stamina it takes. There really is no crying in baseball.

When you are feeling creatively stumped or burnt out, what do you do to get the creativity flowing again?
I listen to Ravi Shankar, meditate, go swimming or drink a bottle of wine. Talk to my friend Kelley.


Daily essential read (online or off)?
New York Times, my e-mails and Perez Hilton. I am an information addict.

What's on your TIVO or iPod right now?
MGMT, Santo Gold and The Newno2.

What do you want more of in your life?
Time to listen to Led Zepplin and hang with my pals.

What do you want less of in your life?
Driving and being on the phone.

If you could add an extra hour to every day, how would you spend it?
Reading Raymond Chandler novels.

What do you want for your birthday?
To have Obama as our US president.