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[Paris is burning--production elements, 1985-1990].
Collection 27
Collection Overview


[Paris is burning--production elements, 1985-1990]


Livingston, Jennie.


This collection includes over sixty-eight hours of outtakes not included in the feature film documentary PARIS IS BURNING (1991), plus notebooks, transcripts, logs, cue sheets, index cards, and other miscellaneous production materials associated with the making of the documentary. A portion of the outtakes includes ball categories excluded from the feature film such as "Bride Versus Widow" and other categories for women and lesbian participants such as "Butch Queen." The outtakes contain additional interviews and footage with the following "characters:" Anthony, Venus Extravaganza, Jose Extravaganza, Angie Extravaganza, Kenny, Willie Dupre's mother, Saul Pendavis, Freddie Pendavis, Kim Pendavis, Marcel, Brett, Carmen, Brittany, Pepper Labeija, Dorian Corey, Stevie Saint Laurent, Octavia Saint Laurent, Willi Ninja, and Paris Dupree. There are scenes of Octavia taken outside of the Savoy Manor Ballroom located on Jerome Avenue in the Bronx. There are several hours of footage taken of Dorian Corey in her basement apartment on 150th and St. Nicholas Place in Harlem. The footage of the Paris is burning ball, the largest annual ball in New York City, is taken at the Elks Lodge of Harlem. Footage was also shot in New York's Times Square area, in particular outside of a club called Sally's Hideaway at 264 West 43rd Street where Dorian Corey performed. Sally's Hideaway moved to another location in 1992 and has since closed. Some select ball footage was also likely shot at the Harlem YMCA. There is footage of the New York ball group taking a bus to attend a ball in Washington D.C. The scenes of Venus on her bed were shot at her grandmother's home in Jersey City, New Jersey. A gay pride march was likely shot in Manhattan. Other miscellaneous footage includes the following: rainy afternoon on 5th avenue, Bloomingdales, multiple shots of activity and interviews at a pier in the New York area, interviews in Washington Square Park, unidentified McDonald's and Roy Rodger's fast food restaurants, footage of Brooke and Carmen at Jones Beach, Octavia and Carmen on street in the Village, Willie Dupree's birthday at his apartment, Stevie at work at an unidentified bank, Pepper interview in her apartment, Brooke at an unidentified beauty parlor, Stevie interview in Queens and Willi Ninja dancing in Washington Square Park. The production elements consist primarily of 16 mm. safety original picture negatives shot in color, original analog sound tape reels, double system sync work prints, and other miscellaneous preprint material. Sound tape cassettes are likely duplicates of the original sound tape reels. Accompanying documentation includes work product of the editing process.


1985 (issued)


Paris is burning
Drag balls -- New York (State) -- New York
Voguing (Dance)
Gay culture -- New York (State) -- New York
Ninja, Willi
African American dancers -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews
African American gay men -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews
Corey, Dorian -- 1937-1993
Transgender people -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews
Bronx (New York, N.Y.)
Harlem (New York, N.Y.)
Manhattan (New York, N.Y.)
Times Square (New York, N.Y.)
Washington Square Park (New York, N.Y.)


Location information derived from three primary sources: Descriptive information from the labels of the material; feature commentary by Jennie Livingston, Willi Ninja, House of Ninja, Freddie Pendavis, House of Pendavis, and Jonathan Oppenheim, editor, from the bonus features included as part of the 2005 Paris is burning DVD; and from the credits of the feature documentary.
APPOINTMENT REQUIRED FOR VIEWING MATERIALS ONSITE. Inquire at the Archive Research and Study Center for further information (email: arsc@ucla.edu).
Originals not available for research use. Inquire at the Archive Research and Study Center for further information.
Materials entirely in English.
Paris is burning (1991) is the documentary feature debut of filmmaker, Jennie Livingston (1962-) who was born in Dallas, Texas and raised in Los Angeles, California. Her mother, Myra Cohen Livingston (1926-1996) was an author of several children's books. Her father, Richard Roland Livingston (d. 1990) was a certified public accountant. Livingston attended Yale University in Connecticut and earned a degree in painting and photography in 1983. She traveled from 1983-1984 continuing to hone her photography skills. In 1985 Livingston moved to New York City with the intention of learning more about film. She got a job as a photographer in New York City and took a summer class in filmmaking at New York University. Livingston's photography introduced her to the ball world when she met young men voguing in Washington Square Park and asked to photograph them. She was invited to attend a ball and was subsequently introduced to Willi Ninja (1961-2006). Her original plan to compose a photography project focused on the balls evolved into filming a documentary that would become Paris is burning (1991). While working on her documentary, Livingston interned as a production assistant on a film by Laurie Anderson (1947-), Home of the brave (1986). Her uncle, motion picture director Alan Pakula (1928-1998), discouraged Livingston from pursuing a directing career, but ultimately hired her to work as an art assistant on his film, Orphans (1987) that helped hone her filmmaking skills. Livingston eventually sold her car in order to fund a five-minute trailer of her proposed documentary of the ball world to exhibit the subject matter, as well as her directing ability, to possible funders. Due to sporadic funding, it took five years to complete the documentary feature. During the filming of Paris is burning, Livingston decided to publicly come out as a lesbian. Paris is burning won the 1991 Sundance Grand Jury Prize.
Copyright has not been assigned to the UCLA Film & Television Archive.
Inventory list available. Inquire at the Archive Research and Study Center.
Deposit; Jennie Livingston; February 2008.
Paris is burning. 1990.
DVD Paris is burning. 2005.
Selected outtakes from this collection are part of the bonus features included in the Paris is burning DVD distributed by Miramax Home Entertainment in 2005.
Paris Is Burning production elements at the UCLA Film & Television Archive.
Forms part of: Outfest Legacy Project.


motion picture
Documentaries and factual films and video.

Physical Description:

approximately 1100 16 mm. safety preprint.
8 including 156 sound cassettes.




Collection 27



Copyright Note:

APPOINTMENT REQUIRED FOR VIEWING MATERIALS ONSITE. Inquire at the Archive Research and Study Center for further information (email: arsc@ucla.edu).
Originals not available for research use. Inquire at the Archive Research and Study Center for further information.
Copyright has not been assigned to the UCLA Film & Television Archive.

Related Item:

Paris is burning--outtakes
Outfest Legacy Project