Posted on Monday, October 11th, 2010 by Peter Sciretta
These costumed characters have always been one of my favorite parts of the touristy part of Hollywood Boulevard. I always loved watching the ridiculous and strange costumed superheroes pose for photos with tourists near the Grauman’s Chinese Theater. Jimmy Kimmel regularly featured these performers on his show, and a documentary was even made about the characters called Confessions of a Superhero (watch it on Hulu for free).
In June, Los Angeles police launched an effort to clear Hollywood Boulevard of unlicensed Hollywood character impersonators, making dozens of arrests. In recent years tourists and shop-owners have complained that the costumed characters had become more aggressive and pestered some of the tourists for money/tips. I’ve been around the area a couple times over the Summer, and aside from one lightpole climbing Spider-man, the superheroes were no where to be seen.
Archie Gips and Matthew Hunt decided to make a documentary about the costumed character’s current situation titled The Ambassadors of Hollywood. I’m very interested to see this film myself. The feature-length documentary is set to premiere at the Bel Air Film Festival, UCLA’s James Bridges Theatre (102 East Melnitz Hall, Los Angeles, CA 90077) on October 18th 2010 at 6:30 pm and tickets are available on bSide. Hit the jump to watch the trailer and to learn more about the film.
Elmo was arrested?! Chasing fame and fortune one dollar at a time!
You’ve seen them. If you have been to Hollywood’s Walk of Fame you may even have taken a picture with them. Who are these masked people who greet over 12 million visitors from around the world? THE AMBASSADORS OF HOLLYWOOD is a verité look at them featuring both candid interviews and boulevard action. While many are actors or extreme character fans, some are homeless trying to earn enough through posing for tips to have a room for the night—or get their next fix. This is not Disneyland, they are freelance operators and there are few regulations in place, so if you can think of it, it’s there. Some of the characters have a high standard to which they hold themselves, but others come drunk or high to the boulevard and get into screaming matches with tourists over money or touching. Hugging a small child can quickly give way to a fight or the aggressive use of mace in the sometimes over 100 degree temperatures. Throw in the dynamics of racism and dreams deferred and you have a cracked lens look at the pursuit Hollywood Dream. All magnified since they are all vying for the same tourists, in direct competition with each other for their bills, rent, child support, and pleasures . . . one dollar at a time. Funny and poignant at the same time, this feature length documentary captures a humorous, inspirational and sometimes disturbing snapshot of America and “the dream”.
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