DEFINITION April 2022 - Newsletter


“The chase to find him was very challenging,” continues Nelson. “But I got a little nugget that he was an artist, so we combed the Los Angeles area for someone called Stefan Tenenbaum. “It took me two months, but when I eventually found him, he started talking. We realised how important a character he was. He was part of the mansion interior life for two and a half years.” Nelson stresses that not only did Tenenbaum contribute to the narrative of the documentary, but was also integral in validating the women’s stories. LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION As with many recent productions, there were Covid-related issues when it came to piecing together the series under its original schedule and locations.

“We were hoping it was going to be a half at home in California job, and half a travel job – with different regions in the US, but also further afield in the UK and Helsinki,” says Nelson. However, this structure was ditched at the last minute, when it became very clear that this degree of travel was not viable. “I would say that of the 64 interviews, 30% to 40% of them were done remotely with a local DOP. But, I oversaw and had schematics and conversations beforehand, making sure to have a prep day with the AC, DOP and sound person, so we could test the Zoom remote set-up. “We also did a technique where we had A and B cameras next to each other – so the B camera got the wide shot of the entire world of that subject, but then the A camera was tight and direct. “We even had an eye director. A little device that’s over the camera and has a series of mirrors – allowing the interviewer to sit in front of the black box and appear on the lens. This, in turn, allows subjects to look directly into the camera, presenting them in a way that looks as though they are

WOMAN ON A MISSION Arlene Nelson (above) oversaw all the interviews, even when working remotely

“I would say that of the 64 interviews, 30% to 40% of them were done remotely with a local DOP. But, I oversaw the schematics”

CULTS AND CONTROL Playboy and Hefner have never been without controversy, but it is only now that the inside details of the man, the mansion and the magazine are coming to light

53. APRIL 2022

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