Before Jeffrey’s Hollywood Screen Trick, Todd Downing made the short film Dirty Baby Does Fire Island, which mixed stop-motion animation with live action to tell the story of a naive baby doll who washes onto the shores of the Fire Island Pines. Dirty Baby Does Fire Island has played at festivals around the world and won awards for Best Animation at the San Francisco Gay and Lesbian Film Festival and at the Portland Lesbian and Gay Film Festival in 1998, as well as an award for Creativity and Technical Merit at the New School Graduate Student Showcase. Dirty Baby Does Fire Island was released theatrically and on DVD by First Run Features and has been purchased by The Sundance Channel and by England’s Channel 4. It was also included in a European exhibit of Underground American Film curated by Martha Colburn and featured in two British documentaries on animation.
Jeffrey’s Hollywood Screen Trick
Inspired by bright and sunny gay romantic comedies, Jeffrey’s Hollywood Screen Trick satirizes this genre. Produced and directed by Todd Downing (Dirty Baby Does Fire Island), written by David Briggs (Karen Black Like Me) and starring Mike Albo (author of Hornito: My Lie Life), this eleven-minute short brings fifty anatomically-exceptional “Billy dolls” to life through stop-motion animation on 35mm film.