On 1st of this month Larry Silverman released his latest independent feature documentary, “Flesh & Blood.” Doing several stories on people modified by Steve Haworth for the television series, “Ripley’s Believe It Or Not”, Larry got inspired to make “Flesh & Blood” – a film Larry thinks will surely change people’s outlook towards body modification and “will have a greater understanding about the more extreme side of body modification.”
Not taking your more time you read the interview yourself to know more about the movie.
Disha Singh: First and foremost are you a body modification freak. Do you wear any tattoo, piercing or any other body modification on your body?
Larry Silverman: I love art and personal expression of all kinds. And I love people. But it is not my choice to wear tattoos, piercings, or even jewelry for that matter. But that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate great art, even if the canvas is human skin.
Disha: What inspired you to make “Flesh & Blood”?
Larry: I was a director/producer/writer on the television series, “Ripley’s Believe It Or Not” and did several stories about people who Steve Haworth had worked on. When I proposed doing a story just about Steve, it was rejected. So I decided to make the documentary on my own. I really like what Steve is doing and wanted to show it in a non-judgmental way.
(Steve Haworth showing his fresh Scarification)
Disha: Why only Steve Haworth, when there are so many other body modifiers around the globe?
Larry: As a documentary filmmaker, I prefer smaller stories about individuals. I was not trying to make a documentary about everything in the body modification realm. That’s been done before. I think it’s wonderful to be able to talk in detail about a subject so that the audience really gets to know them.
Disha: How the title Flesh & Blood came?
Larry: I often have a difficult time coming up with titles. The working title for this film was originally “Thick-Skinned.” But when I finally had to choose, I picked a title that has a double meaning… first, and most obvious, is that Steve deals with both flesh and blood. Second, at the end of the movie, when Steve’s daughter says she wants to be a piercer and do implant procedures like her Dad, she says, “It’s in the blood.” So flesh and blood refers to family ties and specifically to a daughter who wants to carry on in her father’s footsteps.
Disha: Can you throw some light on F&B? Especially it’s presentation, storyline and what does ‘Deleted Scenes’ cater?
Larry: I will answer this backwards… the Deleted Scenes are scenes that I like that were in an earlier cut of the movie, but for one reason or another slowed the movie down or didn’t quite fit. However, I felt that fans of Steve and body modification would like to see them.
Regarding the storyline, here is the prepared description I like to give…
Every artist needs a canvas. For Steve Haworth, it’s human flesh. He’s one of the most controversial practitioners operating in the world of radical body modification. He sculpts Teflon and stainless steel implants into horns, stars, and other objects, then surgically places them under people’s skin. Some of the most extreme looking people in the world have spent time under Haworth’s knife. They’re people who’ve become bored with even full-body tattoos and piercings. They’re people willing to endure the pain. They’re people like David, who’s on a quest to cover himself with stainless steel objects that are not only ornamental, but can be screwed in and out of his body.
Some come for a sexual charge, some for the pain, and many just to be different. “Flesh and Blood” is an unflinching glimpse into an intense and mysterious world Haworth helped to create, and the obsessed people who inhabit it.
THIS MOVIE IS NOT RATED. IT CONTAINS NUDITY AND MATURE SUBJECT MATTER. VIEWER DISCRETION ADVISED.
Disha: Do you think this film will change people’s outlook and increase their knowledge towards body modification?
Larry: I do think that people will have a greater understanding about the more extreme side of body modification, but it’s important to understand that this a story told in Steve’s own words. The film makes no judgments for or against body modification. I do not hold the hand of the viewer. I take a very even-handed approach. It’s up to the viewer to decide if they like it or not.
Disha: What was the biggest unexpected pleasure you got while working on the film?
Larry: Some of the subjects of the film have become lifelong friends. You can’t ask for more pleasure than that.
Disha: How was the five year life in shooting F&B?
Larry: I shot the film while living in Los Angeles. From time to time, I would travel to Phoenix, Arizona where Steve lives and stay there for up to two weeks at a time. Steve and I would keep in touch and whenever I sensed something happening in his life that I wanted to capture, I would go back. During that whole time, I had other projects that I worked on at the same time so it was hectic travelling back and forth.
Disha: In recent years we see several documentaries made on body art whether tattoos, body piercing and body modification, which is something of new topic. Why do you think it’s on people’s mind?
Larry: People throughout time have always looked for new ways to express themselves, both inwardly and outwardly. Today, we are inundated with so much stimulus that it starts to wash over us and often has the effect of making us numb instead of inspiring us. Body modification offers many a way to feel again, and connect with both the world around them, and themselves.
Disha: How has working with Steve and others been?
Larry: Working with Steve has always been a pleasure. We have such terrific mutual respect and admiration towards each other. That’s goes for Beki, John, and others in the film.
Disha: Someone on net accused you of “leading the audience into sharing your disgust for those featured in your documentary.” What do you have to say?
Larry: I’ve never heard that before. That person sounds like someone who has never seen the film. The only criticism I’ve heard is from a few people who think the Preview Trailer comes off like a horror film. I admit I wanted to get some attention with that trailer, but the movie itself is nothing like that. All I can say is, why do all the people in the movie love it so much? They would be the ones to be angry if I made them look bad. I get lots of thanks from people in the body modification community who tell me that the movie inspired them to do more with their bodies, participate in suspensions, and so forth. The only people who’ve actually seen the movie who think it’s negative are people who have never seen these kinds of mods before and are scared of it.
Larry: Steve neither thrives on the flesh he modifies, nor does he feed off innocent people. Steve talks about this in the film. He has strict rules. He will not modify anyone who does not already have a lot of very visible tattoos and piercings. He doesn’t want to be the first person to put them in a position of having society judge them. He usually tells people to think long and hard about their decision to alter their bodies. He’ll have them wait weeks or even months before he’ll perform a procedure on them. If after all that time, they still feel strongly about the modification, only then will he perform his artistry. This is what I love about Steve. He really cares about the impact his work will have on the lives of his clients.
Disha: Who is Larry Silverman in flesh and blood?
Larry: I am the teller of other people’s stories. And I’ve tried to stay true to each and every one of them.
Disha: What would you say to encourage people to check it out?
Larry: I think the movie is a fun ride. It’s intense, it’s beautifully photographed, and it’s even funny at times.
Disha: Is there anything else you’d like to pass on?
Larry: I love telling stories about people who I love and admire.
(Trailer of Flesh & Blood)
Thanks Larry for sparing your precious time and clearing the haze from our reader’s eyes.
Purchase DVD from www.fleshandbloodmovie.com/
Price: $19.95 (without shipping) and $24.79 (with shipping)