Trent Harris (b. 1952)
The Beaver Trilogy(2001)
The Beaver Trilogy (2001) is a documentary film directed by Trent Harris, featuring Richard LaVon Griffiths (also known as 'The Beaver Kid' and 'Groovin Gary'), Sean Penn, Crispin Glover and co-starring Courtney Gains and Elizabeth Daily.
The Beaver Trilogy combines three separate vignettes that were filmed at different times, in 1979, 1981, and 1985. The first, entitled The Beaver Kid, is a short documentary about the exploits of "Groovin' Gary", a performer that filmmaker Harris happened upon while filming for a Salt Lake City, Utah news station. Harris was in the parking lot of his workplace, testing out a color video video camera that the station had just acquired, when he stumbled upon Gary taking photographs of their news helicopter. Gary immediately launched into a number of celebrity impressions, including John Wayne and Sylvester Stallone.
Several weeks after they first met, Harris traveled to the small town of Beaver, Utah and filmed Gary, an Olivia Newton-John obsessive, as he staged a talent show that featured Gary dressed in full drag singing the Newton-John song "Please Don't Keep Me Waiting". Gary refers to his onstage alter-ego as "Olivia Newton-Dawn".
The second installment, called The Beaver Kid 2 features Sean Penn as "Groovin' Larry" Huff in a dramatic interpretation of the original documentary. It incorporated some scenes from the original documentary. The Beaver Kid 2 was shot on a budget of $100.
The trilogy is completed with The Orkly Kid, in which Crispin Glover reprises Penn's role, this time referring to his onstage persona as "Olivia Neutron Bomb". The Orkly Kid was shot in color film, is considerably longer in length and more professional-looking than the first two acts, and also features a number of new supporting characters and plot twists.