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Boy in the Elvis Suit

In his dreams, Richard is the King. But in his life, the impotent young Elvis impersonator is desperate to feel like a man: His first orgasm would help.
When Richard stumbles into a provocative demonstration by a local hypnotherapist, Dr. Elizabeth Simmons, he finds himself suddenly in the throes of his long imagined, glorious moment. Richard begins working with Dr. Simmons to solve his pleasure-problem for good…but the work reveals a part of himself he’s long tried to hide. He might not be ready for it.

  • Peter Fuller
    Director
  • Peter Fuller
    Writer
  • Peter Fuller
    Producer
  • Jenna Pfefferle
    Producer
    After the Storm, Tomato Soup, Elizabeth Blue
  • Bill O'Neill
    Key Cast
    Drillbit Tailor
  • Leslie Stevens
    Key Cast
    Threshold, True Blood, Troubled Child
  • Iris Svis
    Key Cast
    A Beautiful Day
  • Marcus Patterson
    Director of Photography
    Snakeheel, Cupid's Paradise
  • Eloise Ayala
    Production Designer
    Crazy Bitches, Crush the Skull, The Poet, Where You Are
  • Jessica Basista
    Costume Designer
    Hidden, Woman Outside
  • Crystal Frost
    Composer
    Pas á Vendre, Gibby
  • Ron Eng
    Sound Design
    Mulholland Drive, Independence Day, The Straight Story, Coraline
  • Peter Fuller
    Editors
  • Zak Byrd
    Editors
    Oh Abby, Bean Humok
  • Project Type:
    Short, Student
  • Genres:
    Dark Comedy, Surreal Comedy, Drama, Fantasy
  • Runtime:
    18 minutes 8 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    May 1, 2017
  • Production Budget:
    27,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
    English
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital (ALEXA)
  • Aspect Ratio:
    16:9
  • Film Color:
    Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    Yes
  • Student Project:
    Yes
  • 2017 Director's Spotlight at the DGA
    Los Angeles
    United States
    June 14, 2017
    2017 Spotlight Award
Director Biography - Peter Fuller

Peter Fuller hails from the strange and magical beach-town of Santa Cruz, Ca, where he got his start in musical theater at a young age. After singing and dancing his way into college, he began writing, and graduated from UCLA's acclaimed creative writing program in 2010. As a member of the New Guard Theater company and 3rd Year MFA director at UCLA School of Theater, Film, and Television, Peter is constantly seeking ways to push the boundaries of creative expression. With a particular interest in Jungian psychology, fantasy, and cultural absurdity, Peter looks at each project as an opportunity to reveal the exuberant, dark, and ageless spirit buried deep within us all. His first film, Boy in the Elvis Suit, was nominated for the ASC Heritage Award for cinematography, and recently screened at the Director's Guild of America as a recipient of the 2017 Director's Spotlight Award.

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Director Statement

When I tell people that my film is about an impotent Elvis impersonator who becomes addicted to erotic hypnosis, the first question I always get is: “Huh…so where did that idea come from?”
The simple answer is; from a podcast on a road-trip, somewhere on the lonely desert road between Arizona and Los Angeles. Flipping through stations, I stumbled on an interview with a man whose profession I did not know existed: an erotic hypnotist. The broadcast was complete with a live recording from one of his shows, and before I knew it, I was listening to the intimate sounds of the volunteer being hypnotized, falling into a trance…and yes…having an orgasm.
Fortunately, I was driving alone. It was one of the strangest things I’d ever heard. But it got me thinking; If I felt uncomfortable just listening in my car, what would it be like to actually be there? Who would go to such a show? Who would seek such a therapist? Kinky couples aside, who might actually need this kind of help? The most obvious answer to me was: Someone who…couldn’t. And while the topic of the female orgasm is familiar to American media, men aren’t supposed to have trouble in that department. So what if one did?
The problem strikes at one of, (if not the), most intimate parts of human nature. The ability to experience pleasure is so closely tied to the experience of ourselves, to our ideas about fulfillment and satisfaction. And just like anywhere else in the world, we get these ideas from the culture we are raised in. Ideals of the masculine and feminine, of success, of love, all trickle down from the heroes we are raised to admire.
For Richard, the impotent protagonist of our story, that hero is Elvis; the King; the sex symbol of all sex symbols. But therein lies the problem. In a culture that worships celebrity, that craves images of perfection, the human element is often lost between representation and reality. In a way, culture itself is a form of hypnosis, dominating the unconscious mind with the collective fiction of our idols. In truth, Elvis was just another man who struggled deeply with love, addiction, and loneliness. But Richard sees none of that. He sees only the symbol of everything he lacks. Thus Richard’s fate is tied to that of his hero; two men desperate for love, blinded by the fantasy of their own image, seeking satisfaction everywhere but in themselves.
While Elvis and his impotent impersonator are certainly unique as characters, their disposition strikes me as a quintessentially American mode of pleasure-seeking masculinity. Though deeply flawed, I believe such a perspective merits both compassion and exploration. Boy in the Elvis Suit is my attempt to do just that. The film is a psychosexual odyssey through the mind of a desperate man; a musical journey both tragic and absurd, always seeking the boy long buried beneath the fantasy of the caped king.