SCREEN TESTS 1964-1966
Andy Warhol's Screen Tests were filmed from early 1964 - November 1966 (GM25). Factory visitors who had potential "star" quality would be seated in front of a tripod mounted camera, asked to be as still as possible, and told not to blink while the camera was running.
Subjects included factory Gerard Malanga, filmmaker Barbara Rubin (1964), filmmaker Jonas Mekas (1964), filmmaker and poet Piero Heliczer (1964), poet Allen Ginsberg (c.64/65), John Ashbery (1965), Italian model model and one time girlfriend to Gerard, Benedetta Barzini (1966), Francesco Scavullo (1965), Phoebe Russell (1965), model/actress/granddaughter of designer Elsa Schiaparelli Marisa Berenson (1965), Nico (1966), Lou Reed (1966), John Wieners, Bob Dylan, Ingrid Superstar, Edie Sedgwick (1965), Ivy Nicholson, Danny Fields, Billy Name, Salvador Dali (1966), Donovan (1966), Charles Henri Ford (who was responsible for introducing Andy to Gerard) (1966), Rene Ricard (1966), poet Willard Maas (1966), Baby Jane Holzer, Phoebe Russell (1965), International Velvet (Susan Bottomly)(1966), Marie Menken - filmmaker/wife of Willard Maas/star of Chelsea Girls)(1966), Italian millionaire publisher Giangiacomo Feltrinelli (Benedetta Barzini's stepbrother) Nov. 66, poet Ted Berrigan (1966), Allen Midgette (1966) Anne Buchanan (early '64), and Andy's first superstar Naomi Levine.
According to Gerard Malanga, the Screen Tests originated from Malanga's need for a publicity still of himself. After seeing Warhol's film Eat (around the time of the move to the silver Factory), Gerard Malanga asked Warhol if would shoot a reel of a tightly framed headshot of Gerard so that Gerard could select a frame, have it printed as a still and use it to publicize Gerard's poetry readings. This became the first Screen Test. (GM24-5)
More than 500 Screen Tests were made. Some of the footage was incorporated into Warhol's films, 13 Most Beautiful Boys (1964), 13 Most Beautiful Women (1964) and 50 Fantastics and 50 Personalities (1964). Malanga also used some reels in his multimedia poetry readings called Screen Test Poems in 1965. (GM26) In 1966 Andy and Gerard also prepared a book together of Screen Test stills from 54 subjects (17 women and 37 men) and Gerard's poetry called Screen Tests/A Diary (NY: Kulchur Press, 1967).