The author of “Low Budget Hell: Making Underground Movies with John Waters” shares the story of an attempt to make an underground movie in Baltimore called “Vacancy” by two Baltimore college student filmmakers shortly after the release of “Pink Flamingos” in 1972, in which Divine played a supporting role. Though, tragically, never finished, the filmmakers greatly assisted Waters with “Female Trouble,” which they characterized as a “student film” so he could use facilities and students at the brand new film school at The University of Maryland Baltimore County.
After making real money from Pink Flamingos, John could move to the next movie, Female Trouble. His previous films had been made with the help of a moonlighting local TV news cameraman who would bring a “single-system” 16mm film camera to John’s shoots and set the exposure while John filmed with the ungainly camera mounted with a brace on his shoulder. Single system film was designed strictly for news stories that cut from master scene to master scene and allowed only the most primitive editing.