In a bathroom, Brendon Urie sighs as he looks into the mirror. He rubs his eyes and puts his down. He turns into Puppet Brendon.
With a guitar in his arms, Puppet Brendon hugs parents goodbye and drives out to Los Angeles, California. He looks up at the record company building and walks into an executive’s office. He takes the pen and signs the contract.
Urie performs on stage.
Puppet Brendon lands on the covers of the major music magazines. He performs on stage. He attends red carpet events and talks with the press. He wins awards. At his hotel, he gazes at the city from his balcony. He makes out with two women at the club. A man comes up to him with a metal box and presents him with some bags of cocaine. He does a few lines on the table.
With dark circles under his eyes, he lies awake in bed, hungover. He vomits in the bathroom and sticks his face in cocaine. TMZ reports on his arrest and broadcasts his mugshot. The weekly tabloids cover his downward spiral in detail. He buys drugs from a dealer and gets beaten up on the street. Lit in ice blue, he stares at himself in the bathroom mirror.
Urie shakes him through the mirror. Puppet Brendon clutches his stomach. He flushes all his cocaine and writes by the ocean. He plays the piano and records in the studio.
Urie puts the microphone back on the stand. The puppet host promotes the new album. The audience of puppets clap. He takes a bow.
The executive looks at Puppet Brendon and throws him in with a stack of discarded puppets.
Puppet Brendon dreads the applause. As a human, it as though his trainwreck past no longer exists. Without any drugs in his body, he is able to live up to his potential. In the audience, he sees dozens of friends working towards redemption like him. However, it wasn’t enough. The executive knows he can find a replacement in another club somewhere.
There are songs no one will ever hear. All he can hope is someone sees him and gives him another chance. But he is one of hundreds within the stack of other puppets. The chances are slim he’ll be a puppet again, let alone human.
He had chosen to perform. As a puppet, he had cancelled tours due to his drug abuse. An album had been released but it had flopped. The record company saw him as a liability. Most people were predicting he wouldn’t be alive at the end of the year. As he heard the crowd sing along, he realized he could be successful. For 3 minutes, he achieved his dream.
Director: Brandon Dermer Year: 2018