See Mormon Film: Key Films of the Fifth Wave
Director Greg Whiteley met Kane when he moved into his ward in Los Angeles and only gradually became aware of his celebrity history. The filming began when Kane needed a ride to the pawn shop to get his bass guitar out of hawk, a sequence included in the film. Becoming aware of the potential of a feature film, Whiteley, along with the small crew and a few others, accompanied Kane on his entire journey (though he is not a character in the film, Whiteley does appear in some shots, such as walking with Kane down a street in New York). Some interviews and other materials--particularly the archival footage and animation--were added in the long postproduction process (typical of documentaries), and the film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in early 2005. First Independent Pictures acquired distribution rights, and several months were spent polishing the film and securing rights to the many songs included in the soundtrack, resulting in a release late that autumn (the date listed above). Excel Entertainment subcontracted distribution within the Mormon heartland of Utah-Idaho-Arizona.
Commercially, New York Doll
did well in its theatrical run--appealing to both Mormons and musicians--though it could have been marketed more aggressively. The DVD was released in April 2006. The film has received great critical attention among Latter-day Saints, winning the Association for Mormon Letters' award in film for 2005 and showing two consecutive years at the Sundance Symposium in Salt Lake City.
Though it has its critics, within and outside the LDS Church, New York Doll
has generally been seen as representing a great stride forward in LDS-themed documentary, especially in contrast to the traditional historical film.
It was apparently shot on a Panasonic DVX100 (or DVX100A) in 24p, with occasional use of multiple cameras (seen, for instance, in David Johansen's arrival at the New York City rehearsal). There are two versions of the DVD, one that is the theatrical version and one which has censored a few profanities, apparently to appeal to the LDS audience.