What do the Internet’s most polarizing gossip blogger and hundreds of gay men have in common? They’re the reasons why Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato are so busy. The co-founders and owners of World of Wonder, an independent L.A. production company, are working on several projects, among which are: What Perez Sez, a news show for VH1 focusing on pop culture hosted by Perez Hilton; When I Knew, an HBO documentary for which Bailey and Barbato interviewed gays and lesbians across America about when they first realized they were gay; and an as-yet-untitled Heidi Fleiss documentary, also for HBO, which offers an in-depth look at Tom Sizemore’s ex-girlfriend. “Whether it’s Heidi Fleiss, Monica Lewinsky or Tammy Faye Bakker, what attracts us to these overtly tabloid stories is the adrenaline rush,” Barbato says. “They’re compelling figures. And what we find is that when we examine them, we don’t know as much about them as we think we do.”

Since founding World of Wonder in 1991, Bailey and Barbato have created new media from alternative stories that the mainstream has glossed over or ignored outright. They started as NYU film students, packaging and selling Manhattan cable-access TV shows to Britain—recutting porn-y fare like The Robin Byrd Show. Later they produced and directed Party Monster, a documentary about murderous club kid Michael Alig based on a book by James St. James, and subsequently turned it into a movie starring, of all people, Macaulay Culkin. Most recently, they founded WOW TV (www.wowtv.tv), a “boutique YouTube,” says Barbato, where viewers can create their own channels and watch content that would never make it onto “family-friendlier” sites. And they just opened a gallery in their office space on Hollywood Boulevard. One of the gallery’s first openings was for a group show in August, titled “Golden Gals Gone Wild.” Says Barbato wryly, “I have a naked painting of Bea Arthur right outside my office.”

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