roll another number for the road

A lot of people have asked me about Americanizing Shelly, the film I worked on last year as director Alan Smithee.

I haven’t said much about it, because I didn’t know what I could talk
about and what I had to keep on the down-low, but I just read this story from the swnewsherald about the production:

The film tells the story of a wannabe Hollywood talent manager’s quest
to Americanize an Indian girl from the Himalayas. As he teaches her
about the “American way of life,” they begin to see the world through
each other’s eyes.

I didn’t know this when I worked on it, but one of the co-producers was
just seventeen years-old! I’m totally blown away; we only spoke on the
phone and via e-mail, but if I hadn’t read this article, I would have
thought she was a typical, experienced film-maker
.[1] Good on ya, Natasha!

I also just discovered that the film has a website, which currently features a teaser trailer that includes me, in all my "incompetent director" glory. Right on.

[1] Oops. Mistaken identity. We never spoke with each other. However, it’s still incredibly cool that a seventeen year-old got involved with the making of a movie (which I’ve just found out looks great and is cracking up all the people who have seen it during editing.)

36 thoughts on “roll another number for the road”

  1. Strange, but I was watching “Larry King Live” tonight with Merv Griffin as the guest. Wil, you bear a certain strong resemblance to Merv when he was in his singing career way on back.

  2. Pretty cool trailer Wil *The STUD* Wheaton…
    I was hoping tho to see you in some kind of a *Chorus Line* dancing somewhere in the movie…
    Cheers my friend…

  3. Okay, so this is off-topic, but if you combine Cincinnati and Columbus, OH’s DEMAND IT counts, you get 75. They’re less than an hour apart. People would totally drive to one or the other. There’s even a handy-dandy freeway that connects them.
    Pleeeeease. heh

  4. I’d be interested in the film if the main character and many of supporting cast weren’t Indian. Oh well.

  5. For whatever reason, i don’t get sound in my firefox — so while visually it was a nice preview, i couldn’t download it and play it in mplayer for sound.
    Sigh. I really hate flash.
    But good on yer, hopefully we’ll be seeing it on-screen soon.

  6. As usual, thanks for the Wilco reference (the first AM reference I believe). Sorry to be OT, but if you haven’t caught up with LOST lately, the ABC website is streaming episodes for free. Anyway, the last two episodes have been excellent.

  7. Looks like it was a fun movie to work on.
    Hoping you’ve read my comment a few posts down….I was hoping to offer you some encouragement. You seem like you’re pretty hard on yourself at times!

  8. Wil,
    This is totally off subject, but I just did a YouTube search for you, and came up with some footage of you lying on the floor of E3 staring at your cell phone with a lady next to you! Explain??

  9. Terrymr,
    Please don’t misunderstand me, as I enjoy films with actors of many ethnicities, but I have found that all movies I’ve seen that contain a dominant Indian influence and/or cast to be absolutely unpalatable.
    Every ‘Indian based’ film I’ve seen from Asoka, Mission Kashmir, Sharaabi, to Tom, Dick & Harry has, in my opinion, been filled with amateur over-actors who primarily cater towards and are accepted by their specific ethnic demographic. Therefore, mainstream they’re NOT. It’s an acquired taste that I have not and likely will not acquire.
    Modern Indian oriented films like ‘Bend it like Beckham (which basically revolves around an Indian girl who likes soccer)’ repeatedly try to force-feed the following message down the viewer’s throat:
    Here is an old-world Indian being assimilated into modern American culture. Experience this beautiful assimilation and then enjoy the exploitation and wonders. Meanwhile discover with him/her that which modern culture can provide.
    See the world unfold through this innocent Indian’s eye, and together we will smile & eat chicken curry.
    — I’m getting nauseas just thinking about it…
    This is why I am biased against all Indian oriented films and/or theatrical productions.

  10. Joe,
    you need to watch “Kama Sutra: A Tale of Love”. Palatable doesn’t even BEGIN to describe it.
    (and no, it’s not teh pr0n.)
    one of the most beautiful movies ever made. fab soundtrack too.

  11. dude, Cincinnati and Columbus are a shade over 100 miles apart. So good luck making it in an hour, especially if your on a bus full of undergrads like I was. On the plus, I thought Cincinnati was quite nice.
    hey Wil, I haven’t seen you at the low-limit omaha8 tables.

  12. You insult an entire production, including the work of not only me, but everyone else involved, based upon a 2.5″ compressed trailer on the Internet?
    Wow, ignatz, that’s really, really great. I’m sure everyone who worked long hours for several weeks to make this film happen are going to feel great if they read that.

  13. Miyu,
    Ironically, I have seen Kama Sutra: A Tale of Love. No it’s not a p0rn, and yes, it does have very sensual moments that are quite uncommon with many Indian productions.
    But, in my opinion, it was a mediocre production, shot on a very limited budget, with little editing to hide it’s many visible flaws, particularly due to the lack of credible performance from the actors.
    The supporting cast was also highly disappointing, and only served to strengthen the many stereotypes associated with low budget, independent Indian features.
    This is not uncommon, and I suppose I should give it some slack as it was an entirely independent film, but I would hardly say it was a beautiful film.
    At best, for an indie feature(no pun intended), it did exhibit some potential had the writer’s vision been portrayed more appropriately.

  14. Hey Wil, you don’t have an email address anywhere on your blog, I guess it’s so savage fans don’t hump your email box into submission. (Ahh, to be young and into Star Trek *le sigh*)
    I was wondering, could you possibly mention [REDACTED] on your blog somewhere?
    I’m trying to get the website more visibile, but it is an uphill battle.

  15. Joe, you can’t base your comment on Indian films in general on you seeing a few indie/American productions that use the Indian theme.
    All those movies you guys have named… never heard of them. And my mom is Indian.
    If you really wanna know what an Indian movie is like, please watch some of the following. Especially if you’re going to openly critique the whole style/culture.
    Oh, and those “very sensual moments that are quite uncommon with many Indian productions.” ??
    Yeah right. That’s the Indian film’s trademark.
    Here are some titles for you to explore:
    (yes, they have subtitles)
    -Kush Kush Hota Hai
    -Kuch Naa Kaho
    -Monsoon Wedding
    -Bride and Prejudice
    And unfortunately, I can’t think of more at this moment (just woke up) and IMDB isn’t jogging my memory.

  16. Diva,
    I provided a few examples, not the entire list of those I’ve viewed. Let’s not assume that I base my opinion solely on independent Indian films. I hope I didn’t lead you to that misconception.
    In providing a sample of films I’ve based my opinion on, I didn’t include the entire list of films I’ve seen with an Indian center.
    I’ve been present at Indian film productions before, granted only the ones here in the states. My feelings are based on my witness of those productions and my viewing of many finished films(filmed both in India and America).
    I hope I have clearly conveyed to you that I did not:
    “base my comment on Indian films in general on seeing a few indie/American productions that use the Indian theme.”
    I will refrain from further dissecting your critique of me, and simply state that I am as entitled to my opinion, as you are to yours.
    My strong bias against Indian films continues to remain firm, and I believe it is entirely justified.

  17. Hi. “Americanizing Shelley” looks like a very intriguing movie. I’m really interested to see what Hollywood will do with this familiar concept.
    Forgive me for hi-jacking your blog comments to ask this, but I’ve tried to contact you by email and I’m not sure it’s got through.
    I’m writing an academic paper on blogs and how they are changing the language, to be published next year by Hampton Press NJ in a collection on New Media And Linguistic Change. I’m the author of a book called “The Language Of Websites”. More info here:
    I was really just wondering if you might give me permission to use some extracts from your blog in my analysis during the preparation of the paper?

  18. Wil,
    I went back and reread my post and I’m a little embarassed by it. My attempt at humor kind of came off a little to mean and I apologize.

  19. Misty,
    I’m sorry to hear you spent Mother’s Day in the hospital. It is no way to celebrate a special day, and I certainly hope that this coming weekend is a better one for you.

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