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INTERVIEW: Inhabitat Speaks with Revenge of the Electric Car’s Director Chris Paine
Posted By Laura K. Cowan On September 26, 2012 @ 9:30 am In automotive,Green Transportation,Innovation,Interviews | 2 Comments
The new film Revenge of the Electric Car debuts in just a few days, and we were recently lucky enough to catch up with director Chris Paine to get the inside scoop on this sequel to his popular film Who Killed the Electric Car? The film brings awareness to how electric vehicles were able to break through an incredible number of obstacles to get to where they are today. We sat down with Chris Paine to ask him all about the new film, how he felt when he suddenly found himself to be a part of his own movie, and what he sees in the future of green transportation.
The first film, Who Killed the Electric Car?, seemed to place blame squarely on the shoulders of GM for rounding up and crushing its first electric production car, the EV1. But then, almost a decade later, things started to change. General Motors promised an extended-range hybrid with all-electric capabilities called the Volt . Nissan was hard at work behind the scenes creating a hybrid killer , and Tesla boasted it could beat the entire auto industry at its own game, creating a 100-mile-range electric sports car  with incredible performance and looks. Chris Paine followed these developments toward the new dawn of the electric car, and also documented the grass roots efforts of shops that were building a new market for custom retrofitted electric cars.
Chris Paine: I went on a test drive of a modern electric car in 1996 and it blew my mind. It was wicked fast, sounded like a something from the 21st century, and handled like a dream. Turns out it was from the 21st century because about 5,000 of them were all rounded up and destroyed because no one was interested. Turns out that wasn’t quite the story. My first film made a murder mystery out of what happened–and how governments fail to beat back powerful corporate vested interests, regulate effectively, and give in to monopolies. Our characters rose up from outside the system and tried to deduce what happened. My second film is about revolution from within the system and led by very different kinds of leaders. What they share is a willingness to take huge risks, reinvent their industries to revitalize this country and use innovation and capital markets to create jobs and products that will help free us from foreign controlled fossil fuels, instead of simply gaming the system for private wealth.
Chris Paine: Yes, we made a deal not to release any footage from the film until 2011 when car companies had first forecast that the cars would actually arrive to market. We had savaged the car industry in the first film, but we did it accurately and I think gained respect. We did not get access to all the car companies: many turned us down, but the four we got were really indicative of different parts of the car industry and some of its top leadership. We also worked very carefully to separate our story from PR or spin.
Chris Paine: I hadn’t wanted to be in the film and I think this is perhaps my only on-camera moment. I was shocked that the car we had happened to find in the assembly room had my VIN# on it and such a serious issue. Elon delivers perhaps the best line in the film when he realizes it’s my car.
Chris Paine: Absolutely. I want people everywhere to be at least able to try driving a plug-in car. Right now it’s all theories and talk shows. The insiders we profiled suffered through so many challenges and on dark days I really worried that they’d ever get to market. Now is the time for folks to test drive them. Many, not all, will be transformed.
Chris Paine: I will always follow the electric car market. Whether that becomes a film is a question for a few years from now. Mostly, I’m in early stages looking for financial backers who believe in me for my next film project.
Revenge of the Electric Car debuts in the U.S. on October 21st in select theaters. To check out showtimes or request a screening in your town, click the link below for more information. ‘
Article printed from Inhabitat – Green Design, Innovation, Architecture, Green Building: http://inhabitat.com
URL to article: http://inhabitat.com/interview-inhabitat-speaks-with-revenge-of-the-electric-cars-director-chris-paine/
URLs in this post:
 Volt: http://inhabitat.com../test-drive-inhabitat-lives-with-the-chevy-volt-for-a-week/
 hybrid killer: http://inhabitat.com../nissan-unveils-10-minute-electric-vehicle-charger/
 electric sports car: http://inhabitat.com../test-drive-inhabitat-takes-the-tesla-roadster-for-a-spin-in-silicon-valley/
 + Revenge of the Electric Car: http://www.revengeoftheelectriccar.com
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