Chris Paine is a filmmaker with a scientific background to back up his passion. Having worked on the Mars rovers, his interest in electric vehicles was stoked to a degree that saw him make “Who Killed the Electric Car,” and its recent sequel, “Revenge of the Electric Car.”
From discussing the shoot, to his background and the politics that surround this issue, he shares a great deal with Vlad and Ondi.
Watch new episodes of BYOD live each week on Tuesdays at noon on TheLip.TV, or tune in for the archived replay starting here on the following Thursday.
BYOD is co-hosted by Ondi Timoner, director of “DIG!,” “JOIN US” and “WE LIVE IN PUBLIC,” and has the rare distinction of winning the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance twice, and Vladimir Radovanov, entertainment attorney, and executive producer of “WE LIVE IN PUBLIC.” Each week the show explores a different documentary filmmaker or aspect of filmmaking, with special guests and a live Q&A– diving deep into creative process and the business realities of producing and distributing films. Ondi and Vladimir share their insider views, opinions, and personal stories, welcoming audience participation. BYOD aims to entertain, inform, and elevate documentaries in general by bringing attention to films and film makers that deserve exposure.
Chris Paine’s award winning documentary feature film Who Killed the Electric Car premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2006 before its worldwide release by Sony Pictures Classics. Three years in the making, the film’s murder mystery spin on an almost unreported story captured public attention and stimulated substantive change in the industry.
Previously, Chris served as executive producer on Faster, Mark Neale’s 2003 cult film (with narrator Ewan McGregor) about the world’s fastest motorcycle race. The same team also made No Maps For These Territories about cyber-punk visionary William Gibson. No Maps featured U2’s Bono and was named Best Documentary by the Los Angeles New Times in 2001. Chris directed segments for the MTV television series BUZZ and online content for Apple Computer.
Outside of media, Chris is an entrepreneur and environmentalist. His technology company
Internet Outfitters went public in 1999 as part of AppNet/CommerceOne. His firm Mondotronics, (founded with his highschool friend Roger Gilbertson) provided materials for the Mars Pathfinder mission. Chris’ activist work included campaigns to stop nuclear testing in Nevada, freeway expansions in California, and deforestation.
00:01 BYOD Opening.
01:11 Welcoming Chris Paine.
02:16 Retiring on Mars, vs. Earth.
03:28 Chris’ journey with the electric car, from youth to the X-Files.
05:12 Financing the film.
05:41 The electric car racing clip.
06:30 Peter Horton donates his last week with the electric car.
07:10 The pure green love of electric car ownership, “It’s not about an argument.”
10:29 The changing world of transportation, and the car as a single element in a greener future.
11:59 Current costs of electric cars.
12:39 Making a film about entrepreneurs and not just inventions.
13:35 Trailer for “Who Killed the Electric Car?”
16:02 A murder mystery documentary–shredding electric cars.
16:54 Huell Howser footage of shredding cars., “That seems like a shame!”
18:48 The “Revenge of the Electric Car,’ and coming back to the story.
19:52 The involvement of GM and commitment to the car.
20:24 Bob Lutz, clip.
22:00 Thoughts on Bob Lutz and developing trust.
24:45 Wrangling the different entrepreneurs–big and small–of the project.
26:32 “Revenge of the Electric Car,” Trailer.
28:20 Making an epic trailer for a doc.
29:42 Carlos Ghosn, Clip. The teflon man.
31:38 The tragic story of Gadget: Tough for him and great for the film.
34:30 Gadget, Electric Car Converter. Clip.
35:56 Elon Musk of Tesla, Clip.
37:21 The rough times at Tesla and the “curse” of the electric car.
39:09 What Chris is up to right now, “Charge.”
40:05 Chris goes on journeys to keep his sanity.
40:55 The State Department program of sending doc makers abroad.
42:01 The Daily Dig Down (doc festival deadlines, Bully).
48:36 Thanks and Goodbye!