One of the highlights of Day One of the Santa Monica Alt Car Expo was spending an hour with "Who Killed the Electric Car?" director Chris Paine and hearing stories about making both that film and his sequel-in-progress. While he said the studio/lawyers would not let him show any clips from the new film, he did say they've been filming for a while now and they really got serious about a month ago. The crew has so far visited the GM tech center in Warren, the Volt unveiling and Iceland. He also showed some stills from the sequel film, "The Revenge of the Electric Car" (still a working title, as far as I know) from last Tuesday and then showed some pictures from the trip to Reykjavík as well.

While talking about making his surprise hit film, Paine updated the suspects list by talking about where the various groups are today. For some of the line-up, the story today is pretty much the same. Batteries, in his view, were good then and are simply better today. But the auto companies are making much more pro-plug-in vehicle moves now than they were during shooting of the first film. Oil companies are also singing a different tune on this round than they were in the mid-'90s. Consumers, well, if you're reading this, then you can probably explain how people care more about EVs now than they did 10 years ago.

While it took a long while for Paine and his friends to figure out the murder suspect theme of the first movie, he's already got a possible message for the sequel: maybe the crazies aren't so crazy. As a proud self-described crazy who's not afraid to take a stand - whether that means making EVs in your garage or taking on CARB or the automakers with some creative actions - it seems like it might be time that the crazies are taken seriously. One clip he did play was a scene that was cut from "Who Killed The Electric Car?" This was a bit of street theater, a staged funeral for the Ford Th!nk, that the studio asked him to take out. In the sequel, we might be seeing more scenes of the crazies, both on the streets and in the garages, when the film hits theaters in 2010. I'm ready now.

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