Thursday, November 29, 2007
Southern University at
It will be led by Barbara Brinkley, who has 20 years worth of casting experience. She’ll be assisted by Jesse Adams, a casting associate. The class begins Jan. 19 and runs through March 18. Class will be held Saturdays from to Cost is $250 and requires a $100 deposit. Balance is due by Jan. 15. To register, call (318) 678-4669 or (800) 458-1472 ext. 669. Email contacts are firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Acting coach and actress Theresa Bell is continuing her work with a core group of local actors. She's from Dallas, but travels here even other week or so. The next class is full, but you can audit (or basically watch) for $25. It's scheduled for Dec. 9 between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. For more info, including location, contact Tara Duncil at firstname.lastname@example.org or (318) 573-0039.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Chason worked as a casting director for “Paper Moon,” “Pretty Baby,” “Paris, Texas,” and other projects. He lives in Austin.
Class on Dec. 5, scheduled from 6 to 9 p.m., is $30 and will focus on reading lines. Class on Dec. 6, from 6 to 9 p.m., is $30 and will focus on acting for the camera. Class on Dec. 7, from 6 to 8 p.m., is $10 and will be a lecture and demonstration by Chason. Class on Dec. 8, from 1 to 6 p.m., is $50 and will be a scene study workshop.
Attendees can register for all four days for $100. Classes will be held at the Actor’s Café, 1411 Fairfield Avenue (formerly Bear’s Café).
To register or for more information about each day’s activities, contact Erin Howell at email@example.com or (214) 437-1649.
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
All races and ethnicities are needed, according to a press release. Specifically, the production is seeking lookalikes and stand-ins for the film's stars, Ice Cube and Keke Palmer. Also needed are people to play football coaches, players, referees, cheerleaders and fans; teenage punk kids; school kids ages 12 and up; and parents and townspeople.
All applicants should bring nonreturnable photographs of themselves no larger than four-by-six inches. If applicants do not have a photograph, casting directors will take one during the casting call.
“Comeback” will be directed by Fred Durst (Limp Bizkit frontman) and will begin filming Monday (Dec. 3).
There is no cost to apply. For more information, log on to http://www.bamcastingla.com/ or call (318) 698-1313.
Monday, November 26, 2007
Here's an excerpt: "Filmmakers in Shreveport say the state used to be the spot where movies that took place in Louisiana were shot. Now Shreveport serves as a backdrop for any town, including even that other L.A.
"'There's a downtown corridor that you can make look like any major city,' said Michael Flannigan, executive producer for Millennium Films. The company's headquarters are on Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles, but it's breaking ground in coming months on a new film center in Shreveport, complete with sound stages, he said."
That plays into a conversation I had recently with a local producer, who said Shreveport's downtown, which is full of old and many vacant buildings, is like a studio backlot.
16% … A bad idea. King's faithful will cry foul. (8 votes)
10% … A good idea. The original ending sucked. (5 votes)
53% … A great idea. Darabont has proven himself the king of King adaptations. (26 votes)
8% … Unimportant. I didn't read the story and don't care to. (4 votes)
12% … Sooo off topic. All I care about is seeing Shreveport, baby! (6 votes)
Sunday, November 25, 2007
Disney's "Enchanted" secured the biggest business, earning an estimated $50 million since Wednesday. "The Mist" was released on about 2,400 screens, while Enchanted took over about 3,600.
If you take "Enchanted" out of the equation, the rest of the box office is slugging it out for audiences. Just over $9 million will separate 2nd from 9th.
"The Mist" will face a lot of competition in the coming weeks, with more than 60 films set for release from Thanksgiving through the end of the year. Will is scare up a cult or consistent following? It's definitely a tough road.
If you didn't catch it, my interview with Matthew Broderick ran today. He was recently in town filming "Wonderful World."
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Below is my last edition of tales from the set.
James Paul: "All of the actors and the extras became one big family. … When it was over nobody wanted to go. … I've been in 12 movies and this one I'm dying to see."
Frances "Frannie" McKenzie: "I cannot say enough about the assistant directors K.C. and Paula, they were so patient with all us 'newcomers' and Paula and her husband Courtney shared their dog with the extras so we wouldn't be so homesick for our own pets. The first assistant directors George and Craig and the production assistant mark, were just great and took up a lot of time with us out in holding. A lot of the stars came to holding and took pictures with us, signed autographs and visited with us on and off throughout the filming. Ginnie Randall not only visited with us but sang for us, Buck Taylor shared his wonderful gift of sketching with us, David Jensen and William Sadler shared stories and kept us in stitches with their antics, and Nathan and all the other children were so well behaved and just a delight to be around."
Isaac Manuel, Jr.: "During my time on the set of 'The Mist,' what I enjoyed most was the 'special' bond that was created among all of the core extras while we were in holding, waiting to shoot a particular scene. And, even thought I don't consider myself a scary person and realized that we were shooting a movie, there were times that I became frightened by some of the characters, situations and plots that came out of 'The Mist.'"
Jonathan Fife: "I helped fuel the actors' performances while in the camera frame with them & off camera. It is my impression that the director and assistant director were very pleased with my performance and assistance. I would like the chance to thank the casting agency, crew, actors, assistant director and director for letting me participate in such an 'awesome' experience."
Gwen Hughes: "I was an extra 'in' 'The Mist.' It was an awesome experience. A lot of long hours, a lot of waiting in holding, but it was worth it. The actors were superb. The stunt men and one woman were fantastic. The AD's and crew were excellent and could not have been more accommodating. And what can I say, the director, Frank Darabont, was amazing, an unbelievable artist. It was an experience I will always remember."
John McLeaish on playing a 'believer' and being part of the mob: "I'm yelling stuff like 'Amen' and 'Get him,' so I guess that makes me a believer. … It was just like watching a painting come to life.'"
Tom Wallace on who got in trouble eating the props from the grocery store set: "Andre Braugher stepped up and confessed to that."
Meanwhile, if you happen to go see the movie over the Thanksgiving weekend, please post your thoughts in the comments field of my review or add some chatter to my blog. I'd love to know what you think. As you can see by my previous post, opinions are divided.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Click here to read my review for The Shreveport Times. Here's a snippet: "More than simply a picture that goes boo and bang, 'The Mist' carefully paints the delusions of faith and the failures of reason that drive the townsfolk mad."
Pictured above is Elmer Hermes (left) with actor Sam Witwer of "The Mist."
Here are more tidbits from the grocery store set of 'The Mist,' where extras spent about five weeks.
Jim Cooper: "During a break in one scene, while visiting quietly with a tall, nice looking lady, I began to do a couple of clogging steps to stay loose. She immediately recognized the steps and began to clog and sing 'Rocky Top.' It turned out that she was a past Texas State Champion clogger. A few days/scenes later she performed her Mist role as 'The Terrified Lady.'"
Tammy Eaton: "It is always exciting being on any set. But, the energy level was more intense than normal on this one. You could feel it in the air. I am one of the town's people in the running scene. My partner Terry and I got to run into the camera across the store's parking lot while everyone else ran in the other direction. With Terry's help and crew I got through a couple of hours of running. The look on all our faces are more than likely very real."
Mike Martindale: "There are two moments that particularly stand out for me. The first was one morning a couple of weeks into shooting. We were first getting onto the set. Frank (Darabont) was by Video Village, where he monitors the camera shots, and he said, 'Good morning, Mike. How's it going?' I don't even remember what I said. Something like, 'Great, I'm just glad to be here.' The other was toward the end of the movie. … I had to get up from between two registers, and go stand behind Marcia Gay Harden. And between takes, Frank had come over to choreograph some things and he was telling me, one on one, move between these registers to Marcia, then when you move from Marcia, pick up the pipe wrench here and then move to up here, etc. Outside, I'm nodding, 'Yes, sir, got it, OK,' but inside I'm screaming. I'm actually taking direction from FRANK DARABONT! What a moment."
Brenda and Jim Graves: "The white house on the lake in the beginning of the movie 'Drayton's House.' My most memorable time at the set was chatting with Patricia Arquette in our living room, and watching her and Thomas Jane having lunch in our dining room. Also, their daughter Harlow playing with our kids Warren and Arianne-that was cool!!!"
Jeannie Perrin: "I met Buck Taylor, who many remember as Newly on Gunsmoke, on the set. I showed him a picture which included me, my aunt and his late father Dub Taylor cutting up on the set of 'Creature of Black Lake' which was also filmed locally back in 1976. He was so moved I gave him a copy and he autographed mine. What are the odds that I, as a teenager, would get to be photographed with a celebrity and then in one with his son 30 years later?"
And I think I have a few more anecdotes to share tomorrow, opening day for "The Mist."
Monday, November 19, 2007
Dagnabbit, were they excited. And cheering. And shocked. And gleeful when they caught glimpses of themselves on screen. I sat next to one local actress -- Dodie Brown -- who managed to get a line (see previous post). That was pretty cool.
It's hard to explain, but these folks are all drawn together by this curious kind of electricity. It arcs when they recognize themselves or a familiar face. To sit among them is invigorating for those who live vicariously. (I'm a reporter, so I do this for a living.)
But ... it's going to take this crowd a few different viewings to understand just what kind of film this is, and just who director Frank Darabont is turning into as a storyteller. (Not to be a snob, but I'm not sure too many of us care about the latter question. ... OK, fine. I'm a snob.)
I'll tell you what I think soon. My review, which is safe for pre-screening consumption if you read reviews, is en route.
In the meantime, here's some unsolicited advice for that rowdy crowd and everybody who wants to tell everything about "The Mist."
Don't. Store away the spoilers for as long as you can. Let the movie simmer a bit. Keep it inside. Don't corrupt friends and family with talk about the ending. Hold onto that electricity just a little bit longer. Let others be genuinely surprised to discover you and "The Mist" on screen, just like you may have been tonight.
Extras spent weeks with the cast and crew of "The Mist." The apocalyptic tale traps townsfolk inside a grocery store, where they defend themselves from other-worldly monsters and fight a shared fear of the unknown. Marcia Gay Harden's performance as Mrs. Carmody, the group's doomsday machine, earned rave reviews from the extras. (In the pic, Harden's got the purse.)
Here are a few extras' stories.
Michael Wilburn: "It was truly an exhausting, yet exhilarating experience. I learned so much. Just an acting class working with Marcia Gay Harden, William Sadler, at others in such intimate surroundings for so many days would cost thousands of dollars. There were many moments of which I learned so much about various aspects of the movie industry. And particularly one defining moment in a scene which Marcia Gay Harden and myself seem to be exactly on the same page of what can only be described as a crazed sense of horror deep within her being. As she whispered her lines she turned and we made eye contact, my eyes widened and I shivered watching the master of her craft ... her ghostly stare was so haunting. No sooner than Frank Darabont yelled cut, Mrs. Harden turned toward me with a smile. I smiled back as if we both knew as they say, 'she nailed it.' She honestly brought me to another level of which I will most likely never achieve again."
Darlene Davis: "I did several scenes with Ms. Harden during the earthquake, and in the beginning when the first man runs in from the mist. I guess I was an official screamer, I am very easily spooked and every time something scary happened I screamed. I apologized to Frank several times, he said it was great that he had someone with a natural scream. And he got it."
Dusty Graham: "Ms. Harden and Darabont could talk extras into walking into fire, they were so inspiring. What a privilege. Who would have thought at age 62, in Shreveport, La. I would work five weeks on a movie set? All my Texas relatives who wonder why I still live in Louisiana are green with envy and their mouths are hanging open to think that movies are made in Shreveport. Can't wait for the movie. I even saw myself in the preview!!!!"
Dodie Brown (pictured): "It has been by far the most fabulous movie experience ever for me and my 7 year old daughter, Taylor. What a blessing to be cast in a Stephen King movie directed by the great Frank Darabont in a mother/daughter role with my actual daughter! We were both upgraded as principal actors ('screaming woman' and 'screaming child') and therefore both became eligible to join the Screen Actors Guild! Director Frank Darabont was full of energy and very motivational despite the long hours. Marcia Gay Harden, whose performance as Mrs. Carmody was amazing, will hopefully received special recognition for a job very well done!"
More anecdotes tomorrow.
Sunday, November 18, 2007
The extras were kind enough to send in some of their anecdotes from the set. Here are excerpts from some of their emails. No spoilers here.
Lorie Knighton (pictured with Jeannie and Johnny): "One of my favorite parts (even though they never used us) was when four of us got to get bloody. They made us up, but never did anything with us. But all day long I was running around with busted nose and blood. I was really acting silly -- in fact -- was outside and for ... giggles, a mid aged couple was walking down the street and I leaned over the edge and had a horrified look on my bloody face and scared the holy crap out of them. I immediately told them it was makeup and thank god they did not have a heart attack!!!! And later that evening was smoking a cig and this guy came up to me and was truly worried that I had been hurt. I think he was a little drunk, cause it took him awhile for it to sink in that I told him it was makeup and a movie. It was hilarious."
Lauren Hillman: “I read your article about Marcia and Frank speaking so highly of the extras. I just wanted to write you and let you know just as highly as they think of us, I can assure you everyone of us feels the same way. Frank, Marcia, Kasey, Paula, George, the list goes on and on. Every one of the cast and crew were amazing! I talked with Marcia Gay Harden in between shoots one day and she just sat and visited with me like she had know me her whole life."
Margaret Wren: “On the movie set of ‘Stephen King’s The Mist,’ the extras spent over a month ‘trapped’ in a small grocery store together. As time went along we became like family to each other, we ate, laughed, slept, dressed, used the bathroom together, and even had a little drama here and there!”
Zoe McCombs: “I was on the set for one day and at the back of the store. I could see that I would be bored so I started straightening the shelves. Within minutes the head of props came over and told me to leave the things alone as we had ‘a storm last night’ he said. I knew I wouldn't be seen so I pulled a huge pack of Charmin' from the shelves and sat on it.”
I'll share more anecdotes tomorrow.
Friday, November 16, 2007
Thursday, November 15, 2007
BAM CASTING IS NOW CASTING EXTRAS FOR THE FEATURE FILM:
“COMEBACK” Starring: ICE CUBE
WHERE: LOUISIANA BOARDWALK
100 BASS PRO DR.
BOSSIER CITY, LA 71111
(ACROSS FROM PAPAYA & WHITE HOUSE/BLACK MARKET)
WHEN: SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 24th
10AM – 10PM (OPEN CALL IS FREE!)
SEEKING EXTRAS OF ALL RACES AND ETHNICITIES, IN PARTICULAR:
*ICE CUBE LOOK-A-LIKES AND STAND-INS,
*CHILDREN WITH STAND-IN EXPERIENCE,
*YOUTH FOOTBALL PLAYERS (BOYS & GIRLS)
*YOUNG PUNK ROCKERS,
*SCHOOL KIDS (9 & UP),
*PARENT TYPES AND TOWNSPEOPLE,
ALL APPLICANTS SHOULD BRING A SELF-PHOTOGRAPH NO LARGER THAN 4X6
FOR MORE INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT US AT:
(318) 698-1313 OR VISIT http://www.bamcastingla.com/
PHOTO CREDIT: GNS photo. Not for republication.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
"The Mist" gets released Nov. 21, and it was of course shot in Shreveport and northwest Louisiana.
You have to appreciate King's directness: "Frank wrote a new ending that I loved. It is the most shocking ending ever and there should be a law passed stating that anybody who reveals the last 5 minutes of this film should be hung from their neck until dead."
I take it he's not a fan of spoilers.
Monday, November 12, 2007
Gregg moved to Hollywood from Shreveport in 1981. He now has homes in both Zip codes and works on a lot of local projects.
Gregg wouldn't let me drive his new ride -- to be fair, I never asked and my itsy-bitsy Scion could fit in the front carriage -- but I sure wish I could have borrowed it for prom back in the day.
Sunday, November 11, 2007
Thanks again to everyone who turned out for our "Mist" photo shoot. Here's one shot of photographer Greg Pearson trying to fit 40 to 50 folks in his lens. (I obviously couldn't do it with my camera, but he's a pro.)
We traveled up to Vivian today to shoot the photo in front of Tom's Market. The grocery store served as a model for a grocery store set built inside of StageWorks of Louisiana, a soundstage in Shreveport. (The shoot also spent a couple days in Vivian.)
Why all the fuss? The extras enjoyed a rather rare opportunity on the set of "The Mist." Many of them -- called "The Core" -- worked the entire shoot and got very cozy with cast and crew.
In "The Mist," a group of small-town folks get trapped inside the store when a supernatural fog rushes over the city. Huge bugs, monsters and terrors of all sorts force folks to choose sides, and the battle for survival basically becomes a war between believers in "The End of Days" and nonbelievers.
The stars of the film and director Frank Darabont relied heavily on The Core to create an atmosphere of conflict, fear, etc.
We'll all get to see the results on Nov. 21 when "The Mist" is released nationwide. Our coverage for the Shreveport Times will begin rolling out -- like a monstrous, inescapable mist -- very soon.
Friday, November 09, 2007
"The Mist": November 21, 2007 View the trailer: http://movies.yahoo.com/movie/1809834165/trailer
http://media.movies.ign.com/media/860/860880/vids_1.html (This third trailer, or second link, best represents the movie)
"The Great Debaters": December 28, 2007 View the trailer: http://movies.yahoo.com/movie/1809870043/trailer
"Mad Money": January 18, 2008 View the trailer: http://movies.yahoo.com/movie/1809874743/info
"Meet the Spartans": February 1, 2008 View the trailer:
"Harold & Kumar 2": February 8, 2008 View the trailer:
"Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins" (or "The Better Man"): February 8, 2008 View the trailer: http://www.alltrailers.net/welcome-home-roscoe-jenkins.html
Thursday, November 08, 2007
WHAT: "The Mist" extras.
WHEN: 1 p.m. Sunday sharp (Nov. 11).
WHERE: Tom's Market, 212 N. Pine St., Vivian, La. (Google your directions.)
DRESS: wear the ordinary clothes like the ones you did on set.
PARKING: do not park directly in front of the store. Carpooling would be great! We must be careful not to interrupt the store's business, as Tom Terry has graciously agreed to host us. (Say thank you to him!)
I am also soliciting anecdotes about your experiences on the set. If you want to type up a couple graphs about your most memorable, funny, cool or boring moment, send 'em my way. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 318.459.3256.
In Louisiana, crews on the set of "K-Ville," a Fox police drama set in post-Katrina New Orleans, are filming the last episode written before the strike.
Co-star Cole Hauser says he hopes the strike ends soon.
Writers have not gone on strike since 1988, when the walkout lasted 22 weeks and cost the industry more than $500 million.
From the Associated Press.
I just received the following from the Louisiana Boardwalk:
“The Year One”, a new Feature Film scheduled to shoot Mid January in Shreveport, is hosting a city wide OPEN CASTING CALL this Saturday on November 10th from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00pm at the Louisiana Boardwalk.
The Year One will be directed by Harold Ramis and stars Jack Black and Michael Cera.
Actors and Extras interested in participating in the movie should come out and meet the Casting Directors with photos in hand.
For more information on “The Year One” Casting Call being held at the Louisiana Boardwalk, please call the Casting Hot Line at (267) 295-7838.
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
Anyhow, I'm hoping to write an assortment of stories on your horror flick, due in theaters Nov. 21.
On Thursday afternoon, I'll get in touch with everyone to see what we can work out. Again, thanks for your interest in helping. I'm sure everyone is very excited to see how "The Mist" turns out. And if there are more of you who have yet to contact me -- especially core extras who worked the entire shoot -- please don't hesitate.
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
And check out this super crazy fan site put together by the real, live "Mist" extras.
What do you think? What do you recognize? It's the Weinstein Co.'s unofficial Oscar hopeful. Does it have a shot?
Chris Jay of the Robinson Film Center pushed me to the trailer and said, "It could be the critical and financial sucess that Shreveport has been hoping for."
Chris obviously forgot "Factory Girl." :)
Monday, November 05, 2007
Sunday, November 04, 2007
Head to Building D at Bossier Parish Community College in Bossier City.
Welcome to (225) 342-FILM, the official hotline of the Louisiana Office of Entertainment Industry Development. Here’s what’s happening for the first week of November 2007:
The Sony Studios Pictures feature film "The Year One" is in pre-production in Shreveport with shooting scheduled from January to March of 2008. Resumes for crew are currently being accepted by fax at (318) 673-9705.
The LAMP feature film "The Way of War" is in production in Baton Rouge through December 5. For casting information, please call (225) 218-0946. For all other inquiries, please call (225) 610-1600.
The Weinstein Company feature film "The Comeback" is in pre-production in Shreveport with shooting slated for December 3 through Feb. 14. All interested crew, especially those who are Louisiana residents, should fax their resumes to (318) 698-1301.
The Fixed Point Films feature film "Waking Madison" is in production in New Orleans through December 12. Resumes and inquiries can be faxed to (504) 734-2161.
The Millennium feature film "Void Moon" is in pre-production in Shreveport. Details are coming soon.
The Eleven Eleven Films feature film "Manbreak" is shooting in Shreveport through November 30. Resumes and inquiries can be faxed to (318) 682-5642.
The Weinstein Company’s feature films "Feast II" and "Feast III" are in production in Shreveport through mid-December. Resumes and inquiries can be faxed to (318) 603-4562.
The independent feature "Dirty Politics" is in production in Baton Rouge. For more information, please call (225) 274-1484.
The Ambush Entertainment feature "Wonderful World" is in production in Shreveport and will shoot through November 16. Inquiries are being accepted by fax at (318) 219-2411. For casting information please visit www.gloriosocasting.com.
The Big Sky Motion Pictures feature film "Spring Break ‘83" is in production in Hammond and New Orleans and is in need of extras between the ages of 18 and 35. Please e-mail SpringBreak1983@gmail.com for more information.
The Lifetime MOW "Queen Sized" is in production in Shreveport through mid-November. Inquiries can be faxed to (318) 682-5644. For casting information, please visit www.gloriosocasting.com.
The Fox Television series "K-Ville" is shooting in New Orleans through the end of November. Resumes and inquiries can be faxed to (504) 731-3199. For casting information, please call (504) 273-5202.
The Uncommon Productions feature "American Inquisition" is production in New Orleans and will shoot through November 16. For more information, please call (504) 451-2514
"Varsity Inc.," a Horizon Entertainment documentary series for ESPN is in production in West Monroe until December. For more information, call (318) 298-2746.
The feature film "Welcome to Academia" is in production in New Orleans and will shoot through November 21. Inquiries can be faxed to (504) 734-6329.
The Zydeco Productions/Disney children’s television show "The Imagination Movers" is in production in New Orleans will shoot through March of 2008. Inquiries are being accepted by fax at (504) 818-3840.
And for more information about the film and television industry in Louisiana please visit us online at www.lafilm.org.
Friday, November 02, 2007
The 48-seat theater is taking shape very quickly. It's much deeper than it looks in this picture.
The 138-seat theater anchors the facility.
The upstairs bistro will have a balcony overhanging the Texas Street sidewalk.
It's a three-floor facility, plus a basement.
Among the last things to take shape will be the facility's facade. Expect a digital marquee and digital movie posters. You can see the balcony overhanging the sidewalk.
Thursday, November 01, 2007
And here's another article from the Providence Journal, which presented the many points of view two days before the ban.
I just spoke with Clarke by telephone and he had this to say: "I’m a little shocked that people in this day in age are banning books."
Clarke understands how parents can find material objectionable for religious or personal reasons. His essay was labeled pornographic for "references to bestiality," in this instance.
"It's totally legitimate for them to go to the school and ask for alternate readings," Clarke said. He's dismayed by the ban, though.
The humor essay, which he wrote last year, revisits a moment in his high school life when he was very unpopular and desperately trying to get elected to the school council. He read a book on subliminal advertising, drew the word "sex" into campaign sign pictured here (look at the watchband), and won the election.
"As a writer, I feel humor is redemptive," Clarke said. "If you can look at your own miserable experience with a sense of humor, you can transform it." And as Clarke told the Providence Journal, he believes the essay is totally appropriate for high school kids.
The controversy has had a predictable consequence: sales of the essay collection are up.
IF YOU WANT TO KNOW WHAT WILL CLARKE REALLY THINKS, CLICK HERE TO READ HIS BLOG.
ORIGINAL POST: An essay written by former Shreveporter Will Clarke recently caused a controversy in a Cumberland, R.I., school.
Clarke's "How to Kill a Boy that Nobody Likes" is based on his 1987 campaign for student council treasurer at Captain Shreve High School. The essay appears in the collection, "When I was a Loser: True Stories of (Barely) Surviving High School."
The story was assigned to an English class. Parents of one daughter apparently objected to its content because it was "pornographic." They went to a TV station with their objection. The superintendent proposed an alternate reading assignment.
Here's an excerpt from a recent article at woonsocketcall.com: "School Superintendent Donna Morelle acknowledged that parents of one student had met with her to discuss their objections to a story their daughter had brought home and indicated had been assigned to her by one of her teachers. According to Morelle, an agreement was reached with the parents last week that she believed had satisfied the parents, whom she said thanked her following their meeting.
"'The parents asked that their child not be required to read the assignment,' Morelle said. 'We agreed that we would propose and alternate reading (assignments).'"
As Clarke responded on his blog, "To be completely honest, the essay does explore sex in a very round about way (i.e. being a teenage male = being tormented by sex). And admittedly, I do drop some dirty words, but it's hardly Big Nasty Butts magazine or the like. Anyway, this seems to have created quite a fracas in the little towns of Pawtucket, Cumberland and Woonsocket."
In the woonsocketcall.com article, the superintendent said the essay was not banned. The article reads: "Morelle said she wanted to clarify that the story is not being banned from the school or eliminated from the curriculum. The remaining students in the class will continue reading it.
"'We're not banning books or anything like that,' Morelle said. 'There's a whole set of connotations about banning books. That's not a boundary that I'm ever willing to cross.'"
Banned? No. (See update and link above.) Censored? Share your thoughts.
Two of Clarke's books, "The Worthy" and "Lord Vishnu's Love Handles," are in development for big-screen adaptations.