Right from the headline, something is awry about this ad: "DAS RACIST FAN FICTION AUTHOR NEEDED." Well, in all likelihood, probably not. Emergency operations are needed, freedom from oppressive tyrannical rule is needed; in all but the most historically extreme of cases, someone to write fan fiction—about a rap trio obsessed with racial politics and Jacques Derrida, no less—is not needed. Yet for one particularly ravenous Das Racist fan, it appears that this is, at the very least, a desire of great importance. Reads the ad so titled:

In my lifetime, I have only really known one true love: The Music of queens based hip-hop outfit Das Racist. The zany lyrics of Kool A.D. and Heems, as well as the crazy stage antics of hypeman Dapwell has done nothing but warm my heart for many a year that I have been listening to them. From such hard hitting songs as "Rainbow In The Dark" and "Power" to sweet seranades like "Coochie Dip City", Das Racist have become a sountrack to my life. There has to be some way I can repay them, and there is only one way I can think of that:

Fan fiction.

I however, am not good at writing. That is why I am asking you, prospective author, to write me a wonderful tale about Das Racist! Some kind of wild and crazy story of adventure, love, and overcoming adversity.

The ad goes on to list a number of prerequisites for said fan fiction writer, including "familiarity" with the group's music, "Knowledge of Shaun Bridgmohan" (the first horse-racing jockey of Jamaican descent to ride in the Kentucky Derby and a frequent Das Racist subject matter) and, most critically, "The ability to 'Bring It'."

What kind of compensation can you expect for making these dreams come true, by the way? Oh, only the princely sum of Ten Dollars U.S.D. Plus, who knows what kind of opportunities that could lead to? Before you know it, you could be writing specifically commissioned slash fiction for El-P and Prefuse 73. And Mom says you aren't doing anything with your life!

[Village Voice]


The Roanoke Times (Roanoke, VA) November 4, 2004 | Beth Jones beth.jones@roanoke.com 777-6493 Charlottesville native Jeff Wadlow may soon belong to one of the world's most exclusive clubs: Hollywood.

Wadlow, son of the late state senator Emily Couric, is well on his way to a career as a film director. Already, he has amassed a resume full of achievements remarkable for someone so young (Wadlow frequently agonizes over the fact that he'll turn 30 in 16 months).

"He's a rising filmmaker who's clearly going places," said Richard Herskowitz, director of the Virginia Film Festival.

In particular, Herskowitz said, he likes the playfulness of Wadlow's films.

While still a graduate student in the Peter Stark Producing Program at the USC School of Cinema-Television, Wadlow directed and hatched the story for a short called "Tower of Babble" which creates three radically different scenarios using the same words.

While Wadlow jokes that the flick's best-paid actor was a monkey, "Tower of Babble" does boast one big-name star: Kevin Spacey narrated the film.

The typical film grad student might have a hard time getting an Academy Award-winner to help out with his short, but Wadlow had two things going for him: persistence and a knowledge of the importance of networking. monkeytowerdefence4now.net monkey tower defence 4

After Wadlow had earned his degree in film and history from Dartmouth, he moved to New York to live with his famous aunt, Katie Couric, whose husband had recently died of colon cancer. It was there that he got a job as an assistant to Spacey as he filmed "The Big Kahuna." Wadlow stayed in touch with the actor after leaving for grad school. When he finished "Tower of Babble," he showed it to Spacey, who offered some suggestions on the film. Wadlow tweaked the movie and showed it to him again. Eventually, Wadlow convinced Spacey to narrate the short.

"What's great about Kevin is he really believes in mentoring," Wadlow said.

"Tower of Babble" went on to win several awards. Today, it can be seen on the Independent Film Channel.

Wadlow entered the short in the Chrysler Million Dollar Film Festival. In the spring of 2002, Wadlow and other nine semifinalists went to the Cannes Film Festival, where they were given less than two weeks to film a short that included a Chrysler car. Later that year at the Toronto International Film Festival, Wadlow was named the winner - meaning he had a $1,000,000 feature film production deal.

Called "Living the Lie," Wadlow's proposed film would tell the story of twenty-somethings in a Los Angeles liar's club. Studio execs later asked Wadlow to make the characters younger and to move the setting out of L.A. go to web site monkey tower defence 4

"The studio system is a very interesting business," Wadlow said.

The new film, now called "Cry Wolf," is set at a Virginia boarding school and follows a group of teens whose lies collide with reality. Wadlow spent four weeks filming the movie in Richmond in the fall of 2003. It's slated for a 2005 release.

Wadlow has also directed an animated film based on a Christmas card designed by a friend. With voices by Larry King and Danny DeVito, the cartoon features a bitter general who wants Santa behind bars.

Even with his busy schedule, Wadlow is heavily involved with the Virginia Film Festival. In addition to sitting on its board, this year he launched the Adrenaline Film Project (see Running Time).

It was a workshop led by Roger Ebert at the Virginia Film Festival that made a teenaged Wadlow hungry for a career in film.

Returning to Charlottesville also gives Wadlow a chance to talk about his mom. Every day at the festival, he said, someone will tell him something his mom did to help the community. These conversations break his heart, he said, but also make him proud., Beth Jones beth.jones@roanoke.com 777-6493