Adopted is a mockumentary / comedy that explores the hilarious lengths to which Pauly Shore (Son in Law; Pauly Shore is Dead) will go to adopt a child during a trip to Africa.
Practicing fatherhood by taking a variety of "orphans" on day-trips, Pauly Shore believes that he can leave his playboy past behind for good and start an instant family - as many other stars have done.
After getting help from a social worker friend, Pauly takes an orphan-a-day while he explores this strange country full of weird and wonderful people, with disastrous and side-splittingly funny results.
Meeting real people in real chaotic situations along the way, Pauly stumbles along the adoption trail, stepping on toes and poking fun at the current fascination with celebrity adoptions.
Inappropriate at times, politically incorrect, but hysterically funny.
About the Production
Adopted was given its first breath in July 2007. A phone call from Los Angeles to South Africa regarding the Jozi Comedy Festival, which Pauly Shore was going to host in Johannesburg, was the catalyst to the whirlwind 2 week filming of Adopted.
The call was the first 'meeting' between Pauly Shore, the writer and director of Adopted, and Sam Hendrikse, the Comedy Festival Director and Executive Producer of the film.
The call lead to a 30 minute creative conversation about the possibility of shooting something with Pauly while in South Africa to document his trip.
Pauly: "The film came about organically. My agent called me to ask if I wanted to perform in Johannesburg and I said awesome because I have always wanted to travel to Africa. Via email Sam and I became mates. So when we eventually spoke on the phone I mentioned that I like to capitalize on every opportunity and I gotta make a film while I am down there. He got excited about the idea but we didn't really know what is was going to be - there was no concept."
However a set of crew were booked for the period of Pauly's stay, the idea of a road trip TV or film project showing Pauly, " the fish out of water" performing live shows and interacting with African culture.
On his arrival Pauly Shore and Sam Hendrikse spent time brainstorming possible themes around a road movie which led to the idea of "What if Pauly adopted an African child on the way?" and once that creative mine had been opened the comedy nuggets kept on coming.
Pauly: "I mentioned celebrity adoption, and we threw some ideas around. I spent some time alone in my room and started making notes on the idea - structured with index cards. And it turned into a real movie." And over the days that followed the idea grew rapidly and passionately into the Feature Film Adopted.
Sam Hendrikse found the concept both relevant and current, highlighting celebrity pop culture. He approached Ann Roberts, who heads up Terraplane, to design the best possible technical system around the various location shoots and by doing so, allowing Pauly to improvise and create the various options that could later be edited into what was to become the story of "Adopted". Hendrikse: "Adopted was shot in the most diverse circumstances Africa could offer. From wildlife filled big five game reserves to impoverished informal settlements and on the other extreme in five star hotels in the affluent suburbs of Cape Town."
One of the first challenges was creating a film that needed to look and feel real while dealing with such a political hot potato as celebrity adoption (and shot in a third world country) was the planning, and casting. Pauly: "The thing that I wanted to portray in this particular film was I wanted people to see Africa in a light that they are not used to seeing Africa. When you see Africa the way the media shows it, whether it CNN or a 'Bono' or a 'Brad Pitt' they always show the negative side of Africa. And I am not saying that there is not a negative side, there is a negative side everywhere in the world but in my particular film I wanted to show the light side of Africa, the happy side of Africa. I wanted to show the mountains and the beauty, and the kids being happy."
Once the final shoot day was completed a decision was taken to post produce the film in Los Angeles, thereby allowing Pauly to keep the editing process close at hand. An MTV style editing team was chosen to work on the project keeping it youthful and real, true to its original intention. It was decided to use only African music in the film thereby adding another layer of authenticity to the feeling of being on the streets of Africa.
Hunta Films was born and on its maiden voyage, for Hendrikse it was an opportunity that he could not resist: "If something as topical as Adoption on African soil is handed to you in the form of a film by a Hollywood comedian known for his over the top crazy antics you don't let this pass you by. Adoption is a serious matter but as a promoter of comedy in SA for the last 15 years I have learned that comedians are mouthpieces for social issues and highlighting Adoption helps an audience dive into the depths and understand all its dimensions"
About the Casting
No - the kids in the movie weren't real orphans - they are actors!
However, casting the three "orphans" had its challenges.
All the children were cast in South Africa, but unlike a casting in LA / New York that usually involve hundreds of actors with several movies under their belt; the pickings in SA were slim. They only had about 10 children to choose from - none of them with any real experience in front of the camera, so the children ended up playing themselves.
Odwa, described by Pauly Shore as "this little chubby black kid, with the huge personality - a little version of Cedric the Entertainer" immediately hit it off with Paul and was cast as the first orphan.
Pauly also fell in love with Somila - the adorable, gummy-smiled, reserved little boy. The balancing act of these two personalities worked out well on screen with Odwa on the one side, all crazy and over the top, and Somila on the other hand, who is really soft and sweet.
The last child actor to steal Pauly's heart was "Faith", a mischievous, yet very quiet and shy girl.
Pauly Shore: "If I had a choice of what kid I would adopt, I would adopt all of them, they're all great kids. It was fun just to be just around real kids, and play off of them".
One of the greatest challenges facing Adopted as a Mockumentary involving "orphaned children" was finding a way of bringing out the "funny" and avoiding the tragedy that is the reality of the African orphan crisis.
Sam Hendrikse (producer): "The most important thing was that throughout the film, the kids needed to be empowered and Pauly needed to take the brunt of the jokes and not the other way around."
The adult actors in the film were in many cases, in front of the camera for the first time, another deliberate decision to keep the situations feeling very real, thereby playing into the Mockumentary premise. One example of this was the pivotal role of Alan, the orphanage principal, who was played by a social worker Steven Moolman from Marsh Memorial Home where the film was shot.
Another character that dominates in the movie is Pauly's driver, "Val". The real-life sister of the owner of the transport and security company contracted to the comedy festival, both Sam Hendrikse and Pauly agreed that she was the perfect fit to play his driver in the film.
Hendrikse: "She made us laugh so hard every time she opened her mouth that she had to be in the film. Pauly and Val's interaction had me in stitches whenever I was in the car with them so it was an easy choice to keep her on board for the movie - the difficult part for me was trying to convince her".
Most of the characters in the film were met in situation and simply were reacting to Pauly in a natural way. Hendrikse: "The most memorable of these was Peter Mate, the local African man we encountered while shooting in a very poor area outside of Cape Town. He welcomed Pauly into his home and the conversation that ensued had to be kept in Adopted."
The other cast members are all incidental as the movie follows Pauly's journey through Africa with the kids, including the lovely girls he meet on the way.
ABOUT THE FILMMAKERS
PAULY SHORE (Writer, Director and Producer) An entertainment career was virtually pre-ordained for Pauly Montgomery Shore. At age 4, he sat on the lap of The King himself in the company of his father, comedian Sammy Shore, who opened for Elvis during the early '70s. Around the same time, Pauly's mother, Mitzi, and father opened The Comedy Store on Hollywood's Sunset Strip, giving their son the rare opportunity to hang out and be inspired by such rising talents as Robin Williams, David Letterman and the late Sam Kinison, who became his mentor. At 17, Pauly began writing and performing his own material, creating the persona of "The Weasel," a character that quickly appealed to young audiences. While playing small roles in such movies as 18 Again and Phantom of the Mall, Pauly honed his comedy routine to a frenetic level, gaining the attention of MTV, which, in 1990, gave him his own show, "Totally Pauly." Pauly rose to national attention during a strong four-year run on MTV, also revealing his comedy chops on the 1993 HBO special "Pauly Does Dallas." His initial success on television led to a three-movie deal with Disney, beginning with the box-office hit Encino Man, co-starring Sean Astin and Brendan Fraser.
Pauly followed up Encino Man with the comedies Son-in-Law, In the Army Now, Jury Duty and Bio-Dome. In 1997, FOX cast him as the freeloading son of a wealthy businessman in the sitcom "Pauly," which unfortunately lasted only six episodes.
Shore's first comedy album, "The Future of America", was named Best Comedy Album by the College Music Journalists, while his second album, "Scraps from the Future", earned a Best Comedy Album nomination from The National Association of Record Merchandisers. He followed those up with "Pink Diggly Diggly" and "Hollywood, We Have a Problem".
In 2003, Pauly produced, wrote, directed and starred in the critically acclaimed, Pauly Shore Is Dead, a semi-autobiographical mockumentary in which he satirizes the perils of Hollywood. In the film, Pauly loses everything and decides to fake his death in a quest for post-mortem adulation. He called in a lot of favors to get the project made and managed to wrangle big-star cameos from the likes of Sean Penn, Whoopi Goldberg, Ellen DeGeneres, Dr. Dre, Clint Howard, Perry Farrell, Fred Durst, Verne Troyer, Andy Dick, Mark McGrath, Jerry Springer, Montel Williams, Sally Jessy Raphael, Kurt Loder and Paris Hilton, to name a few.
Next, Pauly returned to TV in the TBS reality series "Minding the Store" which he produced as well as starred in. This was followed by a notable recurring part, as himself, on the hit HBO series, Entourage. He also starred in the soon to be released studio movie Opposite Day.
Pauly once again stepped into the producer, director and star roles with the sketch comedy movie "Natural Born Komics", for which Pauly received the 2008 Entertainer of the Year Award from the Entertainment Merchants Association. In 2008 Pauly also expanded into the worlds of cyberspace and journalism with the Ripe TV VOD series "Pauly Shore's America" in which Pauly explores various news stories with his own unique and irreverent style. For his first assignment Pauly went to Texas to cover the polygamist scandal.
Pauly Continues to tour the world with his stand-up comedy which can be seen in the Showtime special PAULY SHORE AND FRIENDS this fall. Pauly has just finished filming the upcoming Happy Madsion film called Born to be a Star feat. Nick Swardson. He continues to produce and direct, with his latest feature Adopted, scheduled for release in the fall where he satirizes the phenomenon of celebrity adoptions as he travels to Africa to adopt an African baby. In addition, he has several short subject films and multiple projects in the works.
SAM HENDRIKSE (Executive Producer) Sam Hendrikse, a comedy and creative project management specialist, started Hunta Films as an addition to the nexus of a 15-year event production history.
Sam Hendrikse founded South Africa's first Comedy Development Program 'The Fresh Faces of Comedy' in 1995 - this program discovered the talents of David Kau and John Vlismas, who have since become house-hold names. SA's first Comedy Focused Artist Agency was an obvious progression, and between 1995 and 2001 this agency handles 90% of all comedy booking in the country (this agency was then sold).
Sam Hendrikse has Executive Produced a number of highly successful Comedy Projects including The Smirnoff International Comedy Festival (now The Cape Town International Comedy Festival) - the first comedy festival in Africa, which is now in its 13th year; Comedy Blackout - the first Black Comedy Festival in Africa; the HaHa Comedy Showcase - the first international comedy event in KZN; India's Kings of Comedy - the first all Indian, international comedy event in South Africa; Queercom - the first all-gay stand-up comedy show, Beklash - the first showcase of the best in local Afrikaans comedy and The Annual Jozi Comedy Festival - Gauteng's only International Comedy Project, are some notable productions to come out of this stable. Hunta has imported over 160 International acts into South Africa, and in 2008 toured the Number One Comedian on the Planet, Chris Rock to SA, breaking box office records in the process.
Sam Hendrikse is the Chief Executive of the Annual South African Comedy Awards. This awards show recognises the creative talents of Comedy Professional across all 'Comedic Arts', including Advertising, Television, Live Theatre, Stand-up, Cartoons, Journalism - and is broadcast on SABC2.
In a departure from comedy, Sam Hendrikse have added a range of international sporting events including Red Bull Cape Town Man, Red Bull Box Cart and Red Bull Vlugtag - as well as a global graffiti art project taking place in 11 countries.
Sam Hendrikse conceived and produced The Levis Original Music Initiative in 2004 - this project signed South African Artists into a project to promote local music, both live and through album launches. In its first 16 months the Levis Project launched the debut albums for Freshly Ground, Arno Carsten, Flat Stanley and a number of other successful bands.
Sam Hendrikse has produced creative work in Europe and North America, and in 2007 formed a Film Division which has one Feature "Adopted" due for release mid 2009, and two additional Feature Films in Pre-Production.
PROUDLY SOUTH AFRICAN FILMMAKING