Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The Source of "Outsourced" is Experience, Says Director

By Mark Bourne

"If you fight the flow of India, you will be destroyed."

That's what John Jeffcoat, director of the independent film Outsourced, tells me as we drink coffee in a Thai restaurant in downtown Seattle. He's describing a key lesson that went into, and comes out of, Outsourced, which will soon begin a new wave of U.S. and foreign distribution after a successful run at film festivals and select cities. (We review the film here.)

Outsourced tells the story of an American call center supervisor, Todd (Josh Hamilton), who finds that not only has his entire department been outsourced to rural India, he must travel to India and train his own replacement. What he discovers there is a vast society of astounding diversity, one undergoing its own cultural tug-of-war between honored traditions and cutting-edge modernism.

Now, when you take Jeffcoat's ominous-sounding warning -- "You will be destroyed!" -- out of context like that, you can't tell that Outsourced is in fact a charming, good-natured comedy with a sweetly portrayed romance at its center. But that destruction Jeffcoat talks about is a vital artery in Outsourced's heart. It's something that Jeffcoat, along with his co-writer George Wing and the movie's composer, B.C. Smith, who are both also seated with us, know from first-hand experience.


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