Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Bat signal alert

Batman, Adam West, is the subject of new documentary

Express Staff Writer

Adam West is the subject of a new documentary about how he has not been honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Courtesy photo

Why doesn't Adam West have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame? The answer to that question is being explored in a new documentary about West that seeks all Batman and West supporters.

West, a Wood River Valley resident, is best known for his role in the original Batman series. The documentary was created by family, friends and fans. The film is intended to draw attention to the fact that even after 50 years of entertaining, West has not yet been honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

The documentary, which captures the two-year campaign to get West this customary honor, is being funded by a fan-generated effort that is prompting contributions from across the country. The documentary will ultimately be used to try to convince the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce to honor West with a star.

West, and his wife Marcelle, moved to Sun Valley in 1986 and have been full-time residents since. He continues to work on projects, including the Fox television show "Family Guy," commuting from Idaho. Marcelle owns the local French gift shop Maison et Cadeaux in Ketchum. The West children, Nina and Perrin, attended Hemingway Elementary School in Ketchum before graduating from the Community School in Sun Valley.

Nina met her future husband, James Tooley, at the Community School. Tooley is director of the documentary project, and the son of Bill and Reva Tooley. Reva is the founder of the Sun Valley Writers' Conference, now in its 16th year.

Tooley is a director and producer of commercial and nonfiction television, travel shows, documentary television series and reality television. He is a member of the Directors Guild of America and the Motion Picture Editors Guild and has an MBA from UCLA's Anderson School of Business.

Tooley seeks the help of all West fans through Kickstarter, an all-or-nothing pledge funding program for creative projects including music, film, art, technology, design, food, publishing and other creative fields, to help him secure $30,000 by Friday, April 8, to finish his project.

"This is my first independent feature documentary," Tooley said. "I've been funding the project for a little over two years. The Kickstarter campaign allows individuals to show their support."

Tooley said the funds will allow him to buy footage and music to tell West's entire story, which will include his recent ventures on "The Family Guy" and "The Simpsons."

"We want the whole retrospective," Tooley said. "Originally, I was intrigued with Adam's relationship with his friends. With fans, he rises to the occasion and gives them a fan experience."

The story of West and his quest for a star has been ongoing, which Tooley explains in the documentary.

"This story came about because his family and friends have been trying to get him a star," he said. "They have not been successful for several years. It's crazy."

The film reveals the humor and bonds of a close family, as well as West's continued participation in his craft at the age of 82.

"His family is hysterical," Tooley said. "In 'The Family Guy,' Adam is totally tapped into pop culture."

Tooley said West is also diving into social media and the Internet, which contributes to his staying current in popular culture.

"He has an ability to connect with people on a stage or one-on one," Tooley said. "People tell me their Adam West experiences all the time."

Tooley said he took a camera to the Hollywood Walk of Fame to ask people to find him the Adam West star."

"Most people don't realize he doesn't have a star," he said. "They think he does."

To support Tooley's project, visit

Sabina Dana Plasse: splasse@mtexpress.c

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