It's important that "Atlas Shrugged" do well this weekend

We all know it’s risky to be a conservative fillmmaker or actor in Hollywood. We all want to see more conservative-friendly (or, at the very least, not-conservative-insulting) movies and TV shows. Well, one way to make that happen is to financially reward those conservative folks in Hollywood in front of the camera, behind it and paying for it.

If “Atlas Shrugged” has a good opening weekend, it will help send the message that it’s worth the risk to act in and finance conservative film and TV.

Up until now, we conservatives haven’t exactly sent that message.

(Apologies in advance—my opportunity to look up references for this diary is limited. I’m on Little Smagar duty this Saturday AM, while CINCHouse sleeps. I’m having to cite my evidence from memory).

David Zucker says he’s done with making conservative comedies. Remember David Zucker? Yes, we all shout in unison, “he did the Airplane movies!” (Phooey on Gone With The Wind—THAT was great cinema!) Zucker also did An American Carol. He also made commercials that mocked Democrats.

Did you know David Zucker actually went to his accountant beforehand, and asked whether he could survive a “shunning” (Zucker’s words, not mine) by the rest of Hollywood?

Imagine that. Here’s someone who’s willing to risk a huge financial beating, in order to make conservative-friendly media.

How did that work out for Zucker? From the Wikipedia entry for An American Carol. (Emphasis added).

As of October 2009, An American Carol has grossed $7 million after having a production budget of $20 million.

Zucker, in an interview with National Review Online, had suggested a sequel as his next possible project, but now says he is done making conservative comedies.[24][25] Zucker laments that the audience for this type of film is the type that waits for it to be available on DVD.[24]

To be fair, An American Carol debuted right in the middle of the 2008 financial meltdown. Of course, no one was in a movie-watching mood then. Neverthless, notice that a year later (October 2009), the movie was a huge money loser. I’ll bet media financiers noticed.

And, how about those commercials? They were funny and very effective—but the RNC and the McCain campaign SNUBBED them, and Zucker. (“Thank you very little, Mr. Zucker. We are trying to set a high tone in this campaign—while Barack Obama modifies his online donation software so he can accept bazillions in illict contributions online! Aren’t we Republicans NOBLE, as we go down to electoral defeat!”)

Remember The Half Hour News Hour? It was doing OK in its time slot, but Roger Ailes cancelled it anyway. There were lots of young, unestablished actors who appeared in that. (I recognized lots of faces I’d seen in commercials and bit parts on TV.) I’ll bet few of those actors had the financial means to withstand a shunning by Hollywood. Come to think of it—I haven’t seen many of those actors recently…

If you were a conservative actor in Hollywood, would YOU stick your neck out for the conservative movement?

Yesterday, Graham Beckel was interviewed at length on Hugh Hewitt’s show. Beckel plays Ellis Wyatt, the oil tycoon in the new Atlas Shrugged movie. Here’s a few things that stick in my mind from that interview:

First, Beckel said that, once he came out in Hollywood as a conservative, his work dropped way off. Also, people who’d been his friends for 20 years stopped talking to him.

Beckel talked about today’s Hollywood conservatives “meeting in the catacombs” of Tinseltown. What really struck me—he said that very few actors came to these meetings. Producers, directors and writers, yes. Actors, though, felt they couldn’t risk being labeled as conservatives in Hollywood.

Lastly, Beckel said that is was important for Atlas Shrugged to do well this weekend. If it does, more theaters might show the film. Beckel especially said that it was important that the movie’s fianciers not take a bath at the box office.

I’ve seen some reviews that say that Atlas Shrugges is dreary, and perhaps it’s not the best-made of movies. Well, OK.

But, if you want to see more conservative-friendly cinema and TV, we have to reward the people who make the stuff we DO have. Especially since Hollywood is so outwardly hostile to conservatives. Even the successful ones—ask Joel Surnow.

If we sit here and wait for the “perfect” conservative movie, we may be waiting for a very, very long time.

To paraphrase Jerry Maguire, help Hollywood conservatives help you. Go see Atlas Shrugged this weekend.