In Part I of my gripping call-to-arms for conservative storytelling, I discussed how we have to go around the Hollywood Left, since they hate conservatives and shamelessly broadcast that they do not want us in their audience.
You may have heard of a movie I directed called Gosnell, released in 2018, that did go around the system. Gosnell is a true crime story about the real life case of abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell who was convicted of multiple crimes in 2013, including murder, for snipping the necks of babies after they had been born — which, of course, is arguably now legal in the state of New York.
Now, even though Hollywood loves gruesome serial killer movies, they would not touch this story because they were afraid it would make abortion look bad. So the money had to come from somewhere other than the Hollywood Cool Kids’ Club.
Incredibly, the producers of this movie were able to raise $2.3 million directly from Americans who wanted to see this movie made, and the truth told about this horrible crime, and why it was allowed to happen. The money was raised on Indiegogo (after Kickstarter tried to censor their campaign) in 2014, and the movie was shot in Oklahoma City in October/November of 2015. Gosnell was edited, scored, and ready for release in early 2016 — and yet it took almost three years to find a distributor for the film.
We had a very reputable sales agent on board, a man who had sold over 400 million dollars worth of independent films in the past, who watched the finished film and pronounced it “well done” and an “easy sale.” We were elated. Screenings were set up, and we waited for the bidding war, confident that we had a great movie.
In the next few months, only one offer came in for a ridiculous $50K. The sales agent got multiple responses like “It’s very compelling, but not for us,” or “I like it, but I can’t have my name on it,” or my favorite, “I’m sure there is an audience for Gosnell — but I have to work with these people on Monday, you know?”
All the distribution companies were afraid they would be kicked out of the Club if they released Gosnell.
At long last, a brave company called GZN agreed to release the film in over 600 theaters nationwide on October 12, 2018 — and then came the pushback on our advertising.
Facebook blocked over 50 ads for Gosnell – some of them as simple as “Gosnell, in theaters October 12.” or a short clip of Dean Cain talking about the movie on the Tucker Carlson Show.
NPR refused to run any ads that called Gosnell an “abortionist,” demanding that the word be changed to the neutral “doctor.” When the producers offered up the phrase “abortion doctor” as a compromise, NPR refused, even though their own coverage in the past included headlines like “Abortion Doctor’s Killer Appeals to Kansas High Court,” and even “Convicted Philadelphia Abortion Doctor Gosnell Gets Life in Prison.”
Lifetime and Hallmark – two networks whose viewers would definitely intersect with the Gosnell audience – refused to run ads, as did every other major network. In fact, the only network that would take our ads was — guess who? — that’s right, mean old Fox News. We also got some great airtime from talk radio hosts like Glenn Beck and of course a big boost from my close, personal friend, Rush Limbaugh. (Have I mentioned in this column yet thatI once guest-hosted for Rush? On, December 27, 2017. But enough about me.)
And the reviews were typically polarized – half rave reviews and half of them slamming the film as right-wing propaganda – more on that later. But the most surprising thing about the reviews was the number of them. Films released nationally in 600 theaters generally get well over 100 reviews and sometimes as many as 200.
Gosnell got 11. Eleven.
The media treated the movie like they treated the trial – they ignored it. They pretended it didn’t exist.
Ironically, we went to great lengths to make a film based as much as possible on actual court transcripts and direct interviews with the principal real-life players. We tried to stay close to the facts because we didn’t want to be dismissed as propaganda. We thought if we were fair about the facts of the case, there would be some common ground. After all, can’t we all agree that snipping the spinal cords of babies after they were born is kind of a crime?
Apparently not, because they called us propaganda anyway.
And the scene that really drove the leftists crazy was the one scene that, when I first read the script, made me want to direct the movie. In it, Gosnell’s defense attorney cross-examines a “good” abortion doctor called by the prosecution to show the difference between the illegal practices of Gosnell and a legal abortion.
You see, when I read that scene, I realized that I did not know what an abortion actually was. I naively thought that this is information that everyone needs to know, whatever side of the issue they are on. All of the dialogue was lifted directly from court transcripts. It is literally what was said during the trial.
So of course, that’s the scene that most of the negative reviews called “right wing propaganda.” Gosnell’s defense attorney was essentially saying, “What’s the difference in these two procedures? The result is the same.” But the Left isn’t interested in these facts, and in fact, they don’t want anyone else to know these facts either. The entire subject is something they don’t really want discussed at all. In the Hollywood narrative, the only thing you need to know about abortion is that if you oppose it, or even want any restrictions on it whatsoever, you are a racist who hates women.
And more importantly, you can’t be in the Club.
The dirty tricks didn’t stop there. After the first week of release, we found ourselves being dumped from theaters even when we were the best selling movie in the multiplex. There were reports of screenings being cancelled for “technical difficulties,” showtimes being misreported, people told the movie was sold out when it wasn’t, etc. And even so, we doubled the budget of the movie at the box office, and when the DVD was released, it was the number one drama DVD on Amazon for a number of weeks.
Even with all the forces aligned against Gosnell, the movie still did well, and found an audience. In spite of all the resistance, we were the number one indie film in the country on opening weekend and made the top ten overall. But the obstacles they threw at us definitely had an impact. Who knows what our numbers might have been, had we been able to access a less hostile distribution system?
There is a vast, underserved audience out there with a healthy appetite for entertainment that does not demean them or their country, and that tells them truthful stories without bias or, God forbid, woke-ness.. And Gosnell was a good example of the content that they want and will pay for, but content is not enough. We also have to build a way to deliver our content to the audience who wants to see it.
In Part Three, next week, we will talk about how we solve the biggest problem we face: DISTRIBUTION. So tune in next week, if the Moo Shu Achoo hasn’t killed us all by then.
China is asshoe. pic.twitter.com/m8XaEfta3F
— Avi Yemini 🇦🇺🇮🇱 (@OzraeliAvi) March 13, 2020