My wife and I read through my screenplay "The Laws of Men" this evening. She had never read it, and I think she now understands why I have so much enthusiasm and confidence in its potential. This isn't about the money-making potential (which I think is likely to be modest although profitable if it gets distribution) as about its ability to slowly nudge the culture back towards the right side of the political spectrum.
It is about a remarkable incident in American history in which a small group of religious fanatics (as the federal judge called them) decided that the laws of God took precedence over the laws of men -- that regardless of the Constitutional rights that one group enjoyed, they were going to break the law, defy federal law enforcement, and rescue (the formal legal term for taking a prisoner away from the legal authorities) John Price, allegedly a runaway slave.
It has guns. Lots of guns. It has action. It has a thrilling sequence as the runaways cross the frozen Ohio River on horseback. It has courtroom drama. It has powerful and stirring speeches by among other interesting characters, Charles Langston -- the son of a white Virginian and a slave, given his freedom by his father and sent to college. It has sneaky legal maneuvering, as the Lorain County, Ohio District Attorney indicts a federal deputy marshal and two private slavecatchers for kidnapping -- and tries to arrest them in the federal court in the middle of a trial.
It is the sort of movie that will bring in a remarkably diverse crowd, I think: gun rights sorts who will have a chance to see firearms used in a way that was both unlawful and praiseworthy; courageous, morally centered sorts resisting a great evil by a corrupt, Democratic Party dominated judiciary and executive branch; blacks interested in this relatively unknown but important piece of black history where blacks and whites worked together; liberals out to see the good guys go up against the bad guys -- and they will be discomfited by what they learn; pro-lifers who will be encouraged by the moral convictions of those who refuse to allow federal law to get in the way of doing the right thing.
My problem is that I have never made a movie. Nor do I know anyone who has ever made a movie, at least the level that does not make you think of the idiot who made the crime against filmmaking that became Obama's excuse for Benghazi. My son and I will be working on a budget (since he is just finishing his degree in video production), but I know that to do this right is a several million dollar effort. Kickstarter has funded some pretty significant projects, but this would be, I think, a record for them.
What are the alternatives? I could make a documentary. This would cost a few thousands of dollars, and Kickstarter would be the perfect place to raise that kind of money. It would take almost no time to do this. But documentaries are for people that want to be educated. Low information voters want to be entertained -- and this last election is a reminder that those of us on the right have been spending far too much time educating people that actually care about bigger issues. Remember the famous remark attributed to Adlai Stevenson when a supporter gushed that all the intelligent people were going to vote for him, "Madam, I need a majority." We are not going to win election until the low information voters -- the ones who have not a clue where Benghazi is, or what Solyndra is, who could not tell you if the national debt is $16,000,000 or $16,000,000,000,000 -- start to see more than the one point of view that the popular culture promotes.