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"The Strike"

Posted by sdesapio 10 months, 2 weeks ago to Entertainment
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FUN FACTS
1. Atlas Shrugged took 12 years to write.

2. The working title of Atlas Shrugged was, "The Strike." It was actually Frank O'Conner, Ayn Rand's husband, who recommended "Atlas Shrugged" after the book was finished.

3. We're making another movie.

WHAT!? :)

Working on the Atlas Shrugged films presented us with some of the most challenging moments of our lives. It was rewarding too of course, but Challenging - with a capital C. Why? Those of us on the crew with any knowledge of the material were vastly outnumbered by those with none... by 1 to 100. I could count us on one hand. And at times, one finger.

The result? The movies do not adequately convey the message of Atlas. Period.

And, THAT WAS THE WHOLE POINT OF MAKING THE MOVIES - to accurately convey and propagate the message.

But, what if we had another shot? What if we could do it all over again from the beginning? What if we could put together the ideal team of artisans whose sole purpose it was to finally bring Atlas to life as it was meant to be?

I spoke at length yesterday with John Aglialoro, one of the Producers of the films and sole owner of the movie rights to the book.

If you're at FreedomFest today in Vegas, John's going to be on a panel. You may want to attend.

We're making another movie.


Scott DeSapio
Associate Producer, Atlas Shrugged 3


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  • 16
    Posted by MommaLou 10 months, 2 weeks ago
    I loved the movies but feel a mini series would be the best way to tell the story. It could be a hard sell but 6-8 episodes could encompass so much more of the story.

    At any rate, look forward to the new movie!
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    • Posted by Zarathustra 8 months, 1 week ago
      I agree, a mini-series may be the best way to address something with the length and depth of Atlas Shrugged.

      Think of the recent John Adams mini-series put out by HBO. Can you imagine something like that condensed into a movie, or spread out into 3 movies a year or more apart?
      I think a movie, or trilogy of movies, will only work if you have a huge budget.

      A mini-series is much more workable. Also, you can make the entire series at one time, to ensure that you have the same actors portraying characters throughout, for one thing.

      The 1st attempt at making the movies was at least an attempt. But if we are honest with ourselves in true objectivist fashion, fell way short of the mark. Those films felt much more akin to several of the "christian" films and christian programs of recent years - poorly produced productions that only "true believers" will want to see, programs that preach to the choir but will never generate interest or be seen by outsiders.

      This time lets be sure to get it right, and to put some real money into this. It's better to do this fully-funded, or not at all.
      Someone should approach Peter Thiel this time to fund this.
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  • 13
    Posted by freedomforall 10 months, 2 weeks ago
    Great to hear! Scott, if you want more who understand the AS message on the job, we are right here. Could be some have experience, too. Some are living it.
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  • 10
    Posted by  $  Wanderer 10 months, 2 weeks ago
    Scott;

    This is the sole reason I became a Gulch producer, to try to improve attempts to portray Rand's philosophy dramatically.

    Polemics don't work. Audiences self-select and, those who don't already agree with your polemic won't listen. Drama works. It engages our mirror neurons and bypasses our analytical minds and makes us feel. Drama convinces where polemics fail to convince.

    Rand's dialogue was too polemic, too on target. The novel suffered for it and, so did the films. You can only throw your ideas in someone's face so many times and, they turn away. You've got to show them in a way they find intriguing.

    If you've got a different story in mind, count me in. If you're refilming Atlas Shrugged, count me in. If you've got the Atlas Shrugged scripts in Final Draft format, send them, please.
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    • Posted by shruggerron 10 months, 2 weeks ago
      In other words, Wanderer, a screenwriter must woo the audience not talk down to them. That will take some strong writing skill. I suggest a contest, based on the 100 page solique of Ayn's philosophy. Let's see if our writing, poetic, cinematographic talent can produce an enjoyable scene or two. The philosophy is there it just needs a bit of 'Shakespeare' if you will.
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      • Posted by  $  Wanderer 10 months, 2 weeks ago
        Rand's ideas are so unpopular, even with people who understand them, who admit to their truth, any rational appeal is doomed to fail. It's like dealing with cancer patients in denial. Knowing the consequences, they still reject the truth.

        In the case of Rand's ideas, the screenwriter and film team must sneak past the audience's prejudices, probably via the back door and appeal to their emotions. Even the hint of a lecture or moral message will cause the audience to slam the front door.

        It's definitely a challenge. The world is much more ready to hear "It's not your fault. Nothing's your fault. You shouldn't have to carry your own load." than is it ready to hear "It's your life, they're your choices and, the consequences are yours to bear."

        Still, the challenge must be taken up because, if we don't get the message out, we're doomed to be Venezuela on a huge scale.
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        • Posted by shruggerron 10 months, 2 weeks ago
          I agree with some of what you said. But I hold the premise that “Ayn Rand's ideas being unpopular even with those who understand them...” cannot be universal. There must be somebody around that understands her after all these years
          Be that as it may, any story that will be universally accepted, must be written about the people who believe, and of course those who don't believe in Ayn Rand's philosophy. That premise is the basis of conflict.
          The current election cycle is a fantastically practical way of demonstrating philosophical opposites. I compare the Clintons' unbridled lust for power to Shakespeare's General Macbeth and his wife. Of course, today’s good guy is Donald Trump, and I compare him to Shakespeare's Henry V, which I would call in today’s common lingo, a righteous dude. When he defends his goal of ruling France as a result of winning a battle, his men and the audience are with him 100%. He won that ancient battle as Eisenhower, Patton and MacArthur won the World War II. Neither three modern generals inveigled their way into a winning position; they fought for their victory. Can you picture Bill Clinton as a general trying to win a straight up battle? Possibly he might have take a survey to find out what the enemy thought about the whole idea. Or Hillary Clinton as a Mata-Hari type spy trying to keep secrets for five seconds.
          In other words, a story of today must be written about people of today, as living expressions of universal ideas (hatefulness, greed, lust or rational philosophy.) Those concepts and the conflicts they create in a story have thrilled audiences of the past. Therefore, a writer must use words and actions based on a character’s ‘sense and value of life’ rather than any heavy and pendulous philosophical ideas, to wit Ayn's 100 page soliloquy on her philosophy in Atlas Shrugged.
          Paraphrasing Macbeth as he ponders the act of killing King Duncan, by saying, "If it were done when tis done then well it were done quickly. If the assassination should trammel up the consequence and, catch with his surcease, success... That but this blow may be the be-all and the end-all here…" This soliloquy indicates that he's really concerned about that thing called conscious, as it controls his actions, and the possible result of those actions. Of course, he disregards conscience and goes through with the assassination even though it is based on the most heinous of ideas such as killing a king. Naturally, he pays for his intransient actions in the end.
          Compare Bill Clinton in the same scene, agonizing over the repercussions of making advances to his female intern. He might even do just that for about two seconds before he goes in for the attack.
          The audiences in 16th-century England, were not as sophisticated as we are today, but they knew a good metaphor when they saw or heard one; and they could learn from that experience. We don't have to use flowery Elizabethan dialogue today, but it is still possible to show how a character and his philosophy control the art of storytelling.
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          • Posted by  $  Wanderer 10 months, 2 weeks ago
            Do you think Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders don't understand Rand's ideas?

            Of course they do. They just don't like her ideas.

            Do you think the millions upon millions of Americans who have never paid a dime of net tax in their lives don't understand Rand?

            Of course they do. They just don't like her.

            We live in a time that mirrors the period of Rand's story so, people will have a gut understanding of a contemporary telling of the story. The problem is to sneak past their dislike of her message and deliver a dramatic story that makes them feel it. We can ignore ideas. We do that all the time. We can't ignore feelings.
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            • Posted by Herb7734 10 months, 2 weeks ago
              I'm not so sure that they do understand. Between their lust for wealth and power and their Marxist ideology, the concepts of Rand are so alien to them, that, while they understand the words, the premises and concepts get squeezed into an idea juicer and come out the other end with entirely different meanings.
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              • Posted by  $  Wanderer 10 months, 2 weeks ago
                They understand. Hitler understood. Stalin understood. They all understand the world they like rests on the works of producers. They all understand without producers the world makes no progress. They all don't care. They all live in their moments. They all take what they can and force their wills upon everyone they can and they all don't care whether the clock that runs the world runs down because, it won't run down until after they're long gone.

                Hitler didn't die wishing he'd not killed the most creative and hard working people in his country. He didn't care that he'd burned the world down. He died wishing he'd been able to kill more of them.

                Rand's message is simple. Understanding it takes almost no thought. Accepting it takes virtue. Clinton, Warren, Sanders don't lack understanding, they lack virtue.

                One cannot teach virtue to an adult. One must sneak it in on them and help it grow inside. We can do that, just as leftists have done their best to destroy it, we can plant it and help it grow again, as long as the plantee doesn't know that's what we're doing.
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                • Posted by lrshultis 10 months, 2 weeks ago
                  I understood AS and Rand's other works from when I first started reading them in 1966. I have never understood how she could live the life that she may or may not have chosen. That is why a drama about Rand's life or those appearing in novels are much more interesting than any ideas that they may have in novel form. Ideas are not what most people dwell upon. They prefer the mundane everyday stuff that makes life worth living.
                  As for virtue, any acting human has virtues by which they gain their values. It is what one believes to be a value that is the key. Some choose values that further life and are rational. Others choose values that are anti-life and have virtues by which they will try to gain such, shell we say evil, with them. What makes life interesting is that no two people have all the same ideas and thus are individuals. Hard to like many of them for everyone.
                  Philosophical speeches will bore audiences, even those who know the speeches. Can there be a way to dramatize important ideas as Rand did in a movie without explicitly giving speeches?
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                  • Posted by  $  Wanderer 10 months, 2 weeks ago
                    Yes, I'm working on some shorts that dramatize basic principles of philosophy and economics. They're meant to be simple but, entertaining, to appeal to young people, who've been trained to multitask and so, grabbing their undivided attention is tough.

                    Atlas Shrugged cannot be made a successful film in its native state, as AS 1-3 have shown. It must be carefully dramatized, with much less and much shorter dialogue. Dagny's inner thoughts have to come out but, since we're viewers, not readers, they have to come out via her expressions and interactions with other characters.

                    It can be done. I'd love to try it.
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            • Posted by shruggerron 10 months, 2 weeks ago
              Wanderer:
              Dig a little bit into the "Romantic Manifesto" by Ayn Rand, and you will find that her statement "...art is a re-creation of reality, according to an artist's value judgments..." This little short phrase will suffice to teach a writer, sophisticated ways of putting his character's philosophy and feelings into a great story.
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              • Posted by  $  Wanderer 10 months, 2 weeks ago
                I don't need inspiration. I joined this board when the movies came out with the express purpose of rewriting the screenplays to give them more impact.

                Today Rand's prose doesn't suit most people, doesn't suit most audiences. Life changes and people change with it. I realize years ago Atlas Shrugged was voted the 2nd most influential book in the western world, after the Bible but, if you polled people today, neither AS nor the Bible would rank in the top 20. It's a comic book world. I can't think of any literary works that have widespread appeal.

                If we want to get the masses to pay attention to Rand's message it's not going to be through her books, it will be through visual storytelling, it's going to be through appeal to emotion. Once we capture their emotions we can insert the message. AS 1-3 failed to capture their emotions. Your phrase will have zip impact on the masses. The Romantic Manifesto had no impact on me. It's on my shelf and it's going to stay there. It's a polemic. Polemics don't work. Story works. Drama works. Avatar, as silly and unscientific as it was, works.

                If one does not dramatize the message, the message will not have widespread impact.
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                • Posted by bsmith51 10 months, 2 weeks ago
                  You point of using emotion is exactly on point and illustrates why progressives win the argument every time. While conservatives/libertarians quote rational facts and figures to make their case, progs use emotion.
                  The logging industry knows all about this. They will exhaustively cite the value and renewability of wood for creating a better world, then the progs will simply ask how one thinks the birds and squirrels feel when their homes are being cut down. End of argument.
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                  • Posted by  $  Wanderer 10 months, 2 weeks ago
                    Thank you. Precisely right.

                    My first impulse, when people told me we couldn't cut down old growth forests because spotted owls couldn't live in new growth trees was to ask:

                    Do you believe in evolution as an ongoing process?

                    They'd always answer yes. After which I'd say:

                    Then isn't extinction the proper course for an owl too stupid to move to another tree?
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  • Posted by Domminigan 10 months, 2 weeks ago
    I wouldn't mind seeing the same story told and retold multiple times on the big screen.
    I just hate seeing it play out in real life with so few people in the world not knowing what it means.
    Best of luck with the new movie!
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    • Posted by 2004done 10 months, 2 weeks ago
      Domminigan: While it plays out in the U.S. (and others -brexit), it will be easier for the people who wanted it, to realize why A Rand has become an historical writer, no longer a novelist. Hopefully it will open their minds to the nature of humanity and oppression.
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      • Posted by  $  allosaur 10 months, 2 weeks ago
        Rand was more of an accurate intellectual A will become B prophet in my opinion.
        Her human behavior prediction was based on history but she was writing a 1984 genre science fiction.
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      • Posted by jdg 10 months, 2 weeks ago
        I would like to see the movie become the target of one of those "History vs. Hollywood" pieces they do on the History Channel, because the story was somewhat dated before it ever reached the bookstores. For example, everything in the "Anti-Dog-Eat-Dog Law" had already been enacted as federal regulations before then.

        As for "Directive 10-289", there has been an Executive Order in place since the Nixon administration that gives the president those powers and more, simply by declaring an emergency. It lets him/her seize factories and re-allocate goods as was done during WW2.

        How much do you want to bet those powers don't get used if Soros manages to start the race war he's been trying to provoke?
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        • Posted by 2004done 10 months, 2 weeks ago
          I don't recall the Nixon-era E.O. being more than temporary, unlike the current unspecified duration, but I guess it won't matter if soros' party is able to divide, by whatever means (race war, invasion, religious war), And lastly, I'd only bet on your analysis, not against it.
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  • Posted by  $  jaynemac 10 months, 2 weeks ago
    What happened to the TV series? Has that idea been shelved? Atlas Shrugged needs to be a series....Not three or four more movies. Just sayin...
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    • Posted by TheLightHouse 5 months, 1 week ago
      Thank you. Atlas Shrugged needs to be a continuing series on NETFIIX. The ending in the third movie has so much future possibility. I liked Part 1 and 2 the best of the original trilogy, part 3 needed much more time than given.
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  • Posted by  $  Suzanne43 10 months, 2 weeks ago
    My wish list for the movie:
    1. At least twelve hours long...could be a season series of two hours each.
    2. Some history of Dagny, Francisco, and Eddie's early days.
    3. The Thanksgiving dinner where Hank finally lets his family have it.
    4. And most importantly, Jeff Allen, the tramp who has dinner with Dagny on the train, explains the downfall of the Twentieth Century Motor Company. It's the finest piece of writing against Communism that I have ever read. It needs to be included in the movie in its entirety.
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  • Posted by  $  hash 10 months, 2 weeks ago
    Great news, Scott. Hope you'll take my earlier suggestion of bringing on a few of us hardcore fans / supporters as consultants / test audience. I think if that had been done with the last set of movies a lot of the missteps there could have been corrected before they made it into the final production.

    That said I do love all 3 of the original movies and I believe they can also be vastly improved for a new trilogy box set with some minor edits (which I'm happy to provide more details on).
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  • Posted by  $  seandineen 10 months, 2 weeks ago
    As a wheelchair user who worked on a phd for 12 years rather than settle for loitering. I loved the films but would like to see more. One thing I would hope to keep is eddie willers being saved. I know what ayn meant by leaving him behind but his morality deserves better
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  • Posted by chrism 10 months, 2 weeks ago
    I loved AS, and enjoyed the movies, a lot, even though the story is told the wrong way. It has got to be a love story to catch the publics imagination.
    It needs a woman (Dagny) to chase a man (Galt) and the backdrop is the world around them. Otherwise you are making a documentary, or a science show, or worse an economics lesson or a philosophy sideshow. Get " Melanie Anne Phillips, co-creator of Dramatica." to help you out here guys. She can fix it. Best wishes CM
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  • Posted by dknowlton 10 months, 2 weeks ago
    I really wish that Atlas Shrugged were portrayed as a TV series. There are lots of deep characters, conversations, flashbacks, philosophical concepts, etc. and it all takes a very long time to tell the story. This is of course why Ayn Rand wrote in such detail about everything and it took 12 years to write. How can a few movies possibly do this justice?

    Most books I have read have taken me a few hours over a few days, or weeks if I'm really busy. Reading Atlas Shrugged is an entirely different endeavor. It was such a time commitment to read this book and it took me so many months of slowly digesting the story that it became a transformative experience in my life. All I read for an entire year was this book until I finally finished it. At the beginning it felt like starting a marathon. I knew there were many miles ahead of me. Towards the end I was feeling the rush of having committed myself to completing such a great work of literature and also the excitement from the plot building to the finish. When the book ended I was sad to not have any more pages to read. I realized that this chapter in my life was over. I could read the book again but it wouldn't be like that first time. I had this realization that blinders had been removed and I saw the world in a whole new light.

    I relay this story to illustrate that it is impossible to recreate this emotional, transformative experience in a person by exposing them to a few hours of movies. It just ain't gonna hold a candle to the book. I truly believe that a TV series in 3 seasons corresponding with the parts of the book would allow the producers, writers, and actors to tell the story to the audience and have the intended impact on them. Isn't that why Game of Thrones has been so popular? What if they had rushed through all the stories and characters and done it in a few movies? It wouldn't have been nearly as good. It would've just been another, forgettable summertime action flick with lots of special effects. Can someone name a single movie in recent memory that changed their life?
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  • Posted by Paul_McKeever 10 months, 2 weeks ago
    Scott:

    I sympathize with your assessment. Just before Part 1 was released, I was asked by Producer Harmon Kaswell to write a review (he sent me an advance copy). My review is here: http://blog.paulmckeever.ca/uncategor...

    I'm an employment lawyer by trade, but I am quite actively involved - and, I believe, skilled - in communicating Ayn Rand's philosophy to the general public in ways that are implicit and attractive, rather than explicit and academic. I have been forced to learn that skill by way of being a political party leader for the last 14 years. I understand the general public; I know what they grasp, and how they grasp it...and what bores them or puts them off.

    I've given considerable thought to what is needed for a successful Atlas Shrugged movie, and what should be avoided.

    If you are interested in my assistance, I'm a phone call away: (#DELETED BY ADMIN).
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    • Posted by term2 10 months, 2 weeks ago
      Just a thought. Socialism's programs are not only morally wrong, but they dont work. I think before people will generally accept the morality elements, they have to be shown the failures of those programs. Thats where they are living day to day. The socialists always point to practical issues when they denigrate capitalism and promote socialism. We need to do the same.
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  • Posted by  $  Flootus5 10 months, 2 weeks ago
    It really should be done as a multi part series. But not multi season. The average number of parts in one season would be about right. Or even half as many, but longer episodes. That might be best for continuity.
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  • Posted by  $  Wanderer 10 months, 2 weeks ago
    The timing is right for an Atlas Shrugged reshoot. The oilfield is on its ass, drilling rigs and other equipment stacked right and left. It wouldn't take much money to get small oilfield companies to cooperate with location shooting. The railroads are slack. There are thousands of locomotives and rail cars on sidings. Once again, it wouldn't cost much to access that spare capacity. Manufacturing is slack so, filming inside a steel plant instead of on a set might now be possible. These were all short scenes but, they lacked the feeling of authenticity you get from location shots.

    It should be possible to upgrade the film on the cheap. A character driven film doesn't need a $60 million budget, it needs drama, good dialogue and great acting. Great acting doesn't mean "star" in fact, there are lots of great actors who'll never be stars.

    Damn, this could be fun.
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  • Posted by gpecaut 10 months, 2 weeks ago
    Perhaps 3 movies per part. It is impossible to cover Atlas Shrugged in 3, 90 minute movies. I know I would see/and buy all 9 movies.
    Atlas Shrugged would make a good TV series too.
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  • Posted by Doug_Ort 10 months, 2 weeks ago
    I loved all three films of the trilogy. I've probably watched each about 50 times. Yes, there were a few things I would change, like making the end of Part II agree with the start of Part III. I would also include the scene where Dagny is interviewed on radio and the interviewer has no idea what's coming. I never much liked the Cheryl character and thought she played too large a part.

    Among the brilliant scenes were the nature of money speech by Francisco and Dagny's scene with Jeff Allen, both in part II, The second always brings tears--I'm a sucker for discovery scenes.
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  • Posted by MikeM35 10 months, 2 weeks ago
    The first installment was very well done with fine casting and keeping the basic story line. The subsequent films fell a bit flat because of casting changes and the long interval between releases resulted in a make-shift feel to the productions. I would certainly like to see a more cohesive production and think the idea of a mini-series has great merit.
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  • Posted by shruggerron 10 months, 2 weeks ago
    It will be great to see some of Ayn Rand's 100 pages of her philosophy brought to the silver screen.
    That part of Atlas Shrugged was heavy reading, but I'm sure a dedicated Rand fan screenwriter will find excellent material in that 'century' of philosophy.
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