September 8, 2010

Director Ray Griggs's "I Want Your Money" out on October 15

by the Left Coast Rebel

I find it interesting that the New York Times would write about, much less acknowledge, the upcoming conservative documentary "I Want Your Money" directed by conservative director, writer and talent, Ray Griggs (pictured at left).

Michael Cieply writes (in rare, somewhat fair and accurate fashion at the New York Times):

According to Mr. Griggs, some prospective crew members on his new documentary, “I Want Your Money,” which takes aim at President Obama’s economic policies, said they would accept jobs on the condition that their names be left off the credits. Mr. Griggs suspects that a politically motivated makeup artist even tried to sabotage the movie by giving him a distinctly unflattering look.

But his film, like “Fahrenheit” before it, is now to be released in a heated political season. And that is at least a minor triumph for one of the less visible minorities: the Hollywood right.

Scheduled by Freestyle Releasing to open in about 500 theaters on Oct. 15, “I Want Your Money” is a long shot, even in the wobbly world of documentaries.

“I have no agent, no manager,” said Mr. Griggs, a soft-spoken 36-year-old, discussing his film over coffee here last week. He added: “I had nothing to lose. My phone is not ringing off the hook from the studios.”

Ah, yes. McCarthyism is alive and well these days. Too bad it doesn't fit the leftist narrative though. As in the 'Dark Days of McCarthy', but a 180 switch, anyone even slightly right of center in Tinsel Town is either forced to dine in the shadows, as it were, with their beliefs - or risk coming out of the closet and then suffering the Modern Day McCarthyism that ensues. The only exception to this McCarthy rule are actors that are so big that nearly nothing can touch them (including scandal). Then again, being a conservative or libertarian in Hollywood is considered something far beyond scandalous and even the most egregious crime against humanity.

More from Michael Cieply at the NYT:

By contrast, there is Davis Guggenheim’s “Waiting for Superman,” a documentary to be released by Paramount Vantage on Sept. 24, and Alex Gibney’s “Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer,” due from Magnolia Pictures on Nov. 5. Both films come from past Oscar winners with strong progressive credentials. Mr. Guggenheim, whose film takes on the country’s education system, was honored for his environmental manifesto, “An Inconvenient Truth,” and Mr. Gibney for his examination of torture in the war on terror, in “Taxi to the Dark Side.” The new Guggenheim and Gibney films have the advantage of heavily promoted showings at the Toronto International Film Festival this month.

Mr. Griggs is best known as the filmmaker behind “Super Capers,” a superhero comedy that took in a few tens of thousands of dollars when Roadside Attractions released it in 2009.

Yet the trailer for “I Want Your Money” has grabbed more than two million views since it was first posted in early August, promising attention to a film that stands unabashedly to the right.

“This is a perfect grass-roots project, because it’s hitting a nerve,” said Paul Lauer, the founder of Motive Entertainment, a consulting firm that organized marketing for Mel Gibson’s hit “The Passion of the Christ,” and is now working with Mr. Griggs. The plan, Mr. Lauer said, is to screen “I Want Your Money” in the next month for conservative opinion makers and political groups. The aim is to catch the attention of Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity or Glenn Beck, Mr. Griggs said..

The tone of the film, which Mr. Griggs directed and helped write, is a little softer than that of those three conservative commentators. Its central argument is a straightforward case for the virtues of smaller government and the futility of efforts to redistribute wealth. But its charm, if that word can apply to political documentary, comes from computer-generated animations in which bobbing-headed political figures, designed by Tom Richmond of Mad Magazine, try to school one another on the ins and outs of policy.

Animated politicians on both sides of the aisle — Bill and Hillary Rodham Clinton, Sarah Palin, the older and younger George Bushes — all take some good-natured hits. Ronald Reagan offers Mr. Obama a couple of jelly beans, but Mr. Obama figures he’s already entitled to half, and so on.

Mr. Griggs narrates, with an assist from interviewees who include Steve Forbes, John Stossel and Michael Reagan. The film was self-financed for about $500,000, while a number of investors — who are not well known or backed by political candidates or apparatus, Mr. Griggs said — created a somewhat larger fund for prints and advertising.

Raised almost entirely in Germany until he was 17, Mr. Griggs, the son of an Air Force officer, said he learned political lessons by observing life in Europe while absorbing American culture from afar. On returning to the United States, he worked at a television station in Missouri, then began his own business, making commercials and corporate videos.

His formal introduction to politics, Mr. Griggs said, came with his work as a campaign manager, then staff member, for Rob Schaaf, a Republican in the Missouri House of Representatives. Mr. Griggs was known for whimsical campaign ads that had Mr. Schaaf talking from the bottom of a coffee cup.

Mr. Griggs said his ultimate, long-held dream was to make a film based on the story of Lucifer. More immediately, he has begun pulling together plans for a live-action version of “The Wind in the Willows,” with help from Weta Digital, the New Zealand studio in which Peter Jackson is a partner.

While working on those projects, however, Mr. Griggs said he became alarmed by what he saw as runaway spending in Washington, and so decided the documentary would come first.

Remember, always support your conservative brothers and sisters (the rare and few) in Hollywood - and especially those brave enough to buck the crowd and produce something that shines the light on The Chosen One.

Here's the trailer for Ray Griggs's "I Want Your Money" to be released in 500 theaters on October 15:

I'm excited to watch "I Want Your Money" when it comes out on October 15, perhaps I can nab an exclusive interview with director Ray Griggs as well, as I did with "Michael Moore Hates America" director Mike Wilson? Cross posted to LCR.

Updated: Lonely Conservative met Ray Griggs last year and writes about it here.

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