The process of getting a motion picture completed is never anything short of remarkable. From securing locations to gathering the equipment, from drawing talent and coordinating their schedules, and getting executives on board while marshalling dozens to hundreds of workers on a finite schedule; it is a small miracle that happens hundreds of times a year.
Now factor in trying to make a film that Hollywood does not want you to make. This was the monumental task faced by Nick Loeb, the creative force behind the new release, “Roe V. Wade.” On the one hand you have the topic of abortion being so cherished by the left, and by so many in the entertainment industry, but when it comes to laying out the machinations behind the court case that opened the doors to legalize the practice there is little interest in exposing those details. So how long did it take for Loeb to get this film completed?
“I started the project about four years ago,” he told me. “I spent about a year writing it. I spent most of my time doing research. We used over 40 books, court transcripts, letters, interviews, articles. We wanted to make sure when we made this movie -- which is not a documentary, it is an actual feature film -- that it would be accurate, because we knew we would be criticized. We wanted to be sure everything was 100 percent accurate, and sourced.”
This brings up possibly the toughest aspect about getting this project off the ground—how in the hell did he get this movie made, and in this industry?
“The toughest part, quite honestly, was trying to raise the money,” he said. “We had to next go out and raise the money, and obviously this was something that Hollywood would not want to fund,” he said.
This is where things become revealing, in the context of getting content created in our culture from a conservative perspective. There is no mystery the entertainment complex is resistant to conservative values, so getting the backing for a project like this from conservative sources is needed. It is also not easy, as Loeb details.
“I thought it would be quite easy to raise the money - you know, call up a few conservative billionaires and they would say, ‘Oh wow, the Roe v. Wade from the pro-life perspective - where do I write the check?’" He quickly learned, however, that those checks weren't forthcoming. "I think this hurts us in the movement on the pro-life side—doesn’t really fund media, and this is why we lose,” Loeb explained. “Look at 90 percent of media out there, it is controlled by the left, and this is where we fall short.”
Amazingly this is still the case, despite the fact that years back the late Andrew Breitbart was the loudest voice trying to get conservatives and their values into the entertainment landscape with a larger footprint. He always pointed out how politics were downstream of culture, and yet there is still this resistance to enter it on a more significant level.
“This is my constant argument. If you want to change hearts and minds today you have to use the media, and you have to use pop culture,” he said. “If you just have events for yourself and trade publications for your own audience, you are just preaching to the choir. You’re not reaching across the aisle and changing hearts and minds. The way you do that today is through pop culture, and the left does that really well.’’
One reason that there has been so little ground made up in the culture battle is that so many properties are automatically subjugated by being classified as “faith-based,” becoming pigeon-holed as a limiting feature. Loeb intentionally avoided that designation.
“Our movie is not a faith-based movie - we do not hit you over the head with that perspective,” he explained. “We wanted for our goal to create a movie with real Hollywood actors where we could reach across the aisle and change hearts and minds.”
And he gives an indication this is a possibility: “We have an actor in our movie who was pro-choice, who converted during the making of the movie.”
There are some notable names in the cast to point to—Jon Voight and Robert Davi—who, albeit noted conservatives, lend some Hollywood heft. Those helped draw in some backing. “We had a couple names attached before we made the movie, which obviously helped get some funding,” he said. “But Hollywood is a bit of a catch-22 because you need the actors to raise the money, but you need the money to get the actors.” Beyond this I was curious of one other possibility.
With material of this nature, it is easy to see how there would be the hesitancy to join in and/or invest in the project. I asked Loeb if he encountered not only resistance, but any actual pushback on the project. Did he endure any efforts to prevent his success in completing this from those in the industry?
"Absolutely,” he responded. “During the casting process one of the agencies sent out a firmwide email telling their agents not to allow clients to do the movie. We had others that we can’t discuss right now—but we will disclose when it comes out—that tried to prevent the movie from even being released.”
The debut is this Friday, April 2, and it is receiving a day-and-date release in both theaters and across video-on-demand platforms like Amazon and Apple. I asked Loeb, given these attempts he mentioned to prevent the release, if he battled any challenges to have the film appear on the major streaming outlets.
“Not yet,” Loeb replied. “They seem to be hungry for content, and want to put stuff out there. We are a PG-13 movie, we’re not trying to upset people. And at the end of the day this is not a documentary, it is a feature film. Plus we did not take creative license, when it came to the really important facts. So at least for now we are in the clear.”
That alone could be a testament to the nature of the product, that there has not been an outward hostility from those behind the streaming platforms. In an environment where we have seen the tech giants show a willingness to clamp down on select individuals and outlets, for those to agree to show a motion picture centered on such an inflammatory topic is a sign of the approach having worked.