Pro life films are hard to produce and market

pro life filmsThere’s a very good reason pro life films are so hard to make: they turn people against human abortion. In other words, they are effective. The power structure that controls the film industry and its marketing platforms are practically evangelical in their zeal for abortion rights. As a result, they push back. Hard.

The new pro life film, “Unplanned,” is a case study in this inevitable clash of creeds and how supporters of Big Abortion fought furiously to undermine this Abby Johnson bio.

As we wrote in our earlier review, “Unplanned” tells the story of Abby Johnson’s journey from zealous abortion rights supporter and Director of a highly profitable Planned Parenthood abortion mill into one of the most effective pro life advocates in America.

The movie takes you inside a Planned Parenthood clinic where you learn in convincing fashion that human abortion has nothing to do with ‘women’s reproductive health.’

The movie cost $6 million to make. To date, it has grossed nearly $16 million at the box office. “Unplanned” had to overcome one hurdle after another to get made.

Spiritual warfare

Something odd happened during the filming of Unplanned. Violence swirled around the cast and their families in ways that went beyond coincidence. The movie’s co-directors, Chuck Konzelman and Cary Solomon, were warned that they were about to engage in an epic battle of spiritual warfare.

Said Solomon:

“We, from the beginning, knew that it would be spiritual battle, spiritual warfare. It was prophesied over us that this is not a normal movie.”

The battle manifested itself with physical reality:

“We’ve had probably 15 accidents where people or family members of people who worked on the movie, were in a car crash, […] and the person would just walk away.

“They’ve all been crazy violent. One person survived a bike accident that destroyed her helmet, and a producer’s car was split in half after being t-boned.”

Even the star of the movie, Ashley Bratcher, had a brush with death, according to Solomon:

“Ashley herself, she had a deer, a stag, jump backwards–I’ve never seen deer jump backwards–on the highway into her car and wiped out her car and almost killed her.”

Hollywood warfare

Shortly before the film was to be released, Hollywood threw the Unplanned team a major curve ball. The Motion Pictures Association of America gave the movie an “R” rating, which meant teens 17 and under could not attend unless accompanied by a parent or adult guardian. This would limit their reach to a core audience of this movie.

Hollywood missed the incongruity of their tacit acknowledgement that abortion is violent. Said an MPAA spokesperson:

“This film received an R rating for ‘some disturbing/bloody images.”

Ironically, thirteen states do not require parental notification for these same teens who want to have an abortion.

It is inexplicable that a film without sex, nudity, offensive language, and violence gets an R rating at the same time that a violent teen slasher movie, like “Happy Death Day 2U” gets a PG-13 rating.

Contrast these two trailers. The disconnect is jarring:

The first is rated PG-13, the second garnered an ‘R’ rating. Obviously, the fix was in. The MPAA spokesperson tried to justify their decision:

“The filmmakers did not make use of the rating appeal process.”

The reason: they didn’t have the time, since the delay would have pitted it against summer blockbusters by the time it was finally released. Besides, there was no guarantee the MPAA would change its mind. An appeal would have been the kiss of death to “Unplanned.”

It took Unplanned two years to raise the money to make this film. Their investors had a lot on the line, and the MPAA did all they could to kill it by goading the producers to delay the release date in a ratings squabble.

Internet warfare

Once the MPAA’s dirty deed was done, they passed the baton on to Twitter to submarine the release of “Unplanned.” The most critical day on social media for a movie is the day it is released, and sadly, Twitter pulled the plug on opening night.

According to Mr. Solomon:

“[Twitter] closed us down on opening night, which, considering we had the account for nine months, was quite unusual. It just so happens that happens on opening night which, for a movie, is the most important night of the whole run.”

Google joined the conspiracy by refusing to let them advertise “Unplanned.” Said Konzelman:

“Well, we are completely blocked at every turn. I mean, our primary difficulty was with Google, who refused to take any of the advertising for our film. All of our banner ads up until our date of release were refused. Basically, they identified us with a conservative issue, which is the pro-life side of the abortion issue. They said, ‘your marketing is related to abortion.’ We said, ‘no it’s not. It’s a film.’ And they still refused us.”

Google went even further. Early Google searches for Unplanned labeled it as “drama/propaganda.” Bet you’ve never seen that movie genré before in a Google search, have you?

Even the Nazi propaganda film, “Triumph of the Will,” wasn’t slapped with a ‘propaganda’ label by Google.

Netflix shuns “Unplanned”

The mainstream media refused to run their television ads. Only Fox would allow them to advertise.

Netflix, according to the co-directors, has “no appetite for the film,” and Amazon Prime is taking a pass instead to promote a couple of pro abortion films they’re producing, one starring Sandra Bullock.

Yes, pro life films are hard to produce and market. Despite the obstacles, this small, independent film is on track to more than triple its investment in a politically incorrect movie.

The real question: is the film making a difference?

Yes. We will explore this subject in more detail in our next blogpost. Check back.

[“Unplanned” is showing at AMC Classic Southridge-12; AMC Classic Johnston-16, and Century 20 at the Jordan Creek Mall. Watching this movie is a good preparation for Holy Week.]