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This post is long overdue. But I’m writing now because we are at a very critical moment for The Fifth Sacred Thing as a project, and need your help.
We recently had several very high level network pitches. As you read this, people in positions of power are considering whether or not to tell this incredible story.
Can you please put us in the highest intentions in your thoughts, visualizing the amazing outcome of the project getting picked up and GREENLIT?
PLEASE VISUALIZE THIS PROJECT GETTING PICKED UP AND GREENLIT.
The power of collective intention matters.
But let me back up and give a little more detail:
“When is the film coming out?”
This is, hands down, the most common question I receive.
The Fifth Sacred Thing started out as a film project with a small team of dedicated artist/activists. I was brought on to the project in 2012 as a producer, and realized that the way we were pitching the project in Hollywood was not super effective.
Cuz here’s the thing that no one tells you at first: The big networks have little need for “conscious” media that seeks to change a viewer’s behavior, and they are (overall) decidedly not into eco projects. It’s Big Business. I’ve even had people tell me directly that “The environment just doesn’t sell.” The other thing no one tells you is how directly Hollywood is embedded financially with Big Oil, and climate change is obviously a direct combatant to the fossil fuel industry. Finally, it’s very difficult to get executives to read anything longer than a page. Try summarizing Fifth Sacred into a page, ha, and you’ll realize what we were up against.
We on the inside knew that this story was beloved because of the STORY. It’s the greatest conflict and love story of our time. Of ANY time.
But because of the scope and scale of this project (Ship fights! Golden Gate bridge explosion! War sequences with military tanks!) it’s not exactly small scale, and couldn’t be done in an indie, low-budget way. It needs the budget a studio system or network already has.
But the TIMELY GOOD NEWS is that we have this incredible recipe happening in the the U.S. right now: Sunrise Movement + AOC + Youth Climate Strikes + The Green New Deal has shifted the window of what is going to be talked about in the 2020 Presidential debates. Climate is finally on the menu as a priority. The youth have imbued the climate conversation with relevancy and urgency. The media is getting reprimanded for false equivalencies with climate. And for the first time ever, climate disruption is getting mad press and demanding we meet it with the urgency it requires.
In 2016, I switched up the team to producers who had more experience with bigger projects, and took a hard look at how we were pitching the project. The main change was to pitch the project as a tv show primarily. This was at the advice of NUMEROUS execs in rooms we pitched in who all said the same thing: This is such a big world. It’s better suited for tv. What tv offers that film lacks is more time to develop the stories, characters, and greater world beyond California. In a film, you have to tell the whole thing in two hours; in tv, you get multiple seasons.
And as Starhawk said: “It was like taking a corset off the script.”
Today, we have an incredible team that I haven’t told fans anything about. The team is comprised of an AMAZING A-level production company with a TON of experience, three top-notch Producers (whose work you know), and two additional writers with clout. The reason I haven’t told fans too much is simple: Production development takes more time than you would think, and we’ve been careful.
Dallas Buyers Club was written in 1992, and went through ten different scripts before winning the Oscar in 2013. Deadpool was in development for 10 years. The Monument’s Men had Clooney pitching for over 10 years.
We are still in development here on the front lines, but the project has moved more than it ever has in the last two years.
Meanwhile, THANK YOU for loving this story and seeing the power of it even before Hollywood did. Starhawk’s story has always been prescient, but finally the world is catching up.
Hold that image for us.
Maya Lilly, Producer
A BONUS WAY YOU CAN HELP TODAY
The community around this book is very important to us. And we know you REALLY want to see this on the screen. Here’s another way you can be proactive.
TELL YOUR FRIENDS ABOUT FIFTH SACRED.
The Fifth Sacred Thing is 496 pages, and City of Refuge is even longer. Many heads of film companies have never heard of this book, so we’re always telling them the synopsis of the story. The more people know about this project, and support us on social media, the more visible it becomes. This is one of the reasons we created an audiobook! Executives take chances on bankable projects, ones that will make their money back. We know that Fifth Sacred is gifted more often than it’s been bought, and the numbers are triple what’s on paper. The more fans we have, the more bankable we become! For example, give your friends the gift of the audiobook, preferably someone who may never have heard of it! Thank you!
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