Conservative filmmaker Michael Pack was fighting the culture wars long before we started using the phrase.
Pack, the director of “Created Equal: Clarence Thomas in His Own Words,” has a long and illustrious resume dating back to the 1980s.
He’s done it all, from working with Hollywood heavyweights like Eli Wallach, Joan Allen and Tim Blake Nelson to serving his country as the Chief Executive Officer of the U.S. Agency for Global Media.
Few people are better equipped to explore and explain why conservatives lag on the pop culture front. His exhaustive op-ed at Real Clear Politics is a must-read for anyone hoping to bring right-leaning stories to the masses.
Except the piece brims with harsh realities that explain the cultural landscape.
How did the left achieve cultural dominance? Not by accident or luck, but by hard work, a clear focus, and talent.
Pack shares how the Left nurtures budding talent, provides artists with all the resources necessary to expand their craft and showers them with promotional resources to spread the news about their projects.
One quick example?
If Michael Moore has a new film coming to theaters he can count on endless media coverage to alert the public.
Progressive art begins at the collegiate level, where tomorrow’s social justice directors are born.
Virtually every college and university in America has a film school, and there are about 4,000 colleges. Almost every film school professor is a self-described progressive. I have never met one who is conservative. Every year, these film schools graduate hundreds of thousands of progressive aspiring filmmakers (along with camera operators, editors, film composers, etc.). Only a small percentage have the talent, ambition, and drive to succeed, and they become the basis for the next generation of progressive creative talent.
Conservatives have little, if any, assets to match that support network.
It gets worse.
Too many right-leaning projects get abandoned by their target audience.
Director Clint Eastwood’s 2019 film “Richard Jewell” skewered both media bias and FBI malfeasance, wrapped in a sturdy tale of a man punished by an unjust system.
The movie opened to a pathetic $4.7 million and ended its run earning just $22 million. Conservatives either weren’t aware of the film’s right-leaning messages or opted not to support art that spoke to their values.
That same year, Adam Carolla and Dennis Prager teamed up for “No Safe Spaces,” an engaging documentary about the fall of free speech at universities nationwide. The film earned $1.2 million at U.S. theaters, a respectable sum for a modestly budgeted documentary.
The film’s prescient take on the coming woke wave, combined with superlative storytelling, should have yielded ten times that amount. If not more.
Recent years have offered some hope in this arena.
Right-leaning success stories like Jason Aldean’s “Try That in a Small Town,” Oliver Anthony’s “Rich Men North of Richmond” and Angel Studios’ “Sound of Freedom” suggest a growing appetite for unorthodox art.
The Daily Wire, Blaze TV and Pack’s own Palladium Pictures vow to bring fresh perspectives to the culture.
And, sadly, Hollywood’s woke obsession continues to degrade movies and TV shows to the point where consumers are clamoring for something different.
Pack offers a ray of hope in an often, and understandably, gloomy op-ed.
Today, there are many more ways for a non-woke film to reach an audience. You can stream it from your own YouTube site. You can make a deal with one of the several new conservative streaming sites. It’s also possible that you can persuade one of the major streaming services to pick it up. After all, we have been successful for decades in getting our films nationally broadcast in primetime on PBS, hardly a right-wing outlet.
It’s still the ultimate David vs. Goliath story, and conservatives’ slingshot looks more like a pea shooter.