by Edwin L. Carpenter, Editor, The Dove Foundation
Dove: “What can you tell us about your background, Ray, and what circumstances led you to write this film?”
Ray: “The documentary is done very differently from other documentaries. I’m not a documentary filmmaker, I ‘m more of a science fiction filmmaker. Basically, I was out in California doing science fiction films and, having kids of my own and I just thought about the opportunities this country offered me. I grew up overseas and I was able to start my business at a very young age. I was worried about the freedoms and the opportunities that my kids will have, not for the ability to do what they want to do, but being bombarded by new rules and regulations, especially with this current administration, and the financial ability of being able or not to afford to go and pursue your dream. It’s getting harder and harder for small businesses to get out there and take a risk and create a small business. That’s been the spirit of an American, these small businesses that had a dream to create something. I’m worried about the direction the country is headed. Being out in Hollywood, the left such as Michael Moore and Sean Penn, are always speaking their views but conservatives don’t come out into the public, they have private areas where they meet and greet and talk to people. It’s very bad in Hollywood to come out and to admit that you’re a conservative.”
Ray said that since he was making his own films, he decided to take the opportunity God had blessed him with to make a film and to say what he felt needed to be said and to distribute it himself. He said he met co-writer Randall Norman Desoto in a Bible study and they were on the same page, so to speak, and decided to write the documentary together. Randy is more of a political savvy guy who had some documentary know-how.
Dove: How did you come up with those great voices used in the film? (The voices really sound like President Obama and former President Reagan).
Ray: I treated it like a real film and got together with my casting director and told him I wanted real voices for these characters. I already knew that I wanted thirty minutes of cartoon animation to explain some of these situations (which are explored in the film). That’s scripted so in order to do that properly we kind of had a pre-script before we went out and started filming. When we did these interviews that’s when we would adjust and fine tune and change and we’d discover different things. Tons of people submitted for different roles. Oddly enough, the original Barack Obama we cast, when he found out we were doing a conservative film, didn’t want any part of it. The new guy we ended up getting, Jay LaMont, right after that, he was just phenomenal. He really nailed it. Tim Russell did President Reagan and Bill Farmer did former President George W. Bush. Farmer does the voice of Goofy on Disney! For each role, except for Obama, I had an average of twelve to fifteen submissions at the end to choose from.”
Dove: What challenges did you face in making the film and what rewarding aspects have there been?
Ray: It’s been really tricky with this film. It’s had a lot of problems with the Federal Elections Committee and the IRS audit and just independent films in general, just getting them out there is tough. You don’t have the proper publicity and advertising so just letting people know about the film is a challenge and then to top it off you’ve got a documentary which does less than foreign sales; retailers would rather take a foreign film than they would a documentary. And now you have a conservative documentary. So it has been an interesting struggle trying to get retailers to buy into this and to pick up the film. Oddly enough though, anybody who actually watches it loves the movie. The rewarding thing is honestly the letters and e-mails I get from people. I’m targeting the conservative people. The letters I get from these people are phenomenal. They really appreciate finally going to a film that they enjoy coming from Hollywood that didn’t have liberal objectives or spin. It really plays to what they believe in.”
Dove: It’s a compliment to you that this witty and intelligent film comes from a conservative point of view.
Ray: “That’s the other thing I wanted to prove too. Everyone assumes that liberals are the only creative people out there because Hollywood is generally filled with liberals but it’s simply not true. There are a lot of great conservatives out there who can be just as creative if given the proper opportunity.”
This documentary was released on both DVD and Blu-ray on May 17. Ray said he shot the documentary with Blu-ray in mind and it looks crystal clear. He added that there are historical anecdotes included in the documentary such as the history of the democrats and where they are headed as of today. Ray is hoping that more awareness and word-of-mouth will help get the news out that this DVD is available. He said his main focus right now is to promote the DVD.