The freshly released movie version of Atlas Shrugged is generating a ton of attention in the media, fueling new waves of curiosity about Ayn Rand’s ideas. How can supporters of Rand’s philosophy best capitalize on this momentum?
Producer-director Duncan Scott thinks he has the answer. Last week Scott revealed details about a new movie project his company has recently launched, titled Inside the Mind of Ayn Rand. Slated for release in theaters in early 2012, the ninety-minute feature film explores the relevance of Ayn Rand’s views to the fundamental issues facing society today.
“The film also weaves in the epic story of her life, but it’s not focused on the biographical details,” Scott says. “It’s really the first major film to examine in some depth the full range of her ideas.”
Scott thinks the Atlas movie release has created a short-lived opportunity that Objectivists shouldn’t squander. “The best way to spread Objectivist thinking into our culture is through media that creates excitement with the general public, primarily film and television. No other medium combines all these powerful elements — images, movement, words, music, pacing, storytelling — to fully engage the audience.
“We want the viewer to come away charged up by just how critically important her concepts of reason, limited government, and free markets are in today’s world — and in their own lives. These concepts are under assault right now. They need to be defended, and nobody did that better than Ayn Rand.”
Many years ago, Scott worked with Ayn Rand on the restoration of the film classic We the Living. “From that point onward,” he says, “I was hooked on her ideas.”
He has been a filmmaker and television producer for over 26 years, including a nine-year stint with public television, and has won four Emmy Awards. In 2004 he created the Objectivist History Project, to document the founding period of Objectivism.
Scott's new film is being produced independently by his Santa Monica based production company. Financing for the film comes from four sources: investors, institutional support, pre-sales to distributors, and a grassroots internet campaign.
“The internet provides a way for the thousands Ayn Rand fans around the world to help us bring this film to fruition,” Scott explains. To help kickstart grassroots support for the film, Scott has just launched the project at Kickstarter.com.
“Our Kickstarter page lets anyone who wants to, show their support for Rand’s ideas. People can see a video about the film there. They can find out how to get free tickets to the film’s premiere, a DVD of the finished film, T-shirts, and more.”
He is convinced there couldn’t be a better time than today to showcase Ayn Rand’s philosophy of Objectivism. “Rand has been in ascendance for about two years, and the new Atlas film just puts it over the top,” Scott says.
“Of course the main reason is that she nailed it with that novel. She foresaw, more than fifty years ago, what is happening today in our country — and she understood the underlying causes, as well.”
Scott points out that, despite Rand's popularity, many people have only a superficial grasp of her philosophy. ”They know she was a champion of free markets and individualism, but the underlying core of her philosophy — the moral superiority of capitalism and rational self-interest, in particular — is still misunderstood by many people, even some of her fans.
”We think Inside the Mind of Ayn Rand will be a real eye-opener, not only about her ideas, but also about the fascinating and complex woman behind those ideas.”
To learn more about the project and watch Duncan Scott’s video preview, visit the project’s Kickstarter page.
Joshua Zader is the founder of the Atlasphere and co-founder of Atlas Web Development. He is also a regular contributor at the Atlas Shrugged movie blog, which provides the latest news, discussion, and analysis of the movie.