The Saga of Larry Tunner: An Occupy Themed Progressive Messaging Project

Do you support the ideals expressed by the greater Occupy Movement? Have you struggled to explain to your Grandmother, who gets most of her news from Rush on A.M. radio, what Occupy is really about? Does your seemingly exceedingly intelligent co-worker not understand what the deal is with all those hippies standing in the cold holding signs?

Wouldn’t it be great if there was some fable or commonly know story you could point to that would break it down a little more? As Michael Moore said in The Winter of Our Occupation, now is the time for planning and creation. What we produce this winter, while it’s too cold for many of us to stand outside of banks or to camp in parks, will be the ammunition we use to win this national debate when the spring thaw hits.

I feel that the strength of the Occupy movement is the absence of a central leader. As Alan Moore so astutely pointed out, ideas are bulletproof, and a movement that lacks central leadership is much harder to disrupt via violence or to corrupt via fiscal leveraging (ie. Bribes). However, a leader can oftentimes help to frame what a movement hopes to accomplish for those who either lack enough information to make a decision or for those who have heard willful misinformation from a complicit or democratically hostile corporate media. Many people have already heroically stepped into the breach to defend and articulate the positions of Occupy. However, these leaders can’t be everywhere at once, and in general, one must be a cable news junkie or already hip to the progressive intertubes to catch wind of them.

I’m going to posit that the people we need to reach out to, as progressives and de facto Occupy members, are the ones who are currently tracking Kim Kardasian (sorry, I’m not linking….) and who she will next marry. Thats a hard nut to crack, the whole disinterested hipster demographic; they know the political establishment has been corrupted through corporate influence… why pay attention?

We know that these people consume media. Lots of media. They carry smartphones, they use tablets, they have 4G. What if a progressive message came their way in the form of an entertaining story, something that made the issues interesting and of an increased relevance to the day-to-day existence. What if this parable caused them to engage, deputizing them as progressive envoys to their well maintained social networks?

Well, thats what the Saga of Larry Tunner is all about.

I think the Occupy movement needs a folk hero, a political Paul Bunyon of sorts. Someone who can further articulate the message of Occupy, but due to their lack of existence in reality, cannot be killed of corrupted.

Without further ado:
The Saga of Larry Tunner follows the classic hero tale, with a few exceptions. Instead of discovering a flaming sword our warrior discovers a huge check, and rather than questing against a great dragon that has plundered the countryside, our champion and his merry band struggle against an unchecked corporate power that has corrupted our daily existence.

Homeless drunkard has-been Larry Tunner has had a rough couple of years since the plant closed, but his luck is about to change! Along with some of his trusty friends, including an unemployed professor, a liquor store clerk, and a bag lady, Larry is about to turn the American political establishment upside down.

After hitting the jackpot and realizing that he really can do anything, Larry decides to run for President, giving voice to the real concerns of America’s ninety-nine percent. Unpolished, charismatic, and full of heart, Larry is on a mission to save America, or die trying.

I’m proposing that a dark political dramady micro-feature (in movie speak, thats a project that costs less then 1 million, but in this case, the budget is $49,250) is one way to create this strawman leader. What would it look like if some laid-off UAW worker had the opportunity to take the national stage and break through the corporatist noise. Wouldn’t it be nice if someone on that debate stage had the balls to tell Newt he has no moral authority? Would you appreciate someone telling the Bluedogs and Conserva-dems the county is collapsing while they continue giving free hand jobs to Wall Street? Larry Tunner can do that, and much more.

How’s this all possible? We live in amazing times. Getting something on iTunes requires only $2500 and the ability to pass their tech specs, bringing with it access to the largest media storefront in the world. A camera amazingly similar to those that are shooting The Hobbit and Spiderman 4 can be rented for only 6k. Jeff is willing to shoot and edit for 1/3 of scale. We plan to disseminate The Saga of Larry Tunner to the masses for the minimum price set by iTunes, right now $4.99 for HD content. The rental will be minimal fee as well, set at $2.99 by iTunes.

Want to help Larry Tunner get off the ground? In order to have this project be available on iTunes by August (it takes an average of 90 days after Apple receives the submission for a project to become available), it needs to start shooting no later than March 9th. Three weeks for shooting, Two months for post (thats the edit, the score, color correction, sound mix, etc) and the iTunes wait mentioned above put this project on a breakneck timeline. However, like the Avengers, the team is assembled. We have a cast and a production team ready to go (it’s the off season in Michigan, which, along with Gov. Snyder’s decimation of the film program, makes it much easier to attach talent). All thats left is coming up with the budget, which is off to a great start.

We’ve raised 20% (10k) so far, and are working like busy bees as we search for the remainder. So, if you are or know of someone who is interested in high-risk, unsecured, progressive-minded investment, don’t hesitate to send them our way!!


Want to check out the script? I’ll send you a draft. Message me.

*Before someone says it, I’m aware of Kickstarter. We’re more then willing to do that, but we think this project can be financially viable as well. As such, we want to give people a chance to jump on the train with us.