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Last Night “CODA” Won an Oscar

March 28, 2022

Great minds work together! But my “Coda,” based on my 2020 political novel, has not as yet been produced as a feature film. To do that on a low budget of $1.5 million takes hard work raising finances.

It is “funny” that I wrote “Coda” for streaming media because new technology is a boon for struggling authors whose dream is to write a book or script that is produced as a feature film.

“In the old days,” a script for a film required a theatrical release in motion picture theaters. Who now even enters a theater? We watch movies distributed at HBO, Netflix and so many other “streaming media” venues too many to count.

All these streaming media venues need films thus creating a voracious appetite for scripts for films. I watched that market develop, wrote a novel precisely for streaming media, found a publisher and, finally produced a draft script and had a line producer budget “Coda” for production.

Look, I’m an education entrepreneur, not a professional film producer, but I know an opportunity when I’m hit in the face with one.

Here’s the “back story.”

In the period between Ronald Reagan’s election and Inauguration we “movement conservatives” converged from across America to serve on “Transition Teams.” This was not easy since the cost of spending time in DC is beyond the means of most of us who did not live in DC. My friend, the “Paleocon” Melvin E. Bradford didn’t have the funds to leave Dallas to become Chairman of the NEH Transition Team and asked if I could do it.

I was working part time for Arlington House Publishers in New Rochelle, N.Y. –a 45 minute train ride to Broadway–and had been making the trek to New York City and DC scouting for authors. Arlington House paid all my expenses.

Long before Reagan was elected, I sought Irving Kristol’s advice. He had founded The Public Interest policy journal, had been editor of Basic Books and a writer of Op-eds for the Wall Street Journal. We movement conservatives now discovered that we had mutual interests with “Neoconservatives.” Neocons believe in the capacity of government to “do good,” which we did not, but when the Democrat Party revealed its radical “Progressive” face, Kristol took many of his friends to the “Right” in politics and we movement conservatives were delighted until it became clear that Neocons had no fear of government and advocated the use of military action—war—for political ends.

The major persona in my novel “Coda,” Bob Hill,” a Republican Senator, aspires to become President of the United States and starts his career by attacking the Neocons at a conference hosted by AEI, the American Enterprise Institute.

Irving Kristol joined AEI at the invitation of Bill Baroody, known as “Senior,” but deposed Baroody’s son, known as “Junior.” That raised my hackles, as did Irving’s attempt to control my “Transition Team.” Irving’s acolytes, Mike Joyce, Jim Piereson and Bill Bennett are not “movement” conservatives and our interests never converged. But, for some time, their careers advanced: Mike Joyce became head of the Bradley Foundation, Piereson took command of the William E. Simon Foundation and Bill Bennett became Chairman of NEH. All three were gifted administrators, but were not movement conservatives. I liked all three personally, but we did not have ties of friendship going back to the 1964 Goldwater campaign.

Indeed, Mike Joyce tried to have me removed from my role as Chairman of Reagan’s Transition Team for NEH!

To make a long story short, when we movement conservatives organized our own Inaugural Ball to celebrate Reagan’s election, we did not include the Neocons. But all the memories of those days were remembered when I entered the CODA gallery in Palm Desert and saw a statute of a woman in a blue ball gown. The story line for a novel about a statue that comes to life hit me and that became my ”first novel” which I titled “Coda.”

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