It had to be done. Someone had to combat the multiple lies and half-truths in Al Gore's movie. But this film is so much more than a mere rebuttal. Instead of an opinionated slide show this film chronicles the skeptic side of global warming, talking to real scientists who spend their lives studying the climate. And, no, they're not in the back pocket of Big Oil. They have simply come to a different conclusion than the climate alarmists who want you to believe you are responsible for any change in the climate.
Award-winning radio talk show host Phil Valentine takes you on a quest for the truth in his biodiesel-fueled Mercedes, Bennie the BioBenz. He explores the facts behind the global warming issue, debunks some famous myths and delves into the motivation of those who so passionately insist that we are destroying the planet.
As this movie demonstrates, the climate has been getting warmer and cooler all by itself for millions of years. Long before we came along in our SUVs the planet was going through long stretches of warmer weather like the Medieval Warm Period. This film shows how radical climate scientists and politicians have fervently attempted to erase the Medieval Warm Period from the geological record.
No matter your belief on the subject one thing will become crystal clear. There is no consensus on the issue of anthropogenic climate change and this film is a game-changer in the whole debate.
How It All Came About
Some things just happen for a reason? That's how it was with An Inconsistent Truth. Phil Valentine had been trying to figure out a way to answer Al Gore's movie almost since the time he first saw it. "It just really bugged me," Valentine said. "I knew the film was full of exaggerations and outright lies and what bugged me further was how many lemmings were following him off the cliff."
The problem was Valentine had never done a movie before. He began to ask around with production companies to see if there was any interest in making such a film. There was certainly interest but not the right kind. Several companies wanted to do it for the money but it was going to be expensive. "I was looking for someone with the same drive that I had," Valentine remembered. "Someone who was willing to do it because it just needed to be done."
Enter Shayne Edwards. Edwards was toying with the idea of doing his own documentary to refute Gore's movie when he e-mailed Valentine to see if he'd be willing to be interviewed for the project. Valentine suggested they meet for lunch. Having seen some samples of Edwards' work he wanted to see if Edwards had the same passion for the project. He did, and over a simple handshake they agreed to pool their resources to get the movie done.
Valentine already had a rough outline written for the movie so he would flesh that out. Edwards' experience making music videos and having directed an unreleased feature film brought the technical aspect to the table Valentine had been missing. Plus, Edwards' creative eye would help make the film much more than just another documentary.
In August of 2009 production began on the film. It was nothing short of amazing how many people wanted to be a part of the film. With rare exceptions, everyone who worked on the film volunteered. We're not talking about just Joe and Jane Blow off the street. We're talking about seasoned professionals. Directors of photography, cinematographers, sound engineers, boom operators, all volunteers. Even the equipment was loaned for the project and everything was top-notch. The entire film was shot in high definition.
Then composer Michael Thomas Benoit got involved to write and produce the score. "This guy is phenomenal," Valentine said. "It's not like he slapped together a bunch of music and said, 'Here ya go. Here's your score.' No, he wrote each piece for each scene. I remember toward the end when we were having to trim scenes and I told Shayne to tell Michael not to worry about it. That we would just edit the music, too. Nothing doing. He insisted on re-scoring the music to fit the newly edited scene. He was incredible."
In addition to the score Valentine sought out original songs that would fit the film. He looked for songs that captured the mood of the film at various points. All of the songs were written and produced specifically for the movie.
So, with a great crew and great music it was a matter of making a great movie. Valentine and Edwards wanted to make sure they did this right. Valentine toyed with the idea of doing his own slide show, like Gore, and was going to tape a series of them before a live audience. But, he thought, Gore's movie was boring. Why would he want to follow the same model? Besides, Gore's movie was all about Gore. Valentine wanted much more than that. He wanted to get out and talk to the experts; true scientists who studied the issue of global warming on a daily basis.
He also wanted to make a fun and entertaining movie. He knew that, as he put it, "belief in manmade global warming was wide but shallow" so he set out to demonstrate just how badly the public had been misled. To many who've seen the film, the street interviews are the highlight. They're hilarious yet scary at the same time.
Valentine and Edwards shot footage all over the country then centered the film around Gore's testimony before Congress on cap-and-trade legislation. When the discussion in the hearings turned to the manmade drought in the San Joaquin Valley due to environmental extremism, Valentine wanted desperately to highlight that story. Edwards went online and found a crew to volunteer to shoot the footage they needed.
Everything seemed to come together. They got great interviews with scientists, members of Congress and global warming policy wonks. They had so much footage and so much information they could've done a four-hour movie. But they knew they had to edit the picture down to about 90 minutes and to do so meant throwing a lot over board. One was a fantasy scene where Valentine pretends to interrogate Gore. "It really pained me to throw that scene out," Valentine said. "I mean we went to a great deal of trouble to get that scene. We were allowed access to a room that looked almost identical to the congressional committee room. I spent forever writing the scene and it took about a half-day to shoot. We even had my own nameplate made that read 'Mr. Valentine.'" In the end the scene pushed the film too long and focus groups said it was so real they forgot it was supposed to be a fantasy piece. Valentine decided that it might detract from the factual information presented so he decided to cut the scene.
In the end the entire film was trimmed down to some core issues that needed addressing. Namely that CO2 is not a pollutant, that polar bears are not dying off, that ice all over the world isn't melting and that a lot of people are making a lot of money by making people believe all those things are true.
We've Got A Movie. Now What?
It was a feat in and of itself to get the movie done but that wasn't even half the battle. The true test came when it was time to find distribution. Most documentaries never see the inside of a theater. In fact, it's extremely rare that they do. Most go straight to DVD and that was the fallback plan with An Inconsistent Truth. Still, Valentine was determined to at least try to find theatrical distribution but getting a film like this past the Hollywood gatekeepers is nearly impossible.
Valentine talked with numerous studios and distributors. Almost universally he got the same answer. "No way!" So he took the film directly to the theater chains. He managed to get the film to the decision-makers and two of the chains gave the film the green light to be shown in their theaters. The only problem was it would have to go through a distributor. They gave Valentine a couple of suggestions and he pitched the film to Rocky Mountain Pictures. They had distributed Atlas Shrugged Part 1 and the Ben Stein movie, Expelled. They agreed but only to a limited distribution. A wide release would cost millions of dollars in digital fees alone and Valentine would have to come up with the cash. He decided it was not worth it to risk losing that kind of money when the whole idea is to get the movie into as many hands as possible. So the movie ran a limited engagement in Nashville and a couple of other markets.
It premiered on January 26, 2012 in Nashville and opened to the public the next day. Much to everyone's surprise - especially Hollywood - the film was the top-grossing movie per screen in the entire country for its first two weeks. That sounds like an easy thing to do since it was just on one screen but not many movies can rake in nearly $21,000 in the first weekend at one theater with no budget. After just a short eight-week run it ranks #442 on the list of top-grossing documentaries of all time. That's higher than such acclaimed films as Cool It , Fuel and GasLand.
It's a testimony to the legs this message has. People want to know the truth. In fact, they inherently know the global warming alarmists are lying to them. They just need the evidence presented to them. That's what this film does. It presents the other side of this issue to a public that's starving for the real story.
And once the people know the truth, that changes everything.