Genre Considered To Be Liability Is Becoming Asset
One of the reasons George Lucas had to fund the production of
the movie "Red Tails" on his own was a warning from Hollywood
studio heads that it would be a black genre film with a limited
audience. Now, the racial theme may actually be driving the film's
box office success beyond expectations.
USA Today reports activists in Los Angeles have organized movie
premiers, churchgoers are boarding buses to go see the movie, and
social media is being used to encourage others to support it.
Carl Gillard used Facebook to rally support for the film. Before
it was released, he told friends, "We need y'all to put your money
where your whine is." He helped organize an "Occupy Red Tails
Mixer" which drew 125 people and reportedly sold out several
screenings. He explains, "I wanted to show the power of the urban
audience. With this movie, there was an insatiable desire for
content by African Americans to see themselves in a heroic way. You
couple that with social media, and it went viral."
Georgette Greenlee Finney, who directs a youth ministry at
Metropolitan Apostolic Community Church in Chicago, says the film
had a definite impact on the roughly 20 young people she took to
see Red Tails. "Our kids came out chanting. It's going to be one
more positive opportunity that allows them to redefine who they are
and who they believe they can be."