The Casting Couch Test and the History of Rape

Rape, its practice and consent, impregnates the history of Humanity.

Rape as a war method.

In the Judeo-Christian tradition, for example, Judges 21:10-24 NLT,  states that “This is what you are to do,” says this verse, “Completely destroy all the males and every woman who is not a virgin.”  Among the residents of Jabesh-gilead they found four hundred young virgins who had never slept with a man, and they brought them to the camp at Shiloh in the land of Canaan

Genghis Khan,  the great Mongolian Emperor, when asked what made him happy is known to have said “to vanquish your enemies, to chase them before you, to rob them of their wealth, to see those dear to them bathed in tears, to clasp to your bosom their wives and daughters.”  An international group of geneticists studying Y-chromosome data have found that nearly 8 percent of the men living in the region of the former Mongol empire carry y-chromosomes that are nearly identical. That translates to 0.5 percent of the male population in the world, or roughly 16 million descendants living today.

 

To the Shiite and the Jihad warriors of Muhammad, Allah, the Exalted, sent down the Qur’anic verse: “And all married women (are forbidden) unto you save those (captives) whom your right hands possess,” and, Qur’an 70:22-30,  states that “those who hold to the truth of the Day Of Judgement; and those who fear the displeasure of their Lord—for their Lord’s displeasure is the opposite of Peace and Tranquility—and those who guard their chastity, except with their wives and the (captives) whom their right hands possess—for (then) they are not to be blamed.

We may think we’re eons away from this type of behavior as a society and that wee are civilized people here in America, much evolved from the barbarian practice of rape.   But according to RAINN:

Every 98 seconds, an American is sexually assaulted. And every 8 minutes, that victim is a child. Meanwhile, only 6 out of every 1,000 perpetrators will end up in prison.

In recent history, several sexual offenses cases against rich and famous, entertainment moguls, potentates, acclaimed icons of pop culture have made headlines, but no one is really surprised by the allegations, only shocked that the world has responded in support of women and that many other women have come out in support of the whistle blowers.  That’s an upgrade in human consciousness.  When writing Isabel, a script,  who would have thought any actress or actor would ever come forth against one of the untouchables.  Hurrah!

The Casting Couch refers to the trading of sexual favors by an aspirant or subordinate in return for career advancement within an organization.  In the 1930s, the despicable nazi Joseph Goebbels was said to run a casting couch operation.  There have been several cases in recent modern history in which rape on the casting couch has been a perpetuated practice by people of power for decades before being exposed.  And Harvey Weinstein is not the only case.

An article in the New York Time says that “Mr. O’Reilly, host of the highest rated TV show in history, and his employers, Fox News,  came under intense pressure when after April 1 this year, 2017, it was revealed that Fox News and its parent company, 21st Century Fox, had “repeatedly stood by him” and that the company had reached settlements with five women who had made complaints of sexual harassment by him.  Said agreements may have totaled about $13 million.”

There are many women and men in the world who must face the casting couch test, not only behind Hollywood doors but in many other ‘casting’ places pressured by potentates with the power to make their careers successful.  In such cases, casting can be interpreted as hired, selected to do business with, promoted, or any other circumstance in which another person has the power to make somebody’s dream come true and/or see their hard work finally pay off.

Many victims don’t have the valor or integrity to stop seductive advances and are easy prey.  This may cause emotional disturbances in many victims who have ‘failed’ the test and may result in mental illness such as PTSD and Depression. Whether the victims have succumbed to sexual advances or bribery of another sort, the alternative to facing off harassment is financial loss and career black-balling in those who ‘didn’t passed’ the test.

Isabel, the protagonist of this screenplay, a vivacious go getter, knew the stakes were high when she set her life compass on Iconic Actress.  Putting everything behind her and looking forward to making her dream come true, the sensual and dynamic Isabel settled in L.A. with enough financial standing to jump-start her membership in the high-profile, celebrity games played by industry moguls and their sidekicks.

First, she signed on with a reputable Hollywood agent.  Rob always looked like he had just stepped out of a Guess commercial.  Together, they devised a plan to make Isabel  stand out, and she auditioned for many mainstream roles turning down those that stereotyped her.  Being a karate black belt meant a lot of stunt roles. Her agility was remarkable and her histrionic skills weren’t bad.  She had flair and passion.  The next part of the plan for Isabel was to mingle and network, but it was agreed that she wouldn’t take on any lovers.  Rob would frequently accompany his new ‘possession’  to the many red carpet events and industry cocktails, and her circle of insider friends expanded in no time at all.

While vying for the protagonist role of a mega blockbuster that would brand her as one of Hollywood’s favorites, and encouraged by Rob to consent to the casting couch requirement,  Isabel met Leroy, her lover from another life, and this inciting incident would cause her to experience flashbacks, lucid dreams, and delusional states of mind in which she was another Isabel living in the 1820s.  Her new-found lover, Leroy, was Seminole Black Indian who took her captive.

Flown in last-minute as the festival’s tycoon guest, Dan Goldberg was seated next to his victim and would ask her if she cared for a night-cap.  Rob, a Hollywood insider, as her agent,  knew exactly how things were done in town and had pulled all the strings beforehand.

Destiny had other plans.  Leroy was there on the stage singing to her heart and for one night she gave in and forgot about ‘the plan.’ The country singer at the Grand Ole Opryland had been the festival’s closing act.   After retrieving her Award, the rendezvous lovers escaped to the dance floor and from there to Leroy’s room, leaving poor old Dan out in the cold. That was the beginning of the casting couch saga.

Dan didn’t give up, though. The cold-shoulder reception only spiked his ego.  Many dining invitations and quality time spent with Dan practicing lines for the casting, later, Isabel was still in the game.  Isabel’s talent struck the casting execs favorably on audition day. But she didn’t get the part. What then?

After the lovers’ rendezvous, Isabel had been possessed by the visions and lucid dreams of her life among the Seminoles where she was taken captive from Fort Mose during the times of Florida’s US takeover in 1821.  Isabel had then been the wife of a lieutenant captain with the Spanish Armada, one of few Spanish women in the new world wanting expansion.  While lending a helping hand to several runaways arrived from the southern plantations in search of freedom, she was taken hostage by Leroy during his recruitment operation for the Seminole war.

After the sale of Florida to the US in 1819, everything would change at Fort Mose, where runaways became Spanish Armada soldiers in exchange for freedom.  However, the Armada would soon evacuate St. Augustine to a post in Columbia’s Cartagena de Indias.  The group of natives and runaways fighting in the western lands of the Florida peninsula knew about the sale of Florida and had been recruiting among the Fort Mose warriors convincing them that they would soon become enslaved again once they were not needed to protect the Fort.   Leroy and his men took the fort by surprise and set out but the Armada guards from St. Augustine arrived and escape was only possible taking a hostage, Isabel.

After nursing the injured and feeding the hungry African travelers, Isabel sat by the brook writing in her diary.  Everything happened so fast, the black Indian picked her up like a leaf and carried her inside the thicket where they disappeared from sight along with the seventeen men and 4 women who had joined the Seminole plight.  Years passed and Isabel became an integral part of the Seminole life next to Leroy with whom she had a child.

Between the world of conniving Hollywood and the Seminole’s saga,  Isabel fought for her sanity.  It didn’t help that she mixed her meds with alcohol, and she soon became manic depressed.   Finding vestiges of the diary she saw in her visions would prove reincarnation true and satisfy her obsession. So she reached out to the Seminoles in the Everglades where she met Dt. Otter, an archaeologist overseeing a dig.

Months later, when all seemed lost, they came to visit her at the rehab center in Santa Monica. The two Seminole women, one a child, the other her grandmother.  They brought an heirloom box containing the remnants of  diary.  Thanking them, Isabel sat under a tree and read the last entry in the diary made by her past life’s surviving son with Leroy, Jose Leonardo.  He had made it to Oklahoma with others and was a proud Seminole.

At that moment, a very old Isabel, who had taken refuge in convent life after being forced by her Spanish husband to return, dies smiling atop the turret of the old Cathedral of Cartagenas, knowing the fate of her long-lost son.

 

 

 

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Successful Crowdfunding Film Projects

Unless you have a following in the high thousands you will not be successful on a Kickstarter Film Project.  It can also be costly to get the list of backers and an expert who will send the info to the selected backers after analyzing which ones are likely to go for your type of movie genre and cultural viewpoint. So why start a crowdfunding campaign?  Lots of work and very big odds against you.  Out of 365,000 projects launched, an estimated 129,000 have been successfully funded.  So 35% of projects have met their goals but the top have exceeded expectations.  I was not surprised to find crowdfunding projects launched by well known artists who logically use their leverage for gain, and their projects have succeeded above the rest. Check out this article and you’ll understand where I’m coming from. Top 12 Successfully Funded Kickstarter Films 

Hybrid,  my TV Series Pilot,  is going through an expansion phase in which I am looking to produce a comic book, a video game and offer a free ebook (novel) campaign in both, English and Spanish.  I would also like to offer on-demand production of fashion and arts merchandise along with action figure dolls.  The comic book will be titled “Legends from Utopia: Ta-ha-rai of the Jungle, and the new book, Utopia, which is already out, has a new cover and edition.  In order to develop and produce the pilot, the comic book and the video game formats I will need to pay contributing artists and crowdfunding is the only way I know to try other than out-of-pocket.  Venture capitalists are not so adventurous, they venture on people and projects who have already been successful, not to much venture in that. Despite the odds and knowing it will cost me to launch a good campaign,  and that I will have no guarantees, I am willing to try either Kickstarter or Indiegogo.

ICOs or Initial Coin Offerings seem to be the new rave in crowdfunding.  Braid is the first feature film to be funded through an Etherean Crowdsale in the US. An ICO which is like an IPO but with coins or crypto, which basically means equity.  There is a return on the investment with an ICO, but I thought there was also an ROI on a Kickstarter or Indiegogo pledge.  Why would just a fan invest $30,000 or more on a film if not for the equity? But my research proves me wrong.  It’s a revolutionary new way to get funded and everyone wants it.

With the advent of blockchain technology, a new crowdfunding model has emerged that allows fans and investors alike to contribute to a film’s funding in exchange for equity participation. This type of crowdfunding is called an ICO or Initial Coin Offering. Ben Arnon of The Huffington Post describes the ICO funding model as “the next frontier of film finance via crowdfunding.”

Every ICO is a little bit different, but typically there’s a time limit for the sale, and a set number of maximum tokens that will be sold. Once those limits are reached, the sale is done, and the owners can use their tokens as they please.

What is Ethereum?

Ethereum is a platform for creation of decentralized applications running on blockchain, through the use of smart contracts.Since its launch on June 30, 2015, it has been steadily gaining popularity. Starting from late January 2016, it has experienced a surge. In its first year it had $1B market capitalization. It is similar to Bitcoin

These new ways of funding and money across the web are new and strange to me but worth the try.  At least I will learn more

about it.