Tuesday, November 26, 2019

We're launching a "10-year Hollywood Cli-Fi movies initiative" to get the "cli-fi" term into the ears, eyes, and minds of publishers and major Hollywood players

We've launched a "10-year Hollywood Cli-Fi movies initiative" to get the "cli-fi" term into the ears/eyes/minds of major Hollywood players: directors, producers, studio heads, actors, PR units, marketing units, film critics in Hollywood and nationwide, worldwide, casting people, scriptwriters, writers rooms and more.

See the initial concept here:



So I'm launching a "10-year Hollywood movies initiative" to get the "cli-fi" term into the ears eyes and minds of major Hollywood players. I need all the help I can get. via social media and this blog. Tweets, FB updates, emails to make cli-fi a genre term that everyone in Hollywood knows by 2030.

Cli-fi has already caught on in the book publishing world and among literary critics worldwide for novels and short story collections as A LITERARY TERM. This effort was ongoing since 2011 and got a huge boost in 2013 when NPR did a 5 minute radio broadcast titled "It's so hot, it's time for a new literary genre!" GOOGLE IT.

Now my focus for the next 10 years will be on Hollywood, and with the help of many people, cli-fi will catch on as cinema term among Hollywood producers, PR people, directors, actors, scriptwriters, talent agents, Hollywood journalists and film critics. We begin now.

A few notes of interest for your interest:

A few years ago, I was talking on the phone to veteran TV producer and social activist in Hollywood, Sonny Fox, and I was asking how him criptwriters and directors and producers in Los Angeles and other TV and film capitals around the world can make better use of their expertise and people to turn out more feature shows about climate change themes. Not documentaries, we have enough of them, good ones, too, but real movies, real TV serial dramas, written by people like Aaron Sorkin and produced by people like Marshall Herskovitz and, well, like veteran visionary Sonny Fox.

While Sonny is retired now at 94, he remains active as a passionate and concerned observer of where the world is headed, especially the world in this Age of Trump. He knows that runaway global warming is a serious issue and he knows that TV and movie producers have the means to address it.

"It's just a question of getting the right people together and setting up some organizations to work on this issue in Hollywood," the Brooklyn-born Fox tells me. And he's been arond the block  a couple of times, many times, in Hollywood and New York. He knows what the game is all about.
Could we use serial dramas -- narrative TV shows -- for the primary purpose of entertainment that also inspires and educates people about climtae change themes through role modeling?
Sonny says we can. And should.

There was a big wave of such interest back in the 1970s and 1980s that saw Fox, back then president of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, teaming up with such figures as David Poindexter, Miguel Sabido, and Albert Bandura to basically turn the industry’s attention to teaching people about health issues and family planning through mainstream TV. They got involved with Everett Rogers and the three biggest TV networks in the U.S. to do this together with the Center for Disease Control, and their effort is still survived today by the organization Hollywood Health & Society which has a powerful advisory position to the Writer’s Guild of America.

So Sonny knows of what he speaks.

"It's important to get TV and movie people involved in climate change discussions," he says. "And to goad them into making TV shows and movies that go right to the heart of the matter: how will future generations fare in a world beset by dire climate situations worldwide -- doughts, floods, wildfires, sea level rise, heat waves."

Outside of Hollywood and New York, there are groups now in Vermont and China working on these concepts and trying to organize for actions to take, creative actions with movies and TV shows. Storytelling can work wonders. Story can capitivate the human imagination and push the emotional buttons that might result in civic action, at the voting booths and in local communities nationwide.

Then there was a fantastic interview with Marshall Herskovitz the TV and movie producer and writer, Brandeis alum, major Hollywood climate movie activist. Listen to him here:


Marshall Herskovitz is an important Hollywood player to watch.  A producer, director and screenwriter who has also served as president of the Producers Guild of America (2006 – 2010) his credits include films such as “Traffic,” “The Last Samurai,” and “Blood Diamond,” and with his creative partner, Ed Zwick, he created the groundbreaking television series “thirtysomething,” “My So-Called Life,” and “Once And Again.” Alongside his career in the film industry, Herskovitz has devoted years to thinking about our society’s climate change problem.

"I first got into this more than 20 years ago, just by reading the science and getting really terrified. There was a big dividing line before and after “An Inconvenient Truth.” Before “Inconvenient Truth” the issue really was that people were not aware of climate change. After “Inconvenient Truth,” it became more complicated because people were aware of it, but it became much more politicized.," he told an interviewer iat City Atlas n 2015.

'So, before “Inconvenient Truth,” I was trying myself to put together a large communications campaign to get people aware of it, and I ended up through this weird, flukey thing, testifying in front of a committee in Congress. And basically what I was saying then is what I say now, which is that we are not even remotely on the right scale of what we need to be doing, and that we are all still in denial, and that, except for a small group of very vocal people, even among people who are really on board in terms of moving to combat climate change we aren’t really thinking about what we have to do. The only analogy for what we have to do is a World War Two-style mobilization.''

When asked if he thinks that Hollywood can create the narratives that needed to prod people to take action, Herskovitz said yes.

''Yes, we have the professionals who could do it. We have the professionals who could create the stories. Absolutely. ''

''I live in mass communications. I live or die by whether millions of people come and pay to see my product, and advertisers, the big advertising agencies, live or die by whether they get millions of people to respond, and that’s where the communications have to come from, and that costs a lot of money! Because you’re talking about television buys, and you’re talking about the kinds of marketing efforts that I’ve seen happen scores of times in my business. Where, for instance, we make a movie, nobody’s ever heard of that movie, you know? We then take 30, 40 million dollars and four weeks later, 96% of Americans know all about it. This is a very well established discipline, advertising and marketing, it just hasn’t been applied to this. So, that’s, to me, what still needs to be done. ''

''We are seeing that the tide is turning in America, there’s no question about it. There’s no question that a majority of Americans believe that one, climate change is real, two, it’s caused by humans, and three, that we need to do something about it.''

''I sort of keep track of these numbers, and basically, about 20-25% of Americans think it’s an emergency. And then there’s another 40% who think that we have to do something, but they don’t know what to do and they feel overwhelmed and so they don’t really deal with it in their lives. And then, on the other side, there’s another 35% who either don’t believe, don’t care, and a smaller percentage of them are actively opposed. But about 65% of Americans think we gotta do something, it’s just that we need a much bigger percentage of those people to become active. We have to make it possible for them to do something about it. Right now, they go, “It doesn’t matter what I do, you know? Even if America acts, what’s China gonna do? What’s India gonna do?” It’s changing that perception, and there are ways to do that. ''

''Most millennials grew up, I think, feeling like there were a lot of things in the world that were really awful that they couldn’t do anything about, and so many kids have said to me it’s so hard to see what the future’s going to be like, and there really wasn’t a belief that there was going to be a great future. And that’s upsetting. So, I wish I saw that zeal, that sense of omnipotence, that we are going to change the world, we are going to make the world do what we want it to do. I wish I saw that, because, boy that’s what we need. ''

Listen to Marshall Herskovitz.. He is on Twitter now at @MarshallHerskovitz


THEN there's CNN producer and reporter Jen Christensen who wrote a very good piece on how cli-fi can make a difference in Hollywood, see link here:

Cli-fi (climate fiction) on the big screen changes minds about real climate change


''Hollywood Takes on the Climate Crisis'': An Event That Took Place on November 19th 2019 with panelists Alex Maggio, Donte Clark, Dorothy Fortenberry, Glenn Howerton and others (see LINK and graphic for credits)

'The Commons' is an 8-part cli-fi drama series that depicts a climate-ravaged Australia of the not-so-distant future. Starts on Christmas Day 2019 in Australia. https://korgw101.blogspot.com/2019/10/maja-lunde-far-sin-del-av-ren-for-ha.html


OPED by Dan Bloom

Dear Hollywood Producers, Directors, Writers, Actors: It’s Time To Shed Some "Lights, Camera Action!" On Climate Change Issues, Too

Forget sci-fi...cli-fi is the terrifying theme of many new novels 

and movies, says GOOGLE SEARCH.

Go look and see here!

Hollywood, the land of dreams and the boulevard of tentpole marketing campaigns. do something! With a plethora of films with boffo box office revenues annually, not one decent motion picture made on the burning - literally - topic of our age: climate change. 

I mean Hollywood, California is on fire in 2019! Get with the program!
But for the most part, Hollywood  relies on a false sense of escape instead of realism to survive and prosper. 
Hollywood has slowly and steadily moved from the fantasy culture to more relatable and realistic cinema based on historical events, believable science fiction, and, most importantly, the day-to-day life of the audiences. But in terms of making cli-fi movies with important themes and A-List actors, there is still much work that needs to be done.

Ask Marshall Herskovitz, ask Sonny Fox, ask me!
One of the worst victims of Hollywood’s gross neglect of our society’s truth - other than people’s intelligence – has been runaway climate change risks. Whether or not, we as a society, indulge in measures to manage climate change, and the harmful effects of global warming, we all know one reality; that we have irreversibly damaged our ecosystem in the past, in a way that our ancestors couldn’t do in close to five millennia.
Almost everyone knows that the sea levels are rising, precipitation has become scarce, and the global temperatures continue to increase by the day. We, however, conveniently ignore the naked truth to live an apparently ignorant existence. Ask Greta Thunberg.There is no surprise then, that American and UK pop culture too, very skillfully ignores the topic of climate change, and doesn’t depict it at all on the silver screen.
Look at the history of the Film Industry, and you’ll realise that few  viable movies or documentaries have been made on the harmful effects of climate change and global warming. When in the 2000s, Hollywood was making movies like The Core (2003) and The Day After Tomorrow (2004), starring top Hollywood superstars, things started to look promising. Leonardo DiCaprio even gave a shout out to cli-fi in one of his Oscar acceptance speeches.  But sadly, the handful of cli-fi movies that have indeed been made on climate change can be counted on one hand. [Listen to the  sound of one hand clapping!]

''So I ask the big studios of Hollywood: Isn’t the cli-fi genre a relatable issue? Isn’t this something that the entertainment industry should invest in?''

Why is the American motion picture industry  only a moneymaking venture? Where did the days go when a screen artist wanted art and social commentary?. We stand witness to the horrors that humans, animals, and nature have to undergo every day due to the damage we have done to our surroundings. What about them? Don’t they deserve their time on the infamous silver screen, too?
In fact, the thick smog of negligence and nature’s plight has gradually moved from the rural areas to the cities we live  in. Wildfires, floods, killer hurricanes. 
Hell, why not make a cli-fi movie on that?

DearHollywood, as Bob Dylan said long ago, the times are changing, and it is imperative that we change with it. Global Warming is no longer a ghost story mothers use to scare their children to sleep. Climate change is here and now.
Temperatures are climbing by the day, and sea levels are rising by the hour. Every year crops fail.  And more of "America The Beautiful" becomes clouded by smog. If not for yourself, do it for your children’s health.
Dumb or dumber, we can’t deny the fact that Hollywood and its equivalent TV facets in other parts of the country are trendsetters. What they show on screen is what society follows and believes. Behind a small line of seemingly intelligent people, there are hordes of people who worship the actors and actresses as living gods, and goddesses. Distractions. A movie made on the right topic can hit the issue in the heart and make sure that people understand the gravity of the situation.
The human mind is a fickle thing, and it doesn’t work on fear. To make people more aware, and most importantly, more effortful and involved in the effort to reverse climate change, we have to indulge them in a personal way. We have to show the audience what happens when a farmers loses their crops and their land to floods caused by climate change. What happens when the climbing temperatures force climate refugees worldwide  to change their homes and uproot their lives.  Roland Emmerich is planning a movie of this theme right now, for release in 2025. Hollywood boys and girls, show audiences in the 2020s and 2030s how Mother Earth has done nothing except giving us food, water, and shelter all its life and in return, has received only suffering from the humans who inhabit this Earth's surface.
See also: ''The Cli-Fi Report'': www.cli-fi.net
And what better way to package all these dreadful and eye-opening scenes than cinema. If mainstream movies and big actors like Leonardo DiCaprio and Arnold and Stallone and Meryl Streep can be cast in some good cli-fi movies in the future about climate change, the responses of our bankable Hollywood stars will go all the way from utter ignorance to asking what they can do about it. You can do a lot if you try, Hollywood movers and shakers!

Think about it. Cli-fi movies are here to stay. Start making more of them!


In a Warming World, ‘Cli-Fi’ Is Here to Stay
Guest blog: For now, most cli-fi movies and novels are just old-fashioned yarns, so there's nothing to be afraid of — but it doesn't take a rocket scientist to understand that climate chaos is going to have a chilling impact on the entire planet

  • The Next Big Genre: ‘Cli-Fi’ — Climate Fiction, in Which ‘Mad Max’ Meets ‘The Road’
    Forget missions to Mars and start thinking about mass migrations of ”climate refugees” north to Alaska.

  • Michael Burnett: cli-fi author

    My debut novel, The Undercurrent, is a climate story that tries to get people to engage with activism. However, many of us writing cli-fi have been rejected by mainstream publishers and so our stories don't go far. The stories you seek already exist!