The famous novel by Ayn Rand has gained over 350,000 fans on Facebook and has a devout following among liberty minded people from around the world. The movie that has been in the making for around 20 years has garnered much attention on its own as well. The opportunity was given to speak with Kaslow on the phone yesterday and ask him a few questions regarding Paul Fest and the upcoming release of the second part of the Atlas Shrugged Trilogy. Here is a large portion of the lovely conversation that transpired:
Emma Burge: How did you come about being able to speak at Paul Fest?
Harmon Kaslow: Well we reached out to groups we think whose members are predisposed to the message of smaller government and responsible free markets. [That's] something that Ron Paul has been an advocate for so we thought it would be a great fit and they found us a slot on their schedule.
EB: Atlas Shrugged Part II has an entirely different cast. What's it been like working with the new cast?
HK: The cast has been great. We green lighted the movie in February, our aspiration was to get the film into theatres prior to the election. There's more than 40 speaking roles in the movie [so] we focused on getting a script that would get people excited and once we went out into the community [there were many] talented actors expressing an interest to be in the movie. We put together this cast and the audience, especially the people that have seen part one, will really support the decision that we made with the new cast.
EB: How can people get Atlas into a theatre near them?
HK: Through our website we have the Get Involved tag and there's a Demand Atlas function in there and we're tabulating votes and our booking director interfaces with the exhibitors in that area...it gives us a way of determining the amount of interest geographically.
EB: Is there anything you would like to say about Atlas Shrugged in general?
HK: This is number one a very opportune time for this book [which was] written in 1957. The author Ayn Rand really wrote it as a warning and here we are 50 years later and a lot of the things that you will see in the film direct from the book are things that we are experiencing today. The message that she was trying to convey is really relevant to today's politics.
EB: What made you want to produce Atlas in the first place?
HK: John Aglialoro was a successful entrepreneur and acquired the rights. After a survey about books that influenced you showed Atlas Shrugged number two behind the bible he realized it was marketable. John decided to finance the movie himself and through a mutual friend John and I were introduced and we've been working on Atlas Shrugged ever since.
EB: It was seen that the budget for this movie is greater than part one. Can fans expect this one to be bigger and better?
HK: We learned a lot when we produced part one [and] we put together a very talented team for part two. For those familiar with the book they know that the book is structured into three parts and it's a long book. So in this part of the book there's a number of very dramatic and high action sequences and John and I wanted to tap into the latest visual effects that we could get our hands on, and of course that cost more money and so we spent more money on the movie. One of the other things we did we extended the length of the movie by about 20-30 minutes more than part one so that we could bring more of the book into the theatre for people and hence more of the message and philosophy embedded in the story.
After the interview, Harmon Kaslow was kind enough to offer tickets to the premiere of Atlas Shrugged Part Two in Washington, DC to write about the movie and the experience at the premiere.