Saturday, January 14, 2012

Making Red Tails... Support It!

Below is text copied from an email forwarded to me yesterday, by Vanessa of Fashion Dolls at Van's Doll Treasures.

A friend was fortunate to see an advanced viewing of Red Tails.
It's George Lucas' version of the story of the Tuskegee Airmen, 20 years in the making, and has a predominantly Black cast, all the main actors are Black. When the movie was finally ready for production, no production company would take it; as a result, George Lucas had to write a check. After production was completed, no distribution company would take it. So, George Lucas wrote another check.
The advanced viewing was sponsored by Wells Fargo and the Museum for Black History Diaspora (not sure of the exact name). The movie is intriguing and has edge-of-your-seat action. It's well done, and certainly worth seeing. I'm urging all of you to see this movie, and tell others about it as well.
Anything we can do to ensure large numbers of viewers in the first few days of release (scheduled for Jan. 20th) will make a statement to the production and distribution companies that WE ARE interested in SEEING this film, AND, that they made a miscalculation.
If each of you tell as many people about this as you can, and attempt to take 4 or 5 people with you to see the film, that will be like a geometric progression, and could potentially push the numbers off the chart.

After reading the above email, I googled, "George Lucas Red Tails," and found the following link, which verifies the difficulty Mr. Lucas experienced getting Red Tails funded.

Whether a movie, a manufactured item (such as a black doll), or any market item where the predominant influence is non-white, things are more often than not erroneously perceived as insignificant, without a profit margin.  Financial backing is, therefore, usually nonexistent.

Your presence at movie theaters on January 20, 2012, (or some time during the premiere weekend) and making certain your ticket stub reads Red Tails, will prove those wrong who denied funding requests for this movie.   I suppose, as Mr. Lucas put it, had Will Smith been in it (no offense to Will, but he is not the only talented AA male actor), or had it been full of buffoonery, funding would have been readily accessible.  Mr. Lucas did not allow "No" to stop him, nor did it stop the Tuskegee Airmen during the 1940s.

Watch the Red Tails trailer:


Prior to receiving the forwarded email shared above, I had planned to write a post using my Tuskegee Airmen GI Joe action figures (Joes) as my "doll way" of promoting Red Tails starring Terrence Howard and a host of other talented actors.  I even considered redressing my Terrence Howard look-a-like action figure in one of my Tuskegee Joe's uniforms.  Consider this that post minus the intended redress. 

Check out the following former posts that feature or include my Tuskegee Joes...

...and don't forget to see the movie.


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  1. Thanks for providing the information about the release of "Red Tails." Patronizing this film is an example of what I meant when I advocated practicing the 4th principle of Kwanzaa -- cooperative economics -- during the flap over Target's price gouging on the So In Style dolls.

    Lucas' difficulty in getting this film financed and distributed also illustrates why I have been working to build my own play scale film studio over the last ten years. I may never have $60 million like George Lucas to tell the stories I think should be told but I had enough sets, props, period costumes, and "actors" to produce my own Tuskeegee airman story --

    "Beulah's Boogie"

    I think that producing more posts about this largely unheralded historical experience is a way that we doll collectors can create more buzz for the film and provide the public with more information about a group of African American heroes. I definitely hope you will do a post with your Terrence Howard action figure dressed in the Tuskeegee airman G.I. Joe togs.

  2. Limbe Dolls - You're welcome and thanks for your comment.

    I enjoyed your Beulah's Boogie post. You have a superior ability to tell pertinent real-life stories using your dolls and collection of costumes and props. Your stories are definitely food for thought. I look forward to more.

    Since this post serves as my Red Tails, Tuskegee Airmen message for now, I invite readers to read your Beulah's Boogie post and urge fellow bloggers to create their own stories in support of this film using their Tuskegee Airmen action figures and dolls.


  3. I'm glad to see this post. I've been telling friends and family members for the past couple of weeks to make sure that they support the movie on the first weekend of its showing.

    I was blessed enough to be able to take my son and my nephew to a commemorative exhibit for the Tuskeegee Airmen some years ago at a museum in Los Angeles. To my delight, my family and I were able to access many of the airmen after the speeches were made. Many of the airmen took the time out to seriously talk and share one on one with my young son and my nephew about positive things and how my son and nephew must conduct themselves now and in the future as black men.

    My husband and I had tears in our eyes for the rest of the day after witnessing the heartfelt pep talks these men had with the boys. I will never forget it.

    My son (who is now 19) can't wait to see the newest movie about the airmen. He also wants me to dig up all of the pictures that he took with the airmen, as well as the commemorative book, their signatures and personal notes they wrote to him for a display. My son is super proud to have had the opportunity to spend that wonderful day chatting with most of the surviving, living legends.

    As promised, my son and my nephew have made career choices that help to serve others and they are carrying the torch as positive, black, male role models in their respective communities.

    Thanks Debbie for always posting and keeping us up to date on things that we should know about and support. Thumbs up!

  4. I heard George Lucas on the Tom Joyner morning show telling about his experience getting this story out there. I will be there as will several others I know to support this movie.

  5. I have to get my tear ducts checked out. I cried from the start of the trailer to the end of the trailer. I better take a box of tissues to the movie. Good lord that was exciting. Did you see/hear Racquel's husband doing his thing? And all those brothers, looking and sounding so good.

    Thanks for this wonderful post. I had planned to be there on Jan 20th. After this post, I'm going on Jan 19th and stand in the line that should be there.

  6. Oh yeah, I did share this post on both my Twitter and Facebook.

  7. Hugs - thank you so much for your wonderful comment-share. I am always so happy to see young folks, especially our young men doing good things in the community and in the world at large. Kudos to your son and nephew.

    I can only imagine the positive effect meeting Tuskegee Airmen had on your son, nephew, as well as on you and your husband.

    My brother shared a similar experience after attending a local aviation event where a Tuskegee Airmen spoke and afterward graciously accepted and answered my brother's questions. That experience moved my brother to tears.

    God bless them for what they did and for what the surviving airmen are continuing to do.

    Dolls4Moi -- The TJMS and are great resources for news pertinent to the AA community. I am glad you and your friends plan to see this great American story about these unsung heroes.

    Vanessa -- Sorry to have moved you once again to tears, but I had to share your forwarded email here with added extras. Isn't that trailer fascinating and the cast of characters... oh my?! I am typically not a moviegoer anymore (used to be in the past), but I told my husband that we have to go see this next Friday or Saturday, and we will.


  8. There was also a wonderful interview with Lucas where he talks in detail about the fight to get the movie made and why he wanted to make it on the Daily Show on January 9, 2012 ( ). I hadn't planned on seeing the film (since I'm not a huge war movies person) until I saw his interview and now me and three friends are going together to support the movie. :)

  9. RLC - Thank you so much for sharing the link. I don't like war movies either or westerns or anything violent, but I'm going to see this war movie.


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