That is the setting isn’t it? We do things, we create things and we create concepts and we all think that we are in control of the right one, we all do that. I am no different, yet when I saw the BBC news, I decided to reconsider my point of view. For me it all started in 2020, I set the setting to an article called ‘The stage moves on’ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2021/02/23/the-stage-moves-on/) I wrote it on February 23rd 2021. And when the BBC gave us ‘Netflix: First Arabic movie sparks morality row’ (at https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-60091590) I saw the article somewhere this afternoon, and my mind went on a trip. The concept was initially for Amazon (as I have other elements they might want) yet the article gave me “well-known TV journalist Mustafa Bakry said he had complained to the speaker of the Egyptian parliament about the filmmakers. Mr Bakry urged the country’s authorities to halt co-operation with Netflix “since this is not its first movie that targets the values and traditions of the Egyptian and Arab societies”” I see the offence it might give and I do not think that my concept does that, and other than the alleged assassination of Dutch PVV politician Geert Wilders no one got killed, and as far as I can tell, that man is not really accepted in the Netherlands either. With the housing shortage in the Netherlands, one person less, who will notice?
Anyway, the idea that my (aka western) values would collide with Middle Eastern morality and optional Middle Eastern laws did concern me. The idea was a movie that fought and opposed islamophobia was the setup and it had a nice twist at the end (as any decent movie does), I needed the setting so that people might realise that the stage in the middle east was a lot bigger than we think it is, it is not merely about morality and the dangers, it is also about some people want certain other people to hold the bag, if anything Yemen made that clear, and this idea to create something that made it clear to all was my goal in this. The idea that I create something that could be in part filmed and created in Saudi Arabia was also appealing. The rest would be filmed in the Netherlands. There was the small consideration that creating anything that appeals to a large group of 100 million Egyptians, 35 million Saudi’s and 85 millions Turks could be a success story. The idea that a decent chunk of 220,000,000 people might like my concept is off course a really nice idea, I would take any group up to 50%, only the delusional person aims for 100% covering. There would be no chance of that and that is me not considering the 275 million Indonesians, with over 85% Muslim, the numbers would become interesting to say the least.
So there I was with an idea, but it is merely one of several that could appeal to Amazon, and any chunk of half a billion people could optionally translate to a nice pay day and that is merely one of the IP’s I had up for negotiating. Yet still doubt is still a part of me. Like anyone, I relish the chance to go into early retirement and take up skiing 4 months a year, just to keep busy, yet not at the cost of inciting protest that I would be attacking another persons morality, my goal was completely the opposite. So for me the BBC article was a wake up call and a loud one. Still the ideas go through my head designing more and more IP. Should I stop? I personally do not think so, but like any other person I have flaws, I have weaknesses and I do relish the chance for success, wouldn’t you?