Interpreter's "Witnesses" Film Threatens to Overtake the FAIR Mormon Conference

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Doctor Scratch
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Interpreter's "Witnesses" Film Threatens to Overtake the FAIR Mormon Conference

Post by Doctor Scratch »

For better or worse, the FAIR Conference is currently underway. So far, I haven't heard about any outbursts--something that is likely mitigated by the fact that the whole things is happening online. Maybe Midgley has been posting vulgarities in the chat room? Who knows. Of course, the fact of it being online is potentially a new opportunity--provided that you are approaching the situation in an opportunistic fashion.

So it should perhaps come as no surprise to anyone that Interpreter is actually airing commercials for the "Witnesses" movie during the FAIR Conference. See for yourself:
Sic et Non wrote:During the three days of the conference, various “commercials” from the co-sponsoring organizations will be shown at intervals. The Interpreter Foundation has three. Each will be shown at least once daily. One of them, approximately 3.5 minutes long, includes a provisional poster image and a provisional movie trailer for our Witnesses theatrical film. (Since, thanks to the coronavirus, the premiere of the film will now not be occurring until the spring or the summer of 2021, there’s been very little reason to hurry with the trailer; there have been precious few theaters in which to show it and very few theater-goers to whom to show it. But Brandon Purdie and his associates went the extra mile to get it to us in time for FairMormon.)
Ha ha ha! "Very little reason to hurry with the trailer"? Yeah right! It *needed* to be done for the FAIR Conference, because where else are they going to be able to target their core viewing audience? Make no mistake: the crappy "trailer" that was screened earlier in the year--i.e., the one with the "Street Fighter POW!" sound effect, the one we all made fun of, was their *tester.* They floated it out there to see how we'd react to it, and now they've "re-tooled." Hopefully someone posts it online ASAP, so we can see how they've "adjusted."

But isn't that absolutely nuts? I.e., that they are actually forcing the FAIR Conference-goers to watch freaking commercials for 'Interpreter'? I thought I had seen it all with them carefully trying to dodge accusations of "priestcraft," and yet here they are in full-on Don Draper mode? It just goes to show what extraordinary times we are living in, I suppose.

Believe it or not, it actually gets even better:
Daniel Peterson wrote:I recorded a voice-over for that commercial just this morning, and these are the golden words that I spoke:

I’m going to show you a piece of “key art” along with a potential trailer for the Interpreter Foundation’s forthcoming Witnesses theatrical film, which is part of a larger ensemble of related projects. You’re the first audience to see these.

[Trailer]

I hope that your interest was piqued by these materials. I hope that they made you want to go see the film in a theater when the coronavirus permits its release.

If you would like to have the film shown in your area, please contact us at

[special dedicated email address that I’m not inclined to publicize here just yet]

and we’ll try to make that happen.
Hey, I want to see the film. Also, no: I won't go see it in the theater. This is a strictly "once it's on TV" sort of deal for me. Though I grant there may be some weepy, starry-eyed types at the conference who feel that this is one of those movies that simply "must be experienced on the big screen." Then again, you sort of have to demand big-time special effects for that sort of thing. So, if there is no candid handling of the supernatural elements, then there is really no need for theatrical release.

Quite amusing that he's "not inclined to publicize" the email address for his distributor. Right: because he knows we'll see it. And, anyways, he elsewhere provided the link to his distributor's website. This is a distributor for a number of the films that might be said to constitute a "Mormon Cinema": features like Once I Was a Beehive, We Love You, Sally Carmichael, and Meet the Mormons. Bear in mind that Dr. Peterson has said repeatedly that he finds "Mormon Cinema" embarrassing. So, then, why did he team up with one of its principal purveyors? I guess the idea is that his film is going to save the entire genre?

In any event, there's also this:
Sic et Non wrote:I also recorded my 2020 FairMormon remarks this morning, entitled “The Witnesses: Variety and Complexity.” The first five minutes or so of my presentation actually consist of three brief clips from the Witnesses film. It also includes still images from the movie. (Thanks to Mark Goodman, James Jordan, and Russell Richins for those materials.)
More "Witnesses," in other words. So it's a "total saturation" campaign that they're going with here. Very interesting. I mean, I'm sure that a lot of the FAIR Conference attendees will see the film. Whether they choose to do so in a theater or not seems merely academic at this point. That being said, the way that the "Witnesses" movie is apparently dwarfing everything else that's going on is troubling. I think that we are seeing egotism, hubris, and priestcraft sneaking into the conference in a way that would make a whole lot of General Authorities very uncomfortable.
"[I]f, while hoping that everybody else will be honest and so forth, I can personally prosper through unethical and immoral acts without being detected and without risk, why should I not?." --Daniel Peterson, 6/4/14

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Re: Interpreter's "Witnesses" Film Threatens to Overtake the FAIR Mormon Conference

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Isn't the reason why you pay for admission, so that you don't have to see commercials?
Lou Midgley 08/20/2020: "...meat wad," and "cockroach" are pithy descriptions of human beings used by gemli? They were not fashioned by Professor Peterson.

LM 11/23/2018: one can explain away the soul of human beings...as...a Meat Unit, to use Professor Peterson's clever derogatory description of gemli's ideology.

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Re: Interpreter's "Witnesses" Film Threatens to Overtake the FAIR Mormon Conference

Post by Dr Exiled »

I'd see the film in a theater that served alcohol.
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Re: Interpreter's "Witnesses" Film Threatens to Overtake the FAIR Mormon Conference

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Wonder if it will ever move to Youtube? I assume once that it is with a professional distributor, such general viewership will never happen. It is like information sequestered away into academic journals away from the masses, except that Witnesses would have more takers than anything ever put into the Annals of Political Science.
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Re: Interpreter's "Witnesses" Film Threatens to Overtake the FAIR Mormon Conference

Post by I have a question »

Why is Interpreter participating with, and supporting, an entity that is improperly using the word "Mormon"?

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Re: Interpreter's "Witnesses" Film Threatens to Overtake the FAIR Mormon Conference

Post by Kishkumen »

If it were a rental on Amazon Video I would pay a few bucks to see it.
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Re: Interpreter's "Witnesses" Film Threatens to Overtake the FAIR Mormon Conference

Post by Kishkumen »

Gadianton wrote:
Thu Aug 06, 2020 12:12 am
Isn't the reason why you pay for admission, so that you don't have to see commercials?
Please let my local movie theater in on that bit of information.
"Petition wasn’t meant to start a witch hunt as I’ve said 6000 times." ~ Hanna Seariac, LDS apologist

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Re: Interpreter's "Witnesses" Film Threatens to Overtake the FAIR Mormon Conference

Post by Gadianton »

Lol, you got me there, Reverend. It's been a long time since I've set foot inside a movie theater. Thinking about movie commercials though, I recall a character named "Front Row Joe" who made it into the commercial lineup every time. Is he still around?

Front Row Joe was an enigma. He was cool and confident; an individual, yet, as soon as the movie started, he became a boot-lick to the establishment. He obeyed every rule of the movie theater and outed the rule breakers. This got me thinking. Who is the 'Front Row Joe' of Mopologetics?
Lou Midgley 08/20/2020: "...meat wad," and "cockroach" are pithy descriptions of human beings used by gemli? They were not fashioned by Professor Peterson.

LM 11/23/2018: one can explain away the soul of human beings...as...a Meat Unit, to use Professor Peterson's clever derogatory description of gemli's ideology.

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Re: Interpreter's "Witnesses" Film Threatens to Overtake the FAIR Mormon Conference

Post by Doctor Scratch »

I don't recall ever seeing a "Front Row Joe," though of course Louis Midgley is the "FRJ" of Mopologetics.

But this has me wondering: Will the "Witnesses" movie contain commercials for "Interpreter"?

And I had another thought: is someone going to write to the distributor and request that the film be screened in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Seattle, and other bastions of "liberal evil"? Or in Atlanta or other places in the south that think that Mormonism is a cult? I would sort of love to see the film reviewed in the Hollywood press: e.g., Variety or The Hollywood Reporter. Would it be worth the publicity, even if the reviews were super-negative?
"[I]f, while hoping that everybody else will be honest and so forth, I can personally prosper through unethical and immoral acts without being detected and without risk, why should I not?." --Daniel Peterson, 6/4/14

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Re: Interpreter's "Witnesses" Film Threatens to Overtake the FAIR Mormon Conference

Post by Doctor Scratch »

Holy crap, you have to check out the "Interpreter" commercials, posted to the site only yesterday!

Interpreter Commercial #1

Interpreter Commercial #2


Man, these make me long for the days of "Hi, it's Vince with Slap-Chop!" or "Flea Market Montgomery." The productions values on these really leave a lot to be desired.

Interesting that, at the 1:32 mark, there is a plug for Cruise Lady tours. Isn't Steve Densley, the narrator of these commercials, somebody who has a financial stake in Cruise Lady? Meaning, in other words, that he is profiting here? Is DCP going to object to this in some way? Because if he doesn't, you sort of have to assume that he *also* has a financial stake in this. And look at how John Gee is featured! Is he getting free cruises and travel, like DCP and his wife? Or is his deal different?
"[I]f, while hoping that everybody else will be honest and so forth, I can personally prosper through unethical and immoral acts without being detected and without risk, why should I not?." --Daniel Peterson, 6/4/14

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Re: Interpreter's "Witnesses" Film Threatens to Overtake the FAIR Mormon Conference

Post by Tom »

“Since, thanks to the coronavirus, the premiere of the film will now not be occurring until the spring or the summer of 2021, there’s been very little reason to hurry with the trailer; there have been precious few theaters in which to show it and very few theater-goers to whom to show it.”

When was the decision to postpone the premiere made?

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Re: Interpreter's "Witnesses" Film Threatens to Overtake the FAIR Mormon Conference

Post by Doctor Scratch »

Tom wrote:
Sat Aug 08, 2020 2:07 pm
“Since, thanks to the coronavirus, the premiere of the film will now not be occurring until the spring or the summer of 2021, there’s been very little reason to hurry with the trailer; there have been precious few theaters in which to show it and very few theater-goers to whom to show it.”

When was the decision to postpone the premiere made?
I don't know. And I don't know why the decision was made: as far as I can tell, movie theaters are open in Utah. It may be that social distancing policies just don't line up with the Executive Producer's vision of a red-carpet premiere, with a packed theater, and oooh and aaahs. I imagine the reality, no matter when the thing debuts, will be closer to Tommy Wiseau at the end of The Disaster Artist. Somehow, someway: the Executive Producer will be convinced the film is a success.
"[I]f, while hoping that everybody else will be honest and so forth, I can personally prosper through unethical and immoral acts without being detected and without risk, why should I not?." --Daniel Peterson, 6/4/14

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Re: Interpreter's "Witnesses" Film Threatens to Overtake the FAIR Mormon Conference

Post by Doctor Scratch »

So, has anybody watched the FAIR Conference? I've yet to hear about any major "incident," which, quite frankly, is out of character for them. Does anyone know how many times the "Interpreter" commercials were aired? And could you fast-forward through them? Or was this the sort of thing where you have to upgrade to a "Premium" account in order to avoid the commercials?
"[I]f, while hoping that everybody else will be honest and so forth, I can personally prosper through unethical and immoral acts without being detected and without risk, why should I not?." --Daniel Peterson, 6/4/14

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Re: Interpreter's "Witnesses" Film Threatens to Overtake the FAIR Mormon Conference

Post by Gadianton »

Did the conference actually go through? There is a sticky thread about it at MormonDiscussions.com, but the only comment from days ago is from "S. Dog .L" who commented on the quality of the lineup. Lol! The quality was so high, that not even he forked over the 60$ to attend it. No other threads that I can see on the conference over there, either.

Not eve Sic et Non has mentioned the conference, or heaped praise upon the final speaker. What's going on? Did it really suck that bad?
Lou Midgley 08/20/2020: "...meat wad," and "cockroach" are pithy descriptions of human beings used by gemli? They were not fashioned by Professor Peterson.

LM 11/23/2018: one can explain away the soul of human beings...as...a Meat Unit, to use Professor Peterson's clever derogatory description of gemli's ideology.

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Re: Interpreter's "Witnesses" Film Threatens to Overtake the FAIR Mormon Conference

Post by Doctor Scratch »

Gadianton wrote:
Sun Aug 09, 2020 9:33 am
Did the conference actually go through? There is a sticky thread about it at MormonDiscussions.com, but the only comment from days ago is from "S. Dog .L" who commented on the quality of the lineup. Lol! The quality was so high, that not even he forked over the 60$ to attend it. No other threads that I can see on the conference over there, either.

Not eve Sic et Non has mentioned the conference, or heaped praise upon the final speaker. What's going on? Did it really suck that bad?
Tough to say. There was a post at "Sic et Non" in which the proprietor and final FAIR Conference speaker said that he was pre-recording his presentation, which implies that he basically just phoned it in, didn't attend, and didn't hang around for a Q&A session. Pretty revealing, if that was the case. I mean, I bet he sees the whole thing as a wash, since it's online, plus, his main goal here was strictly to plug the "Witnesses" film project. I bet he sees the FAIR Conference each year as an opportunity to butter up the rubes and morons who are stupid enough to help finance his various Mopologetic projects, and to serve as fodder for his free Cruise Lady trips.
"[I]f, while hoping that everybody else will be honest and so forth, I can personally prosper through unethical and immoral acts without being detected and without risk, why should I not?." --Daniel Peterson, 6/4/14

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Re: Interpreter's "Witnesses" Film Threatens to Overtake the FAIR Mormon Conference

Post by Lemmie »

The Interpreter ad that was linked above said the Interpreter has published a NEW, peer reviewed article every single week since its inception. That’s not true, as Tom has pointed out.

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Re: Interpreter's "Witnesses" Film Threatens to Overtake the FAIR Mormon Conference

Post by Doctor Scratch »

Wow! A fascinating new post over on "Sic et Non"! It opens with an image from the "Witnesses" movie--clearly a depiction of the "translation" of the gold plates. It shows the actor who plays Joseph Smith looking into a hat, and perhaps talking into it. For whatever reason, I cannot stop laughing at this image. It's funny for so many reasons. For one thing, it just looks strange. But, of course, this is important from a Mopologetics/historical standpoint, too. Years ago, critics used to rail on and on about how the Church hadn't transparently explained that this was the way that the plates were translated. "What about the rock in the hat?" critics used to say, and it was held up as the sort of "poster child" of things that the Church had whitewashed or swept under the rug. Of course, the apologists always insisted that they'd always known about the rock in the hat, and when asked to provide evidence from official Church sources that discussed it, they would point to some issue of the Ensign from the 1970s. (That was always the only example they were able to provide.) But of course the Church avoided talking about this: it's embarrassing. Well, hey: kudos to DCP for being this bold about it, though the idea has lost some of its impact thanks to that episode of South Park. I wonder how much they slaved over this scene, trying to do something that people won't laugh it? And wait--is that a copy of The Late War that I spy on the bookshelf in the background of the image? Ha ha. Just kidding. Still, you have to admit: the more we see, the more clear it is that this is a frankly Mopologetic production. It's not about making a good movie, it's about scoring Mopologetic points.

Interestingly, the whole post is essentially a counter to my post from earlier today, where I speculated that he was "slacking off," and just phoning in his presentation, and not bothering with the usual Q&A. And, in fact, I was partly correct:
I pre-recorded my remarks to the 2020 FairMormon conference. On Friday afternoon, when my talk went up, I was sitting at home. (We’re trying to be very careful about the COVID-19 virus, not least out of concern for a father-on-law in his 94th year, a 90+-year-old woman that my wife regularly visits, and a good friend who is fighting a serious cancer.). Unless compelled by strong reasons, though, I probably won’t pre-record such a lecture again; I wasn’t entirely satisfied with the result.

At the end, I received several questions from either the small in-person audience or the (we hope) larger virtual audience. Technical difficulties prevented me from answering them on Friday, but I think that I’ll answer them here:
Wait a second... There was a "small in-person audience"? And the bit about COVID seems disingenuous, coming as it is from someone who just went on a vacation and attending a movie screening. LOL that he "wasn't entirely satisfied" with his pre-recorded presentations. And folks had to shell out $60 for something that even he admits was underwhelming? What the hell? And what "technical difficulties"? People paid good money for this conference, no? Late responses are better than nothing, but you have to wonder if the audience felt that they got their money's worth.

Finally, there is this:
Will the newly premiered trailer, video clip, and key art be available after the conference to share online?

Unfortunately no. Not yet. These were provisional items. Among other things, the sound and the color still need smoothing out. And we may make some other changes. They’ll be available eventually, though.
So, why was he screening unfinished clips to the FAIR audience? Remember: they paid $60. Is the idea that seeing the unpolished film (and did this have "KAPOW!"-type noises in it? Was there a wireless mic clipped to one of the actor's pants?) is such a "privilege," since they got to see it before others? Quite interesting, in any case.
"[I]f, while hoping that everybody else will be honest and so forth, I can personally prosper through unethical and immoral acts without being detected and without risk, why should I not?." --Daniel Peterson, 6/4/14


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Re: Interpreter's "Witnesses" Film Threatens to Overtake the FAIR Mormon Conference

Post by Lemmie »

What are the odds that the “provisional,” “newly premiered” trailer shown at the FAIR Mormon conference is exactly the same trailer containing scenes from previous movies that is currently online at the witnesses film site?

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Re: Interpreter's "Witnesses" Film Threatens to Overtake the FAIR Mormon Conference

Post by Everybody Wang Chung »

This whole Witness film project is really starting to look more and more like a fraudulent scam to line the pockets of DCP.
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Re: Interpreter's "Witnesses" Film Threatens to Overtake the FAIR Mormon Conference

Post by moksha »

Sort of a shame the props people could not find a white stovepipe hat for historical accuracy.

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