by Jon Rappoport, No More Fake News:
Wikipedia has a page listing “films about viral outbreaks.” I count 134 titles. Obviously, the theme has legs.
A few of the more famous movies: I am Legend; The Omega Man; The Andromeda Strain; Outbreak; Maze Runner: The Death Cure; Resident Evil: Apocalypse; Contagion.
My overall review: ridiculous plots; fear porn; softens up the public to accept the notion of pandemics.
Manufacturing 134 movies on the same subject, you can sell almost anything. Zombies, toasters, alarm clocks that have long noses, golf balls from Mars, cave women with flawless teeth and perfect makeup and salon-sculptured hair and carefully engineered cleavage.
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But in this case, it’s viruses.
At rwjf.org, there’s an interesting interview with Scott Burns, who wrote the screenplay for the 2011 film, Contagion, and the technical consultant on the project, Dr. Ian Lipkin, director of the Center for Infection and Immunity at Columbia University. Here are excerpts:
Scott Burns: “Obviously I worked with Ian, and early on I also met Dr. Larry Brilliant, who was very helpful [and certainly brilliant]. I had seen Larry’s TED talk where he showed the Malthusian charge through the world the virus would have. I also worked with Laurie Garrett on the movie, because she had written this book, The Coming Plague, which was very, very useful to me in sort of teasing out how these things have a medical component, but they also have a social justice component and a political component and all sorts of interesting aspects of human behavior.”
Dr. Ian Lipkin: “I started very early with Scott. There were a lot of people who contributed—CDC, WHO and others… Scott would bounce ideas off of me and others in his ‘brain trust’ and most of the time we were in accord. My role grew dramatically over the course of production. It began with just a consultation, and then I rapidly moved into helping the set designer in designing the virus, and we had a few days where we had actors come to the lab and spend some time working at the bench, learning how to pipette and look through microscopes and get into gowns and such. And even at the very end, I was working with the sound engineer, recording sound for the movie—lab background and that sort of thing. I did a lot of traveling with the crew. It was like a circus.”
“We settled on that virus [a paramyxovirus] within the first half an hour with Laurie and Scott and I, high above Columbus Circle in New York. We threw out a number of possibilities to Scott and he batted them down, and then one came to mind that struck me as the perfect choice, simply because there had been some reports earlier suggesting this virus, which wasn’t readily transmissible, had become readily transmissible to humans—that was Nipah. It also gave Scott and the director and actors an opportunity to do more than just cough and die. They could develop seizures, they could have hallucinations—all sorts of things that were much more interesting than a standard respiratory disease. We settled on that really within the first thirty minutes, and then Scott went back, thought about it and decided it was a good way to run. It doesn’t take much fuel for him to run quite a distance.”
Turns out that designing a movie about a pandemic is pretty much the same sort of project as designing a fake COVID pandemic in the world.
You pick out a story about a virus, give it an authentic feel, embroider it, and sell it.
People buy it.
In the interest of balance and fairness, I’ve written a few notes for a screenplay that would take a different approach:
In New York, the body of a dead virologist floats to the surface of the East River.
After a brief round of speculation that he might have perished from a mysterious viral infection, the coroner announces the cause of death was three gunshot wounds to the head.
A lone NYPD detective (divorced, alcoholic, disparaged by fellow officers, heroic) discovers the dead virologist’s notebook inside the freezer in the virologist’s apartment.
He thaws it out and reads this: “The coronavirus has never been isolated. It’s a fake. They’re selling a fairy tale about a virus.”
Two days later, a beautiful woman doctor (with engineered cleavage) from the CDC shows up at the detective’s apartment. Somehow she knows the cop has found the virologist’s notebook.
They talk. The mutual attraction should be immediately evident. If not, the brief cuts of sex they’re having on the floor provide sufficient evidence for the audience.
Two days later, the beautiful CDC doctor disappears.
The police detective is warned (anonymous phone message) to stay away from the case of the dead virologist.
Hey, it’s a B movie. Low budget. Could shoot the whole thing over a weekend in Manhattan.
But we need some kind of twist.
So it turns out the detective, the dead virologist, and the beautiful woman doctor from the CDC are just story ideas in the mind of a screenwriter, who, in the movie, is pitching the project to producers in an office high above Columbus Circle.
He’s pitching a movie that exposes a fake virus and a fake pandemic.
But wait. There’s more. In a mind-bending revelation, we learn that the screenwriter and the producers are secret agents from a distant planet called PROPAGANDA.
They’ve come to Earth to promote a fake pandemic…but a conflict has developed among them. The screenwriter has decided he wants to blow the whistle on his bosses from PROPAGANDA, and the producers want to carry out their mission to sell the people of Earth fake COVID-19, as if it were real.