The new movie, “Alongside Night,” is finished and is now being screened in sneak previews around the country.
Readers can check the movie’s Facebook page for details of the July 10 screening at Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nev.
It has already been seen in Fairfax, Va., June 11 and Grand Rapids, Mich., June 14.
The film’s inflation-driven plot and genuine gold and silver prop money might be of interest to coin collectors, especially if they want to collect the prop money.
Last October, I wrote a Numismaster column about the forthcoming production of the movie “Alongside Night,” of which I am the financier and executive producer.
The movie takes place in a time when the U.S. government has run itself into ruin through quantitative easing, inability to sharply cut expenditures and the curtailment of civil liberties. But, remember, this is “fiction.” The original novel was written in 1979. The book’s author and movie director, J. Neil Schulman, recently joked that he should sue the U.S. government for taking actions that represent copyright infringement of his novel.
However, there are plenty of differences between America today and the one depicted in the movie. At one point in the movie, there is a news scroll reporting that U.S. consumer prices had increased more than 2,300 percent in the past month. Also in the movie, the government had already prohibited U.S. citizens from owning gold.
The focus of the movie is on a high school senior named Elliott Vreeland, played by newcomer Christian Kramme. He is the son of a Nobel prize winning economist Martin Vreeland, a roll performed by actor Kevin Sorbo (Hercules and also Captain Dylan Hunt in “Andromeda”). The elder Vreeland and the rest of Elliott’s family disappear. In the search to locate his family, Elliott encounters the Revolutionary Agorist Cadre, a volunteer underground organization that provides secret facilities where free market businesses can operate. He meets a mysterious young lady whose name is not “Lorimer” who has secrets of her own.
In the course of the movie, several fictional private currencies are traded, including Emiraties, Auros and Gold Liberties. As an example of product placement, the Gold Liberties used in the movie were not issued by the U.S. government but by my company, Liberty Coin Service. Instead of reading “United States of America” they read “Libertycoinservice.com” along with the weight and purity of the gold content.
Elliott and Lorimer have a series of adventures in the free market underground while they track down Elliott’s family. The movie has a tragic climax, but a hopeful ending.
There is a bit of “movie magic” in the production of the film. Let me tease you with just one example. Elliott loses track of his family when his father sends him to recover a money belt filled with Gold Liberties. As he was writing the book, Schulman didn’t realize that the size of a one-ounce gold piece would have a diameter too large to fit into a money belt that could actually pass through the belt loops on a pair of pants. So, the movie uses two virtually identical belts. One is wide enough to hold the Gold Liberties and is used in the scenes when the belt is not being worn by Elliott, but is being opened to pull out the pieces. Naturally, viewers assume that Elliott is using the exact same money belt in scenes where he puts it on or removes it from around his waist. But that money belt is the empty narrower one that does fit through belt loops.
As I mentioned in my October article, some quarter Gold Liberties and quarter Silver Liberties have been made as licensed movie commemoratives. One thousand of the silver and 100 of the gold pieces were struck by the Patrick Mint in Santa Rosa, Calif. Jesse Patrick, owner of the Patrick Mint, came up with the original design concept for the Liberty side of the pieces, for which he received an acknowledgement in the movie credits.
The obverse of these pieces depicts the logo of the “Alongside Night” movie. The reverse shows Libertycoinservice.com around the rim, with the denomination in the center and the metal content at the bottom. The edges are plain. Both issues are about 26 millimeters in diameter.
The quarter Silver Liberties are struck in quarter troy ounce .999 fine silver. The quarter Gold Liberties are made of 22 karat gold with a fine gold content of a quarter troy ounce. They are now available from Liberty Coin Service as movie collectibles, which means that they are not selling at a bullion-related price.
In the movie, Elliott and Lorimer at one point go shopping in an underground free market mall. Liberty Coin Service has a kiosk in this mall, at which the two make a brief stop. LCS Senior Numismatist Tom Coulson appears as the Liberty Coin Service staff in that scene.
There are brief flashes of several certified U.S. coins that were used as props in the movie. Since the serial numbers of the holders are visible in the shot, Liberty Coin Service will also sell these coins as movie collectibles at a modest mark-up to their usual price.
Since this movie was an independent production, it is not yet lined up to be shown in movie theaters. Starting in late May, it has been shown at some “sneak previews” in the East and Midwest. Thus far, the responses have been overall positive. Negotiations are already under way to use the novel and the movie (plus teacher and student study guides yet to be developed) as teaching materials in high schools and universities. For a schedule of upcoming sneak previews, please go to the “Alongside Night” Facebook page.
Patrick A. Heller is the American Numismatic Association 2012 Harry Forman Numismatic Dealer of the Year Award winner. He owns Liberty Coin Service in Lansing, Mich., and writes “Liberty’s Outlook,” a monthly newsletter on rare coins and precious metals subjects. Past newsletter issues can be viewed at www.libertycoinservice.com. Other commentaries are available at Coin Week (www.coinweek.com and www.coininfo.com). He also writes a bi-monthly column on collectibles for “The Greater Lansing Business Monthly” (www.lansingbusinessmonthly.com/articles/department-columns). His radio show “Things You ‘Know’ That Just Aren’t So, And Important News You Need To Know” can be heard at 8:45 a.m. Wednesday and Friday mornings on 1320-AM WILS in Lansing (which streams live and becomes part of the audio and text archives posted at www.1320wils.com. Heller is also executive producer of the movie “Alongside Night.”
Movie Gets ‘Money’