P HELIM McAleer, the filmmaker behind "FrackNation," the conservative response to the Academy Award-nominated "Gasland," wants to make a TV movie about Kermit Gosnell, the Philadelphia abortion doctor convicted of first-degree murder last year.
McAleer and his producing partners have taken to the crowdfunding site Indiegogo (igg.me/at/gosnellmovie) to raise money for the movie.
"Hollywood is not interested in funding this kind of film," McAleer said. "You're more likely to find [a Hollywood] executive at a Planned Parenthood fundraising event than funding a project like this."
The film is called "Gosnell," with the tagline "The doctor is sin."
McAleer, who would produce the film, is trying to raise $2.1 million. He and his team have already raised more than $215,000 from 2,450-plus funders in five days.
Although there are other documentaries about Gosnell in the works, McAleer told me that his film would be "a docudrama in the great American tradition of made-for-TV movies about crime."
Why fictionalize such horror?
"I think this deserved a mass audience," McAleer said. "There's nothing new here; this is what TV has been doing for years. 'Law & Order' - every night they rip something from the headlines. Or 'Dexter.' A documentary has a good audience, but it's a niche audience. After all, he's America's biggest serial killer."
McAleer referenced movies made about convicted murderer Jodi Arias and alleged serial killer "The Grim Sleeper" Lonnie David Franklin Jr. as examples.
McAleer became interested in Gosnell's story while he was in Philadelphia last year promoting "FrackNation," when he attended a few days of the Gosnell trial. McAleer, who covered the Troubles in Northern Ireland as a crime reporter, was appalled by the lack of national press present at the trial, which he attributes to the political nature of Gosnell's crimes.
Despite the rhetoric that McAleer and his partners use on the Indiegogo description that ruffled feathers at the crowdfunding site Kickstarter ("1000s of babies stabbed to death" and "1000s of babies murdered"), he told me that he does not see his film as political.
"It's a crime drama," he said.
"Good Day Philadelphia" tried to pull an April Fools' prank on viewers by announcing Sheinelle Jones' replacement, a Souf Philly lady named Francesca, who supposedly has a penchant for cursing on-air and got kicked out of her alma mater - Goretti, of course - for fighting.
I hear that some people didn't get the joke. "Good Day" host Mike Jerrick was bombarded with tweets and other reactions from outraged viewers who really believed that "Francesca," played by Philly lady Francesca DeCotis, would replace Jones. Don't worry, "Good Day"-ers, the co-host seat is safe for now.
Arianna Huffington, proprietor of the Huffington Post, spoke at the Arts & Business Council of Greater Philadelphia yesterday on her new book, Thrive, about how the redefinition of success may be the key to happiness.
The event was populated with powerful Philly ladies, so I asked Huffington if there was a woman who inspired her. "Definitely my mother," she said. "I didn't appreciate it at first, though."
A thriller rooted in Philly's punk-rock scene? Count me in. "Detonator" is a locally based film featuring a former-punk-turned-soccer-dad (Lawrence Michael Levine) who is haunted by a debt owed to an unhinged former bandmate (Benjamin Ellis Fine). It was shot in Philly and is being distributed by the local Breaking Glass productions.
The score is by local punk-scene luminary Joe Jack Talcum, lead guitarist and co-vocalist for the Dead Milkmen.
Watch it on VOD or purchase it from iTunes.
Kristen Bitting, of Lower Bucks, will be on the Reelz Channel's "Treasure King," premiering tomorrow at 10 p.m. It features collector Richie Marcello on the hunt for museum-caliber finds and rare memorabilia.
You may remember Bitting from "Big Brother 12."