On Location: The Making of “Beholder”


The other problem was logistical. How does a closeted couple get pregnant in such a world? What did they think they were getting into? Well, one parent assumed the child would lie about their parents and the other parent assumed they would be out and suffer the consequences. That’s a lot of backstory to provide in 12 minutes. So I did the unthinkable. I turned the main character straight, had her face a true dilemma and explored where it would take her.

A scene from Beholder

The feedback from the network was mixed. While they liked the story, they couldn’t conceive of a future where things were more conservative and not more progressive. I was told, “History has shown that society grows more progressive and not less.” So how could I justify this future? Even though I argued that Prop 8 happened in this very real “progressive” present, I failed to make the point that the future could be horribly conservative. Then the Arizona Immigration Bill passed. My telephone rang and it was the network. They called to say, “Clearly the pendulum is going to swing further right than we ever imagined before the future becomes the progressive haven we hope it will.” And with that fascist law, we got our greenlight to production.

Why the 1950s? Why do I pick on the 1950s so damn much? I’ll tell you why. I don’t think people are thinking when they say how great the 1950s were. The ’50s sucked for just about everyone, but for some reason friends I have continue to idolize the ’50s like it was some ideal era. OK, none of those friends were around for the ’50s, but here’s what I do know: we probably wouldn’t be allowed to be friends in the ’50s.  I couldn’t eat at the same restaurant as some of them in the ’50s and we sure as hell couldn’t go to school together.  So the next time you think the ’50s were so cool and such a “simpler” time just remember the 1950s sucked. And that’s why when I imagined a world in which generations of Palins got to make the world anyway that they wanted it to be, it looks like the ’50s. That’s how bad it sucked. Palin-level suck. Got it? They sucked.

In the next installment of On Location, we meet the actors that bring Beholder
to life. Get to know what turns them on, what scares them at night and why the answers to both of those questions are sometimes the same.

Watch the trailer for Beholder:

Follow Nisha Ganatra on Twitter, and for more information on Beholder, visit the FutureStates website.

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