Standing at a parking structure in Beverly Hills I get a phone call from someone I’d never met, It was a producer. A few months earlier I did this creative hit on a woman running for the governorship of Texas who’s claim to fame was a filibuster in defense of late term abortions. She eventually lost to Greg Abbott, however I think the patron out of Texas who helped fund that job kinda enjoyed the attention we got from that hit so out of nowhere she offered to drop 30k on a documentary about me.
Being an artist I suck a talking about money, not really my thing so when I read that email I sat there in awe. A friend who’d introduced me to the patron suggested getting a producer but being the guy I am, I do everything on my own, I figured why? Who the hell needs a producer? For 30k I can build you Rome. And when the patron ask this person if 30k was enough and I heard them respond, “it’s a start,” I got pissed. I’m extremely protective of anyone who sticks up for me, apparently more so of people who put down money to support what I do. The way I read what this person say was, ‘bend over bitch because I know you have money and I’m about to take every dime I can from you.’ But now that I know a little more about what it takes to make a documentary … I know this producer was right, 30k was a start. However …
It took me two days to gather the balls to tell this patron that I would seriously appreciated if she trusted me to do the documentary without a producer. I like working alone. Her response was quick, ‘sure, why not?” I was in shock, she said yes! “There are actually people out there who can just throw around 30k like it’s nothing?’ I was blown away.
So there I was on the parking structure in Beverly Hills being introduced to this producer. It seems I’m working with a producer regardless, … whatever. Then they mention getting the parton to put the 30k in their bank account to get this project going.
Wait on God Damn Second!!! I thought. You had the patron put my money in your fucken bank account, what!? There are two things you don’t do man! 1. Take my money and 2. Take money that is mine! … Don’t do it! Ever! I’m like Jimmy from “Good Fellas” I’d rather kill you than pay you, but to take my money! OH HELL NO! That money goes into my bank account! So after hearing this I get on the phone with the patron to ask what happened and why what happened happened. She seemed relaxed about what she did. All I could think was, ‘I can’t believe how easy it was for someone, almost anyone, to pull that kind of coin out of this person’s pocket! Worse, it wasn’t me who did it!
So I tell them, ‘listen every day that producer has that money is a day they shave a cut off the top for their time. We have got to get that money back asap and put it in my account.’ That fight began. But first, as things stood I knew this producer had the money in their account but they didn’t know I KNEW so I set up a lunch for us to have our first meeting just to see who it was I was dealing with.
Culver City, some nice pizza place. I even brought Suky. Suky never comes to my meetings, events, anything so that was interesting. The producer asks me what I need to get started in terms of equipment, money I guess. I tell them I need two GoPro cameras. Knowing they have the seed money in the bank I’m expecting them to say, “sure lets jump in the car, run over to Best Buy and get you your cameras,” but they didn’t say that. Instead they said something to the effect that we should start a GoFund account and from that I can get the money for the two cameras I needed. … Again this person didn’t know I knew they had the money, so now I’m pissed. What the fuck do you mean start a GoFund account? So now I’m thinking I’m dealing with a crook. The fight for the money to get into my account was totally on.
What I didn’t know was that at the time this producer set me up with an interview with Glenn Beck.
Now a thing about me was I’d spent a good three years trying to get sober. In that time I did everything I could to stay the hell away from politics. It was the most peaceful three years of my life. Unfortunately during those three years guys like Glenn Beck and Andrew Breitbart were really picking up steam. So, because of my absence from the political scene I didn’t really know much about them. And what little I did know about Glenn Beck I didn’t really like. I remember friends would try turning me on to him but I wasn’t into his delivery, too loud, too passionate. Not my deal. Sadly Andrew passed away about the time I decided to get back into the political fray. I never had the privilege to meet him. Everyone says we’d of really gotten along. I did however get to meet his crew and they were all stand up people. I later found out about all the infighting at Breitbart Inc. but that’s another story for another day. If you ask me the whole of the “Right” has too much infighting. I digress …
So this producer hooked me up with Glenn Beck who flies me out to Dallas where I got the chance to meet him, his crew, I got to see his new studio, it was awesome! This is what we on the Right have all got to do. Say “Fuck You Hollywood” and start our own studios. Whatever Beck was doing it looked like he was doing it right.
The morning of the interview I get a call from Beck’s producer asking me what kind of questions if any I wanted Glenn to ask. I gave him the standard answer, “no softballs, I like hard question, don’t hold back.”
For whatever reason that producer who 1. took my money and 2. set up this interview decided to come with me to Dallas. In retrospect I can see that that was the professional thing to do. At the time I wondered, “why?” The producer and I along with that patron made our way to the studio.
Glenn was amazing. That guy was so nice. He reminded me of that kid in that Christmas movie who wanted a BB Gun but kept getting shit from people. That kid only he grew up. He showed me around the studio, awesome studio. Everyone was super nice. I swear to God as the years passed and I struggled with drinking, no matter how many people’s heads I tore off you could never get me to say anything bad about Glenn Beck. After all the fights with people I had with Breitbart, other conservative groups or people … you could never get me to curse Beck, no matter how drunk I got, for any reason. No, this wasn’t a man crush, he was just that nice.
So there we were, me, the patron, the producer, and Beck … … … and he goes straight to my piece “FAG THE NEW NIGGER.” Right off the bat. He wasn’t being mean about it, but if it was anyone else I’d of thought he was sandbagging me. Worse the big young, black man behind me manning the camera and the secretary in front of me were both black so throwing around the word, “nigger” was a bit … weird. But I had to explain my piece, he asked. You can see that exchange in the video below.
Here’s the kicker. During the interview Beck asks me how I fund what I do. I mentioned having many rich Republican friends who do nothing but sit around and bitch about the state of politics never getting involved. I mentioned if I only had the money they spend on on night of hookers and booze I could make a difference. Beck asked me how much that was. I answered, “about ten thousand dollars.” When we went on break he leaned over to me and said, “you’re going to make a hundred thousand on this interview.”
Now on the surface you’d think this was great … and it was, however. It turned out the producer had just returned that 30k to the patron who was sitting directly next to Beck when he said that. So I have to imagine she was asking herself, “If Sabo is about to make 100k on this interview why the hell would I need to give him this 30k for the documentary?” No, I never saw that 30k. Whatever happened to it I don’t know. I just know I never got my hands on it. … “HOWEVER!”
Glenn was right. That next day my website was cranking with sales and donations. It experienced so much traffic that it crashed and I mean hard. He was cool enough to rerun the piece so those who wanted to donate could. In the end I pretty much made in sales of posters and t-shirts to cover the 30k I’d lost. Keep in mind this wouldn’t have happened had that producer not hooked me up with Beck. So in the end I broke even.
I try not watching the shows I’m on but I heard it went well. The experience was one for the books. I took that money and refurnished my studio with new computers for art, a new large scale printer, and some cameras. Basically whatever I needed to do my thing. The new printer completely altered the way I create pieces making it possible to create pieces that look like real ads for Social Jamming.
Looking back the producer was doing what they do. My problem was I wasn’t used to working with a producer or anyone for that matter. I’m very accustomed to doing things from concept to completion all on my own and quick. Not to mention, knowing what I know now, I wasn’t ready for a documentary. I had a long way to go. Which begs the question, am I ready now? … Well if I am I’m sure the documentary will be a damn site better now than it would have been then. And yes, I’ll take care of it. There’s nothing I love more than pulling off the impossible and having professionals stand around asking, “how in the hell did he do that?”
Last I heard Glenn Beck and his studio were having a hard time. During this latest election and the division caused by the whole Trump campaign I think we’ve all experienced a rough patch here and there. Here’s to better times.
Glen Beck Rocks!!!
When I returned home I received a phone call from Glenn Beck himself. I remember him asking, “Do you have any idea how many people sit across my desk asking for a million dollars like I have it to give? Hearing you say you could make a difference with ten thousand was refreshing and gave me hope.” 😉 … I hope we met again.