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Mike Martin

"The Masons" - the TV Series.

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I just couldn't let this go without sharing with everyone. A production company in the states is trying to get this new television show going in time for the tercentenary of the Grand Lodge of England:

Taster:

COMING IN 2017!
THE MASONS
A dramatic TV Series with Freemasonry as the main theme -

How The Story Of Freemasonry Can Change The World. A message from the Producer and Director Michael Toth I believe that Freemasonry is one of the best things that ever happened to humankind. When it came out in public in 1717, Freemasonry may well have pioneered the very concept of religious freedom, the individual right to worship God according to one’s own conscience. They also believed in the outrageous idea that people have the right to make their own laws, choose their own rulers and elect their own government. These concepts of Masonic purpose were new, different, and important.

Full info here: http://www.themasonstvseries.com/index.html

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Looks interesting. Is the series due only in America or will it arrive over here? Bearing in mind that there are people out there who think 'Coronation Street' and 'Emerdale Farm' are real, do you think it will have a beneficial effect or be seen as just an "American thing"?

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Certainly looks interesting but I rather doubt it would get an airing over here in the Home Constitutions. I would like to think that UGLE Masons might understand the American systems but a forlorn hope, I fear. How many of those we meet hardly look outside the four walls of their Lodges, never mind have any concept of the different attitudes around this country or around the world, with the various differet structures to the order? I wish it were otherwise.

Now, if the result of this crowd funding effort produces a series which is put on line, it might stand a chance of being seen here, as and when people get to know of it. In that context, satellite and terrestrial tv is likely to limit the available audience to North America. Then again, would there even be sufficient interest by the public at large to make it worth while? So far as UGLE Masonry is concerned, would this American series actually be relevant? These and other questions are ones which should rightly exercise our minds.

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I've only had a very brief look at the website and I may have taken a wrong impression, but does anyone else have a little voice in their head saying, "Scam, scam, scam..."

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Frank (24/07/2015)
I've only had a very brief look at the website and I may have taken a wrong impression, but does anyone else have a little voice in their head saying, "Scam, scam, scam..."


I hope not but I fully understand your concern.

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chestnut (24/07/2015)
Pay money to fund it and 33 episodes? Sceptical to say the least!


Having had another look I share your scepticism - but I hope to be proved wrong.

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If I could make a Masonic TV series I would prefer to tell a dramatic story about Adoniram becoming an apprentice during the building of King Solomons temple.

We could have some fun adding bits of ritual into the story.

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Dear Brothers,

A Brother forwarded to me thelink for this Masonic forum. I must say I am surprised and disheartened by someof the comments I read at this forum. I realized that not many Brothersactually clicked on the link to visit the campaign to watch the trailers andvideos about this project, or have read what is written there.

Please visit our website andread carefully.

www.themasonstvseries.com

First of all, Freemasonry isglobal and universal. This project is not “American” but international. Therewill be a co-producing film company from London, GB. This TV Series will bebroadcast all over the world.

Second:

To Brother Frank (from IrishConstitution) with “a little voice in his head saying ‘Scam, scam, scam…’” Ican just say… Why would I risk my professional and Masonic career of many yearsand present myself to the whole world with a project that would be a scam. Ifyou did not have patience or time to read my credentials and my team-memberscredentials on the campaign page, I will be happy to present them to you.

I Michael Toth has been a Freemason for 29 years.He served as The Worshipful Master of the oldest lodge in Chicago, OrientalLodge #33 (established 1845) in 1992/93. Michael served as the SpecialAssistant to the Grand Master of Illinois in 1991/92. Since 1996, he has beenworking in international Freemasonry as The Grand Representative (effectivelyas Ambassador) from The Grand Lodge of Illinois to Eastern European GrandLodges. He is also member of the Masonic appendant bodies: Scottish Rite, 32° -Northern Jurisdictions since1986, Grottoes of North America and has served onvarious Grand Lodge Committees since 1989.

In1991 Michael produced and directed the very first documentary ever aboutFreemasonry for Freemasons, titled UNSEEN JOURNEY. In 1995 this film was re-cut and renamed THE FREEMASONS, aone hour documentary adopted for the general public and distributed on DVD viaMasonic networks, public catalogues and Internet all around the world.

Please read my professional bio (filmwriter/producer/director) at our website. You can also see trailers of myfeature films.

RW Howard Graff is 33°SR and the Grand Chancellor for the GrandLodge of Illinois.

RW Johnathan Barnes, the Grand Lecturer forthe Grand Lodge of Illinois is the youngest 33° SR in Illinois and KYCH in theYork Rite.

RW. Stevan Nikolic is a Masonic scholar, hepublished his papers in Ars Cuatuor Coronatorum (London), and Transactions ofthe American Lodge of Research (New York).

Andso on…

Youthink these Brothers would put their credibility and honor participating in ascam?

Third:

To repeat something I wrote before on many differentposts and on our website…

I believe that when we produce this TV Series, the understandingof our Brotherhood as well as the image of Freemasonry will change forever.

In principal I am against any advertising or solicitationfor Freemasonry. That is why I think I envisioned the best way to help ourBrotherhood.

Before I posted anything publicly about this idea, Iunofficially and privately had talked to many different Grand Lodge officialsfrom our Grand Lodge and from several different Grand Lodges in US and Europe, aswell as many Masons I have met on my travels. The overwhelming feeling I experienced was that the image ofFreemasonry in general and especially in the US has suffered, and partlybecause of this: Masonry was and still is in decline.

I feel that something should be done about the present sta teof things. Being a film producer and director, I think that I am in a uniqueposition, with a few of my Brother Masons who are filmmakers, to do somethingand help change things to be better. Eventually someone is going to make a hugeHollywood movie or a TV production that will not at all be to our liking asFreemasons. And fromthat point on our TV Series will never see the light of day. The Hollywoodglamour and lies will overwhelm audiences and they will then move on to thenext big blockbuster. I think it would be healthier for us tohave someone who is familiar and knowledgeable about Freemasonry to produce anhonest and truthful TV Series.

But, this project should not everbe officially sponsored or “approved” byany official Masonic body. In the case of something like this happening, anymajor film studio, company or television network would consider this project tobe a piece of propaganda and it would never be produced. But, there is a way to help our effortsdiscretely and without public announcements.

Fourth:

To produce a 33 Episode TV Series featuring differenthistorical periods would cost, $200 million or more. We, as independentfilmmakers, would never be able to raise that amount of money. The only thingwe can do is to try to raise enough money to produce a Pilot for the Serieswhich is in $5-$7 million range. And, again, to repeat myself, inorder to be independent from Hollywood and big entertainment companies, whichwould inevitably push their agenda of dummying down and sensationalizing thesubject of Freemasonry, we producers, who are Freemasons, need to raise moneyto first produce the pilot in order to control how Masonry is portrayed.

In order to present this project for financing to amajor broadcast or cable company such as HBO, SHOWTIME, AMC or NETFLIX, we haveto raise the money first to produce the PILOT. This can be accomplished inthree different stages of financing.

1. Crowdfunding campaigns where we ask to raise $300thousand through donations on the Internet, and this is just to start the process(legal fees, creating investment package, research, writing, etc.).

2. Five million Investment Package: where we would offerto qualified investors a generous return on their investment.



3. Pilot would be pitched to TV networks or Netflix-likecompanies. Their investment in the TV Series would be close to $200 million forthree or more seasons.

Finally, many of our Brothers probably think that we arecrazy to even attempt something like this. Maybe this sounds like a dream, butdreams can easily become reality when you believe, commit yourself, work hardand have Brothers who trust you.

Michael Toth

Producer/Director

Past Master.Oriental #33, Chicago

Dream no small dreams for they haveno power to move the hearts of men.

- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, a Freemason

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Brother Michael,I understand your feelings toward Bro. Frank and others on this forum who may have been less than complimentary to your venture. I think, if I was in your shoes, I would possibly feel the same way as you do. Your Post clearly illustrates your unhappiness. Frank did however say he may have got the wrong impression and after all, he can only be honest. Franks honesty is always refreshing. But please look at this whole thing from a British perspective... after all, the forum is based in the UK and is inhabited mainly by the British, although all nationalities are welcome, whether Freemasons or not.

Freemasonry in the United States is far far more respected and accepted than here in the UK. We put up with a lot of scams, disrespect and downright insults to the Craft we love. Most people in the UK who are NOT Masons view us with suspicion and scorn. As a result, we are always "on the defensive".

Frank meant no disrespect to you. If it had been proven that your venture was indeed the real deal, I feel that you would have had nothing but support from Frank. I am loathe to speak for him... after all, who am I to second guess any Brother here, but as I have respect for my Brother and I am pledged to defend his honour in his absence, I felt I had to speak.

I wish you and your project all the success in the world and I look forward to seeing the finished article.

T.

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Thank you Tony. You know, someone once told me I was a sceptic but I'm not so sure.
Michael, I have had another look at your website, admittedly still not in great detail. Perhaps you could help me a little.

It appears that about 100 people have contributed about $100 (£65) each. If the project does not proceed, do they get their money back?

You have listed several team members (including yourself) who appear to have what I assume are very well paid jobs and, again an assumption, are wealthy men. Are they (and you) contributing financially? Would you like to give the details of their (and your) contributions?

"10 centuries of one family's history, weaving through it the story of the creation and influence of (freemasonry)..." I admit I am no historian, but 1000 years of freemasonry? Really?

Mine does not, but does your constitution allow you to use your membership for financial gain?

Why have you come at this forum and me in particular in such an aggressively defensive manner?

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