Tuesday, October 19, 2010

They Were 33 - How long will the Chilean Miners stay together?

They are getting substantial offers of money for their story, but made a pact to say little about their 69-day ordeal while negotiating movie and book rights. They even hired an accountant while underground to track and share the proceeds, their friend, shift foreman Pablo Ramirez, told The Associated Press.
The second all of the miners where freed from their underground captivity they all signed an agreement that stated they would split any and all money earned from the ordeal evenly among each other.

Now the question is..how long will that deal hold?



Their story is moving and scary and tension filled for sure. And everyone is clamoring to hear it and recreate it. But there is one problem for the miners and how they can all turn this into the money generating machine everyone thinks it is.

There were just too many of them. If it were 10 or so or less then you'd have a much more powerful story but 33? And the most compelling parts of the story would be the first 17 days they were trapped without anyone knowing they'd even survived the cave in with only 5 days worth of food to live on. And the surface attempts to reach them.

I'M RICH BIATCH!!
There is no format in film, television and even novel that can or would accommodate 33 individual stories and personalities. Remember the film Apollo 13? Think of all the people involved in that event in reality and how many were actually focused on in the film. Which means that Hollywood and the Chilean version of Hollywood will only focus in on at most 3 to 6 of the most interesting people in the group. Hell Wikipedia has already designated who the top four are:
  • Luis Alberto Urzúa (54), shift supervisor of the trapped miners, recognizing the gravity of the situation and the difficulty of any rescue attempt, gathered the men in a secure room called a "refuge", and organized the men and meager resources for a long term survival situation. Just after the incident, he led three men to scout up the tunnel, confirming the situation, then making detailed maps of the area. He then led the rescue operation approaches with surface engineers
  • Yonni Barrios (50), became the medic of the trapped miners, monitoring their health, carrying out vaccinations, and reporting to the surface. While he has been underground his wife discovered he had a mistress
  • Mario Gómez (63), became the religious leader, organizing a chapel complete with a shrine containing statues of saints, and aided the psychologists on the surface.
  • Mario Sepúlveda (40), served as the energetic host of the miner's video journals that were sent to the surface to reassure the world that they were doing well. The local media dubbed him "Super Mario" after the Super Mario Bros. video game for his energy, wit and humor.
Thats it.

The other 27 men will be moved to the background played by extras and MAYBE they will have a line or two in the subsequent films, plays and tv movies but thats about all. And since the top 4 will be the ones garnering all the attention they will also be the ones who stand to get the biggest offers. I figure sooner or later someone is going to renege on the all for one, one for all deal. Which of course will only attract more attention and drama. Eventually egos will come into play and someone from the "popular" group will think "why should I split my 6 or 7 figure offer with 32 other people? Its not my fault no one wants to hear their story."

 Yonni Barrios was greeted by mistress Susana Valenzuela. 
His wife Marta Salinas was not present.
(Typical Hollywood casting dictates that Mario Lopez will play him and she will be played Sophia Vergara in the biopic.)
Lets say Yonni Barrios gets a 750,000 dollar book deal offer for his story. Split among the other 32 guys means his share is little a more than 22k. Remember, Yonni has an upcoming nasty divorce and a new woman to support not to mention any ensuing child support issues. I don't know what the divorce laws in Chile are but its almost a sure bet that old boy will end up with the shitty end of the stick. Especially since he's been busted very publicly. Athough, incredibly, he REQUESTED that his wife and mistress be present when he emerged from the hole, which is the ballsiest thing I've ever seen in my life. So I don't know what the hell was on his mind. Which makes him even more of a x-factor.

Now I understand that while Chile is top ranked country economically in South America they still pay their miners shit. Most if not all live in poverty so even a fraction of a 6 figure deal is a lot of money to them but that doesn't mean greed and ulterior motives will never come into play. I get the feeling that eventually someone will break ranks and go off on their own.

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