“There is a big mentality in this country that people feel that they are being deceived, Mr. Bermas said.
New technology also helps. Unlike pre-internet conspiracy theories, which had to be conveyed through books, “Loose Change” is freely available online. Fans have uploaded it to sites like Google Video, YouTube’s now-defunct competitor, where it has been viewed millions of times and translated into multiple languages.
The “Loose Change” team also worked on other creative distribution strategies, selling DVDs in bundles and encouraging fans to leave copies at laundromats, post offices, hotel lobbies, and public places. other that strangers can pick them up. When fans wanted to distribute the film themselves, they gave it permission, even if that meant uploading it to a torrent file-sharing service or transferring it over pirated discs.
“We don’t care,” Mr. Bermas said. “We want the message to get out, period.”
“Loose Change” never made its creators rich, but the series has become a cultural staple and attracted a celebrity fan base. Rosie O’Donnell, then host of “The View,” cast doubt on the official story on September 11, and Joy Reid, now host of MSNBC, praised the series on her personal blog. (Ms. O’Donnell did not respond to a request for comment and Ms. Reid has said her blog has been hacked.) Charlie Sheen expressed interest in reporting a version of the film, Mr. Rowe said. know. of Mark Cuban, the “Shark Tank” billionaire, although the deal never materialized. (In an email, Mr. Cuban said he thought the film was “ridiculous” and that the negotiations never went beyond initial discussions.)
Jonathan Kay, a Canadian journalist who wrote a book about truthers on September 11, told me that the success of “Loose Change” has turned conspiracy theory from a passive hobby. into a social act and encouraged a new generation of conspirators to try their hand at making media.
Mr Kay said: “It’s part of an era where anyone with a fringe theory would suddenly raise their head and say, ‘Wait a minute – for a few thousand dollars or even less, I could make a mark. its imprint on the world. .