"Game Change" authors John Heilemann, left, and Mark Halperin… (Olivier Douliery / Abaca…)
Supporters of Sarah Palin who fear HBO's "Game Change" will present a negative portrayal of the former Alaska governor will have their own viewing options this weekend.
Palin's political action committee, SarahPAC, emailed supporters Friday to direct their attention away from HBO and instead to the Reelz Channel, which will have the cable television premiere of the pro-Palin documentary "The Undefeated" on Sunday night.
"Please tune in to see the real Sarah Palin story," the email stated, without reference to HBO's depiction of Palin.
HBO's film version of the bestselling campaign book debuts on the channel Saturday, with Julianne Moore playing Palin as she navigated the intense two-month stint as the GOP's surprise nominee for vice president.
Much of the cast and crew of "Game Change" came to Washington on Thursday for a preview screening of the film, which also drew some of the figures portrayed on screen and many of the reporting class that had covered the campaign. Among those attending was Steve Schmidt, the former manager of John McCain's presidential campaign who was in part responsible for Palin's selection.
Aware of the criticism that has come from Palin's inner circle even without seeing the finished product, co-executive producer Danny Strong said he thought Palin and McCain would "probably be pleasantly surprised with how the film portrays them," even if he doesn't expect them to say so publicly. He noted that Schmidt, for his part, has endorsed the final product.
Moore, whose depiction of Palin impressed many of those who saw the screening, said she expects that many will come away from the film with a greater appreciation for what the former vice presidential candidate went through in the campaign.
"I think that the movie is less about Sarah Palin than it is about our political process," she said. "You don't consider that the ground is shifting underneath them every single day. That kind of campaigning, those kinds of pressures -- it's something I just hadn't thought about before and didn't know about."
One scene in the film shows Palin being escorted to the stage of the vice presidential debate by an unnamed staffer for the commission that puts on the events every four years. She tells Palin that she did the same walk with Geraldine Ferraro 24 years earlier, when the New York lawmaker was the first woman nominated for the No. 2 spot on a presidential ticket.
"That's so flippin' cool," Moore as Palin responds.
It turns out, Moore revealed Thursday, that she herself has a connection to that campaign -- she was a volunteer for Walter Mondale's campaign just out of college, mostly "leafleting."