In preparing for this meeting tonight, I’m anticipating what I might be asked.
And perhaps one of the questions could be: Why are you making this film?
I’ve thought about this a lot, of course, because it’s been 15 years from the time I had that incident in the car – when a “voice” forewarned me about an impending accident, and I narrowed missed death. Ever since I’ve wanted to know more about that voice. And why my life was saved.
Why has it taken me so long to begin making the film? Because I needed to mature my thoughts. I needed to take it step by step.
I didn’t jump in and read every possible book immediately. It simply wasn’t possible. There was some reading I was ready for, and some other books that were beyond me at the time. So the research had to take it’s own natural progression.
Then there was the technical side – how do you make a film on intuition? What sort of film should it be? What shape should it take? What should it’s tone be – perhaps one of the most crucial questions I ask myself when I consider making a film.
Most importantly, what will it’s audience be? Because that would dictate many of the questions above.
Should I make a film for TV, or for cinema? Would this be a film for the Discovery Channel, or free-to-air TV, or an independent film, in which case how would I get distribution?
I began to look at other like films – always a good thing to do when faced with these kind of questions. A cinema film called What the Bleep Do We Know? came out in 2004 and dealt with metaphysical issues. It made a ton of money at the time, and subsequently on DVD in particular.
It’s success told me that there was a market out there for this kind of film.
Then came The Secret in 2006, which did even better. It was a phenomenal success world wide. It did all it’s massive business on DVD, through brilliant but unconventional marketing.
This once again affirmed to me that there was a big audience out there for this kind of material. More than this though, I felt very strongly that these two films had laid the path for me to release a film on intuition.
The audience had gained knowledge from these two films, but more importantly the films had made them feel comfortable discussing esoteric and metaphysical concepts. It was okay to talk openly about such things as The Spiritual Laws of Attraction.
Interestingly though, although both films were strongly spiritual, they neatly avoided religion.
Outside of these films, mainstream pundits such as Deepak Chopra and Oprah Winfrey were openly discussing spirituality and metaphysics in books and on TV. In fact The Secret’s success could be attributed to the fact that Oprah embraced the film, and the subsequent book, and exhorted her huge following to go check out The Secret.
Deepak Chopra has since become a hugely successful (and wealthy) author through his books on mediation, spiritual healing, and other concepts that twenty years ago never would have got a foothold in the mainstream.
Meanwhile I was still struggling with my film. I’d written treatment after treatment, script after script, and still I didn’t feel like I had a structure that would work. One of the big dilemmas for me was: should I make the film objective, or subjective? A huge huge question. In other words, should this be a film about intuition? Or should this be a film about my take on intuition?
I resisted the second one because I personally didn’t want to set myself up as a guru, because clearly I wasn’t. But I felt an objective approach would condemn the film to being something you’d see on the BBC, and I felt strongly that for this to work it had to be innately subjective. The film wouldn’t work for its core audience if it was journalistic. In my parlance, it had to delve into the “whacky,” because that’s where the audience lay.
The immense success of The Secret showed me that a global audience was now prepared to embrace “whacky” concepts such as intuition. In fact they wanted to embrace this stuff. There was a massive hunger out there that wasn’t being catered to.
Some of you might know that I’m a journalist by training. I began at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, and worked there for ten years in news, current affairs, then documentary before sashaying into movies. It was fabulous training.
I knew that I would bring certain journalistic skills to the film regardless. It’s ingrained in me. But even so I didn’t want the film to be “balanced.” It had to be severely unbalanced for it to work for it’s audience, which was global and huge.
As these thoughts were maturing, so my reading was becoming more sophisticated and my thoughts on an approach to the film were coming together too.
I can’t begin to tell you how valuable Jennifer’s contribution was during this period. She was way ahead of me in her spiritual growth, and she was adroitly pointing me towards books and websites that she knew I’d be ready for. She withheld other material which she knew I wasn’t yet ready for.
Finally I discovered a way in to the film – a concept and a structure which I felt would work. Really, what had started this whole thing was the voice in the car which saved my life, and so I began to conceive the film from a personal perspective – my journey to find out what that voice was.
I was reluctant to put myself out there, because I was initially afraid of what that would do to my personal and professional reputation, but I felt that if I wanted to tell this story, and get it out to the world, then this would be the best way to do it.
I was then faced with another technical dilemma – should I approach it from the point of view of someone who has learned, and is now imparting that knowledge? Or should it be from the perspective of someone who is searching, and the audience is finding out as I am finding out.
I struggled with that for a long time. Because I knew it would have a fundamental impact on the tone, but also the content and structure. I finally decided to place it from a position of informed retrospectivity. In other words, this is what I’ve discovered, and this is how I discovered it.
The next big question was: should this be informational only, or should it be instructional? I felt very strongly that it should be both. That this is what the audience would want. It’s one thing to make a film about intuition, but I felt that the audience would also want to know how they can become more intuitive. And so I decided to include that within the structure.
Finally, after about twelve years of researching and trying to figure out how to make this film, I felt I was ready to write. And so I wrote a treatment that I’m now working to. It’s changing, as I learn more and as the film evolves, as it must – but the basic structure remains firm.
Okay, getting back to the initial question: Why am I making this film?
I’m making it firstly to find out what that voice was that saved my life. Where did it come from? How did it communicate with me in such a way? And why at that particular moment, just as I was about to be killed – and why not since? And I would also like to know why my life was saved.
I’m using that basic line of enquiry to then explore more fully what intuition is, and how it works. And why it works. I’m looking at it from three viewpoints: from the spiritual, the religious, and the scientific.
Ultimately I’m using my personal experience, and my enquiry, to make a film which will demystify intuition to a large audience. So that they can learn to trust it. And use it in their daily lives. Because I believe that intuition is a facility that’s there within each of us to guide us towards our full potential.
And with that realisation of full potential comes true and profound happiness.
Bigger picture: I want to make this world a more intuitive place, because I believe that if we each act more intuitively, there will be less conflict, less aggression, there will be greater harmony, we’ll treat each other, and this planet, with more compassion, and fear will drop away. And so will ignorance.
That’s my bigger picture.