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 Secrets of Wilder -- The Movie!
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5192 Posts

Posted - May 11 2006 :  10:10:42 PM  Show Profile  Visit yogani's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Message
Originally posted by yogani
I even have a crazy idea to write a screenplay for the Secrets of Wilder, and have been studying up a bit for that. Maybe in a year or two, as time permits. Doing a reasonable first pass on a screenplay is the way to help get that ball rolling. A movie could take a very long time to happen -- years and years. The process has to start somewhere, like here on this old computer. Any movie industry people out there?

Originally posted by Sean
My brother and I are amateur film makers, he's currently editing a documentary down in LA that will come out soon. He owns a high end prosumer camera, an Apple G5 and Final Cut editing software which is about all you need to make a decent indie flick on a low budget these days. And I can even simulate explosions and aliens using 3D software if need be and then we can get Tom Cruise to star in it, etc. Seriously though, I'd love to work on this film.


Hi Sean:

That's great news. I will keep you in the loop. It will be a long term project. No screenplay here for a year or two (more AYP books first), and then a rough first effort when it does happen -- no doubt needing many improvements. I'm reading up on screenwriting and cinematic story-telling now. Lots of possibilities...

So, do you think the Secrets of Wilder story would make a decent movie? I heard recently that the Celestine Prophesy is being made into a movie. I like the Wilder story better.
Of course, I am biased. (those are my Hollywood sunglasses)

The guru is in you.


20 Posts

Posted - May 15 2006 :  2:12:18 PM  Show Profile  Visit sean's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Originally posted by yogani
So, do you think the Secrets of Wilder story would make a decent movie? I heard recently that the Celestine Prophesy is being made into a movie. I like the Wilder story better.

Yeah, it would make a great movie. Wilder is so much better than Celestine Prophecy ... and it would be really cool with animation, like zooming into the spinal channel and showing energy spiralling up the nerve to the third eye. Kind of like the animation style in Magnolia, did you ever see that movie? There is a scene where there is a man dying of cancer and the camera zooms into his body and shows the interior of his body but it's almost cartoon-like, stylized in a cool way, instead of super realistic.

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5192 Posts

Posted - May 15 2006 :  3:10:33 PM  Show Profile  Visit yogani's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Sean:

Thanks for the vote of confidence on the story. It sure would be fun to make a Secrets of Wilder movie, wouldn't it?

Have not seen Magnolia. Will take a look. I happened to see AeonFlux (the movie) recently and it has some impressive "neurobiological" internal animation in it, not related to anything spiritual, but an interesting effect.

Yes, the cinematic "internals" (animation) and external special effects covering the wide range of spiritual experiences in the story would be important in a Wilder movie. One way to get the movie to stand out and attract a following would be to take those aspects to a new level well beyond what has been done before -- making it one of those "gotta-see" movies. Not sure exactly what that means in terms of effects, but innovation does attract an audience, and that is what AYP is about in the first place.

Innovation in the artform is, in large part, what created the Star Wars legacy -- special effects that no one had ever seen before, way back in 1977. It paved the way for a whole new era of Sci-Fi movies using such effects. It would be very beneficial if a Wilder movie could make a quantum leap in portraying spiritual experiences, not to mention be top notch in terms of the story adapted for the screen, quality of acting, traditonal film craft, etc. In other words, a captivating portrayal of the enlightenment process occurring in modern times, taken to a level of expression not seen before. We certainly have the raw material to work with -- the novel. Doing it right will be a big project and will take time and money. I'd rather do that than rush through and come up short with the end result.

The goal here will be to aim high and try and attract a major film maker with strong resources, financing and distribution to do this sort of project. If no one steps up, it may well end up as a small independent production, if it happens at all, but shouldn't we try with the majors first?

As mentioned, it will be a year or two and a few more AYP books before I can focus on a screenplay. In the meantime, I will continue studying the craft on the side. If a top-notch professional screenwritier comes along before I can take a serious stab at it, then that could work too. All options are open right now.

Any other ideas on this are welcome!

The guru is in you.
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5192 Posts

Posted - May 16 2006 :  2:00:22 PM  Show Profile  Visit yogani's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Sean:

Is it common now-a-days to do a few scenes in an independent (or amateur) film mode to present to major film makers along with the screenplay?

It would basically be a low-tech preview of the movie on DVD included with the screenplay and other pre-production information that would help make the reviewers' job easier ... in our favor, of course.

The guru is in you.
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23 Posts

Posted - May 16 2006 :  10:46:01 PM  Show Profile  Visit will.iam's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
As far as screenwriters go this guy ( Robert McKee is supposed to be the man. He appeared in the movie Adaptation and the credentials listed on his page are impressive. He does three day seminars.

This may be of interest in coming up with a screenplay.

There are various screenplay competitions that award "good" screenplays with a contract which sometimes leads to a movie. Getting a screenplay in to the hands of someone who can make a decision on it can be pretty difficult from what I understand. I also know very little about movies.


This will also pass.
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5192 Posts

Posted - May 17 2006 :  10:38:24 AM  Show Profile  Visit yogani's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Thank you, Bill.

Robert McKee is recommended in one of the screenwriting books I have read: "Save the Cat!" by Blake Snyder, a fun book that covers the essentials very well.

Snyder also recommends books by Syd Field, the "master of the craft," and Viki King. And, of course, Joseph Campbell's "Hero With a Thousand Faces," which was an important part of the groundwork for the Secrets of Wilder novel also. Fortunately, we have our story already. It is only a matter of moving it from the book to the screen -- no small task.

I am looking at resources on movie-making as well, in an attempt to minimize the gap that often occurs between screenwriting and cinematography.

The guru is in you.
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20 Posts

Posted - May 19 2006 :  12:02:39 AM  Show Profile  Visit sean's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Yogani, I am not an industry expert by any stretch but I don't see how having some well done scenes produced on a smaller scale to pitch the story couldn't help, it's a great idea!

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5192 Posts

Posted - May 19 2006 :  11:53:14 AM  Show Profile  Visit yogani's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Sean:

Thanks much. A serious effort is lurking in the background here, though it is not like what someone wrote to me recently: "I'm so happy to hear you have a movie deal for the Secrets of Wilder!"
We wish...

Well, we will need a screenplay first. Between now and then there are lots of possibilities to consider, and a lot more to learn from the many professionals who have so generously recorded their experiences in the trade.

The initial strategy here is to try and get a major player involved in making the movie. If none will, then, at the same time, we can be moving to do it ourselves -- either in part to further attract the industry, or the whole thing -- we'll just keep working on it, favoring the path of least resistance to get it done. That has been the approach taken with all the AYP material so far, and it is working okay, thanks to the wonderful technologies we have available today that can empower anyone who wants to make a contribution and is willing to do the work. Perhaps it will be similar in approaching the movies?

One of the most important things I am learning about script writing, besides the artistic craft side of it, is to tailor the presentation of the story in a way so it can be filmed in one geographical area. That could be Florida or California, depending on how the chips fall, with distant story locations like DC, Blue Ridge Mountains, etc. put in visually for effect, as needed, with the actual scenes shot locally. A good example of this approach is the globe-trotting "Alias" spy TV series, which convincingly goes to many countries around the world, yet, was filmed almost entirely in Southern California. Keeping the shooting locations in one area is about containing costs, of course, and saving time too.

The spiritual experience special effects side of it is another area to be investigated. That will be an important part of the movie, and we'd like for it to be a standout, as mentioned previously. Again, the screenplay will be be tailored to try and make the best economic use of special effects.

The guru is in you.
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604 Posts

Posted - May 21 2006 :  11:00:14 PM  Show Profile  Visit sadhak's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Yogani,
First time on this forum. But got interested because I make, with my partner, documentaries, commercials, and a dab of fiction and cartoons for TV. This sort of a subject has been on my mind for several years... but for the Indian audience. I'm technically OK on screenplay writing... do a lot of scripts as well. But I'm not on the Hollywood or movie scene at all. Haven't read the book you're talking of. Are your books available in India?

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5192 Posts

Posted - May 22 2006 :  11:18:39 AM  Show Profile  Visit yogani's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Sadak, and welcome!

The Secrets of Wilder novel presents the discovery, application and resulting experiences of real spiritual practices (AYP style) in an American adventure/romance story. No Sanskrit terms are used. The purpose is to approach a modern western Christian audience with the integrated non-sectarian practices in a familiar setting. Even so, the story reaches far beyond what most westerners might expect. Maybe beyond what most Indians might expect too, because the "Secrets of Wilder" do not stay secret for very long. And neither do the practices or their progressive effects stay secret in AYP. The doors are flung wide open...

In addition to paperback, all of the AYP books are available worldwide in ebook format, so you should be able to download the novel there. For links, see:

AYP has at least a few thousand internet readers in India. We have been inquiring for over a year to find a publisher for the AYP books there so they can be readily available at local cost -- no success in getting published in India so far. If you have any suggestions on this, let me know.

As things evolve here with the screenplay and related movie-making matters, I'd be happy to keep you in the loop. Keep in mind that this is a long term project -- the screenplay is not expected for at least a year. By then, there will be several more AYP instruction books on practices out, and increasing visibility to the public. In that sense, time is on our side...

Who knows? Maybe the Secrets of Wilder will play well in India. Check out the novel and let us know what you think.

Bollywood, here we come?!

The guru is in you.
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171 Posts

Posted - Oct 14 2008 :  5:03:55 PM  Show Profile  Visit markern's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Even tough I haven`t read the Secrets of Wilder yet I would love to see it as movie.

At a yoga retreat a couple of years ago I met an american buisnesssman and a Canadian heiress who are both passionate yogis and involved in spreading yoga through NGOs they have started themselves. They both have access to huge amounts of money and are extreemly well conected. If you are interested Yogani, I can send you their names and emails.

Russel Simmons, the man behind Def Jam records, is a passionate yogi and meditator who has been involved in several projects to spreading yoga. Even auctioning away private lssons with himself. His favourite book is Autobiographi of a Yogi by Paramhansa Yogananda. If he somehow gets to read the Wilder novel he would be a likely person to help.

Since he is a meditating budhist I would think Richard Gere would be interested in helping any movie that goes into such practices as long as he tought it would make at least a halfway decent film. I think the same goes for several of the stars that are practicing budhists like the guy in Beastie Boys or passionate meditators like Alanis Morisette. Even tough they wouldnt necesarily produce it or star in it I belive several such stars would be willing to do a bit of networking to help such a movie get made. They would probably see it as a way to ideas they themselves are passionate about out to a large audience. I actualy think it might be possible to get him to read the book by going through budhist circles. I know two monks that have studied with the Dalai Lama, presumably they would know and be able to get in touch with someone in Dalai Lamas close circle who has a good connection with Richard Gere and ask him to read it.

Another posibility is contacting someone connected with the mind and life institute and get them to read it. A lot of the people affiliated with that institute have easy access to the Dalai Lama and people like Daniel Goleman which again have access to loads of people that might help. One of the two guys instrumental in starting the mind life dialogues between the Dalai Lama and his monks and western scientists is a wealthy buisnessman very much involved in spreading meditation and conected ideas through various means. Get him to read it and you might get valuable support.

Also this guy here has great success teaching his students at Princeton how to quickly get in touch with people you would think it was impossible to get in touch with. His techiques could be put to use in order to get in touch with people that can help make a film happen.

In a book I have about Tibetan Budhism in the west called reenchantment there is a chapter devoted to budhism and Hollywood. As far as I remember it goes trhough movies obviously and not so obviously incorporating budhist ideas and mentions a few actors and filmakers that are passionate about using film to spread budhist ideas. I will read it again and post the names here.

If you are interested in getting the novel published in Norway I can give it to my step brother who is an editor in a large publishing company and ask him to take a look at it. If they pbulish it here that will highly increase the chance of it being published in Sweden and Denmark as well.

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5192 Posts

Posted - Oct 15 2008 :  1:20:58 PM  Show Profile  Visit yogani's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Markern:

Many thanks for all the new ideas. Of course the only way any of this can get done is if you and others of like mind go out and make it happen. Go for it!

But maybe better read the Secrets of Wilder novel first. Most like it, but some do not. As they say, "There's no accounting for taste."

To add an update to my posts above from 2006 on a Secrets of Wilder movie, the strategy here has shifted to more of a wait and see mode on that. This is due to learning about the industry, and what is involved in any movie getting made. It is generally a long and serendipity journey, having to do more with who in the industry wants to adapt a book to the screen than whether or not an author has written a screenplay.

The Secrets of Wilder has been read by at least one movie mogul who liked it, but this is no guarantee that anything will happen with it within a decade!

So, circulating the book to studios, producers, directors, agents and stars is the way to go, knowing that in time the odds will tilt toward someone wanting to do something. Then the adaption process can start, which is taking 15 hours of reading and converting it into 2 hours of movie screenplay -- no small task, probably best left to the professionals, and even that will likely get rewritten two or three times at least before (and sometimes during) shooting. That is how it goes in the movie business.

The main thing on our end is to see that as many key players as possible see and/or hear about the book, and when someone does come forward with some interest, to be sure they have the intention to be as true to the story as possible in adapting it to the screen. Once the movie rights are obtained, it is in the hands of the movie makers, to make or not to make, and how it will be made. So a meeting of minds on the front end is very important.

What the Secrets of Wilder has going for it as a potential movie is that it deals with the universal theme of human enlightenment in a Joseph Campbell-esque way, and can be presented as a pretty exciting adventure as well. Not sure the spiritual practices in the book would translate well to the screen, but the experiences certainly could with state-of-the-art special effects. From there, the viewer may be inspired to dig deeper into the practices themselves. That is the reason the novel was written in the first place -- not only to instruct, but to inspire further study leading to daily practice. All the rest of the AYP writings are in place for that.

So, if you like the novel, any help along these lines will be much appreciated. The same goes for any other passing of the word you may choose to undertake (as you mentioned here and elsewhere).

Thanks, and all the best!

The guru is in you.

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3189 Posts

Posted - Oct 15 2008 :  1:55:34 PM  Show Profile  Visit CarsonZi's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
I hate to chime in from an opposite point of view, but there is one....

Many authors would never allow their books to be made into a movie. Especially not one in Hollywood. They bastardize GREAT books and make the most commercial pieces of trash available today. Take the new movie Blindness...The producer/director had to beg, plead, offer his soul, blah blah blah just to get the opportunity to TRY and make a screenplay that the author would most likely reject anyways. Books are made for a reason. They can convey a true message. It is hard to convey a message WORTH conveying in a 120 minute movie. Especially when the main objective of the movie is to make MONEY....and the only way to make money on a movie, (which costs a fortune to make properly) is to promote the S@#$ out of it like a sleezeball and to make it as bland and appealing to as large a demographic as possible which again pollutes the real message. Finding a filmmaker and the funding for a Wilder movie will be hard because the demographic for said movie is going to be very minimal without polluting the message to make it commercially viable. This is a sad truth I'm afraid. I have gone through the EXACT same thing in the music industry. Make a revolutionary CD (or three even) package it like a pro, and shop it around....but unfortunately noone with the money to make a product sell (ie. promote to the moon and back, bug the hell out of every radio, tv, and media this side of Antarctica etc etc) is willing to take risks on unproven materials. ONLY if you are doing something that has already been shown to make money, will people capable of making such a product even look at you. I may sound jaded, and indeed I probably still am a little, but I think the only way a movie about Wilder will get made is if we all join together and samyama the hell outta it or something. Nothing short of a miracle could make this possible IN MY OPINION. Take it with a grain of salt...

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5192 Posts

Posted - Oct 15 2008 :  2:17:57 PM  Show Profile  Visit yogani's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Carson:

No disagreement on your thoughts, and that is why the strategy has shifted to simply making as many people in the industry as possible aware of the Wilder story, and sitting back and waiting (samyama is definitely going on in that ) . If nothing else, readers in the industry may be spurred along on their own spiritual path.

I believe as the shift in global consciousness continues, the demand for Wilder-style stories will increase, including more commercial viability.

A couple of years ago, both the Celestine Prophesy and the Peaceful Warrior came out -- the first as a do-it-yourself independent production, and the second as a Hollywood production. The latter is far better made than the first, so there is something to be said for waiting for professionals to develop a sincere interest in doing such a project, which I do favor now. I don't know if either of those movies was a commercial success (I suspect Peaceful Warrior did better), but the fact that both were made is noteworthy.

So, we'll see how it goes. The trade-off is that if a Wilder movie eventually gets made, and it is reasonably well-done (that front-end meeting of the minds), it can greatly expand the number of spiritual practitioners around the world. That is worth aiming for.

So please continue to pass the novel on, and we'll continue to do samyama on it too.

The guru is in you.

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3189 Posts

Posted - Oct 15 2008 :  2:38:56 PM  Show Profile  Visit CarsonZi's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Yogani,

Please don't take what I said as negative or that I think that the goal is not admirable....I just wanted to make sure everyone understands that actually getting a movie made that properly represents the book it is based on is next to impossible. For example, since you were talking about "The Peaceful Warrior", here is a quote from Dan Millman the author of the book on how the movie turned out.....

Dan's Comments on the Peaceful Warrior Film:

It took over twenty years for producer David Welch to find an independent studio willing to take a chance on this challenging adaptation of Way of the Peaceful Warrior. I'm also grateful to Sobini Films studio head Mark Amin, and Sobini president and producer Cami Winikoff, and others willing to invest considerable time and money into making this movie a reality.
Although the film covers only the first two-thirds of the book, down-sizing a quest for enlightenment to the evolution of a young athlete, it still manages to capture some of the spirit of, and reminders from, the original story.
Overall, I'm pleased with the effort. While the producers, screenwriter and director made some different choices than I might have made, I liked many of their choices ó for example, resolving the robbery scene through non-violent humor.
Since I had, like most authors, no control over choice of director or actors, nor any real influence over the script, the project was an education in letting go and supporting the dedicated professionals in this most collaborative of art forms.
If you have not (yet) read the book but only seen the film, please understand that the movie is based only loosely upon the book (which is in turn based upon elements and incidents in my life.)
To his credit, director Victor Salva improved upon earlier drafts of the script ó and seamlessly incorporated about ten pages of material I had written only a few weeks before photography).
If you wish to more deeply understand (and live) with a peaceful heart and warrior spirit, I encourage you to read my other core teaching books, including Wisdom of the Peaceful Warrior, an essential companion to my first book. Together, my books provide a comprehensive course in the peaceful warrior's way.
In closing, the Peaceful Warrior movie has been a blessing for me, the author, and for filmgoers who enjoy "cinema with substance," searching for reminders about what's really important in life.

NOT trying to discourage only keep things attachments to potential outcomes right?

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5192 Posts

Posted - Oct 15 2008 :  3:09:21 PM  Show Profile  Visit yogani's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Carson:

Yes, if Wilder can eventually do as well as Peaceful Warrior did in the translation to screen (even though quite piecemeal), it will be worthwhile. I am open to it, and recognize that it could be many years before someone able to do a decent piecemeal job comes along. As Millman points out, it is a net plus -- an audience widener. So why not, if and when the opportunity presents itself?

On the opposite end, the adaption to the screen of the Da Vinci Code was so true to the myriad details in the book that it tended to drag on the screen, getting bogged down in itself. It is just not possible to get a whole book onto the screen gracefully, so it is all in the adaption, which means leaving a lot out. Of course, the Da Vinci Code was guaranteed a degree of commercial success due to the popularity of the book and the Hollywood horsepower that was poured into it.

I don't think Wilder has to worry about being over-articulated in movie form the way the Da Vinci Code was. It is pretty expensive. We'd love to have that problem though.

I also remember that Carl Sagan was furious with what Hollywood was doing with his novel, Contact, and that there was even legal action about it. It is ironic, because Contact turned out to be a great movie, and a wonderful tribute to Carl Sagan and his work. Unfortunately, he passed away before he could see it.

Well, just to point out a few of the many contradictions and cross-currents that can be found in the movie business. So let's not take it too seriously, while keeping the door open at the same time. I think we are on the same page with that. Keep passing out those copies of Wilder!

The guru is in you.

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3189 Posts

Posted - Oct 15 2008 :  4:17:21 PM  Show Profile  Visit CarsonZi's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Yes we are pretty much in agreement Yogani...It is great to spread the word of AYP by whatever means possible, I just personally think it is important NOT to dilute the message too much because it really undermines the integrity of the whole idea of AYP to me. And sometimes that would make for a Da Vinci Code type thing and sometimes it would turn into a low budget independent movie noone will see but us AYPers. So it's a fine line to me. I guess it's all in having someone with an intimate knowledge of the AYP process and experience in screenplay adaptation working on the screenplay to maximize the effect possible for the widest audience possible. It's possible I guess, but funding is a hurdle in and of itself in this day and age. I will keep the idea in my mind should a proper connection make itself available.

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641 Posts

Posted - Oct 16 2008 :  6:11:03 PM  Show Profile  Visit YogaIsLife's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Well, for whatever is worth, here is my little story that connects The Way of the Peaceful Warrior movie and book, and AYP.

I was searching. The last few years I have been searching quite intensely for "something". Meaning to life, that "something else", because I just did not feel happy inside and things did not make sense, whatever was happening to me.

So I was open. I read avidly. I watched inspiring movies. And you know how this things are, if you are open and thirsty you will taste water everywhere, avidly And, at the same time, what you need (the answers) seem to come to you, quite magically really.

So, a friend of mine that I briefly met after a long time, while talking and trying to give me some advice or other, mentioned scenes of the movie peaceful warrior he had seen on youtube. Small scenes/snaphots of messages that "Socrates" was teaching Dan. Somehow those messages rang a bell inside. So I watched the same scenes in youtube and liked them. That brought up my curiosity for the book so I got it and read it and loved it.

That book further resonated with what I was feeling inside, thus bringing my thirst/desire ever higher. I just had to do something about that. I had to take a break for a few months from work, etc., to "find myself" or put things back together again. It was shortly after that I found AYP, while randomnly (not really, looking for things that resonated with me) surfing the web.

So, from my experience, well made material, once available and "eye-catching" can indeed fuel desire and help one in one's path. I think a Wilder movie can indeed do the same. At least "it's out there" for whoever needs it to see it.
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546 Posts

Posted - Apr 26 2009 :  09:14:54 AM  Show Profile  Visit gumpi's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply

Just a thought i had: wouldn't making a film of Wilder project you into the spotlight? You seem to value your anonymity so i wondered about this.

Also, there is a lot of sex in the book and i wonder how some of that would translate to film. that is, some people might be turned off (no pun intended) by it.
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3615 Posts

Posted - Apr 26 2009 :  11:51:29 AM  Show Profile  Visit Etherfish's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
I think it is up to the author if he wants to be in the spotlight. If you google the top ten movies of 2008, you won't know any of the authors. Before that, only the author of Harry Potter films seems to love the spotlight in recent history. And that's because she does tours and signings.

And Hollywood has become quite good at handling sex! I don't know if you have watched recent movies; but they just love to put it in there, anywhere from slight hints, to explicit.

If you watch TV for instance, you will notice that it is quite common for the camera to take an angle that looks down a woman's blouse, when that was not at all necessary for the story, and
it is much more often than what is normally seen in everyday life. There is tasteful and not, and they are quite expert at controlling that in Hollywood.
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229 Posts

Posted - May 10 2009 :  01:49:32 AM  Show Profile  Visit cosmic_troll's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Originally posted by gumpi

Also, there is a lot of sex in the book and i wonder how some of that would translate to film.

NC-17 rating is very permissive
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4 Posts

Posted - Oct 15 2010 :  6:42:48 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi there this is my first post on the forum.

I work in the film industry and I thought I could share some of my experience with you. I work in post production but I have worked for production companies in the past.
The first thing I can point out is why films are different from the books. It's not that filmmaker bastardize the books, it's just that we are talking about a different medium. A film is about what you see, a play is about what you say and a book is about what you think or feel while the action takes place. Therefore, anything that cannot be understood visually will be lost in the adaption to film. In a film, you cannot explain. Explaining something is called exposition and makes for a bad movie. If too much explanation is need then you are better off with the documentary format to tell your story. Sometime material doesnít make it into the movie because film follows a precise 3 act structure where the main plot unfolds with a beginning, middle and end. This is generally true for books too but in book, it is not uncommon to introduce new and sometime major plot throughout the story. You can read a book while you are focused, when you lose interest, you put the book down a pick it up at a later time. You canít do that with a film and the audience must stay focused throughout the film in order to enjoy it. Thatís why the 3 act structure is used, because it is designed to sustain the attention of the audience. Then there is rhythm within the acts to alternate intense moments and moments where the audience can relax. If you pile on intense moments over intense moments like it is sometimes done in Hollywood, a more sophisticated audience will get tired and walk out of the theater or fall asleep.

I havenít read the book yet but I can give an example with the first page where a character watches a butterfly on the beach while longing for an inner transformation similar to what the butterfly experiences. In a movie, we have a guy watching a butterfly on the beach. So we lost the deeper meaning. If you have your character explains that he longs for inner transformation then you have exposition. Big NO NO. But if our character experiences a spiritual transformation later on in the film, thatís when you bring back the butterfly again. Now the audience creates a link between transformation and the butterfly, the first scene now makes sense and the metaphor is not lost.

Someone talked about shooting scenes. It's important to point out that shooting scenes is a great exercise for aspiring filmmakers but it will not help to submit the scenes along with the screenplay. It will actually most likely hurt the project. The reasoning is that as good of a filmmaker one might be, without the budget to shoot high quality scenes, it will end up looking like a student film, which is fine but that's not really the image you want to project to a production company. You want to appear as professional as you can, even if you are faking it. I worked for a company that threw away without reading all submissions that came in with extra material like artwork or scenes. While this is not a general rule and some companies are more open minded, in my opinion it's better to focus on getting a strong script than to create extra material. The idea is if the company wants artwork, they will hire a professional artist, if the company wants to see scenes, they will hire professional filmmakers. If the company assumes you are a professional screenwriter, the only thing they want from you is a good script. If you try to do everything, you will most likely be branded as an ďamateurĒ.

Shopping the book or shopping a screenplay? It is really hard to get anyone to read your screenplay in Hollywood. It is even harder to get them to read a book since thereís a lot more to read. They pay reader to read material so the bigger it is the more they pay for it to be read (in essence). So a screenplay is better because companies have most of the work done already, they just have to do a couple re-writes to get it to their liking. The problem then is that most the cost of writing the screenplay falls on the author of the book and not on the company, which is why they like it.

Well there is a lot more to say but I hope this helps for now.

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5192 Posts

Posted - Oct 15 2010 :  11:59:22 PM  Show Profile  Visit yogani's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Kavelian, and welcome.

Thanks much for the overview from your perspective inside the industry.

I agree that the screenplay is the key. It is a matter of coming up with a good one. That is what drives the whole process. Can't blame production companies for being picky -- many millions are spent to put a story on the screen based on those 100 or so double-spaced pages. The screenplay had better be good -- very good.

As you will "see" when you read it, the Secrets of Wilder is largely a visual story, because that is the way it came to me. The spiritual journey of John Wilder is conveyed with elements of adventure, drama, romance/sexual tension, and comedy. Of course, important parts of the imagery are "internal." Some of that can be expressed beautifully with digital effects, to a degree that supports the overall flow of the story (not to overdo it).

It is a given that we will not be able to put all of the Wilder story into a screen adaption. As you point out, it will have to be distilled into a much shorter visual experience that illuminates the essence, while making it an even more captivating story at the same time. That is the creative challenge.

The Wilder movie project has been on the back burner since my last post above two years ago. There have been a series of other projects demanding full attention here since then. Perhaps at some point circumstances will permit work to begin in earnest on a screenplay. I have mixed feelings about tackling it by myself. A talented screenwriter assisting would be much preferred. Whenever the time comes to address it, we will do the best we can with what we have.

Thanks again for your sage advice, and all the best on your continuing path in practices!

The guru is in you.

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190 Posts

Posted - Nov 12 2010 :  7:27:56 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
This post is a little late..but WOW this is such a great idea. The idea of making a movie regarding AYP has been crossing my mind a lot many cool things that could be done with it. What a pleasure to find this idea is already circulating around. Hope this will one day be on the big screen and reaching out to millions.
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Posted - Nov 12 2010 :  8:25:09 PM  Show Profile  Visit yogani's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Originally posted by faileforever

Hope this will one day be on the big screen and reaching out to millions.

Me too.

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Posted - Aug 21 2012 :  10:05:24 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
I think you may like this short TV series called, "John From Cincinnati":

It's about a young man named John. It takes place near the beach. Miracles occur. I think if you watch it you will be very intrigued. They used a really cool technique to demonstrate the connectedness of all things within the Unified Consciousness of God. I think this could be a great model to follow when creating the flow of events for the screenplay.

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