I had an intuitive hit a few years ago – and it saved my life.
I heard a voice early one morning while I was driving to the airport in New Orleans. As I was approaching an intersection the voice told me to slow down. I’d never heard a voice like this before – and what made it even more strange was that I wasn’t going fast, there was no traffic on the road, and there seemed to be no reason to slow down. I had a green light up ahead, and if anything I wanted to speed up so that I got through on the green.
But the voice said again: Slow down, so I slowed down –
As I entered the intersection a huge truck ran a red light on a cross street, and missed me by inches. If not for my heeding that voice, I would have been killed.
That incident haunted me for years to follow – and I finally decided to make a film about intuition.
I set out with three burning questions: What was that voice? Where did it come from? Why was my life saved?
It would turn out to be the most difficult film I had ever made. And it would bring about fundamental changes in me as a person, as a filmmaker, and as a human being.
When I started out I didn’t have a clue what I was going to do, who I was going to interview, what the structure of the film would be, what its tone would be, I didn’t even know what I wanted the film to say. Normally when I make a film I am incredibly prepared, organised, I have everything worked out meticulously.
I realised that this film could not be made this way – in a logical rational intellectual way. It had to be made intuitively.
What does that mean?
For me, it meant letting go. Relinquishing control to my guidance – my PGS – and following those signs, leads, feelings and prompts that would ultimately lead me to some of the foremost practitioners of intuition from around the world.
Finance began to roll in – but it happened in fits and starts, which I realised was benefitting the film enormously, because I needed time to grow and learn as the filming progressed. Sometimes there would be long gaps between filming, where we didn’t have the finance to keep shooting, and later I would look back on that period and realise it had been necessary for me to come across key research that would aid the next phase of production.
I ended up shooting for three years on and off, did 78 interviews all over the world and shot more than 120 hours of material. Of that, 25 interviewees are in the final cut of the film, which runs for 90 minutes. Editing took 18 months.
Why so long? Not to sort through all the material – no, it took 18 months to figure out how best to tell the story. I struggled for a long time over whether it should be a personal story or a more detached view on intuition. Finally, right at the very last, I decided to make it about my journey to find the voice that saved my life.
Tonally, I decided to give the film a very grounded “muscular” aesthetic. For me, this film in editing came to be about sculpting and balancing energies – the content was feminine, the wrapping needed to be masculine. Hence the bold graphic colours and style of the key art, the graphics within the film itself, even the musical score.
I studiously set out to upend all the clichés of a New Age film. And there was one inviolate rule that I applied to everyone involved with the film, whether they were considering investing, or if they wanted to work on the crew, or in post production, in whatever capacity – they had to make their decision intuitively, and they had to be prepared to work intuitively.
I knocked back large chunks of investment because I knew the financier wasn’t looking at the investment intuitively, they were looking at it from a General Ledger perspective. I didn’t want that energy in this film. I said no to these offers of finance on several occasions.
There was one other rule I applied – and this was to the interviewees, all of whom I was led to, none of whom I had pre-planned to approach; and that was
I only wanted practitioners of intuition in the film – not interpreters of intuition, which of course ruled out some of the celebrity big names in the field.
And that made it harder to raise finance because I would not have these famous people to market. But I only wanted to speak to those with a coalface hands-on relationship with intuition.
Ultimately, I now look at the film, all finished, and to me it’s a true wonder, how it all happened. I describe myself as merely the tiller man, trying to keep my vessel off the rocks and shoals as I guide it downstream to its destination, which is to audiences around the world.