Thursday, August 29, 2013

Q & A with the director of The Hidden Hand

trailer for The Hidden Hand

The Hidden Hand is a feature length documentary directed by James Carmen. The subject is the UFO phenomenon and all it’s complexities. A few years back I got to hang out with James in my old neighborhood in New York City. I’ve seen him a bunch more times at UFO conferences where he was hard at work on this documentary. It’ll be available on September 1st, and I’m super honored to sing it’s praises and also to help get the word out. 



Here's a short interview with James where I get to ask a few questions about the production.
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Mike C: I saw an earlier version of this movie while it was still in production. What I just watched was quite different than what I remember seeing a few years ago. What was the evolution process that lead to this finalized version?
James: First off, thanks for taking interest in my film. I started making The Hidden Hand with a documentary and a narrative structure to it. I wanted to make an "artsy" film. I was shooting with Al Bielek and Gloria Hawker, creating a narrative story around their own personal experiences. In a way, It's a great film in of itself, and I'd like to finish it, but I found that audiences were confused with the mix of storytelling and straight documentary, so I took all the narrative elements out and made the film as straight ahead as I could. I think the subject matter requires it.
What obstacles did you run into trying to tackle such a complex subject?
The film has been a real labor of love. It took me 8 years to make and a year and a half to get distributed. Since I have financed it myself, I always had to wait for until I earned more money so I could  go to the next step. Making any film nowadays is a very heady enterprise. Besides just making the film, one must attend to legal, distribution, promotion, archival and insurance aspects of the film so it can be seen. My lawyer wanted me to change some things so I wouldn't be sued.
I have to assume you have some great stuff that never made the final cut, what's happening with that stuff?
I would like to post all the interviews on my website. I have a real treasure trove of great information. I'm not sure when I will have the time to do it, but I've always had that thought in my head. I love to interview people.
It's an intimate and beautiful glimpse into their world. It's always a shame just to take a small sound bite to represent a concept or even a whole life, but that's the reality of film-making. I see people reading less and less, so we are processing information is a different way now.
Will there be DVD extras?
There are extras on the DVD.
I really commend you for the way you ended the film. It culminated with a chapter titled "Galactic Consciousness" and that was a big deal for me. I've seen a lot of UFO documentaries that never stray beyond the nuts and bolts mindset. What made you end it like this?
I really feel that we are reaching out into Galactic Consciousness. We are traveling out into interior and exterior space. How exciting is that! I almost want to volunteer to go to Mars as one of the first "official" colonists. How amazing!
I don't know if they'd take me. I was taking to Michio Kaku the other day and he envisions a future where humans and machines are totally blended. It could be a kind of Humanity 2.0 where we can program our genetics and  totally integrate into high levels of AI. We will create worlds and N-dimensional realities in our heads and invite our friends to come play with us.
My sense is that this is YOUR project. Obviously you had help, but it sure seems like this was your baby. Am I seeing it correctly?
Yes Mike, This was my project. I made it the way I wanted to. No cigar-smoking producer to answer to. I am somewhat of a perfectionist so perhaps the whole film took longer to make, but I sincerely made it as gift for those who would appreciate and learn from it. 
I hope it finds it's way out into the broader world.
Blessings to you,
James
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10 comments:

Stuart Cardell said...

Oh, this will be "compulsory viewing" for me!

"I love to interview people.
It's an intimate and beautiful glimpse into their world." - James Carmen.

This quote made me realize something: ironically, legitimate abductees, recounting their experiences in a interview is one of the few times we actually DO get a genuine, unfiltered view into someone else's reality.

Accounts that are uncontaminated by exaggeration, egoistic boasting, propaganda, deliberate dis-information and all the issues that normally permeate glimpses into the "worlds/realities" of other human beings. eg. the main stream news channels ...LOL!

Steven Smith said...

"Accounts that are uncontaminated by exaggeration, egoistic boasting, propaganda, deliberate dis-information and all the issues..."

Very few people can discern false from genuine.

What one accepts depends largely on how self-aware one is. The currency is the story [entertainment], not the information [interpretation/assessment]. People who read this are likely to object to this assertion. Doesn't matter to me. I know firsthand how valid it is. The culture of ufology, with all it's self-hate and compulsory self-congratulation, is as intolerant and deluded as the broader culture it represents.

Stuart Cardell said...

I understand what you're saying here Steve. Very good points.

What I've observed is: the truth draws the truth seeker & those that seeks to hide the truth.

Fortunately, the dichotomy is more pronounced in a subject like this. Therefore, it's made it easier for me to discern the truth from the lies.

Mike Clelland! said...

I watched the documentary, and it's quite good. I have different opinions of some that were interviewed, but for the most part, that didn't make any impact on the overall message of James' film.

Separating truth from lies is a slippery slope, and I steer clear of that as best I can. All I can do is be as honest as I can be, and hopefully I can learn as I proceed forward.

Zen Benefiel said...

Al Bielek reached out to me in early summer 1989. He called me up and invited me out to lunch. I had no idea who he was at the time, but I never turn down a free lunch. He prefaced what he had to say with 'You'll need to know this.'

His story alone is fascinating, but I was still in a quandary over my life and only recently had returned to 'the path' after a devastating divorce and leaving the aerospace industry. Although we didn't see quite eye-to-eye on what shared as his understanding, I thoroughly enjoyed the lunch. About a year later I was hosting a TV show and interviewed him about his book, which had just come out then. It was one of the interviews that got lost after it aired, so I don't have a copy.

What made me happy in reading this, Mike, was that Galactic Consciousness was mentioned. I was surprised that you didn't go into a bit more of an explanation. Too simplistic a version, I would imagine, is that cosmic consciousness (for lack of a better) condensed into form some time ago and did so in layers. It left a trail home for those who sought it, full of interesting creations. Advanced consciousness and our extraterrestrial (so-called) visitors are just the beginning of its full display in the cosmos. I look forward to its roll-out.

Steven Smith said...

To be clear, I wasn't criticizing anyone. I'm only sharing a perspective. That's all any of us have.

I no longer subscribe to the concept of Truth. Our understanding is limited by sentient perspective and personal experience, and we do not know what those limits are.

Authenticity and Consideration are totally adequate for increasing understanding. More people should try it sometime. Generally speaking, few do.

I look forward to seeing the documentary.

Jack Jawczak said...

Rented it last night, very well done.

Tim Cobb said...

I watched this on Netflix then I showed my girlfriend. Real pictures of the Grey aliens om the ship was removed. 1 picture had 3 Grey aliens on a ship.picture 2 had 1 Grey alien.where can I see the unedited version that shows these two pictures

Tim Cobb said...

I watched this on Netflix then I showed my girlfriend. Real pictures of the Grey aliens om the ship was removed. 1 picture had 3 Grey aliens on a ship.picture 2 had 1 Grey alien.where can I see the unedited version that shows these two pictures

Tim Cobb said...

I watched this on Netflix then I showed my girlfriend. Real pictures of the Grey aliens om the ship was removed. 1 picture had 3 Grey aliens on a ship.picture 2 had 1 Grey alien.where can I see the unedited version that shows these two pictures