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.
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.Will there be DVD extras?
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.
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!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?
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.
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,