"What's the secret to keeping young", Aubrey De Grey and People Unlimited directors share their vision. People Unlimited directors James Strole and Bernadeane are featured alongside Aubrey De Grey and RAADfest on Italy's leading TV news magazine, PresaDiretta. The conversation is all about living up to a thousand years, keeping young and how to do it.
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People Unlimited volunteers, entertainers and activists help make RAADfest 2017 the greatest super longevity event ever. RAADfest, held August 9-13, 2017 in San Diego, was made possible, in large part, by the efforts of People Unlimited members. People Unlimited provided most of the event support team as well as several great performances.
The point of making a documentary is to provide an audience with a chance to learn about something they weren’t aware of. Since most people aren’t aware of the possibilities of unlimited living or physical immortality, a documentary is the perfect vehicle to tell this complex and compelling story of People Unlimited. To make our point, we would need a documentary and an audience. As we accumulated massive amounts of video shot at People Unlimited events, we worked on a number of concepts for producing the documentary, but we were not gaining much ground on the distribution end. There was a clear need for help in that area, as well as some direction for the product.
When I met Doug Collins last fall, he offered to help us produce the documentary and to help us find an audience for it. That started a series of discussions that would considerably change the scope of the project and dramatically change the course of my life.
Doug’s first recommendation was to create a trailer for the documentary that would help him find people that would buy into the project and help us sell it to the world. We brought Jim and Bernie into the studio for an interview and built the trailer around that interview, combined with video clips from their expressions at the People Unlimited center.
Did we capture the essence of Jim and Bernie and their revolutionary concepts towards life? You’ll just have to see that for yourself. So here’s a link for the trailer:
And what about changing the course of my life? We’ll take that up next time.
This is the second post in a series on the creation of a video documentary on People Unlimited’s quest to immortalize the world.
In our last episode, I edited the expressions from the People Unlimited 2013 Summer Event down to 23 minutes of material that addressed immortalizing the world. I sent a link to the video, along with my notes on the clips selected, to Jim and Joe. What with vacations and so forth, it wasn’t until September 6 that we were able to meet and discuss our next steps.
For me, the meeting was exhilarating. I had a plan in mind of how I wanted to proceed and as we talked, Jim, Bernie and Joe were coming up with ideas that were a very close match to what I had envisioned. We had created a connection that had us thinking and acting as one body. Hmmmm. It was an effortless ride, where ideas popped up and were immediately understood and expanded.
One of Joe’s ideas was to treat the project like a rock and roll documentary, depicting Bernie and Jim more as rock stars than public speakers. I would shoot some interviews and backstage scenes to help put their expressions into the proper context. He cited the example of The Last Waltz, Martin Scorsese’s classic film of The Band’s final performance in 1976. I, of course, was thinking of This is Spinal Tap, Rob Reiner’s spoof on heavy metal “rockumentaries”. Okay, so we weren’t thinking exactly as one body right at that moment, but we were close.
So our plan of action was to start shooting the backstage scenes that very night (it was a Friday) and set up a time to shoot the interviews. I arrived at the People Unlimited Center early, screwed in my wide-angle lens to accommodate the confined space of the office and found myself lurking in the lobby like a freelance paparazzi , trolling for celebrities…
What I got that night probably won’t make the final cut, but I have included it here to illustrate how ideas can turn into reality in just a few hours. And the topic of discussion did find its way into the event that night. So without further ado, ladies and gentlemen, for your viewing enjoyment I give you this:
Several months ago, Jim Strole and Joe Bardin invited me to a meeting to discuss the creation of a video documentary on People Unlimited’s quest to immortalize the world. This concept has been building momentum through the course of the year with dramatic results: events held in Israel, New York and Prescott, AZ have brought physical immortality to many new people around the world. Of course the idea appealed to me so we started planning. Through the course of 2013, Jim and Bernie had been refining their program for immortalizing the world. The summer event in July was shaping up as the culmination of the year’s work to that point. People would be coming to Scottsdale from Israel, the east coast and northern Arizona to attend, and there was also a powerful new feeling of warmth, compassion and intimacy that had been growing all year. We would be taping the entire event and I was sure that we would be capturing some great moments.
I wasn’t disappointed. At the conclusion of the event, I had roughly 30 hours of video to edit and among all that were some fantastic expressions. I put together a 23 minute segment comprised of Jim, Bernie and Joe’s expressions that dealt specifically with immortalizing the world. There are many more expressions by a variety of people who bring different perspectives to bear on the theme. But this segment will serve as the foundation for the documentary.
As we work on the documentary, I’m going to post the progress here on the blog, so people can see how this comes together. So step 1 in building a documentary is to assemble as much live-action material as possible and see how much of the story gets told with that alone. I’ve taken the 23 minute segment and cut it down to just under 16 minutes for this post. I hope you enjoy watching it and tell us what you think.