29 May 2014

'John Mack' movie will "shift the collective perspective" on abduction phenomenon says producer

By Robbie Graham Silver Screen Saucers

Dr John Mack

I chatted recently with producer Denise David Williams about her ongoing efforts to bring to the big screen the extraordinary life and work of the late Dr John Mack. A Pulitzer-Prize-winning author and Harvard psychiatrist, Mack controversially devoted the later years of his life to the study of the abduction phenomenon and made great strides toward bringing the abduction debate out of the murk of the UFO subculture and into the light of popular engagement.

After attending USC Graduate School in Film, Denise David Williams began work in the film industry at LucasFilm as an assistant in pre-production on E.T. and Raiders of the Lost Ark, and went on to work as a Production Executive at several major companies including 20th Century Fox, AIP and IndieProd where she was responsible for acquiring and developing material for major motion pictures. She was Vice President of Kopelson Entertainment when the company produced Platoon – which won the Academy Award for Best Picture.

Now, Williams is working to raise funds for the development of a screenplay inspired by John Mack and his abduction research. If you’d like to contribute to this development, you can do so by making a donation at JohnMackMovie.com. Williams’ decision to raise initial funds at a grassroots level was made after 14-month partnership with prospective producer Robert Redford ended with the star demanding 100% creative control of the project – something Williams was unwilling to grant. “That is not an option,” she told Redford.




It was clear from our conversation that Williams has a bold vision for John Mack the movie, and it’s not a vision that conforms to genre expectations. “I don’t see this as a sci-fi project; I see this as a very authentic story along the lines of A Beautiful Mind meets The Insider, maybe structured along the lines of The Social Network... and that requires a writer who can write great characters and emotion and conflict.

This is film is unique, and it would take the “alien” dialogue to a whole new level... it would give the subject authenticity because of who John Mack was, because of his credentials, because of the sincerity of his work and because of the ridicule he endured. It really has the potential to strike-up a dialogue about the fact that we’re not alone in the universe in a way that is not intended to instil fear.”

Mack faced ridicule from mainstream media and academia after going public with his abduction research
 


Williams says she is now seeking to attach an A-list actor to the pitch and is currently actively pursuing a number of stellar names for the meaty role of Mack. “One possibility would be to attach an actor and then we would find development money fairly easily. But even without an actor at this stage, we will still find development money and hire a writer and develop the script, and once we have a script we will go back and make a deal with a studio.”

Despite being confident of attracting major talent to the John Mack project, Williams is resolute that her vision remain true to work and spirit of Mack the man:

“As the producer, I want to ensure that the John Mack screenplay has all the depth and complexity that it has the potential to have. A movie like this can help to shift the collective perspective; it introduces a more subtle, more gentle, more positive view of the subject matter, which we need. It’s exploring the effect of alien interactions on a human being... the entire effect... how that person is transformed, and how this subject transformed John Mack, because clearly he was transformed.

First and foremost, our goal is for a film that’s incredibly entertaining and provocative, where you come out of the theatre and you just go ‘wow!’, but also that it’s a film that pushes a conversation into the mainstream about the fact that we’re not alone in the Universe, and that whatever is here with us is not necessarily here to threaten us, to frighten us, or to conquer us, but it’s here, and let’s have real dialogue about it. It’s definitely time to bring it into the collective consciousness. I really believe this film is meant to be.”

I’ll be publishing my full interview with Denise David Williams at a later date. In the meantime, for more details about the John Mack movie visit the official website www.makemagicproductions.com. To contribute to the funding process, head on over to JohnMackMovie.com.
 

18 comments:

  1. During Denise David Williams' interview on Coast to Coast she spoke about an event where she climbed a hill, saw beings and then saw some sort of a craft dematerialize. This sounds suspiciously like what an abductee might experience. That said, the term abductee is quite simplistic, but something seems to have happened.

    One question I ask people who tell of contact experiences is this: "On a scale of 1 to 10, what is your sense of mission?"

    The answer that I will usually get is 11. If someone answers less than 10, I am suspect of their claims.


    Having heard her interview on C2C, I think I know how Williams would answer that question. So, we have someone with a strong sense of mission, saying "NO" to Robert Redford and striking out on her own to keep a personal vision intact. This to me, implies a lot.

    Mike C


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    1. I completely agree, Mike. Denise left me with no doubt that the Mack movie is very much a mission for her and that she was even directly compelled to make the movie by mysterious forces (and, yes, she freely acknowledges how odd that might sound to some). She feels she's been guided toward this project and that it is, in her own words, "meant to be". I hope so. It would certainly be refreshing to see a project like this come to fruition in the Hollywood system.

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  2. Now THAT is an interesting question: WHO could play the part of John Mack on the silver screen?

    My #1 option right now is Ed Harris, although looking at a picture of Richard Jenkins, he also has a strong resemblance with the late doctor.

    Maybe Silver Screen Saucers should launch a poll! ;)

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  3. Wow, Williams said she was directly compelled to make the movie by mysterious forces?

    I am not at all surprised, that was very much my impression hearing her speak. What those "mysterious forces" might be is a mystery. Little gray men on a metal spaceship might be an easy assumption, but I suspect it is far more subtle and complex.

    Mike C

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  4. Gary Goetzman4 June 2014 16:21

    "Denise told me three names she's interested in right now, but I'm not at liberty to reveal them here :( Suffice to say they're all stars, but only two are character actors, one of whom is arguably the greatest living actor."

    Tom Hanks.

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    1. Nah, I don't see him play the part.

      Maybe De Niro?

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    2. Tom Hanks is Not arguably the greatest living actor. Of the real cadre (I'll focus on male actors, since the part has to be portrayed by a male..), which I include Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Benicio Del Toro, Leonardo DiCaprio (what with all the wops, huh?), Daniel Day Lewis, Javier Bardem, Anthony Hopkins, Denzel Washington, Benedict Cumberbiatch (hehe), Phillip Seymour Hoffman (yes, I know: he's dead - but shouldn't be; he WOULD Have been on my list; besides,he's only Just Dead..); and I'll leave an open slot for people I've completely spaced. And from that list, I wouldn't pick any of them for this role - although I know nothing of Dr. Mack, good casting requires artistic choices, fitting the persona with another's ability to portray that persona. For Dr. Mack, I might choose a Hugh Laurie, Christian Bale, or a younger Elliot Gould (hey, while we're fantasizing...). If I HAD to pick one of my 'Top Ten Actors', I might go with Benicio or Cumberbatch.

      WHAT ABOUT YOU?

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  5. John would be 85 this year. He was around 62 when he began to engage the issue of contact. My votes go to the following actors in order of preference: 1) Daniel Day Lewis 2) Jeremy Irons, 3) Kevin Spacey, 4) Ted Danson,

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  6. PS. I think I will toss Hugh Laurie into the mix as well.

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  7. Robert Powell is a dead ringer but getting up there age wise for this one.

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  8. Jeff Goldblum.

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    1. My thought too!

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    2. I'll second that.

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  9. I think Sean Penn could pull it off. Just my humble opinion :)

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  10. John Hamm anyone?

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  11. So many individuals have been on very specific "Missons" lately regarding the Phenomena of Contact with ETs (Non-Human Intelligent Beings). One tangental issue is that again, many others have also had a mission to focus on the topic of "Consciousness" following the steps of Dr. Edgar Mitchell: Rey Hernandez, Grant Cameron, Alfred Weber, Brad Steiger, and so many others. Both the topics of "Consciouness" and ET Contact are interrelated somehow that that is what so many of us have been "guided" and driven to explore, exploring, including Denise David Williams.

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