Hustledork Cinema: the hits just keep comin' at ya!
Oh. My. Goddess. Wednesday came and went last week, and I know I had more than halfway promised that I would wrap up the Peter Wink conversations that day, but I didn't. The truth, Dear Ones, is that I had spent the previous few days dealing with some extraordinarily trying family matters, in addition to recuperating from a mystery ailment, and I did not have the brains to write anything even remotely thoughtful and serious. I'm still not up to full speed yet, though the Snark is definitely stirring. So, with my apologies to Peter and to anyone who might have been expecting a Wink Wednesday Wrap-up, let me more than halfway promise to do it this coming Wednesday instead. That should buy me some time to either write the post or come up with another excuse for not doing so.
For now, I have a Very Important New-Wage Moviemercial Announcement. Or several announcements, actually. I Tweeted briefly about this matter the other day, but the topic begs for elaboration.
I first found out about this scintillating film project via a spammish comment I received a few days ago for an August 2007 Whirled post about the hustledork flick The Opus. Over the years I've received a fairly steady flow of comments on that post, most of them supporting The Opus and its creator, a Canadian actor, author, Mormon missionary, motivational speaker, and film producer named Douglas Vermeeren. Doug currently calls himself "North America's Achievement Expert," and is touted by some as being a spokesman for the younger generation of overachievers. These days, in addition to announcing moviemercial projects, he mostly seems to be making his living teaching individuals and corporations how to reach that storied "next level," delivering seminars in places such as Mexico, Jamaica and Fiji.
Doug himself contributed a couple of comments to the discussion on my Opus post, and a few folks have asked me why I have allowed such blatant promotion of his work, in the guise of "conversation." But it's NBD, as far as I'm concerned. I snark. Others defend my snargets, and sometimes the snargets defend themselves, as they have every right to do, and indeed as I openly invite them to do. I snark again if I feel like it. And so it goes. That's the way my Whirled turns, sometimes.
At any rate, here's that spammish comment announcing the next cinematic breakthrough (and I call it spammish because it appeared verbatim on several other forums as well):
Bob Proctor and Douglas Vermeeren and The Opus... There's a new movie coming promises to reveal a message that The Secret left out... That movie is The Lost Message. And it features both Bob Proctor and Douglas Vermeeren. ( You can find it online at www.TheLostMessage-movie.com) It focuses around an ancient message that was practiced by rulers and kings to build and maintain empires, but since then it has been lost. Only a few have even had a glimpse at this grand secret. It is a lost message but it will be reveal [sic] again in this upcoming movie.
When I visited the web site, it was not immediately clear to me exactly who is behind The Lost Message. But on the "About" page I read that the film is "brought to you by the creator of The Opus." That would be Doug V. And if you Google the Calgary, Alberta phone number listed on the site, you'll see it is also associated with Doug.
What seems abundantly clear is that The Lost Message is covering some mighty familiar territory, as you'll see if you follow the link to the home page and take a look at the trailer. A glance at the "Cast" page will also reveal some familiar names. And yes, Scientist Bob Proctor is prominently featured. I'm not surprised to see that he seems to be continuing his campaign to throw The Secret under the bus, as he did a year and a half ago when he and Mary Manin Morrissey introduced their "Eleven Forgotten Laws" frauduct (to borrow a phrase from my pal Salty Droid).
In a "Warning" on the Lost Message site, we are told that The Lost Message is "not just a movie" because it is accompanied by "specific state of the art training materials and tools" that will allow you to "do more with this film than any other that has come before it." But you may be wondering, as I did, just what that "lost message" is. Well, gee, that would ruin the surprise, and the need to buy the movie, wouldn't it? Suffice to say that...
There are few who know what that message is. And now they will present it to you. This message will change everything. You will find greater satisfaction, greater abundance, increased positivity, better relationships and the ability to defeat every challenge you will ever face.
Well, that clears that up.
Following the Anon comment on my blog about The Lost Message, regular participant "Disillusioned" mentioned that James Arthur "Death" Ray's name is listed on the trailer. "Is this a new advertising ploy what with his trial coming up in a couple of months?" wondered Dis.
I replied that I thought the cast list wasn't necessarily current. I surmised that the project was begun years ago, perhaps during the first wave of Secret ripoff flicks, but for one reason or another it didn't get off the ground. "The creator(s) of the flick probably got a preliminary commitment from 'the usual suspects,' most of whom were so high on Secret fumes that they would agree to anything at the time," I mused, adding that in any case I thought it might be a good idea for them to remove James Ray's name for the time being.
Not long afterward, I received this from another anonymous commenter:
- Just thought I'd share an insight from someone who worked on the movie although you have to appreciate that I can't share my name. James Arthur Ray has been cut from the final film. Any guess why... and a few other Secret alumni have also been given the heave-ho. Mostly for the reasons you've pointed out. People are tired of seeing this gang try and build another "secret."
Having said that I do think what the film is shaping up to be may surprise many people. It is pretty interesting and there's a lot in there that I didn't expect. The first few scenes I saw rough cuts on were kind of interesting.
I guess we'll see what the end result is....
The prolonged online tease worked once, very well, for The Secret. But isn't the market saturated with Secret-type movies by now, and hasn't that style of marketing lost much of its effectiveness? Why do people keep churning these flicks out (or at least churning out teaser sites and trailers, if not finished products)?
Those are serious questions, by the way, not just snarks in the form of rhetorical questions. I seriously want to know if any moviemercials besides What The Bleep Do We Know? and The Secret have paid off in any big way for the creators or, equally as important, for the countless affiliates hoping to make a few bucks off of the products.
Doug Vermeeren has apparently also had yet another moviemercial in the works for a couple of years, The Gratitude Experiment. A commenter mentioned it on the discussion following my Opus post, and it was also mentioned in the discussion following a July 2007 post about The Opus on the Surface Earth blog. The Surface Earth post bears the long title, "Is the movie 'The Opus' the next level of 'The Secret?' Will we have a foolproof plan to elevate ALL of humanity?" From where I sit, the answer to that second question is...um..."No." But one January 2010 commenter to that post wrote:
I loved The Opus and felt that it was very epic. Kind of like the Titanic of personal development film. Very visually stunning and cool. I am looking forward to Doug Vermeeren’s next movie The Gratitude Experiment. If it is anything like the Opus it will be incredible. The trailer is on the official website http://www.Gratitude-Experiment.com
...I am a BIG fan of Doug Vermeeren. I believe his materials surpass Napoleon Hill. I believe the Doug Vermeeren is destined to reshape personal development in the same way that Hill and several others of his day did. There is no one really doing what Doug Vermeeren is doing and all the really well known leaders are not prepared to connect with the younger generations. Sure they are using the internet technology to reach out to us, but their message is still something that resonates best with my parents. It’s time for a new generation that has messages relevant for today! I believe that Doug Vermeeren is leading the way. Keep up the great work Doug!
"The Titanic of personal development film?" Oh, Lord, I'm getting a sinking feeling...
Maybe I'm just getting old myself, but I am having trouble discerning how the "messages" in Doug Vermeeren's moviemercials are substantially different from that of the h-dorks of previous generations, particularly from the past 25 years or so. Near as I can tell, the basic message goes something like this: You can have, do, and be anything you want to have, do, and be, if you just have the right attitude, are willing to do a little work (or not), and are willing to be a relentless hustledork yourself. That last bit is particularly important, for without the ceaseless buying and selling of products and events that claim to show millions of other folks how to have/do/be anything they want to have/do/be, the whole system collapses.
The basic h-dork message is always enhanced by the promise that the product or event being sold is a unique blend of forbidden ancient secrets – known only to a few elite folks! – and cutting-edge technology. As it was in 1985, so it is in 2010.
Or am I missing something?
I also think it noteworthy that Doug himself doesn't hesitate to draw on the "wisdom" of previous generations of h-dorks, including, of course, the Elder Statesman of H-Dorkery himself, Scientist Bob. And on the home page of one of Doug's main sites, there is this bit of pseudo-wisdom from baby-boomer Secret star John Demartini: "When you are humble to divinity you get the most powerful certainty for humanity." (I have never really done justice on this blog to Dr. Demartini, who, incidentally, hardly seems like the humble sort himself.)
But perhaps I am being too hasty in my judgment about all of this. Where The Gratitude Experiment is concerned I couldn't say one way or the other, because so far the web site still seems to consist only of a teaser page with a one-minute trailer promising a "controversial" movie that will deliver some answers humanity has been seeking for millennia. (I know...we've never heard that one before.)
But wait, there's more! While the world waits for The Gratitude Experiment and The Lost Message, other movies are in the works. When Googling, I found a link to the Facebook page for The Gratitude movie, and saw an announcement that Doug himself will be starring in yet another moviemercial, The Journey. Motivational author Don Boyer and his lovely wife Melinda are the exec producers of this one, and they are also cast members. And...hold on, because your hands are going to start shaking from excitement, just as mine are now... Scientist Bob Proctor is in this movie too! You simply must follow the link and at least watch the trailer.
If you want a piece of that Journey pie yourself, click on through to the Sponsors page. Besides getting a bunch of copies of the movie
if when it comes out, if you fork over enough bucks you'll also get your name on the movie credits, and you'll get to hang with the "stars" during the red-carpet premiere events. Plus your business and your credibility will get big boost. According to the copy, there are numerous good reasons for becoming a sponsor. Among them:
4. Association. The old saying of “It’s not what you know but who you know that counts” is a true maxim when it comes down to creating quantum growth in your business and profits. The right associations can eliminate years off your growth curve and open doors that have remain iron shut for years.
5. Tax Deduction. Let’s face it, taxes are good and needful, however there is no need to overpay in taxes. The fact is, our government allows us to use money in order to grow our business. Therefore you can use money to grow your business using the benefits or sponsorship or you can take that same money and give it to the government so they can give it to very able healthy individuals who refuse to work and rely on welfare for support. What is the best investment for your money?
6. Credibility. We are known by the company we keep and people do business with us on the perception they have of us. When you associate with credible people and companies you tend to inherit their cloak of credibility.
Notice how the copywriter manages to sneak a little bit o'politix there in Number 5, ripping on all those folks who "refuse to work and rely on welfare for support." As for the bits about "Association" and "Credibility," well... those speak for themselves.
On his May 12, 2010 blog post about the new flick, Doug Vermeeren wrote:
This new personal development film features many top personal development teachers like: Brian Tracy, Bob Proctor, Mick Moore, Don Boyer, Melinda Boyer, Dr. Joe Rubino, Kandee G, Nik Halik, Glenda Feilen, Ridgely Goldsborough, Vic Johnson, Judi Moreo, Rollan Roberts, Dr. Dallas Humble, Lisha and Kari Schneider, Matt Brauning, Kimberly Adams,Dale Halaway, Dr. Letitia Wright and of course, Myself, Douglas Vermeeren.
The format of this show, I was told by the producers, will be quite different than any of the personal development films out there so far. I am quite excited to see the finished product.
I am told the release date will be in December of this year...
As I said, the hits just keep on comin'. And each one promises to be "different" from all those others, and full of "surprises." The more things change...