As our world changes and minds open, what we see in our common culture tends to shift right along with those changes. In the past few years I’ve seen things in music, movies and said by “big-name” people that I never would have thought I would see due to he fact that these topics are mostly fringe or very underground. But as that all changes, these once taboo subjects are now becoming a lot more accepted and for good reason; much of this stuff can truly help not just people but humanity as a whole.
Stuart Braunstein of New York Natives told me about a film called ‘Don Peyote’ earlier this year. As we were intrigued by the name and subject matter, Stuart hooked us up with Dan Fogler, the lead Actor & writer of Don Peyote, to get some questions answered about the film and the inspiration behind such interesting subject matter.
Be sure to check out the trailer at the bottom of the interview.
1) What is the film about?
Warren Allman an aimless Everyman bumps into a street prophet preaching 2012 is the end, and Warren gets obsessed with that concept. It sends him off collecting interviews from wise-men trying to figure out major life questions for a documentary to save the world all before he gets married and before the possible Apocalypse! Warren becomes consumed with the fear even though everyone tells him that he will manifest his reality and he needs to stay calm or he’ll contribute to the problem. He can’t help but dive head first down the rabbit hole and he emerges on the other side a changed man. He transforms into Don Peyote, street prophet. He is the 100th monkey that is the herald for a change of consciousness.
2) Tell us about the inspiration behind making the film around the subject matter it contains.
This is a group effort and the film really made itself at its own pace. At certain points in history all the main collaborators involved with the film, separate or otherwise, really wanted to make a movie like Don Peyote. In my portion of the journey of making of this crazy film -it was before 2012 & I was turning 33 and entering a very existential period as were many folks at that time before 2012. I was getting stressed, getting married and very much as confused as Warren was at the beginning of his journey. The film parallels events in my own life obviously -and I needed to finish whatever my journey was and the only way to do that was to document it. I was changing with each interview. The movie was changing me and others involved in the film.
When we began we had no budget, no cast & a pretty lose script. I turned to Mike & Yang and said let’s make a film we’ll all wear a lot of hats. We’ll shoot with whatever camera was available. I always was interested in the street prophet journey. How did that person get that way? The very next day Mike introduced me to Stuart and Collective Hardware and Daniel Pinchbeck and the universe conspired in our favor to help finish the film.
3) Looking around the world with all that is going on these days, with all the people looking for answers. Seems the film was very timely, was this intentional?
I was one of the wave of many people waking up right before 2012 through to today. I wanted to capture that and the movie became a volatile time capsule. During the course of the film it became my patriotic duty to help wake up as many people as I could with this film and reach as wide an audience as we could.
4) The film seems to dive into the rabbit hole on a number of subjects, and is it meant to get the viewer thinking or is it purely for entertainment only?
It’s both. I describe watching the film as “taking the sugar with the medicine.” I knew the only way to get these theories out there to ‘Joe’ public was to make the film funny-and of course we infused the cast with many talented mainstream actors. This movie is “waking up 101”. We want folks talking and thinking about the film after it ends, not wondering where they’re gonna go for desert.
5) If you have one thing you want someone to take away from this film, what would it be?
Fear is an illusion. We have a choice to help manifest a better world or we can help contribute to the chaos. We are the captains of our own happiness and destiny and it is our patriotic duty to question authority and the reality presented to us. We as individuals are more powerful than we realize.
6) There are a number of interesting people and stars in the film. What was it like bringing them all into the film like this and working together?
The synchronicities were abundant during the making of this film. From meeting Stuart who introduced us to Daniel Pinchbeck instantly at collective hardware, to accepting my tony award from Anne Hathaway- bringing everyone together for this project was incredibly easy. The actors that appear in the film are friends or have become friends or they were people who were already intrigued with the subject matter. It was a dream. They each dove head first into the organic process and we got gold.
7) When and where can the viewers see the film upon its release?
On VOD and on demand late April and in select theaters in May.
8) Do you have any upcoming projects that you would like to tell the viewers about?
Hysterical psycho our first feature from studio 13 is out now on demand and the spin-off graphic novel moonlake volumes 1&2 are out in bookstores now while st13 is currently cultivating their next project.
Dan can be seen in Barely Lethal this summer with Sam Jackson and on TV in Untapped.
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