By Dr Craig
It’s a wrap! Tuesday, May 29th marked the 8th and final day of filming for my THE HEALERS television series pilot episode. Post-production begins June 15th and will likely take at least 4-6 weeks to complete. Then, major Hollywood studios will be given the special opportunity to pick up this spectacular television series. Every day of filming was magical for me and all the others involved. I see the show being an incredible hit.
One year ago, the co-founder of THE HEALERS campaign, Carl Polonyi, I and Hollywood producer, Troy Anthony Garriga Jr., began this project. I believed in the possibility of a television series and never wavered in my determination, and Carl and Troy persevered with me. Every day of filming was extraordinary, like a dream come true. Troy was remarkable. Oftentimes, he would just sit back like he was not even there, and other times he would be the life of the party. He is very humorous, and a presence. The man gets what THE HEALERS is all about. He also feels it and sees it. He REALLY stepped into my world, and everybody was changed by the experience of working with Troy and the beautiful Brandon Klock.
Brandon was masterful with the camera and what they call “the sticks” in the film production business. When the sticks are not being used as a tripod, they are folded in (and look like a bundle of sticks) and are adjusted to different lengths and maneuvered in creative ways, with the camera attached at the top at various angles. Brandon would do everything possible to get the shots that he wanted, so much so that there would be times when a shot was completed, he would show visible signs of physical relief, like a yoga master after the completion of an endurance yoga pose. I loved watching his expressions of deep satisfaction, after a shot that he felt was beautifully captured. Another gift that Brandon exudes is gentleness and a sense of deep respect for whomever he is filming; this created an atmosphere of comfort for me to express myself as I normally would. In my mind, that is what I want expressed in my THE HEALERS television series. The world will see me in a wide range of expression, including joyous laughter, tender romantic gestures, out of control laughter, bliss, sobbing gratitude, outrageousness, deeply connecting and more.
I have already written about the wonderful first day of filming, on THE HEALERS blog. The second day of filming took place at two other locations, without my involvement. Brandon and Troy worked crazy hours on this project. The third day of filming they shot on still another location in the morning, before spending the rest of the day with me. They captured me working on my THE HEALERS mission with my dear friend, Sandy; I loved sharing our beautiful friendship with the world, and how Sandy helps me to use my life to help the world in wonderful ways. What they shot of my Sufi healing/prayer meeting that same evening was other-dimensional, huge, and many might even say that it was miraculous. I am excited to see how studios respond to this amazing footage. Powerful things often happen during my Sufi meetings with Dr Laman and his beloved wife, Hassna. Dr Laman and his wife were amazingly generous in hosting the two reality television producers in their beautiful home; this was the first time that they had met these gentlemen. Dr Laman also provided us a delightful intern, Barritt, who I believe is a recently graduated film major.
The fourth day of the shoot for THE HEALERS television series pilot episode was shot on three different locations, two of which involved my participation. I understand that the shoot in the morning went fabulously, as did the two in which I was involved. We spent over one hour in the rehab gym, filming me working out, and the producers were thrilled with the footage that they shot of my determination while working out. Later that night, we shot more wonderful footage in my home. Day five began at another location without my involvement, followed by four hours of filming me interacting with other healers at my place. Great material emerged, including profound emotions unexpectedly pouring out of one of the main characters of THE HEALERS television series.
Day six of filming was dedicated to capturing the love story relationship of my beloved Michelle and me. The day was absolutely magical and special for us, and we are excited for the world to share in our beautiful love story. We also filmed Michelle and me meeting with the co-founder of THE HEALERS campaign, Carl Polonyi, which was fun. The night ended with Troy and Brandon finally following Michelle home, one hour away, to film her and Nick, Michelle’s 17-year-old son.
Day seven of filming was shot on three other locations and did not involve me. Here is a brief report on that day from Troy, “The 17 hour workday just about had my crew mutiny yesterday. They really did do a great job and I have to give credit to our Bonnie for bringing us all back together. We started filming Roger and Coco Newton, two extraordinary healers on a mission to bring love and light into the world, giving so much back, literally saving lives. Then we filmed the amazing Dr Jay working with ten patients over the course of several hours. BUT it was Dr Craig’s own mother, Bonnie, who mesmerized us with her story telling ability and her overwhelming love for her children. She is one of the most courageous and beautiful souls I’ve ever met and I think Brandon and Barritt would agree. The Newtons were brilliant, but Bonnie stole the show (and our hearts!)…Your mother is wonderful and it’s impossible not to love her. I think she’ll make a great character and her contribution to the project is huge. She was spectacular!” Brandon had this to say about my mother, “Your mom is SOOOO wonderful. She gave us an incredible interview, probably the best of all that we shot. She spoke from the heart and is a pleasure to watch on camera. She radiates personality and energy. She’s gonna play a major part in this thing. I’m glad we saved her till the end. The best for last as the saying goes.” My heart was touched by these words, because my mother has made unbelievable and heroic efforts of giving EVERYTHING, over many years, to help save my life. My mother is now fighting cancer, remarkably, and THE HEALERS will give her means to pay for housing and to support herself while enjoying meaningfully touching the lives of millions.
The eighth and final day of filming was another amazing experience for me. Jim Saliba, the executive producer of PBS’s A Wider World television series, agreed to my idea of having my THE HEALERS television series pilot episode producers film him filming his first interview of me, and his crew sticking around to film my producers filming me working with MSU professor of medicine Dr Taylor Scott, who arrived at his house call with me on his rumbling Harley Davidson motorcycle. The whole thing was very powerful and the two film crews hit it off fabulously. Later that evening, we had so much laughter as we were choosing a song to which I would dance in my wheelchair, and my whole body was vibrating with happy joy. The night ended with filming me with another healer and me saying quite a bit from the depths of my heart and mind. I believe it was 12:30 am by the time they left my house.
Troy evaluated THE HEALERS television series pilot episode shoot as an incredible success. He wrote, “We got everything we could have hoped for on camera, surprising footage that was emotionally charged delivered by passionate healers with great experiences and insights to match great intellects.”
With love and gratitude,
Craig Oster, PhD