by Ron Vitale
I have just come home from seeing Jodorowsky's Dune in the movies with an old friend from high school. A lot of events had to come together for me to see this movie and it so inspired me that I rushed home and am now sitting in front of the computer. I've been up since 5 am, worked all day, went to see the movie and now it's 10 pm but I need to write this all out before it slips through my mind.
A few months ago I met up with my friend from high school. He and I hadn't seen each other for about 25 years. We met up, talked over dinner and saw Inside Llewyn Davis. During the previews, we saw a trailer for Jodorowsky's Dune and made a plan to get back together again to see the film. Why am I sitting here after such a long, long day at work writing like a crazy person?
Because I had to. Jodorowsky's plan to make Herbert's science fiction book Dune into a movie back in the mid-70s is so ambitious and over the top that the story just amazes and inspires. Jodorowsky convinces Pink Floyd to do some of the music in the film, the artist Dali to be the mad emperor, Orson Wells to be the evil Baron and Mick Jagger to play a part as well. Not only that, but he pulls together his team and has them move from their homes to come stay with him in Paris. HR Giger, of Alien fame, Moebius, Chris Foss and Dan O'Bannon (who wrote the screenplay for Alien) sign on board and together they create an amazing visual script, shot by shot, of the entire movie. O'Bannon sells all his belongs in America and moves to Paris. Jodorowsky promises to pay Dali $100,000 a minute for being in his film--the stories are funny, insane and yet touching:
Jodorowsky's goal was nothing less than to make a movie that would inspire and change humanity. That art and striving to make the art is well worth the sacrifice to bring one's dream to life.
I came out of the movie being inspired to write, to try and keep moving forward believing in my dreams and in writing. To see all the hard work that Jodorowsky and his crew put into the making of the film and then to fail in not being able to convince Hollywood to make the investment to make the movie is amazing. But as Jodorowsky says in the film, his failure inspired other collaborations and influence the making of other movies. (Giger and O'Bannon team up for Alien is one example.)
How refreshing in today's jaded world to think big. To reach for the stars, fail, but to keep on trying by refocusing your work/energy to some other project. Yes, Jodorowsky failed to make Dune but he went on to do other projects. If we don't try to create something from our hearts, how will we ever know? Isn't the purpose of being here on this Earth is to try?
It's funny because I'm thinking of being nine years old and I wrote my first story and how bad it was and how all I wanted to do was to take the movies I could see playing in my head and write them into stories. So I did. And they were terrible. I grew older, went to school, still wrote and kept trying and failing and failing and trying and now I have four books published. Am I rich from them, no. Would I like to earn more money from them, yes, but you know what? I am going to keep trying.
There has been a fork in the road for me. I have three possible paths for writing my next book: Next Cinderella's Secret Diaries book, the sequel to Dorothea's Song or a new science fiction idea I've had in my mind for more than a decade. Jodorowsky, thank you for the inspiration and the dream. Science fiction, here I come!