How To Conquer Both Worlds
Writing a book is an incredible achievement, but have you ever thought about accompanying your words with film?
Meditation advocate, keynote speaker, teacher and mentor, Tom Cronin, had a dream to bring his passion for mindfulness to the broader global community. To achieve this, he set about developing a film with producer and filmmaker Jacqui Fifer, simultaneously constructing a book to launch with it. This was no easy feat, but a labour of love resulting in a beautiful, inspiring piece titled ‘The Portal’.
“This has been a long journey that has been very consuming over the last seven years of my life. It’s been an intense process that has tested and challenged me in more ways than one, but my passion and vision for this has kept me on track to see it to the end,” Tom said.
Tom has kindly shared some insights and tips for others wishing to create a book and film with an impact and appeal to a wide audience.
The Starting Point – Research
Tom and Jacqui began by seeking out personal stories about those who had been through crisis and found meditation to transform their lives.
“The starting point of the project was to make a film that took viewers on a journey which was rich, powerful and transformative by immersing them deep into six stories that had all gone through a crisis and a transformation using the power of stillness in meditation,” Tom said.
“The original intention for the project was to share through personal story, the power of meditation and hopefully inspire people to embrace meditation on a daily basis to create a calmer, happier and more harmonious world.”
To begin the process, Tom and Jacqui spent many hours with their team of researchers scouring the globe for contributors who epitomised the deep, inspiring transformation they were looking for. They interviewed many top stories and filtered these down to their top six. From there, the six contributors were filmed during four-hour interviews, which formed the basis for the film content.
The Difference Between Book And Film
By cleverly utilising both mediums, Tom has been able to provide his audience with a much broader understanding of his work. In film, he was able to create visual and audio magic through the storytelling, incorporating emotive movement, thought-provoking voiceovers to the visual cues and rich musical scores to bring the content to life. While this makes for incredible viewing and draws the audience into the issue very effectively, complementing this with a book provides so much more.
The book opened up the opportunity to delve deeper into the background of the contributors, as well as the science and philosophies behind Tom’s passion for meditation and mindfulness. They were able to seamlessly integrate the personal stories throughout the written text with a global perspective, backed up by insights from prominent experts in the field, including Daniel Schmachtenberger, Mikey Siegal, and Julia Mossbridge.
“The book, co-written with Jacqui Fifer… takes the reader deeper into the journey and weaves in and out of our personal stories, from the early years of their conditioning through the deep crisis and on through the other side to their transformation which leaves the reader feeling inspired and uplifted,” Tom said.
“It has more content from our futurists and philosophers as we are able to indulge further in the wisdom that they share.”
Considerations And Challenges
When putting together the book, the most important factor for Tom and his team was to keep is authentic to the contributor’s interviews.
“We really wanted to keep the original stories as they were told by the people in the film to be true and authentic. So other than some minor editing around pronunciation, all the stories have been maintained in the original style that we received them from the interviewees.”
Keeping this authentic voice provided the biggest challenge for Tom and Jacqui. As they waded through the film and interview transcripts, they needed to intuitively piece together the story in a way that made sense as a book.
“When you have piles and piles of transcripts in front of you and trying to move them all around and tie it up to make a cohesive sequence in your book was some of the challenges that Jacqui Fifer and I faced.
There are so many different ways that it can go and trying to get the most fluid journey for the reader was our greatest priority.”
Then number one advice Tom gives to writers wishing to take their book to film is to not try and do it alone – find people who specialise in that area and team up your expertise. For him, that was Jacqui Fifer, a filmmaker with years of experience in authentic storytelling and a passion for the industry that matched Tom’s enthusiasm for the project.
Screenwriters, producers and directors, as well as ghostwriters and editors are just some of the roles you may look at outsourcing. Do your research and don’t be afraid to sit down one-on-one with each to ensure you have the right match.
“We look forward to bringing this out to the world now and hopefully it inspires change and will make the planet a better place.”
Find out more about ‘The Portal’ via