We filmed this episode of Pioneers a year ago, on the Little Deer Isle in Maine. Daniel C. Dennett, a wonderful man who happens to be one of the greatest and busiest philosophers on the planet Earth, generously granted me almost two days of his time, which I’m thoroughly and sincerely thankful for.
We met at his new summer house, we rallied in his old but trusty VW Beetle around the isle, trying to capture the essence of Daniel Dennett’s views on the phenomenas of consciousness, free will, and the meaning (as well as the origin) of life. We succeeded, I think – which wouldn’t be possible without a tremendous support of Daniel’s dearest friend, the closest partner, and wife in one energetic person. Many thanks, Susan!
And here’s the outcome – the movie, the second episode of my documentary series Pioneers: The Man Who Changed the Way We Think About the Mind a.k.a. Do Lobster Have Free Will?
It has been just released on DVD, and is available here (in English, with Polish subtitles). You can also access it from wherever you are as a VOD, on Vimeo. By the way – the DVD cover was beautifully designed by Magdalena Kuc.
The first wave of the feedback (and sales reports) is more than encouraging, and makes us – me and POLITYKA weekly, the producer of the series – think optimistically about the premieres of the following episodes of the series (the one on mathematician Gregory Chaitin, and one on Julian Barbour’s physics of time). People seem to buy the idea, which is truly promising! Thank you!
If there are literally thousands of people interested in philosophy of mind, willing to invest their own money into a movie about it – we (humanity) might be not entirely doomed.
Since a film documentary series is something we haven’t tried before, a high risk little project, I feel both relieved, proud – and thankful to all the people who believed in it and made it happen: Jadwiga Kucharczyk, Jerzy Baczyński, Jacek Poprzeczko, Piotr Zmelonek (the man who never sleeps), Edwin Bendyk (all from POLITYKA), and Artur Ekert (Centre for Quantum Technologies, National University of Singapore). And there is Scott Johnson too, of course – a New York City based composer fascinated by the persona of Daniel C. Dennett, the author of the original music for the episode.
With no professional short film forms maker in sight I had to commit a trailer by myself – and here’s the result (below).
Some time later I was kindly asked to make another one, more user friendly, which I tried too (below). Have a look – that’s why they have specialized trailer directors in Hollywood. But those two do their job, I hope.
And here are a few snapshots taken during that autumn filming trip in 2015, in misty Maine, on the way back to Boston.
PS The Bomb That Shook the World, the first episode of Pioneers, the one on Roy Glauber, has been just awarded the Grand Press, a Polish equivalent of the Pulitzer Prize! More about it here – only in Polish though.