Though his myth looms large as the guru to Michael Jackson and gateway to Eastern Spirituality for millions, Deepak Chopra’s image has been challenged by his son Gotham in the new doc, “Decoding Deepak.”
Gotham and Ondi talk at length about the life-long struggle to live truthfully in the shadow of the 21st century guru, and the desire to disprove the misconceptions about his illustrious father.
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BYOD is hosted by Ondi Timoner, director of “DIG!,” “JOIN US” and “WE LIVE IN PUBLIC,” and has the rare distinction of winning the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance twice. Each week the show explores a different documentary filmmaker or aspect of filmmaking, with special guests and a live Q&A– diving deep into creative process and the business realities of producing and distributing films. Ondi shares her insider views, opinions, and personal stories, welcoming audience participation. BYOD aims to entertain, inform, and elevate documentaries in general by bringing attention to films and film makers that deserve exposure.
Gotham’s varied experience in journalism, publishing, and entertainment had him identified by Newsweek Magazine as one of the “most powerful and influential” South Asians worth watching. He blogs regularly at www.intent.com which he co-founded and thinks is “pretty awesome” as well as www.huffingtonpost.com. Contrary to his “spiritual upbringing,” he lives and dies by his hometown Boston sports teams, which he thinks in pretty spiritual and is converting in a documentary series called The Religion of Sports.
Gotham is the author of five books, including the graphic novels Bulletproof Monk for which he also served along with John Woo as Executive Producer on the feature film produced by MGM Studios (2003) and The Sadhu which he is also currently adapting as a feature film with the director Tarsem Singh. Formerly an award winning journalist and documentary filmmaker, Gotham reported from countless warzones and has interviewed a wide range of Global leaders – from President Bush to the Dalai Lama. He also served as researcher and lyrical advisor to Michael Jackson on the multi-platinum albums Dangerous and HIStory. More recently Gotham was integrally involved in the formation of Current TV, co-founded by former Vice-President Al Gore which launched in August of 2005. At present, he is leading the charge on The Chopra Well in partnership with YouTube which will formally launch on July, 2012
00:01 Coming up on BYOD.
00:43 Welcome to BYOD.
01:14 Introducing Gotham Chopra.
02:49 Bucking the expectations for a film about Deepak Chopra.
05:20 “Decoding Deepak,” Clip: Opening.
06:55 An unconventional upbringing from a spiritual guru, and getting Mom on film.
09:35 “Decoding Deepak,” Clip: Gotham preps for Thailand.
10:42 Filming in “the most profane city in the world.”
12:24 Gotham challenges the image of his father.
15:38 “Decoding Deepak,” Clip: Growing up in the public eye.
19:09 When Gotham decided to forge his own trail apart from his father’s legacy.
22:00 Creating a tone for the narrative.
23:47 “Decoding Deepak,” Clip: Reverence and ridicule for Deepak.
26:34 The expectations and misconceptions that surround Deepak.
28:37 From “Guru to the stars,” to Oprah and the mainstream.
29:31 “Did you come to a common ground with your father?”
32:00 Operating the cameras and capturing the tension of a public guru.
33:09 “Decoding Deepak,” Clip: Shaving his head.
36:00 “The only thing left for sale is yourself.”
37:48 Too self focused to be a cult leader.
38:58 “Decoding Deepak,” Clip: Intergalactic Space Travel.
41:09 The response to the film from Deepak.
43:40 “Decoding Deepak,” Clip: “Who am I?”
45:15 Unwinding from such a personal film.
48:24 Where to see the film.
48:43 Thanks and Goodbye!