Wisdom. According to the dictionary, it is “accumulated
knowledge of life or of a sphere of activity that has been gained through
experience.” It is also part of the working title of an ambitious new film project by The Yellow Roses Film Partnership, Ltd. that seeks to explore the views of contemporary men toward
the world and themselves at two critical points in their lives, in their youth
and in their senior years.
But The Wisdom Project is meant
to be more than a simple comparison of how men look at their lives and their
world at these two different points in time. The project is meant to be a
discovery mission that will uncover lasting insights and truths to be shared
across the generations, providing viewers with a moving experience that will
enlarge their outlooks, enrich their lives and encourage a deeper understanding
of their spiritual selves.
While both sexes and many ages are likely to find the film of
interest, The Wisdom Project is intended for two
particular audiences: young men in their late teens and early 20s, and the
fathers of males in this age category. The film will reflect the reality of the
world that today’s young men are growing up in and dealing with, and it will
give the fathers of these young men insight into this world and challenge them
to move beyond the typical boundaries of “masculinity” to form a deeper
connection with their sons.
A multi-part teaching series will be created in connection
with the film to help audiences benefit from the production to the fullest
extent possible. The series will include a seven-part track for young men and a
separate seven-part track for fathers.
The filmmakers believe that, regardless of race, geography or
socio-economic status, the young men who comprise the film’s target audience face
a range of challenges and problems—as well as opportunities—unlike those that
confronted any generation before them. While previous generations of young
American men have faced enormous challenges—World War II, Viet Nam, the social
upheaval of the ‘60s and various recessions and shifts in political
power—today’s generation confronts a unique combination of forces.
Their world is being shaped and re-shaped at a mind-boggling
pace by technological innovation, scientific discovery, and sweeping changes in
social mores and spiritual values. Add to these factors the impact of economic
globalization and a shrinking world where one’s daily life can be changed by political
instabilities an ocean away, and it’s easy to see why today’s young men may
feel uncertain, overwhelmed, even lost.
Where can they look for solace, for encouragement, for guidance—for
wisdom? To whom can they turn for the assurance that they will survive and
succeed? Who can direct them toward those emotional and spiritual resources
that will assist them in their search for acceptance and meaning? The Wisdom Project believes the words that today’s
young men need to hear will come from the men who have gone before them, men in
their late 70s and 80s, even in their 90s.
Using a documentary approach, the film will offer the wisdom
gained by men nearing the end of their lives to those who are just setting out
on their life journeys. But The Wisdom Project
will not attempt to tellyoung men
what they should do or how they should feel. Rather it will enable them to look
into the lives of those who have gone before them and discover for themselves
in what ways their experiences, their thoughts and feelings are the same.
The key element of the film will be comments drawn from a
series of in-depth interviews with individual and small groups of both young men and those in their senior years.
The interviews will be more like conversations, with questions designed to
encourage the men to explore and share their thoughts and feelings on a variety
of subjects and issues.
The in-depth interviews are expected to yield not only
touching moments that deal with the deeply emotional aspects of life, but also lighthearted
comments and humorous stories that disclose the strength and resilience of the
An on-camera host will guide viewers through the interviewee
conversations, adding his own observations and using creative techniques to connect
the many comments, underscoring the film’s themes and enhancing its overall
While young men will be asked to talk about their thoughts,
hopes and fears concerning their futures and their present-day lives, older men
will be encouraged to be more reflective, to look back upon their lives and
share the lessons they have learned, their happiest times, their most difficult
moments, how they have changed over time and what they would do differently if
they had their lives to live over again.
Interview questions will be designed to “keep it real.”
Questions will be open-ended, meant to urge men to probe beyond the surface, to
explore their thoughts and their feelings, to be honest, open, candid, unashamed
to discuss their failings, fears and weaknesses.
Common threads will be identified among the filmed conversations,
and with the help of the on-camera host, comments from the interviews will be
woven together to create a seamless presentation that promises to be a compelling
and powerful statement about what it means to have survived, to have learned
and grown and changed—a legacy of sorts, a passing of the torch from one
generation to another.
While The Wisdom Project will
explore a wide range of secular subjects, the film will have a
non-denominational faith-based theme, much like the EMMY Award-winning YELLOW ROSES, produced by The Yellow Roses Film Partnership, Ltd.
in 2010, which focused on the challenges facing today’s teenage girls and young
Through the comments and stories of those appearing in the
film, The Wisdom Project will reveal how God
remains relevant and important for many men living in today’s world, despite a
popular culture that often diminishes the significance and value of religious
faith and practices.
Like YELLOW ROSES, The Wisdom Project will also feature custom music.
Producers anticipate including three original songs created for the film, as
well as other proprietary music tracks. The songs and other music tracks from
the film will be available on a CD which will be part of the overall project.
Stylistically, The Wisdom Project
will be cutting-edge. Filmmakers will make full use of the latest shooting and
editing techniques to create a product that will capture and hold the attention
of audiences. The look of the film will be straightforward and bold,
For the moment, WISDOM
is the working title for the film. But titles tend to change over the
course of a production as a film takes on a life of its own and begins to
create its own shape and form. Still, the wisdom concept will remain the
fundamental motivation for the film, the gathering of one generation’s
“accumulated knowledge of life” to be generously shared with the sons who are
now setting out on the journey once traveled by their fathers and their fathers
Certainly the times are different. There are problems and
challenges that did not exist in the past. And yet so many of life’s hurdles
remain the same in terms of personal experiences and difficulties. True wisdom
transcends the ages, and that is the message that The Wisdom Project hopes to deliver.