1Giant Leap-The Interview with Jamie Catto
1Giant Leap is a title, a philosophy, a leap of faith that sprung from the minds of creative visionaries Jamie Catto and Duncan Bridgeman, and was supported by music industry legend Chris Blackwell. It is a melding of 21st Century technology and age-old beliefs; of careful planning and spontaneity; of East and West; rich and poor; the embodiment of the unity in human diversity.
1Giant Leap features contributions from some of the most creative minds of our generation: Dennis Hopper, Kurt Vonnegut, Michael Stipe, Robbie Williams, Tom Robbins, Speech (from Arrested Development), Brian Eno, Baaba Maal, Anita Roddick, Ram Dass, Michael Franti, Gabrielle Roth, Asha Bhosle, and many others
The primary theme of the project is “unity in diversity” – the assertion that regardless of one’s circumstance and experience, our similarities vastly outweigh our differences. 1 Giant Leap explores simple but universal concepts that touch all of us, no matter where we come from or where we are going. Chapters of the DVD correlate to tracks on the CD, each examining a fundamental concept like sex, death, God, time or unity with a powerful message of hope.
Adding to both the difficulty and joy of 1 Giant Leap were the logistics of amassing music, words and images from over 20 countries; from towns and villages with no running water to the most modern and technologically-forward cities. Catto and Bridgeman journeyed around the world for over six months, with mobile studio and crew in tow, compiling unique digital music and footage from evocative locales like Senegal, Ghana, South Africa, Uganda, Kenya, Bombay, Bangalore, New Delhi, Varanasi, Calcutta, Darjeeling, Sikkim, Bangkok, South East Asia, Australia, New Zealand, San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York. The result is a new collaborative genre of music and image, a visual time capsule of the planet Earth at the turn of the 21st Century.
1Giant Leap-The Interview with Jamie Catto
1) What inspired you to make the film, according to you what did you wish to express, what was the message?
Jamie – The original idea sprang from getting heads of religions to all say basically the same things and unwittingly express unity – Suddenly we opened up the discussion to ‘everyone we found inspiring’ and the parallel metaphor of the unity and diversity in the music spoke for itself.
2) ‘1 Giant Leap’ is the door in the future or does it start in the ‘here now’?
Jamie – As Osho says, the only choice you have is the part where you start’The Process’, after that there’s no control, but the river will surely reach the ocean.
3) One Giant Leap to where, and for whom? Do you feel it would be a collective leap or is it individual? Can the transition be peaceful or will there be chaos?
Jamie – Transitions mean death – so it’s a question of how you leap, but really it’s just the way Duncan and I satisfy ourselves artistically much more than a contrived ‘message’, we want more conversations, not answers.
4) Jesus comes up a lot in the film; also you spoke of ‘The Last Temptation of Christ’ as a film that had inspired you, along with “My Life in the Bush of Ghosts” the album by Brian Eno and David Byrne. What does Jesus mean to you, do you see him as a mystic with contemporary solutions?
Jamie – Films like Jesus Christ Superstar and Jesus of Nazareth had a profound effect on me as a kid – I was particularly fascinated by Judas who, at a very young age, I felt sorry for. I don’t know too much about the specifics of Christs plan, but just for placing ‘Compassion’high up on the agenda he gets my vote.
5) ‘My Life in the Bush of Ghosts?’ was such an avant garde album. I still remember hearing ‘Regiment’ for the 1st time in 1978-9, and it blew my mind, the whole album still does. Can you talk about Brian Eno influences?
Jamie – There’s something about the chaos and discord of that record which is perfect for me, Brian Eno has always been very generous to us with his time and spirit, unlike David Byrne.
6) What did you do before 1 Giant Leap? What are you doing now?
Jamie – I was in ‘Faithless’ for 4 years – now we’re in post production on the second leap ‘2sides2everything’ – The dance of opposites that drives the universe.
7) Have you ever been to Koregaon Park, Poona, India or encountered Osho in any way?
Jamie – Osho’s books are great – especially ‘The songs of Milarepa’.
8) Was the original plan to make a movie or did it start as an audio project?
Jamie – Started as an audio, it was only because Chris Blackwell, who paid for the first record and film, was obsessed with dvd that they asked us to make a film.
9) Did you already have a script or did the ideas come as the film developed?
Jamie – It was thought up over one meal.
10) How did you make a connection with all the contributors in the film like Dennis Hopper, Tom Robbins, Michael Franti, Anita Roddick, Kurt Vonnegut, Asha Bhosale, Baaba Maal?
Jamie – Cold calling with intent.
11) How is the movie being seen across the world, is it spreading by word of mouth, in what way are you promoting it?
Jamie – It was years ago we promoted it but it’s growing even more now – we sell thousands on our website.
12) How did you and Duncan meet? Is there an interesting story?
Jamie – Not really, he was using a room in my house when a mutual friend was away.
13) I hear you are working on the second movie? What is it about?
Jamie – Duality.