Temporary Ending of the Film called _Illusions_


I’ve just now finished my education in the class called Films Today.

I began studying years ago, and now at last I’ve graduated. Why, you may ask, did it take me four decades to finish the course? I hate to say this, but the reason is: I’m slow.  Year after year, I thought a story that so many book-readers enjoyed could be a good motion picture (of course once it had a fine screenwriter, an excellent director and a cast who loves the action).

My instructors kept reminding me, “Money! Don’t forget, it takes money to make a movie!”   I thought, of course it takes a little money to help it to happen, but when it came to a test for me to understand this, I failed.   So many books I’ve written, I thought, so many of them would make terrific movies!

A couple times there was the money, but as you know, that doesn’t guarantee a good film. The source of the trouble, was me. I chose a wrong person to direct the film, or I didn’t recognize or object when scenes were included instead of being cut.

So I kept on coming to class for the pleasure of the subject, yet I kept on failing every test. Now I’ve learned that failing, is graduating.

It used to be that there could have been a wonderful film of Illusions. Just a few million dollars, some biplanes, some fields for them to fly into, a few actors and a script, then just thirty thousand feet of film or so, and it would be finished!

Not now.  For the last half-year, I’ve talked with screenwriters, directors, producers, studios and independents, foreign movie studios, actors — and nothing has happened. I’ve been told that the film industry is not anywhere it used to be — the old film industry, they told me, is gone.

Nowadays, motion picture projects need huge amounts of money, in the first place, and in the second, the source of the money needs to be certain that the film will be successful. The best way to do that, it seems, would be to film a sequel of a picture that was a success in the first place.

Deciding not to shoot a sequel, to make an original film even after a successful book, is to make a gamble with one’s money.  To make an original film that is not intended to appeal to teenage viewers today is a Big Gamble.  To make an original film that is not intended to appeal to teenagers and computer graphics now is a Very Big Gamble.  To make an original film that is not intended for teenagers, does not use computer graphics and doesn’t smash things into little pieces along the way, is a Major Very Very Big Gamble.

If you’re an invester in motion pictures today, then, would you choose to put your money into a sequel, or into a MVVBG?  Once in a while your bet will pay off after a long time (The Princess Bride).  Usually, though, the money will rise to vanish above the cooking of its own production.

So in the last half-year I had all these people, even apparently a couple of major stars (though they never spoke a word to me) mildly interested in the film of Illusions.  Nothing happened.  Then by itself, I realized my story would never be made until the film industry changed the way it makes and distributes motion pictures.  That means, to the best of my knowledge, that the book Illusions will never be a film.

Now I’m content.  The book continues to do well, finding readers all around the world. Only a few of our major novels have whispered their stories as well or better than this little book has done it.

So here’s an announcement: The film of Illusions (shy of some miracle) will never happen in our lifetimes.  I might be born, say fifty years from now, as president of a major film studio, and make the gamble then.  Illusions could be a huge success (or go bankrupt) by my bet on the edge of a spinning dime… (Oh.  In fifty years, there won’t be dimes.) …on the edge of a spinning thousand-credit coin.  No miracles required.  Just a few people who know it could be fun, and their money, waiting on the table.




130 thoughts on “Temporary Ending of the Film called _Illusions_

  1. When I read Illusions I can picture it clearly in my mind! I suppose there is no need for a movie. The book says it all!

  2. Illusions is the best, most meaningful and powerful book I’ve ever read. The movie may just be the best movie I might never see. I can’t imagine it wouldn’t be a success if it were made. Sad that the movie industry has left us behind. I say we start a MVVBG group and get your movie made!

    • Russell Crowe as Donald Shimoda, our Messiah. Leonardo DiCaprio as Richard. Directed by Ridley Scott. So how much money do We need to make this happen? How many of the proper airplanes can We get for production? Obviously We need to be ready to film, locations and alternates selected, by the first cutting of hay in the midwest, June 2017. Could We get Ralph Fiennes to play the radio caller who shoots Donald? So, what’s the figure?

      Richard sees Donald for the first time after the radio station incident:
      “Donald! . . . You’re alive! What are you trying to do?” I ran and threw my arms around him and he was real. I could feel the leather of his flying jacket, crush his arms inside it.
      “Hi,” he said. “Do you mind? What I am trying to do is to patch this hole, here.”
      I was so glad to see him, nothing was impossible.
      “With dope and fabric?” I said. “With dope and fabric you’re trying to fix . . . ? You don’t do it that way, you see it perfect, already done . . . and as I said the words I passed my hand like a screen in front of the ragged bloody hole and when my hand moved by, the hole was gone. There was just pure mirror-painted airplane left, seamless fabric from nose to tail.
      “So that’s how you do it!” he said, his dark eyes proud of the slow learner who had made good at last as a mental mechanic.

      page 186 in my copy

      So, Richard(!) what’s the figure?

  3. When I read Illusions it felt like it already was a movie. I’m not an expert about these things but it was written in a way that would easily translate into a movie. Have you ever thought of having it done via streaming video? Or piloting a small bit of it, and seeing how it goes? It would be a gift to share that book with the world in a new way. I believe that The Secret used a similar approach and it sold many books as a result of the movie. Are the people you are speaking with teenagers themselves? Having had one, I can tell you that they are not all alike, and although the tools through which they receive truth have changed, they are hungry for it. It would also create an opportunity for conversation between those of us who read Illusions and those who might only come to know about Illusions via multimedia.

  4. Dear Richard,
    Good Morning.
    Thank you for the update on a possible movie of Illusions.
    Everything you said makes perfect sense – in The Illusionary World in which films are now made. Yet, as Illusions as helped us discover these last 40 years, there exists another ‘world’, other dimensions, where “Miracles” are daily occurrences. It is from this Universe that Illusions, the film, can emerge.
    So, I shall be open to its possibilities. Perhaps you shall choose to be open as well…..And, for now, I shall continue to share Illusions (the book) as I travel down the road. The more people who awaken to Donald Shimoda, the closer Illusions becomes to surfacing as a film.
    Be Well my friend.
    Endless Gratitude,
    Steve Corwin

  5. Ahh….it sort of feels like relief on this end because such great care would be needed to bring the idea of that book into film status and it would need such a caring audience too….the timing just seems not right. As you wrote, the role of film as we experienced it in the past is different now….it just does not carry the weight in terms of substance. There would need to be something else that perhaps has not appeared yet in your vision of what film could be like…a new direction, not yet pioneered. Right now, as is, i think it does not work as a medium for your stories…..but, i do believe there could be a time when film takes on another new persona that would fulfil the requirements for broadcasting a moving theaterical scene of Illusions.

    • Hello my Jenn and Richard!
      Sun-n-Fun finished here in Polk Co. Sunday and I spoke to some of Puff’s “family” where there were located around fhe area.

      Canes Film Festival seems a likely place for a story of such originality and poise, that it would be accepted in the feeling of a timeless story!

      With the amount of work you have vested in the film aspect alone, this seems so close…

  6. As you say, movies made from a love of story are rare these days. One of the directors who could do Illusions justice, Carroll Ballard (“The Black Stallion,” “Fly Away Home”), said back in 2005 that his type of movie can’t be made anymore. And in fact, he hasn’t made a movie since.

    Truth is, even if the film were made, I wouldn’t watch it. Same way I’ve never watched the film versions of other favorite books, from Shane to A Game of Thrones. If I saw them, the movie I’d created in my own head, which I’d treasured for years, would be wiped out and replaced. I would never be able to get back to the characters and settings as I saw them.

    So I’m fine with sitting back and reading through Illusions again, page by page, instead of seeing it on the screen. ‘Cause it always plays big and bright and deep and true in the theater of my mind.

  7. Well this is upsetting. If someone like you, with your reputation and years best selling books, -with millions of built in followers all over the world- can not get funding these days for a movie, what hope is there for the rest of us ?

    My book, I had been told should be a movie before I wrote the book, (I agree, but wanted it to have ‘legs’ and a following before the movie was made -like you- and to get the story told ‘Right’ before the Director and production team get their hands on it.)

    – And I have a friend who has finished the first in his series, (about to be published-) that could rival the ‘James Bond’ series IF he could ever get the first movie done.

    I though it would be a shoe in for a movie, but based on what you have written, that is now a Big IF…And I hate to be the one to break this to him…
    I think his is better then Bond, -since his is based on real stories from his days as an Irish Detective Garda -Police Officer-, his time leading investigations / agents in conflict zones all over the world with the UN Peacekeeping force, as well as his ‘Personal Protection’ / Security company.
    But now I wonder will it see the light of day…?

    It makes sense to me now why I saw a relatively well know director was recently asking for ‘Crowd Funding’ for his new project. (Something I know low-budget films do, but not a Director of his caliber…-didn’t understand why at the time, (thought it seems sleazy…)
    But I guess it is universal now, and with what you have told us, now I get it.

    Hopefully by time my book gets published, and has some time on the market to get a following -3-5 years on the outside -I hope- things will be different. (But at the moment I am stuck in the Beta Reading faze -hard to find ones that don’t charge these days -and have been told by many Not to pay for Beta Readers, -Editors yes, Beta, no…)

    I find it especially short sited of the Movie Industry to totally dis-regard the majority of the public who do not go to the movies anymore BECAUSE they are geared to teenagers, (And are too Stupid and Formulated to watch.) -They are losing Millions in potential revenue !

  8. Hi Richard,

    I totally agree with you about the film industry. A pity that people cannot see the value of Illusions. Supporting you in spirit.


  9. Richard,
    comments on this small family are very successful.
    It is not easy to express in words the evolution of our spirit every time we read Illusions and Illusions II. I think both books can be done in one film so that humanity has an intuitive and comprehensive idea about the only message that matters: the full expression of LOVE in our daily activities, the True Savior who never leaves us.

  10. I agree with you, Richard, about an Illusions movie. It has to be kept in words
    to truly appreciate what each word or phrase means. A movie couldn’t do that.
    I’m just happy setting down somewhere, anywhere and reading through the book.
    Sometimes, I stop and reflect on some words of a phrase, and re-read them.
    I enjoy getting the true meaning and having imprinted in my mind.
    Thank you for being back!

  11. Richard, Crowdfunding, I haven’t got much but I will put up £20 to see it made. I can’t be the only one. It’s doesn’t need big stars just good actors who understand Illusions, it doesn’t need fancy graphics, it just needs love.

    • Richard, it’s so nice to receive an update from you again! It would be absolutely wonderful to make the movie a reality. There are so many people in the world who love the book and I’m sure they would want to support a movie being made. I know I’d definitely support it, and wouldn’t mind spreading the word if you would want to set up a crowdfunding campaign. I have done some crowdfunding campaigns before and I’m willing to help wherever I can!

      • Crowdfunding sounds a little complicated, particularly when we need fifty million dollars or so, to start the film. More powerful may be the wish that it will happens when it’s time for it to happen.

  12. Yep, I’ve read “Illusions” probably 4 or 5 times… It might make a good movie.. but then again, I thought the “Atlas Shrugged” would be a good movie… and, at best, Part 1 had moderate viewings at artsy type theaters, and the 2nd part has yet to be made..

  13. A modest budget. One camera. A few friends with planes. A few kind farmers. Some brilliant a acting students or random people on the street. A digital film editor. Your fans here.

    Richard, I suspect with these simple things an independent film version of illusions could be made (or perhaps just a teaser trailer) that would be as simple an elegant as the book. Then it could be released on Netflix or Amazon or the like.

    Perhaps the lesson was not to give up, but to try in a different way. Something to consider.

  14. Hi Richard, I’m a huge fan or your work, and Illusions is my favourite book of all time! Have you actually considered Crowd Funding? With the popularity of this book all over the world… I can’t see why it wouldn’t work! After all “There is nothing more powerful than an idea who’s time has come”. Looking forward to watching this beautiful movie many times. All the best Gary Davies

  15. Richard,
    Somewhere out there, it’s not already done. In this life having Donald alive and well in the book is just fine.
    All the best!

  16. Richard,

    Films very often fail at accurately or effectively presenting the spirit of the written word. I could say it’s akin to what MTV did to music, in the sense that you are watching someone else’s “vision”.
    I’ve always believed that how something is written is at least as important as what is written, and your books have unfailingly conveyed your thoughts, emotions, and as far as possible, your heart and soul on the subject at hand. I’m not a big movie-goer, haven’t been for years. Oddly enough, one of my favorites is “12 Angry Men”, perhaps because I grew up in that era, but mostly for the gamut of emotions portrayed so capably by the cast and director. I have asked friends about movies they’ve seen that were taken from books, and mostly, they’ve given negative reports. “Did you read the book?” I ask; “No,” they reply, and I’m not going to now.” Sigh.
    Be well, thanks for sharing with us all over the years. “Illusions” deserves to be read, savored, and internalized by the world, and I believe that’s the way it should be.

  17. In my reality, I thought it was an Illusion that I saw an update in my email box from you…glad to know that my illusions can still be busted! As for the movie, Illusions is one of those books that gives our imaginations a playground to stretch out our metaphysical wings. I think we all make our own movies from it…adding more substance to it this way…a movie might have taken that imagination away. Have missed your updates…and hope this may be a precursor to more. Best to you…

  18. We just need to read or reread
    Emily Dickenson’s poem
    There is no frigate like a book
    to appreciate what is happening

  19. BRAVO, Richard. A thousand journeys for this one amazing effort? BRAVO! and thanks for helping us learn through your works.

  20. Illusions has always been a movie – finished and complete – inside my head! I have listened to you read the story so many times, I can recite the entire book along with you. Thank you for this wonderful book that has influenced me for decades.

  21. A movie is a mindless experience. Reading a book makes you think…. I guess some books should never be made into a movie…
    Alls well that ends well, Richard.

  22. There are the Independent Film companies. Robert Redford once tried to buy the rights to Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, but the author Robert Persing refused to have his book turned into a movie. How could a movie possibly do it justice? The same could be said about Illusions. I have yet to ever watch a movie that could hold a candle to the book it came from. Perhaps you should be asking, should Illusions ever be made into a movie?

  23. But overcome space, and all we have left is Here. Overcome time, and all we have left is Now. And in the middle of Here and Now, don’t you think that we might see a film?

  24. Hi Richard, great to see you posting back on the site again.
    Even though other posters have made some excellent points regarding a film of Illusions, I felt a little dismayed that there won’t be a film version, especially after the recent release of the animated version of The Little Prince in theatres…Illusions is definitely a movie I would go to see, probably repeatedly, but I understand your concerns. Much love and gratitude.

  25. Richard – I agree with the pack, especially Steve Corwin above. I sense the film industry is not what it once was. But remember …. movies like The Wizard of Oz and Its a Wonderful Life almost were not made and then after being made almost never got released. There is a magical element that must be at play in these matters. You understand the magic in having a first book published. Illusions right now is a movie in each of us who have read your book. We have seen it with great clarity and illumination. If it is meant to be shared on the ‘big screen’ one day we will see it there too. When the time is right. xo

  26. I wish I was a multi-millionaire – then I would finance the film myself and have it made. This is a story that has found its time – right now.! People need this message now more than ever and I think it would attract every age group because it has no age. Is there someone in the movie industry we could write to in order to encourage him or her to go forward on this project? There is no question in my mind that it would be a success.

  27. Thank you Richard for sharing your journey to peace on this one. Your thought form that “failing is graduating” inspired healing for me today. I have been “FAILING” (with lots of judgment and shame) in a few areas of my life repeatedly, and in my self-work to course correct have just been feeding the pressure to SUCCEED.

    I think there may be contentment at realizing the course before me was living through the failures and learning what I already have – and not trying to force an outcome that society or that I DEMAND; and rather just let it be.

    So, I have not officially graduated college, and I still may one day, but perhaps now I can look at myself not as FAILING college, but instead as taking a course called “living life without a college degree” and graduating at that.

    Light and love always,

    • I had one mostly-terrible year at college. Years later I met Ray Bradbury, my favorite writer, who believed that a college education destroys creative minds. Finally, I agree with him. Count the number of the books you find which have changed you into the person you’re glad to be. Were they written by college graduates?

  28. Dear Richard:
    It seems to me that for a film to be financially successful, one needs to produce a work of art that has mass appeal. When I look at the bulk of humanity, there seems to be billions of people firmly entrenched in the physical-that’s-all-there-is worldview, many more followers of the world’s great and not-so-great religions and then there’s we who feel both masses have it wrong. Your film at best would appeal to most of us, might persuade some fence-sitters to look beyond their five senses, and probably offend many of the world’s deeply religious. Doesn’t sound like mass appeal to me and so I can not feign surprise that Illusions will likely remain a fantastic book revered by those of us who think a bit differently. I am saddened and share your disappointment but glad of your closure. Your talent as a writer/visionary need not translate to the silver screen to be extraordinary! Thanks for sharing, Earl

  29. I am most glad I signed up for your updates. I am not particularly sad to hear that the idea of Illusions in movie form has been tabled. To think of your compromising on anything at all with regard to the book in film form would be most distressing. Each of us has our own very special and particular experience when reading ‘Illusions’. To see that special and particular experience compromised at all would be difficult if not unpleasant and disappointing. Perhaps you were hoping to reach a broader audience. As you suggested, the book stands on its own and should always do better than most any publication. Thank you ever so. 🙂 Mary

    • You’re right, Mary. There are so many opportunities to compromise a story in motion pictures. The modern film industry may be the most collaborative system to create art ever designed. Sometimes it works beautifully, sometimes we wish it had never tried.

  30. Hello Richard. Thank you for trying so hard to bring the story to the screen. And so sorry it is what it is. Most of all I am so very grateful to see you on line again. I like med up ” Puff” just two days ago to begin a re-read and realized how much I miss you. KNOWING you “are always with us” helps but reading you fresh thoughts brings me closer. THANKS FOR ALL YOU HAVE GIVEN TO SO MANY FOR SO LONG. you truly do show “what one man can do” is love!

  31. Just a quick note to let you know that a copy of Illusions is seen in the series The Americans. I think in one of the episodes in season 2 – as part of a flashback to the 70’s the book is seen on a shelf. Somebody did their homework!

  32. Perhaps you can crowdsource the funding of the film. I’ll contribute. I’ve always imagined writing the screenplay and the first scene: its an overhead shot and we meet Donald Shimoda under the Travelair.

    • So often so many have said the same thing here… the movie of _Illusions_ is already in our minds! Silly me. Why has it taken me forever to realize that’s true?

  33. Glad to hear from you. It has been awhile. Glad you are still alive. My life seems to almost duplicate yours but only a couple of years or so behind. and I’ve been following you since the 70s. I’m glad to know now that I will still be alive for another little while 🙂

    • Hi Joe. Welcome to the belief that you’re the kid you’ve always been, trapped for a while in an old body. What a strange belief that is! Is the lesson that mortal beliefs change swiftly, but our spirit believes it gradually grows, life after life? Could the truth be that we’re already one with Love, and never will we die?

  34. Richard,

    What do you think about a cartoon-type movie instead of the moving pictures? Cartoons seem to be able to go where conventional cinema does not seem to be able to go (for whatever reason there is).


  35. “So I kept on coming to class for the pleasure of the subject, yet I kept on failing every test. Now I’ve learned that failing, is graduating.”

    I am going to let the truth of this change how I feel about…. everything.

    Thank you…

  36. You might try taking it to the Australia, They seem to be more open to a small budget film and Locations can pass as the US for sets. I saw an Australian film about a kid who made paper airplanes and his quest to compete at the Paper Airplane World Championship in Japan. It was well made but could not have been made in the US.

    • Or South Africa – the film industry is small here but there are some good creative people locally and an exchange rate in your favor and going against the local currency daily.

  37. A life-altering book, as Illusions has been for me – there at THEE most pivotal of paths to my deepest ponderings – will become a pet project for an already successful producer (or lottery winner – should I have MY way). It will be made, in your lifetime, and by your decision to not “settle for” what is fea$ible, you’ve just opened a door for that to occur.

    The “How”, is never as clear as the desire. Of course you know this, but I’m just playing it back to you. ‘Tis the least I can do with the irreparable damage you’ve caused to my skeptical brain. Okay – accountability is mine on that, but you’ve been a catalyst to my “Possibilities” mindset, and deserve a little sunshine blown wherever necessary to share that Vision with me. I can smell the popcorn!

  38. As Lyn mentioned above – Crowd Funding is the way to go, it would also give you the creative control to do it “right.”

    I am ready to contribute.

  39. I vote for crowdfunding, you get the money to make the movie the way you want it . We get the benefit of seeing Illusions and owning our own copy. And I think you’d surprise Hollywood at how well the movie would do worldwide.

  40. Hello from the desert in Calif. Oh so glad to see this update in my email, put a big smile on my face & in my heart! We love hearing from you Richard, it fills us with such warmth & love! I agree with most here the film is already in my mind, I have enjoyed it more than once! Please write more here, we all miss hearing from you! You are a treasure that keeps on giving….. Thank you for all that you have given to all of us!!! Love to you from within……….Lisa in 29 Palms

  41. Welcome back Richard !!!
    I have to agree with those who say that film might ruin Illusions for many, if it is not done correctly.
    My wife won’t go see a movie until she has read the book.
    We read “The Maze Runner” and then saw the movie, which ruined the thought for both of us.
    Movies END….but the ability to conceptualize the meaning of a book, goes on forever, and we are disappointed when the book ends.
    An actor I think, once said “always leave them wanting more” and Richard, your books do exactly that……don’t ruin it with a movie…..Please ?
    Aloha Brother

    • I wholeheartedly agree with David Anderson. In your position, I’d gratefully take the diploma… and leave Illusions alone – let it grow, as it surely will, uniquely, in every reader’s mind.

      You have been my favorite writer, philosopher, and inspiration. I have written quotes from your books to keep me centered in difficult times. Thank you. I survived those times… they were triumphs (not failures) and, diploma in hand, I “graduated” and moved on!

      Thank you, Richard Bach! You’re the best writer, philosopher, and inspiration…

  42. Who needs a movie. I have the book on my bedside table and can pick it up and read it anytime. A movie, not so easy to do and besides most movies do not do justice to the intention of the book. I, for one, will be happy just to have the book without the Hollywood version and some director’s interpretation (misinterpretation more likely).

    Thank you Richard for all your books!!

  43. The first time I read Illusions, it didn’t speak to me, it sang to me.

    I know your filmmaking story with JLS and understand the mental, conscious and unconscious, blocks you may have with doing another film or rather allowing someone else to take it over.

    In my screenplay dabbling over the years, I sold two scripts. One to an Academy Award winning producer, who “LOVED IT, baby!” The checks cleared but neither got made.

    The visiissitudes of that industry are not to be learned, because the variables are too vast. I now think it takes simple but high intention and the lowest attachment to the outcome to just go get it and do it. Ultimately it will be about the experience anyway.

    • “…high intention and the lowest attachment to the outcome…”
      Your advice, Tom, just by itself, will keep a thousand writers married to their books.

  44. Why waste time (which doesn’t exist) and money (which does exist) making a film about a book which quite evidently exists in many different worlds and also the imaginations of many? We love the book because of how each one of us have imagined it and interpreted it. Now that’s beautiful and priceless. Thank you for writing it.

  45. Richard,

    I dreamed for years of directing Illusions, the film, but never dared to ask. It’s a film that should be made – because not everyone reads to learn new perspectives.

    Perhaps the timing wasn’t right – perhaps it is now? I suppose meeting places are not just geographical, and creative work has a time to be.

    I read Illusions when I was young, and became a film director partly because of it. I also went on to study metaphysics, and have never found a better analogy for life’s purpose than your story of visiting a cinema with Donald and justifying it.

    I’ve used the story in countless classrooms, audience presentations and interviews. I recommend Illusions to everyone.

    The project would be fairly easy to finance, given the incredible story and huge following. People struggle to visualise the supra-normal, but it seems fairly simple to me: Just show it.

    We don’t question dreams, and we don’t question films when they are true to themselves, perhaps because our conscious mind doesn’t truly ‘get’ space or time and neither film nor dreams are bound by them.

    It doesn’t count for much in film finance but I’m an award winning director and writer now – it would be an honour to help you put this project together. I have plenty of friends who I imagine would want to make this happen.


    Maxim Jago

  46. P.S. You wrote ‘ Then by itself, I realized my story would never be made until the film industry changed the way it makes and distributes motion pictures.’

    It has.

    The film industry uses completely new distribution models that put much of the power back in the hands of the film makers, with a direct connection between the storyteller (film maker) and the audience.

    I speak at conferences as a futurist about such developments, which are part of a global shift away from a social architecture based on unified single sources of power towards a kind of distributed intelligence all people can participate in directly.


    • Is this strange, or not? In the last few hours have come comments from friends known for their abilities at making motion pictures! To all of them, before and after this reply, thank you for your skills along such a difficult path, and for appearing here today.
      I’ve discovered that many people feel that our time to be here is nearly at an end. That’s true for me, but unfortunately the fact is that those who have that wish stay quite a bit longer than we care to, on Earth.
      Here’s a typical wish I have these days: “Will somebody else please do all the work that was meant for me to do?”
      As far as I know, I’m not supposed to whine if somebody else actually makes this film, and decides to change a word in my screenplay. Yet whine I will, though I have neither experience nor skill in film-making.
      Zack and Deborah Snyder had planned to make _Illusions,_ just when they finished _300._ Now they’ve been buried in plans for endless mega-films that will take forever to finish. I’m happy for them today, yet that wish they had, not to change a word of the story when they translated the book into film: could it fly to the shoulder of some director who could make that wish come true?
      And oh…to one who has $50 million or so in the budget?
      I guess my job is to rest here on the grass and watch clouds until this person kicks me gently, and tells me they’ve arrived.

      • Hey Richard, to a multi billionaire 50 million is nothing!
        We all just need to imagine it happening!
        “If you have imagination as a grain of sesame seed… all things are possible to you”.
        Love all your work, but Illusions could change the world!
        All the best Gary Davies

      • Thank you for responding so quickly. I’m tempted to quote you back at you! But I suppose it’s fairer to quote the ancient Greek Gnostics (they were much too smug and deserve a little more fun in interpreting their work).
        They said the Macrocosm is inside the Microcosm, and today we sometimes interpret this as meaning ‘your world is a reflection of you’. I think this is wrong. I think they meant ‘your world IS you’. I also believe we’re all one.
        Perhaps you’re the person to make the film, and $50m isn’t all that much by Hollywood standards. Illusions could be made beautifully for $1m and you could direct.
        What Zak and Deborah Snyder did with 300 was bold and worthwhile. They were moved by an idea and it moved others.
        I suppose the question is whether Illusions demands to be made as a film in the way it demanded to be written. Only you can know if the film is forcing itself into being, as the boldest ideas can, or if it’s just something that would be nice.
        I’ve never understood why directors change the words when making films from books.
        I don’t think work can really be meant for you if you don’t do it. If only thought is real, it makes no sense for it to matter if you did it or not. Still, as the Buddha (more or less) said, without attachments, would we believe in the illusion enough for it to change us?
        I believe there are two kinds of decisions: Decisions we would like to have made, and decisions we have truly made. Have you decided to make this film?
        If so, I’ll be at the Cannes film festival – an ideal place to speak with distributors about the film we wished had been made ever since we read this life-changing book.

        • Have fun at Cannes!
          I think this film will happen only if some amazing coincidence happens first. It will happen if a top director who has always loved the book, is a dear friend with someone who also loves the book (and happens to have all the money he needs to produce the film), if they happen to meet again and they both interrupt each other with, “I’ve had this crazy idea…” And one of them says, “OK, you go first,” and the other one (the director) says, “You know, there’s a book…”

          • Thank you Richard!

            I’m fighting the urge to quote you back at you… Again!

            I’ll give up the struggle: There’s no such thing as chance.

            If you actually want it to happen, it will actually happen. If the universe is not a reflection of you but is, instead, actually you, then when you’re a being who’s book has been made into a film it figures it’ll be made.

            I’ll be in Cannes from Tuesday and will let it be known that you’d be rather positively inclined to the film being made. If I had the money, I’d pay it today – Illusions is the single most influential book in my lifetime to date, setting me on a path towards metaphysics, film making, and I suppose what Mr Pirsig called a quality life. You were the first inspiration Richard, and I’m grateful for the early nudge.

            I was 11 when I read Illusions (in ’85), and shed a tear of relief that I’d found one other human being in the world who asked the questions I asked. OK, it was some American author far away but at least it was another human being (I’m British, though back and forth to the US). I wanted to understand everything and the universe was next on my list – little did I know ‘Philosophy’ was a thing!

            Thank you for giving me (and so many others) the single most solid, coherent and accessible philosophy I’ve encountered, after decades of study.

            If I can repay in any way by helping get this film made, again, it’ll be an honor.


            PS – In my experience, the truly great directors are the bards of modern times – the storytellers who see film as the medium of experience for their audience. These kinds of people recognise great stories instantly – so there’s great hope for Illusions.

          • Thank you, Maxim.
            It would be fun, making the movie, but only if the director would agree to make it a mirror of the book. That was Zack Snyder’s plan but a few weeks later he was flooded by many other films to do (and by now, I think, he has even more). So the lesson for me is that any film of _Illusions_ needs to be 1) done in the USA, 2) directed by someone who loves the book 3) has enough money to make it happen, 4) has an agreement with the author (whom I suspect will be awfully difficult to work with), and 5) will not bend under the wishes of the investors to change it.
            Let’s keep our books on the shelf and know they’re safe right where they are. Have a wonderful time at Cannes, and say hi to your storyteller friends in the industry.

  47. Dearest Richard;
    Thank you for your update. I can imagine the long path that led you to this conclusion. Having worked in the film industry all my life, in Russia as well as in the US, I have gained similar understanding of the industry’s realities…

    And yet, there are always exceptions to the rule of “business in film”. “Art in film” is a mighty force, that seems to operate outside of familiar set of rules and predictions of failure. It’s a mystery… and when the right person/people comes/come along, it creates the impossible. You, of all people, know it.

    When this story has to be told in a different language (film, TV, Web, etc) it will be told. It will find the finest “translators” and will take a new form.

    • Well said, Olga! There’s a spirit, light as a gossamer featherlet, and when it touches the right soul, everything works perfectly. I’ve used sledge-hammers and power-saws, and found that those are not the tools I need. Now and at last, I stop. Today I’ll offer a little smile, and a wish for a single featherlet to work its magic on a stage where I don’t know even how to stand without falling, time after time.

  48. You would think with all of the new movies coming out concerning, “God is Dead” , etc. that there would be an interest in this story. Like others have said here though, you put so much realism into the book, that it doesn’t take much to see the story as a movie in one’s imagination. Thank you for trying to make “Illusions” into a movie. It is and shall ever be my favorite book. You are and shall ever be my favorite author. Thank you for being you!!

  49. If it happens, it will happen at the right time. In all honesty, I don’t know how a film could possibly be as powerful as the book is. The book is what’s most important; it came through you, not through dozens of Hollywood executives and producers. The book is what people, generations from now, will be guided to in order to help them understand the magic of life.

  50. Illusions is my bible which changed my life and my point of view.
    Illusions is a book which I bought a lot of times for a present for those who have a special place at my heart.

  51. Greetings

    Dear Richard,

    Do you have a favourite film…. From a book, how did it ‘translate’… I’m wondering would it perhaps be a Ray Bradbury story?

    A film created in this current generation times that I personally love, is The curious tale of Benjamin Button.
    Not pandering to the teenage market, yet not excluding them either.

    Also, la belle verdie (1996)…. In French…. Seems to have been made on a budget by a beautiful French woman. It must have been judged too lovely for this World, because it became banned! ….may be discovered on YouTube with subtitles…

    A sister from The Campfires, miss the marshmallow and coffee sharing friends, not the twigs… And low-flying bugs so much. Blessings to one and all, from The Scots tent.

  52. It’s a great announcement… sweet relief… but really?

    Or is it like the old trick of flipping a coin and calling “heads” and when it lands on ‘heads’ that lets you realise that it was ‘tails’ all along?

    It’s exactly how you say it should be. First thought shot by so quickly you hardly noticed it. Simple… couple of main characters…fields and biplanes… you could do it yourself so easily and fund it yourself or 49% help from crowd funding. We would all help you. We would all play extras for free.

    I’ll do the music for free… now there’s a big saving already!! Ha.

    Let the book pay for its own production. You can be Executive Producer with final say on everything. Oversee it and make sure it’s spot on. Do it in this lifetime. Now. Could be done in a year or two. These days you can launch and promote it yourself easily.

    It’s like vaporizing clouds. You just have to see it – finished and whole. In your hand.

    You imagined a world influenced so heavily by the book(s)… so now imagine a world impacted by the movie… huge impact… needed now more than ever. And the Is has already imagined it a lot better than we can.

    Ask me? Honestly… you just need to let go of the Jonathan movie problems and go for producing Illusions on your own. There has only ever been one thing stopping the production of Illusions – you. You have been trapped in that part of the Pattern where Jonathan died on screen.

    Push forward on the throttle and land where Illusions is your beautiful new baby and a huge success. This has never been about production teams or money and certainly never about the success with your audience.

    It’s about getting the core choice right and then it all flows. Illusions: The Movie doesn’t depend on what anyone else thinks. And it’s bearing down on us like a big wonderful Mack truck.


  53. Past “three score and ten” myself, I still “fly” whenever I take a leap off the bottom step. And I see masterful movies made on cellphones. Art is what we do — not what we can afford. Please see Illusions through to its rightful place in the world of those who may only “get” an audio-visual message now. And if you need help with any of that, ask your supportive readers.

  54. I just wish that I could find Illusions as an “audiobook!” After discovering you in the early 90’s my life changed. I have worn out cassette tapes of most of your books and would love to add them to my audio library on my phone, only I have not found an place to purchase them….

    Blue Skies!!

  55. Hello old friend, thank you for today’s post. I’ve missed you, it’s no secret that I feel this book needs to be turned nto a film to reach and teach an extended family of explorers . We will see this film made. You can count on me To see it happens in this lifetimes go-around . I will need your help however.

  56. Hollywood would ruin a masterpiece like Illusions anyway! I say the movie in our minds is better than could ever be visually produced. Some stories transcend mediums. Just know you have crafted a timeless classic loved by many. Always excited to read your updates Richard!


  57. Trouble with films coming out after you’ve read, and loved, a book is that it never quite matches up… the characters don’t look like they do in my imagination, they don’t sound like them, and so I often have a little sigh of disappointment. Therefore, in a way, I’m happy there’ll never be a film of Illusions unless it’s made when I’m in another life.

  58. No need to worry about the uncertain world of film. People will go on reading the book and get full satisfaction.

  59. I wonder if Harper Lee or Margret Mitchell or Thomas Heggen or even William Goldman was happy with the film version of their work. I don’t know, maybe it’s just me, but it seems like you need someone that isn’t confined to the rigid “make a profit or die” mentality. One other odd thought that strikes me, with the advent of CG, why not make Mr Shimoda exactly as you see him without the need of an actor? Sometimes I have odd thoughts(some odder than others) Thanking you in advance for your attention, Jim

  60. Well , Richard I’m not sure you’re journey is over yet. As one of your readers wrote “you closed one door to open another”. Yes letting someone else take control of your movie was exactly why it wasn’t made. It’s your movie, to make your way. So go do it. much love

  61. Does graduating mean ending or commencing? From one slow learner to another, I’m not sure but maybe it’s all about transitions?

    Have you thought of approaching film professors and students about making Illusions into a class project and/or film festival entry? Here’s one in what I think is your part of the world now:


    The other thing that springs to mind is: stage play?


  62. The publishing industry isn’t what it used to be either, and that didn’t stop you. You played outside that box. I think you should do the same thing here. That book needs to be a movie–and I wouldn’t want it to be “a major motion picture” movie. I’d want it to have more integrity than that. But your words and ideas might well get changed–that might be part of the game. I think crowd funding, like Etsy and other entrepreneurial efforts are wonderfully democratic, in the best sense. Here’s to your continuing to be a rebel and showing us how.
    Much love.

  63. There is an independent film called Primer:
    Shot for 7000 dollars that is as entertaining and well made as anything from big studios and it is original. There are still occasional good films. It’s just hard to hear about them most of the time. I’m tired of remakes and reboots also.
    Really great to see a post from Richard.
    Thanks for Illusions.

  64. How was ‘Nothing By Chance’ funded? I did see that and really enjoyed it. How did you go about that project? Maybe this can help get back on the path to understanding another approach?

  65. You might want to check out what goes on at the “Danish Film Institute”

    Not everyone produces action-graphics-teenagerfriendly-blockbuster-wannabees. But to find these people, I’m afraid you’ll have to leave the states and venture elsewhere. And Denmark would be a place to investigate. Actually, emerging (or is it deserving?) danish film makers are being subsidised when making films – even when they are aimed at what could aptly be named “narrow audience”.
    Subsidisation fosters diversity – and once in a blue moon something truly great.

    Why not take contact to these people? Make acquaintances with emerging film makers and have them take a shot at your movie. At a lowish budget. Like you originally intended to.

    Why do I write this? Because I would like to see your movie. I have a different outlook on life, and perhaps some of what I can see from my POV may be of use to you. That’s why.

  66. The only advice that I’ve heard that seems to make sense is to use other people’s money. Considering the fact the that the accounting departments of most major movie corporations are reputed to be populated by thieves and otherwise not very nice people, you could have your personal wealth blown through in a matter of days.
    I know that as an aging janitor and sometimes bus driver, I have little room to talk. But, there is that Bachelor of Fine Arts degree thingy so many years ago and associations with a few folks who do some video work for a living that does have me wanting to add my two cents.
    There are a few programs on the market that do set up pages in a screenplay format. Trying out one of those might be a way of putting down “Illusions” in a more tactile visual form. It forces one to take into account the shots, sound effects, non-dialog action, as well as spoken dialog. It helps to know camera shots and motion terminology as well. Also, all this foolishness forces one to think of how people and equipment are going to be positioned to grab all of these images.
    Storyboarding is another way of putting a project into visual form. All it takes is paper, pen, visual imagination, and time. The story has it that Alfred Hitchkock would have drawings of every scene in a movie taped to walls in a room so that he and the rest of the production staff knew where the movie would start, how it would progress, and where it would wind up. It involved a lot of paper, but paper was (and still is) cheap.
    Knowledge of the equipment is also important. Things have changed. There is digital video equipment out there that is lighter and more portable than the film equipment that we’ve been hearing about for decades. The results are indistinguishable from film as well. An eye-opener was when I got the DVD “Flyboys” (directed by Tony Bill). There was a feature that offered commentary by the director and producer while the film was running. So, for laughs, I ran the film again with the commentary. Evidently, it was all shot digitally. They talked about where the cameras were placed and how images were stored or transmitted. The big thing was that it was relatively cheap to do, their choices of shots were increased, and they wrapped the whole thing up ahead of deadline and under budget. I’m not sure if I would want to watch the film again because of the historical inaccuracies and the lack of character development, but it’s a good instructional tool for someone looking to see where the craft (nuts and bolts) of movie making is headed.
    If you decide to take another crack at it, you might head in with a thick script, a ton of storyboards and somebody else’s money. It might ease tensions a bit.
    However it turns out, good luck. I’ve read your writing since I was a kid (even the articles in “Flying” and “air Progress”), and there will always be a warm, fuzzy spot in my life for you.

    –Bob Aiken.

    • Interesting. I met Tony Bill and flew with him right at the beginning of his career. A truly nice guy. If I had an email from Tony now, to tell me that he’s always wanted to make the film…why, I’d be happy to talk about that!

  67. Welcome “home” to your site Richard
    Some thoughts to share with you and all.

    Love “is” – self existent, the only creator

    Each of us as the perfect expression of perfect love, knows all things are possible to love
    to put in place
    to express creation in thought, word, form, color, music.

    And as always – Guide Posts:
    Rescue Ferrets At Sea (Captain Bethany Ferret)
    Air Ferrets Aloft
    Writer Ferrets……Muse
    Rancher Ferrets On The Range
    The Last War……Golden Deed

    Onward, Upward, All “is” Love

  68. Many others have already said this in one way or another so please accept my comment as one more voice on the pile: Illusions doesn’t need to be a movie. Almost always the film of a book is significantly different from the book and doesn’t capture the book’s specialness. Sometimes the film is also an example of excellent and mind-expanding story-telling! But sometimes not, which is disappointing but doesn’t take away one jot from the excellence of the book.

    Illusions has been an important touchstone for me for, golly, way more than 30 years. I have my own, personal movie and narrative of Illusions in my head. It might be fun to see what someone else would do it it but I like my own just fine.

    Hugs and smiles to you, Richard.

  69. I’m typing this message on my pristine MacBook Pro with its gloriously vivid 17 inch screen, which I IMAGINED into into my life (it was handed to me 8 days ago). My old MacBook Pro 15-inch that preceded it? I imagined _that_ into my life, too!

    I know you know, because you’ve written so…

    _“You show me,” he said. “To bring anything into your life, imagine that it’s already there.”_

    So, Richard, _we all know_ it works!

    The best I can do is to close my eyes and …

    _I’m in my theatre seat. In my left hand, is the plastic bag with my 3D glasses. I stretch open the plastic to get at the glasses. In my right hand is the ticket “ILLUSIONS: IMAX 3D…” (IMAX was a little pricier, but I got to choose my seat, and it’ll be _so_ worth it to see Fleet and Travel Air flying in together blue and white and sky….). I fold the ticket and slip it in my shirt pocket.

    I have my large bag of popcorn, and large cup of Dr Pepper resting on the floor beside my feet.

    It’s a full house. About 600 people or so. The couple beside haven’t read the book, they’re just fans of the lead actor. They command me me to tell them NOTHING about the story — they don’t want to be spoiled.

    The house lights go dark… and …. [sorry,No Spoilers!]_

    I want to *see* Illusions as a movie, so I’m going to see it DONE. 🙂

    • David, would you mind saving me a seat? I’m still in line… The guy in front of me wanted both nachos and hot dog. AlI want to do is pay for my licorce and get in the theater. !

      • Consider your seat saved, Sharon! (and anyone else here who needs…)

        Oh, and once your all comfy in you your seat, I need to dash and get me a bottle of that delicious cool berry milk drink. I can’t remember the name of it, but I _do_ know it’s made by Blue Feather Farms, Bryan Ohio.

  70. Dear Richard,
    Illusions was the first English book I read after school and I loved it. Now a lot of time has passed and I am running an organic hotel somewhere in the wilderness of northern Germany. 4 years ago I started a little project, every Friday we have a dinner with 4 courses and in between I read book excerpts. Illusions is one of these books and I love to read it out loud. So even though it’s no movie yet, it’s spreading in very different ways all over… Thank you for writing it.

  71. I find that I read books over and over again. I rarely watch a movie more than once. I have read your books so many times I have lost count. I enjoy your books every time I revisit them.

  72. We do learn more from our failures then our successes. Failures are necessary before we can truly succeed. I remember reading years ago that we are never given a wish without also being given the power to make it come true.

  73. …let me remind you, because this absolutely works and it caught my eye tonight for the first time and is a reminder to me:

    “To bring anything into your life imagine that it’s already there” ~ Richard Bach

    -imagine that, -Debbie

  74. Are you sure it was your idea to do the movie? Is this any different than JLS coming to you and your agreement to allow it to be written through you? You get to choose which inspirations you agree to carry forth.

    Let it fly free until the time is right, as you said.

    If not, the idea will find someone who will carry it to term for you.

    (I almost didn’t send this because I really do not know your answer. I love all that Illusions has given me. Thank you for that, and that’s enough of a contribution for anyone to give the world.)

  75. Richard,

    It seems to me that if you’re goal is to make Mega bucks off the movie then your analysis is right. But if you want to make a movie that says something and entertains then there are a number of movies and animations on You Tube that are quite good that have been done for very little. The movie “Born of Hope” is a “lord of the Rings” prequel that is far closer to Tolkien than anything Jackson ever did and it was done by all volunteers (though world class volunteers).

    By the way, “Hypnotizing Maria” spoke much loader to me then “illusions”. Do that one.

    Richard Isakson

    • I too highly appreciated ‘Hypnotizing Maria’. I found it closely resembled scenes and actions of my daily life. I think it would also make a fine film….less props and easier to get off the ground.

      I think this is so great to have suggestions like these on here to help empower Richard with hope and support for his work by presenting different options and eventually, maybe exploring them. 🙂

  76. I can see the beginning.

    Richard Bach is typing some replies on his own website. He is in trouble for a movie he wants to do, no money. Suddenly he receives an email message. Beep beep.
    Sender: Richard Bach.
    He pauses, thinking “what?” no object in the mail.
    He click on e-mail and reads:

    “Dear Richard, that’s me, or that’s you if you prefer, from the future.
    You have already made this movie.
    Follow the signs.”

  77. Richard: A great painting is a great painting. A great film that people flock to is a great film. They are not the same; they demand uncompromising truth to their form.

    And so it is with a book and a movie.

    Have you considered / would you consider allowing your struggle (to dictate the final form of the Illusions movie) to fall away, as an unnecessary element of your wishes and desires. It may be that in this way you open the door that seems so tighly shut on your wonderful book becoming the movie it could be.

    In all of nature FUNCTION MONITORS STRUCTURE. A fridge is never 6 inches by 12 inches because its function demands there be room for milk and a nice, juicy watermellon.

    Illusions would, could only ever become a worldwide success as a movie in the hands of a true artist of film. You did that in the book as its author. But you did so with the freedom to create it as the book you chose to write. And so it may well be for that brave young (or old) film director.

    The spirit that is Illusions is vast and beautiful. It can be seen from a thousand different angles and points of view, NOT ONLY WORD FOR WORD AS WRITTEN.

    Perhaps it is that your greatest gift has already been given – accomplished. It is that of the “spark” and with no need to be the blaze, or streams of fire. Perhaps the cinematic form your book gives birth to ultimately is far more exciting and filled with more film magic than any of us might even imagine at this juncture.

    Perhaps the problem with making the film only exists because you have already fathered its birth. And all you ever need do from this time forward is surrender to the knowing that the beautiful child you brought upon the earth requires nothing more now, except the time and space and the freedom to grow into that blaze. And in his/her own time flame up into the sky and shine it’s light on the world.

    The form/forms it takes when and where it does may be equally as bright and beautiful as its father ever was, or hoped to be.

    Perhaps the Illusions movie is already done in the only realm that really matters here and now – YOUR HEART.

    Time, space, money, talent and the fine artists necessary to its big screen realization will follow, as sure as beauty appears without “force” on the painter’s canvas, and leaves again when least expected.


  78. I remember watching What Dreams May Come and thinking Wow! If they can make that movie, think what they’d do with Illusions. However, I came to realise I was in the minority of people who loved that movie. It’s a cliche, but the book changed my life. I’m grateful for this narrative rather than what might have been. In a parallel universe, of course the movie is made to great acclaim, with Sam Elliot as Donald, possibly Owen Wilson as the narrator. Until then, well, I guess we just need to meet around a virtual campfire sharing panbread that hopefully doesn’t contain too much grass.

  79. Hello Richard, I think the readers of “Illusions” do not need movie. Please do not put in frame our imagination. Now every reader makes his own film in his mind, so do not be sorry{You have got so many films now and do not need to reincarnate after 50 years as a movie maker}.
    Thank you and wish you all the best!

  80. Dear Richard, I am very happy you are posting again! Illusions is the best book I have ever read and I remember a good quote from your book “you are never given a wish without also being given the power to make it true. You may have to work for it, however.” I think that this applies to this situation as well -) I am looking forward to a great film of a century! In any case, the book is the best!

  81. Dear Richard, Thank you, for every word! Then and now. You changed my life, first with Jonathan, then Illusions took the top off my head, and I have read everything since. I check your blog occasionally, hoping you’d be back. Thank you! for still writing to us, and sharing the journey. I just gave Illusions to a new young friend, she was blown away. You may have saved her life.
    Your post sounds like a completion of years of desire and effort to make the movie, and now you’re letting it go, clear that you are finished with trying to make it happen. Folks continue to come back with offers of how to make it happen… Even my first thought was, what about Spiritual Cinema Circle. That’s when I realized you weren’t asking for help. You are done with it. Congratulations! And now your energy is free to do something else. And we have the dreams you have ignited in all of us, infinite points of light and possibility.
    “Here’s a typical wish I have these days: Will somebody else please do all the work that was meant for me to do?” It is being done. You have passed along the work to all of us who have received meaning from your words, with helpful reminders from seagulls and blue feathers… and small airplanes in the sky. Influenced not just our generation (60s), also our children and grandchildren.
    I live across the water from you, watching the same clouds; and sometimes walking at the beach, I look over to your island and picture you on the hill, and I wave at you with a heartfelt Thank You.
    Blessings on your journey… Sally

  82. Richard-
    I am torn between admitting that the version of Illusions in my mind is already a perfect “movie” and wishing I could see your vision of it translated to an actual movie experience.. I guess for now I’ll have to remain conflicted..
    If the “Crowd funding” model of the new age doesn’t work, I’d call over to Mr. Paul Allen, who seems to love aviation and also seems to have “left over money” sufficient to assist mightily in the production of a special movie, using latest in digital and other techniques to manage costs.
    In the interim, I still kick myself for not buying the VHS Cassette of “Nothing by Chance” when offered in the ads at the back of Flying magazine years ago, as that wonderful film by George Roy Hill has vanished from the market into complete and total stealth mode. After 5 years of searching, I finally found a short grainy trailer uploaded to Youtube.. No other versions seem to exist.. Sigh..
    I’d gladly buy an updated print/DVD, and I suspect many other fans would also leap at the chance to acquire a copy if only a master could be rescued and revived from the swamp of copyright jungles… I’d even go into the business of reproducing copies for sale again, in hopes of raising more seed money for the next great aviation film…

  83. I read Illusions for the first time almost 40 years ago it was (and still is) a great inspiration to me, it keeps me moving forward when life’s thick fog clouds my way. Over the years I have had friends and acquaintances who have lost their way and I’ve given them my copy of Illusions in the hope that it would help them find their way back. I am now on my 16th copy. I’ve read everything Mr Bach has written and can’t thank him enough for his words Dear Mr Bach, may you live as long as you wish with health and happiness.

  84. Well, my first reaction is that Illusions is already perfect and complete, and that a book is its perfect incarnation. Each of us has a mind-video of Illusions we cherish. It might actually take something away to see it portrayed by someone else’s dream…. but…

    Why does this need to cost millions? My friends Bar and Dannie have a 1929 Travel Air and I’m committed to losing enough weight so Lydia and I can fly some fine day soon. It’s called The Bird of Paradise and is based at a lovely country airport with a grass runway. So there’s one of the planes!

    The X-Plane flight simulator gets better all the time. It is getting very close to photo-realistic. Would take much away from the story for some of it to be computer-animated???

    Final Cut Pro has put professional video editing within reach of so many.

    Would it cheapen or insult this masterpiece to make a sincere little independent film?
    Or is it best to treasure these fantastic Illusions in our minds and hearts???

  85. Regarding photorealistic simulation – decent computer animation has become “virtually” (pun intended) indistinguishable from reality, which after all is all Illusions anyway.

    Imagine Donald’s Travel Air in VERY convincing VR. This would also make it a bit easier to do the scene where he fixes that minor problem caused by the guy with the shotgun…

    Here’s a beautiful example of photo-realistic animation:


  86. “Illusions” is my all-time-favorite book 🙂 Thank you for writing and sharing it with the world…

    I have to admit I’m really happy it is *not* being turned into a movie.
    Some books lose their magic when one can no longer use one’s imagination…

  87. Actually Illusions has already been made into a movie, and it’s had a long run. I know, I was in it. I have just over 8000 hours of taildragger time and almost all of it is in a Travel Air. No coincidence, that.

    “A Gift of Wings” prompted me to hang a biplane from the ceiling on a string, and just as you said it would it attracted a whole passel of old birds. I turned in my business suit for a flight suit, met the woman of my dreams, and soon our lives were full of oil by the drum, rib-stitching, and Sunset Snugglers. We even played, on occasion, with Magic and Stu.

    All, in large part, because Illusions was the script I followed, with some improvisation.

    Come to think of it Stranger To The Ground had something to do with it too. A few years after reading it I was a Navy flyer. Just finished re-reading it, for the umpteenth time, and I still think it may have been your best. Ernie never wrote anything better.

  88. Why not try it out as a play first? I actually got some friends of mine to read it aloud some years back in front of an “audience”. They sat on stools and had the “script” in front of them on music stands. Really well received. A play can be interpreted so many different ways and also relies on the imagination of the audience member so much! I think it would be worth a shot!

  89. Sorry I’m so late. My detour was a big one. I’m only reading all the different parts of your website now.

    I realize you’re heading out, but in case you are still here today, I do agree with a previous commentator that a virtual reality gaming experience would be a better platform for this book than a movie. One of the messages in Illusions is that we are here for learning and for fun. And to do the Impossible.

    Virtual Reality could be an entirely different way to teach people how to do the Impossible. How to adopt the perspective that Anything is Possible. Virtual reality can be interactive in a way that movies are not. And lots more fun.

    Imagine that a person could first “play” the role of the student, Richard. And then the role of the teacher, Shimoda. And then the role of Shimoda’s plane, or even the Handbook. And then themselves.

    I would love to insert myself directly into that book. Because I always do insert myself directly into whatever I read or watch. So why not go one step further . . . .

    It has some interesting possibilities, this new technology. And it is out there on the street right now, if you decide to hang around.

  90. Dear Richard,

    Perhaps consider a different means of production — such as a series or film produced by Netflix or Amazon. Yes, the film industry has changed…but guess what…there are other options for production! Doesn’t Illusions teach us that nothing is as it seems and that we are only confined by the limits of our own imaginations? There are options, my friend.

  91. What about an animated film of Illusions? With animation the sky’s the limit and you literally would have complete control. No actors – only ideas. Illusions is probably one of the best books I’ve ever read and it has a message for all ages. It’s almost a dream sequence and with animation you can successfully project just about anything you want. Real actors would almost take away from Illusions because we all fell in love with the book’s characters and actors could never meet our expectations.

  92. It may be, or probably will be, that some time in the future, maybe sooner than we think, making a movie will be relatively cheap. The reason is technology. In particular, graphic imagery. Live action may always be expensive, but graphic images/animation are now “3-D” and fairly realistic. In another half-century or so, graphic image technology will have improved & become more accessible to everyone (not just moneyed production companies), and a century from now, who knows? The sky is the limit!

    Point being, anyone could make an animated film that is every bit as realistic as live action by then. More importantly, the price of making one will be reduced. Because it will be as common as making a telephone call. The implications of that, are fairly astounding.

    I read an article in TV guide at least a decade ago, which describes what it might be like when everyone is capable of making their own films without much expense. It was about the same subject. How animation technology will become so commonplace–not just watching it in a show or interacting with someone else’s production while playing a video game, but making one’s own games & films–that this accessibility will not only help people learn how to make their own films, but it will become so affordably inexpensive, that people everywhere will be making their own films like there was nothing to it.

    Imagine it. Everyone has access to making their own film.. All that is necessary is learning the craft & getting to it. No more learning about banking a film & all the rest of the nonsense that is the life of a film company executive. Just creative people & a technology that makes it inexpensive and the quality is superb. Or lousy, punk B-movie trash Whatever cooks your noodle. ha

  93. I just whant to say, Richard your book its the reason why i became a pilot and a strange path it gave me the opportunity to become and a320 captain, i found a strong connection in this book, the Universe is so great that thing are just there waiting for us to give the first step. Dont have enought words, but what i really whant to say is that you should really thing on doing that movie of Ilusion, to share all that knowledge.

    Im a movie fan too, when i read that book couldnt stop thinking, how cool would be to be part of that movie and how to make it.

    Find out what you already know..
    And youll see the way to fly..


  94. I’ve read Illusions 14 times and every time I read it, it changes because I’ve changed. I too can see Illusions being a movie that would open minds and hearts the way What Dreams May Come did for so many (although I was not pleased by the watered down ending. The original in the the original book from the 70s was much better and more compelling). I, for one, will never give up envisioning Illusions as a movie. It may not happen in my (this) lifetime, but I think it will happen. I’ll watch it in my next life. Richard, if you ever read this, know that Illusions is the single most important book I’ve ever read. Thank you for writing it.

  95. And here it is, a year and a half after your post the “film” world has changed dramatically and nearly every obstacle you spoke of has been shattered to pieces with this new age of online streaming. Creators and the investors are no longer tethered to the old paradigms, a film like Illusions could very well be closer to reality that it has ever been if you are willing to take the chance.

  96. Big Studio motion picture not needed.

    I have already seen ILLUSIONS in my mind countless times and each time it feeds my soul in new ways.

    And, the best part is I can walk to the kitchen and make my own popcorn and save $8.

  97. I don’t know if you really read this Richard Bach, one of the first spiritual writers I really read. Was given a copy – the original version with a blue feather – by a friend when I was very ill.
    It changed my life, gave me courage and made me stand up and dare go my way.
    Many years gone and it is still one of the books I take down although I know it.
    The impact of a book where you can just stop and go back….go back again…should never be forgotten.

    So with thanks from a Swede living in England

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