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Hey, Mark Bunker, what’s taking that film of yours — ‘Knowledge Report’ — so long?

Mark_Bunker

 
Last month, we had the opportunity to attend the premiere of Louis Theroux’s fun new film My Scientology Movie at the London Film Festival. After the screening, we were invited by the producers to have a drink, and Louis came over to have a talk. We engaged in about an hour’s worth of nonstop talk about Scientology, and was it fun. We can’t share a lot from it, but we did call up Mark Bunker and tell him one thing that Louis asked us: When is “Knowledge Report” coming out? Theroux said he was very much looking forward to the documentary, which Bunker has been working on for about five years now.

Energized by that question from Theroux, Bunker has posted what he expects to be his final fundraising appeal as he announced a date of May 2016 for an all-but-final cut of his movie. We thought it was about time to get a more detailed update from him, so last night we called Mark and asked him…

What the hell is taking so long, Bunker?

That is a good question, and a question I’ve heard online countless times. And in my mind, I’m imagining people asking, what the hell is happening with the film? Well, here’s the latest. With this last round of fundraising, I plan to have the rough mix in place, and everything but insurance for the film will be completed by May. I can’t guarantee it will be released in May, but there will be a full cut, and you’ll get to see it.

That’s great news, and we really look forward to seeing it. You’ve been posting really interesting excerpts from interviews for years. You have some killer material. Has assembling everything, writing a script, or editing been bogged down or something?

I have been overwhelmed by the process at points. Hearing what Louis Theroux told you really set me on fire again. It reminded me that there are people around the world waiting for this, and I am going to get it finished. It took longer than I expected, but in the end I’ll have a film I can be proud of. What slowed it down? Well, my idea, essentially, to be a one-man band wasn’t the best idea. I’ve taken a lot on my shoulders and I’ve gotten bogged down over time. I thought I’d get a rough cut together relatively quickly, and then give it to an editor friend of mine in San Diego. But I’m still working on that rough cut, and I’m no longer living in San Diego.

No, you’re in Clearwater. And when you first moved there, we thought it seemed like a great idea. But did it actually slow you down?

It did seem like a great idea, to come here and focus on the film and get a chance to address the city council. I had some hopes of getting work with a local TV station and devoting most of my time to the film. But things don’t always work out as smoothly as you plan.

You have footage from events you’ve been filming going back 15 years, with the Lisa McPherson Trust. But when do you date the actual start of making “Knowledge Report”?

It started in 2010. I can’t believe it’s been five years already.

Since then a lot of things have come out, including books by Janet Reitman, Lawrence Wright, and Jenna Miscavige Hill, and films by Alex Gibney and Louis Theroux. How does “Knowledge Report” differentiate itself from all of those projects?

One thing I’m trying to do in my film is show the mind-control factory that is Scientology. How people get in, the levels of indoctrination they go through, the thought-stopping techniques. How you can join this group and have your entire reality altered to the point that you can sit in a room and try to spot your body thetans. And I want to show the controversies and abuses in Scientology, but still have fun along the way. I want to examine aspects of Scientology that don’t always get looked at, and try to clear up some of the mystery surrounding Scientology. And hopefully it won’t feel like, “Oh, we’ve seen this all before.”

You’ve released some great clips over the last few years, so we know you have great material. Some of the people you interviewed early on, have their views changed over time?

I’ve had people call me up after I’ve interviewed them and they’ve said, “What I said about Hubbard? I don’t believe that anymore. I now recognized that he’s part of the problem.” I do want to update some of the interviews, and maybe show that process of peeling away those layers that former members go through.

You’re asking for money again, but are there other ways people can help you get this done?

I had offers early on from people to write a script or do the music. I do have music in place, done by a friend of mine. If there’s anyone out there who has an L. Ron Hubbard bust, I’d love to use that in a set-piece I’m filming. I could also use a more modern e-meter. And more technical help.

We hope you get it! In the meantime, here’s that appeal for funds

 

 
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BOOK NOTES
3D-Unbreakable

We didn’t get a chance to include photos in our book, so we’ve posted them at a dedicated page. Reader Sookie put together a complete index and we’re hosting it here on the website. Copies of the paperback version of ‘The Unbreakable Miss Lovely’ are on sale at Amazon. The Kindle edition is also available, and shipping instantly.

Our book tour is concluded for now. We’ll let you know about future appearances. Previous events: Santa Barbara (5/16), Hollywood (5/17), Orange County (5/17), San Diego (5/20), San Francisco (5/22), New York (6/11), Chicago (6/20), Toronto (6/22), Clearwater (6/28), Washington DC (7/12), Hartford (7/14), Denver (7/17), Dallas (7/20), Houston (7/22), San Antonio (7/24), Austin (7/25), Paris (7/29), London (8/4), Boston (8/24), Phoenix (9/15), Cleveland (9/23), Minneapolis (9/24), Portland (9/27), Seattle (9/28), Vancouver BC (9/29), Sydney (10/23), Melbourne (10/25), Adelaide (10/28), Perth (10/30)

 
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Posted by Tony Ortega on November 4, 2015 at 07:00

E-mail your tips and story ideas to tonyo94 AT gmail DOT com or follow us on Twitter. We post behind-the-scenes updates at our Facebook author page. Here at the Bunker we try to have a post up every morning at 7 AM Eastern (Noon GMT), and on some days we post an afternoon story at around 2 PM. After every new story we send out an alert to our e-mail list and our FB page.

Learn about Scientology with our numerous series with experts…

BLOGGING DIANETICS: We read Scientology’s founding text cover to cover with the help of LA attorney and former church member Vance Woodward

UP THE BRIDGE: Claire Headley and Bruce Hines train us as Scientologists

GETTING OUR ETHICS IN: Jefferson Hawkins explains Scientology’s system of justice

SCIENTOLOGY MYTHBUSTING: Historian Jon Atack discusses key Scientology concepts

PZ Myers reads L. Ron Hubbard’s “A History of Man” | Scientology’s Master Spies | Scientology’s Private Dancer
The mystery of the richest Scientologist and his wayward sons | Scientology’s shocking mistreatment of the mentally ill
The Underground Bunker’s Official Theme Song | The Underground Bunker FAQ

Our Guide to Alex Gibney’s film ‘Going Clear,’ and our pages about its principal figures…
Jason Beghe | Tom DeVocht | Sara Goldberg | Paul Haggis | Mark “Marty” Rathbun | Mike Rinder | Spanky Taylor | Hana Whitfield

 

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