Press Release - November, 2000

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Kelly Hargraves
877-457-5133 e-mail: kellyh@firstrunfeatures.com

Science Fiction legend Philip K. Dick comes to life in
The Gospel According to Philip K. Dick
from First Run Features in early Spring 2001

The documentary The Gospel According To Philip K. Dick premiered in spectacular fashion before a sold-out audience in New York City last August as a key event of the Sci-Fi Channel Exposure Film Festival. Now First Run Features will bring this profile of the science fiction legend whose ideas have shaped our collective unconscious to theatres in early Spring 2001.

Philip K. Dick, who died in 1982 following a series of strokes, left behind a legacy of more than fifty novels, five volumes of short stories, reams of correspondence, and an 8,000 page self-examination he called The Exegesis, explaining, he hoped, the mystical experiences which inform his later fiction. His work has been adapted into films including Blade Runner and Total Recall, as well as the upcoming Impostor and Steven Spielberg's Minority Report, and has influenced films such as Fight Club and The Matrix. His writing and ideas on reality, humanity and technology blend West Coast Utopianism, counterculture paranoia and mystical experience.

Director Mark Steensland was drawn to the idea of making a film about Dick after reading an essay included in an edition of Dick's novel Time Out of Joint which outlines these mystical experiences. Steensland states, "Whether or not you think Philip K. Dick was completely insane or whether or not you think he had a religious experience, I want this movie to make you think about what those possibilities might mean in your own life."

Steensland and co-producer Andy Massagli focus their film on this era of Dick's life. They spent four months researching and interviewing his key friends from the early 1970s. Writers Ray Nelson, who wrote the short story that John Carpenter made into the film They Live!, Robert Anton Wilson (The Illuminatus! Trilogy), Paul Williams and D. Scott Apel all contribute their thoughts and words to The Gospel According To Philip K. Dick and help make sense of the "competing plotlines" of Dick's life and experiences. By telling stories about the man, sharing his letters and explaining the world in which he lived, they help elicit what it was that Dick personally experienced and explore his interpretation of the illusory theme of reality.

As very little actual interview footage exists of Philip K. Dick, the documentary makers relied on audio taped interviews with Dick and created an animated Phil Dick, voiced by the man himself. "The technique of creating an animated Phil was very successful," said co-producer Andy Massagli. "It allowed Phil to comment in his own words on the 1974 experience, and gave us the opportunity to include him in a way we would otherwise not have been able to."

The producers also involved the many PKD and Sci-Fi fans worldwide in the filmmaking process by promoting the work-in-progress on the fan site www.philipKdick.com. Clips from the movie and a filmmaker's journal were made available through the site. This exposure led the Sci-Fi Channel to the film and to its inclusion in the Sci-Fi Channel Exposure Film Festival. Now fans continue to be updated on the film's activity on the website www.philipKdick.com as well as on the Sci-Fi Channel web site.

Dr. H. Arthur Taussig, author of a forthcoming collection of critical essays on Blade Runner, claims that Philip K. Dick has affected such a wide audience in recent years because "he effectively combined postmodern thought with Gen X values [and] he used psychological symbols that activate deep human feelings." Director Gary Fleder, who adapted Dick's Impostor, says, "the reality is that, like Orwell, Dick saw far ahead of his time…what he saw is coming to pass."

The Gospel According to Philip K. Dick will play in select theatres nationally before its release on home video and DVD in Spring 2001. For more information please contact Kelly Hargraves at kellyh@firstrunfeatures.com or 1-877-457-5133.