Pat Solomon usually spends his professional life making commercials. In 2009, though, he took it upon himself to introduce a new generation of viewers to the work of Joseph Campbell, in particular his ground-breaking book, “The Hero with A Thousand Faces”. The result is a lively film that puts yet another face on the Hero and his Journey through the use of unexpected visuals and tales from even more unexpected people. When I spoke with Solomon on October 5, 2011, he explained why he felt the time was right for another look at Campbell’s work, went into the life lessons his own son learned about what bliss really means, and described the reaction he hopes to provoke in his audience.
FINDING JOE is his documentary that traces the core myth of the Hero’s Journey as defined by Joseph Campbell in his seminal work, THE HERO WITH A THOUSAND FACES, and makes the case that it’s more than a story, it can be the path of everyone’s life if they choose. Folktales, old and new, form the framework as people from skateboarder Tony Hawk to alternative medicine guru Deepak Chopra share journeys of separation, initiation, return, striking a balance between the universal and the particular. It’s a device that also offers a refreshing immediacy to the journey itself, and concrete examples of what Campbell’s famous directive, to follow your bliss, means in the real world. Solomon is a sought-after maker of commercials when not exploring Campbell’s legacy.