An actress, writer, director and producer, Betsy Chasse has worked on a variety of movies. None of them can compete with the success of What The Bleep Do We Know!?, a documentary about quantum physics and New Age religion that she wrote and directed with Mark Vicente and William Arntz. Opening in a single theatre in the US, the film became a word-of-mouth success and rapidly grew into a cult phenomenon taking over $11,000,000 and becoming the third-highest grossing documentary ever.
Why do you think What The Bleep Do We Know!? was so successful?
Well I think people are asking questions and seeking answers. It's an interesting time in humanity's history and there's a lot of soul-searching going on. What this film does is pose interesting questions. It doesn't necessarily give all the answers, but it gives lots of thought-provoking information that people can use to look at their own lives and see how they might be able to make them better. It feels like the world is in for a shift in the way people live. It's been bubbling and boiling for a long time and I think this is just the beginning of that wave. It began with yoga and meditation and the popularity of Eastern philosophies in the US. This is the next wave.
How much did you know about quantum physics or New Age theories before you started the film?
Before I started the film I didn't know anything about either of them. I was very much living in what I call my "shoe consciousness" - what kind of shoes am I wearing, what kind of car am I driving? I didn't really care too much for religion or the New Age movement. I thought they were both a bunch of hooey-pulooey. What I've learned from this film is that it's up to me: I am the creator of my own reality. I am responsible for my own self. By taking on that responsibility it's really empowered me to do great things in my life.
You have quite an eclectic mix of interviewees. One of the most controversial is Ramtha. Can you tell us a little about her?
Sure, Ramtha is actually a channelled entity, it's actually a man channelled by a woman named JZ Knight. My co-directors Mark [Vicente] and William [Arntz] were students of Ramtha and I ended up a student. Humans have a tendency to judge the messenger before they hear the message and that's why humanity gets stuck in the lives that we get stuck in. If people are willing to put aside their judgement and hear what he has to say, some really profound and amazing things come out of Ramtha's mouth.
The film makes some startling claims - like the claim that it is possible to walk on water.
I think human potential is endless. Jesus said, "You will do what I do only better." We interpret it as meaning, "You too can do what I do; you simply have to believe the way I believe." It's more than just positive thinking. You can't have doubt anywhere in your body, you have to be 100 million per cent certain.
Has anyone who's seen the film managed to walk on water?
No, not specifically walking on water. But if you look at our guest book on the film's website lots of people talk about the amazing changes that have happened to them.
What The Bleep Do We Know!? is released in UK cinemas on Friday 20th May 2005.