"I loved movies as a kid. I was kind of a latch key child, so that was always there for me. Film seems to me to be an art form containing many other differences," said artist John Bono. Bono, a film-maker, author, writer and producer has a colorful background and flair for enlightenment.




A graduate with a BA in Film at New York School of Visual Arts, which Bono jokes is "the poor man's NYU," Bono wished to take his education further and has also earned a Master's in Psychology.




Bono lived in Los Angeles for some time, trying to break into the film business, but retreated to Ashland in 2002, at the same time as future collaborator Steve Simon, after he felt the City of Angels had sufficiently eroded him. "We were both refugees from the crazy hectic material LA world which focuses on profit above all else," said Bono. "We soon found that Ashland was a Mecca for artists, film-makers, etc. (Simon) eventually founded that spiritual cinema circle that became known world-wide." Bono served as associate producer on the Ekhardt Tolle film "Living Luminaries on the serious business of happiness." Ekhardt Tolle, author of "A new Earth" has recently found success through fan Oprah Winfrey, attention which Bono hopes will add to interest in his film.




Bono has also co-authored the book "The Healing Mind," with the 'venerable' Dr. Kevin O'Neil, a primer on contemporary Buddhist philosophy, as well as discussing future collaborations with local gem, "What the (Bleep) Do We Know" co-director Mark Vincente.




"My career is becoming that of a producer and writer," said Bono. "I'm trying to take the kind of content found in works like "New Earth" or "What the (bleep) do we know" and put those ideas into the mainstream. Younger audiences don't like getting preached to through documentary or semi-documentary formats, so, to me, this is the next logical step." Bono's main passion right now is finalizing writing and development on his proposed television show, "Gentry X", which Bono describes as ""&

166;an innovative — hour 'Sci-Adventure dramatic series' of a 'new 'X-Files' ,'MacGyver' 'Quantum Leap' all rolled into one... regarding a young, conflicted black visionary quantum-scientist known only as 'Gentry X' and his specially selected think tank T.E.S.L.A. who quietly set up shop in the tiny burb of Ashland, Oregon, and confound the locals, as they solve extraordinary cases of scientific intrigue, espionage and 'seemingly paranormal natures.'" This is a personal project for Bono, for while many networks put out science fiction, Bono sees this as sci-fact, a serialized television show based on the real life experiences of a former operative who befriended Bono, and upon whose experiences the film "War Games" was based upon. Bono hopes to use factual research and scientific perspective to make his show more valuable.




An interesting blend of passion and laid-back suavity, Bono has been working on this project for three years now, and is finally making headway. Having found producers willing to run with him, Bono is working on interim shooting for a potential presentation for network execs by October. Bono's main assets right now are Kenneth Dixon, a producer with Warner Bros., and Ron Frank productions.




The television pilot has been a matter of particular passion for Bono, perhaps given his nostalgic affinity for what he sees as television's heyday, now past. "The state of television is so dreadful, mostly reality based, I think a huge audience has fallen away and is looking for a new format," said Bono. "The problem is putting the commerce into the art and how to maintain spiritual, artistic qualities while still being financially viable." "Not to get too political," said Bono, "But I feel that if Obama wins (the future Presidency) "The public might be open to projects with more integrity such as these." Another source of inspiration for Bono was a friendship with Sir Arthur C. Clarke, the former famed scientist, philosopher and author of "2001: A Space Odyssey." Bono became acquainted with Clarke while teaching English in Sri Lanke and the two maintained correspondence in the years that followed, until Clarke's death in March. This leads Bono towards another project, a documentary on Clarke, also a "Crypto-Buddhist" and who had endorsed Bono and O'Neil's book in a rare move.




With so much on his plate, right now Bono is looking for more community involvement in his projects, particularly "Gentry X" Offering paid internships, Bono encourages community members with cinematic talents from acting to editing, or who just want to learn more about this branch of spiritual cinema to check out his website- . BOX STUFF:




NAME: Jon Bono AGE: 40's NICHE: Visionary film-making INFLUENCES/INSPIRTATION: Modern Buddhism, the Matrix, What the (Bleep) Do We Know, Sir Arthur C. Clarke TRAINING: Film degree at New York School of Visual Arts CLAIM TO FAME: exec. Produced Eckhardt Tolle's "Living Luminaries on the Serious Business of Happiness," and co-authoring "The Healing Mind" with Dr. Kevin O'Neil NEXT GIG: continuing work on prospective television pilot "Gentry X"