Our current focus is an educational documentary titled:
“Civilization Before Civilization”
The ORACUL Team, led for this particular project by Dr. Robert Schoch and Catherine Ulissey, is pleased to be working with filmmakers Bill Cote, Carol Cote, and Sean Adair. Bill was the Director of the Emmy-winning documentary The Mystery of the Sphinx, which was hosted by Charlton Heston and first aired on NBC in 1993 (it featured Dr. Schoch’s geological analysis of the monument that scientifically pushed back the age of civilization by many thousands of years). Carol and Sean were both part of that production team as well. ORACUL is pleased and privileged to reunite these creative and accomplished individuals for this project.
We began this endeavor of making an educational documentary with a 2019 Kickstarter campaign that brought in funding to get us started. We commenced with preliminary filming in Egypt last year, prior to our two 2019 educational tours, filming some important historic sites and conducting interviews.
Upon returning to the United States, we continued with interviews and began preparations for filming in Turkey. (Please remember, endeavors such as this take time. We are volunteers with normal/daily life responsibilities that sometimes take precedence to our not-for-profit passions and endeavors – and gaining official permission to film at ancient archaeological sites in foreign countries is neither easy nor simple.)
With permissions for Turkey obtained in the fall of 2019, and logistics worked out, we embarked on a filming trip there in early January 2020, which thankfully went smoothly and well. Even more important, the crew returned safely home before the Coronavirus erupted globally, causing a cessation in travel and altering our lives unimaginably.
Using the footage we’ve obtained thus far, our crew put together this little trailer, with the primary goal of raising more funds for completion of the film. So as to avoid unnecessary expenditures, we did not hire a professional voice-over artist to narrate the trailer. Rest assured that for our final film we will.
Once the COVID-19 pandemic wanes and life returns to some kind of normal, we will resume production (as swiftly as we can). At the moment, we are trying to stay safe (we live in areas hard hit by the virus), care for loved ones (some elderly and very sick), fulfill our Kickstarter pledge promises (joyfully and with appreciation), and meet our daily duties (made all the more stressful by these horrific and unprecedented events).
We could use some major philanthropic support. If you know anyone who might be interested in contributing to the film, please do let us know.
Below are some photos of the film crew working in Turkey, January 2020.
Above: Robert Schoch, Bill Cote, and Sean Adair – filming in Cappadocia on a very cold day (on the left, trying not to slide down the cliff).
Above: The film crew at Göbekli Tepe (left) and Çatalhöyük (right), Turkey.
Above: The unglamorous work of capturing B-roll: Sunrise over Cappadocia (left); Sunset on our way to Şanlıurfa (right).
Above: Catherine Ulissey and Bill Cote overlooking Red Valley at sunrise (left); and a wet and “chilled-to-the-bone” group (Bill Cote, Carol Cote, Robert Schoch, Catherine Ulissey, Manu Seyfzadeh, and Sean Adair) departing Harran (right).
Filming an Interview with Prof. Witzel, February 2020 (just before the COVID-19 pandemic hit the Boston area).
Interviewing Professor Michael Witzel, Wales Professor of Sanskrit, Harvard University, about material in his book The Origins of the World’s Mythologies (2012, Oxford University Press), February 2020. For more information on Prof. Witzel, see his website.
The banner image at the top of this page shows Bill Cote and Sean Adair filming Dr. Manu Seyfzadeh and Dr. Robert Schoch at the El Ruha Hotel in Urfa, Turkey, January 2020.