Douglas Vermeeren featured on the cover of In Hollywood Magazine
Douglas Vermeeren is not your ordinary filmmaker. Over the last decade he has directed and produced three of the most influential personal development movies.
His first film The Opus came out in 2008 and featured several of the top personal development leaders to answer the question of how to take the vision of what you want for your life and build it into a workable plan and then create it as a reality in your life. The film came out hot on the heels of the groundbreaking movie The Secret and featured many of the same cast answering questions many were felt unanswered in The Secret. The Opus was translated into more than 23 languages worldwide and has been rated among the top 5 most influential personal development films of all time.
His second film The Gratitude Experiment explored the relationship between the power of gratitude and tangible appearance of positive outcomes in reality. This film also featured many of the top thought leaders in personal development of today. The film attained theatrical release in many territories and secured Vermeeren a position as one of the top inspirational directors in the genre. As a result of the success behind The Gratitude Experiment Vermeeren also became a regular in the media talking about the power of Gratitude and the direction of inspirational media.
Recently his latest film The Treasure Map was released to great critical success. The film has had theatrical release in many locations including the United Kingdom. The film explores the abundance mindset and explores the exact actions that are used today to create wealth and abundance. Vermeeren has proven that in addition to creating powerful life changing films that he is indeed a trend setter in the content that is appearing in this genre. The Treasure Map is still making the rounds through many art house cinemas and special exclusive screenings through out the US, Canada, UK and Australia.
While Vermeeren claims that he is far from complete in what he wants to create in this genre his next project is taking a gigantic leap into something very different. For his next film Vermeeren has announced that he will be going to camera on a narrative feature in May. That feature will be anything but inspirational. It will be a zombie movie. Fans and critics alike are stunned at this change in direction and are eagerly awaiting what the results will be.
This new film titled Creepy Zombies is slated to have an October release and will have a limited theatrical release. For more information on this newest project go to http://www.CreepyZombies.com for more information on Douglas Vermeeren go to http://www.DouglasVermeeren.com
Interview with Movie maker, Douglas Vermeeren by Yahoo freelancer Stan Romero
The following is an excerpt from a recent interview with movie director/producer Douglas Vermeeren in regards to his upcoming movie Creepy Zombie. Douglas Vermeeren is the director and producer behind several hit documentaries in the personal development and inspiration genre.
Stan Romero: Thanks for taking the time to talk with me.
Douglas Vermeeren: It’s good be with you.
Stan Romero: so,why did you want to become a filmmaker?
Douglas Vermeeren: As long as I can remember I enjoyed movies. Like many filmmakers of my generation I was profoundly affected by the films of George Lucas and Steven Speilberg. I still remember the first time I saw Star Wars when I was 5. My Dad took our family to a drive in movie theatre and it was magical. Another movie that profoundly influenced me was Richard Donners Superman. To me it was larger than life. I remember as a young boy thinking that these were nearly document ion of real life events. In other words I thought C3PO and Superman were real people. As I grew older and realized these were movies I really wanted to be part of that word.
Stan Romero: What was your first movie experience?
Douglas Vermeeren: There were really two major events I think that could be considered my first experience. My first was when my grandpa gave me his old 8mm movie camera. It was then that I first began to think about how a movie was created and what it was like to be behind the camera. The second was my first time to the set as a background extra. I was still in elementary school and I loved everything about it.
Stan Romero: When did you start making your first productions?
Douglas Vermeeren: In middle school and high school I looked for every opportunity to bring video into my school assignments and book reports. I regularly signed out the schools audio Visual equipment. The librarian joked that most students couldn’t get at the gear because I had a permanent booking on it. Looking back it was probably true. I was shooting all the time and a close group of friends and I tried to create our own projects.
Stan Romero: What was your first somewhat professional effort?
Douglas Vermeeren: While in college I created a short that I entered into a small community film festival. It was well received but family obligations kept me away from the awards ceremony and although we won a prize I still to this day don’t know what we won. Upon my return and hearing that we were recognized for our efforts encouraged me to go deeper into my film studies.
Stan Romero: No doubt The Opus was a big moment for you. How did that project come about?
Douglas Vermeeren: I actually am still very involved in personal development and still publicly speaker from time to time. I recognized that this was a genre that many people were very excited about and I had a lot of connections in that world. I decided to make my first major movie because so many elements just lined up.
Stan Romero: What did you learn from your first film?
Douglas Vermeeren: There were so many things that I found I didn’t know. Some mistakes were very expensive. For example, I made a lot of mistakes in raising money. I didn’t follow correct procedures and ran into some trouble with the securities commission. (In the end I had to pay a big fine.) I also hired a lot of people based on their enthusiasm rather than their skill set and had to pay a lot of money to fix mistakes or reshoot entire parts of the project. But overall I learned a lot here that made the entire experience worth it. While there were a lot of bumps in the learning curve the movie was very well received and so far has been translated into more than 23 languages worldwide and picked up as a book.
Stan Romero: What it easier for your next two films, The Gratitude Experiment and The Treasure Map? And why?
Douglas Vermeeren: It was much easier. I guess if I were to share advice with any upcoming filmmakers the thing that I learned was if you do a great job on your first film distributors and audiences are excited to see what’s next. It’s kind of like that idea that you only get one change to make a good first impression. The Opus did that for me.
Stan Romero: So now you are shifting to a completely new genre. A lot of people are talking about this dramatic switch from inspirational films to the exact opposite with horror. What inspired you to movie into the horror genre?
Douglas Vermeeren: I believe that people watch films to some extent to feel emotions they don’t normally experience every day. They felt that in the inspirational films I created and I believe they will feel that in the horror film I am currently working on. It will be a fun ride. In addition, I guess its kind of a wink to my high school friends who made movies with me then. We would watch horror movies every weekend and we saw absolutely everything in the video rental store. We then went out and tried to duplicate a few things in our own films. I guess its a chapter in my life that I hadn’t yet found closer with. So this time I get to do it with a reasonable budget and experience.
Stan Romero: So what’s next after this?
Douglas Vermeeren: I haven’t decided yet. Our office has received a few scripts and I’ve written a few as well. I don’t know that it will be in the horror genre. I have a feeling that it will be more of an action adventure or sci fi.
Stan Romero: Thank you for being with us today.
Douglas Vermeeren: Thank you.
On the heels of wrapping his latest personal development film “How Thoughts Become things,” Director/producer Douglas Vermeeren makes a startling announcement. Douglas Vermeeren became known as one of the foremost directors and producers in the inspirational and personal development genre with his award winning films, The Opus, The Gratitude Experiment and The Treasure Map. His films have been translated into more than 23 languages and developed into books featured in just as many languages. But this week he threw a curveball when he announced that his next film will not be an inspirational picture.
At first consideration one might think that a simple inspiring narrative film might be the next logical step that Vermeeren might make, but the reality is far more surprising. Vermeeren declared on a panel discussion at a recent personal development forum that his next film will be a “Zombie picture.”
What is meant by the declaration of a zombie picture has yet to be seen as the details given were less than precise. Some of the revealed points include that the film will be titles “Creepy Zombies.” It will be shot both in Vermeeren’s hometown of Calgary, Alberta Canada and Los Angeles, California. The film will go into production for June of this year and have an expected release date of October 2016.
Vermeeren will be writing the script.
When probed further about why a shift from personal development is in order, Vermeeren replied that “this was really his first passion. Not specifically Zombie movies. But fantasy, adventure and narrative stories. This is what I went to school for in the beginning.”
When asked if his most recent film will be his last venture into the personals development realm Vermeeren replied that he had just finished principle photography on his latest personal development film “How Thoughts Become Things.” Once it is released he will spend more time in the non-documentary filmmaking, but the future was unwritten. There may be more personal development films in the future.
8 keys to seeding in your presentation
By Douglas Vermeeren
This article is an excerpt of one of the training documents in the High Profit Speakers Masterclass from the unit on selling from the stage.
What is seeding? Seeding is essentiality including references to your other products, workshops, seminars or offers in your presentation. It basically introduces the idea that beyond the current speech there are other possibilities to build a relationship with you beyond your current presentation. Seeding is a brilliant way to introduce elements of your speaker funnel and creating desire to participate without actually sharing the invite. I have found that by seeding early and regularly it encourages a strong desire from my participants to become involved with me and makes it easier to sell from the stage.
When it is done right another of the major clear benefits is that your credibility is instantly increased. When your students feel you have a plan to follow they follow you. It is that simple. I also like the idea of training your students immediately to look upon their success as a process rather than an event. Seeding does this.
Seeding can also help you gauge audience interest in a product or service in a specific room. And I have also used to seeding to gauge interest in products before I’ve even created them.
But seeding isn’t necessarily easy. In fact, when it is done incorrectly it can have the opposite effect of creating interest. It can immediately put up a barrier to sales and close doors to further relationships.
- Seeding is not selling
One of the keys that makes seeding work is that it cannot be turned into an invitation. If it becomes a sale within your sale both your sales and the your seed will lose power. This can be very tempting to do especially if you notice immediate interest from your audience in what you are achieving to present.
2. Seeding must be relevant
Seeding must not look obvious. In other words if it comes way out of left field it will be recognized for what it is . It must appear to be related directly to what you are talking about. If the seeding moment is relevant it will also have the power to drive desire towards attaining the item you’re seeding. If it’s random it sounds like a desperate pitch. If it doesn’t feel natural as a direct fit to the flow of your speech it is not time to pitch.
I’ve also seen speakers who have used this as an opportunity to give their ego a boost by using it as an opportunity to simply share what their up to or creating in the pipeline. If seeding has no purpose it should be left out.
3. Share results not opportunities
Too often when speakers seed they simply bring up that they have a product or workshop that addresses this topic and move on. This is not seeding. I have also seen speakers who simply throw in what their working on a “seed” because they hope that their audience will remember the product or training and make a determined mission to come back for it. That doesn’t work.
Just so avoid making this mistake let me share some of the bad examples I’ve seen lately from speakers that did not work. These are some of the phrases they used:
“I am going to come next month and teach more on this. You should come.”
“I have a workshop for that called 7 keys to blah, blah, blah.”
“I’m thinking of writing a book on that. You should get it.”
“I’ve got 8 more points like that one that can help you.”
Instead to be successful seeding should be directly tied to results and create interest in that future opportunity for them. Here’s an example of a seeding statement that works. Here’s the good example:
“I have a student in my masterclass program that actually tried this. One of the things they found was that it immediately helped them gain clarity on what they needed to create to make their business grow. And in their cases this lesson made them an extra $25,000 in three weeks. How many would like to get results like that?”
Let me break down this paragraph and describe why I think it works really well.
I love the idea of starting with the sentence, “I have a student,” or “One of my students.” The reason being it is that this in itself is a seed inviting others to become students and indicates that you have ways they can learn from you.
“In my masterclass program.” Obvious to you now is the program I am seeding. This mention you’ll notice does not talk about price or invite anyone to participate. It is simple clear and doesn’t have the emotion of asking for the sale. There is now decision just a passive introduction.
“Actually tried this.” This is what connects the seed to the current content and lets you share the seed without looking pitchy. It is relevant and has a purpose within the framework of the current discussion. I also like the word immediately. While not necessary I feel like it adds to the power of the principle you’ve just taught and the strength of your lessons in general. You get results.
Being specific and measurable results is the next thing that I think a good seed needs. I like that this seed clearly identifies the activity and what that activity affected. It helped the student gain clarity that specifically created business growth. I also like the idea that this seed clearly pinpoints a value that this activity created for the student. $25,000 in three weeks is a very specific number and a specific time frame.
Lastly, and we will talk about this in greater detail later so I won’t go into that detail here. The seed ended with a with a tie down question allowing the speaker to gauge interest and keep everyone involved.
4. Just in passing
Seeding needs to be done in such a way that it does not seem deliberate or obvious. It must be slightly concealed and feel naturally to both you and your audience. If it seems calculated it will created the opposite effect.
Recently I heard a speaker who would pause and kind of set up his seeding each time he did it. That creates a massive problem because now it gets seen as a pitch. Seeding should almost feel like you really had no intention to mention this but since we’re friends let me tell you about one of my students or what I did with this information. It needs to feel much like an ‘and by the way’ type of statement.
In other words it should not draw attention to itself.
5. Seed Sparingly
Once some speakers learn how to seed they often try to put it everywhere in their presentation.This is also a mistake. Seeding must be done sparingly. Just like my rules of one having one offer in your intro session I make it a rule for my students to only seed a maximum of three things in their intro session. People can often remember three, they can remember much more than that. Also if you try to seed too much your presentation stars coming off as a commercial for what’s coming rather than a sample of your content and the power you can provide. And if you have only three things that you are seeding be sure to that sparingly too. I recently had one of my students who was unsuccessful because they seeded and seeded and seeded and it got old quick. When we talked about it afterwards he argued his cases by point out that he had only seeding three things. And its true he had. The problem was that the frequency of which it was done left people feeling like he was desperate to get people to those parts of the funnel.
One mistake I have seen with over seeding is actually the same principle that makes seeding work. While seeding is a subtle way of saying you need to continue the relationship. Too much seeding says that the future relationships will be a series of pitches and if you chose to learn from you as a speaker you will continue to get more and more pitches.
Find the right kind of balance and if in doubt that you are seeding too much pull it back. It is better to seed less than be too much. Certainly less is more in this case.
Now I should mention that I certainly encourage more seeding during a weekend workshop or a seminar that could be done in a 45 minute intro session. When you have more time and the students are already committed to being in a classroom with you they have in essence given you permission to increase the depth of how you can seed. What I mean by that is often they are now interested to go into more detail on your future opportunities and discuss elements of your products in detail. But many of these rules still apply. In more in depth sessions you can seed more deeply but don’t over do it – make your seeding valuable and relevant.
6. Plan Seeding
Although seeding appears to kind of throw away statement or off the cuff it really works best when it is planned and practiced. Know what you are going to say and when you are going to say it. Then when its time,because its planned say no more and say no less. One of the beginning mistakes I see speakers make is that they wing it (not just with seeding, but with lots of things) and as a result they don’t get results.
Good seeding like anything else in this business requires planning and practice.
7. Not necessary to seed everything
Similar to the idea of using the seeding sparingly is the importance of selecting carefully what you will seed. I have a lot of different opportunities and products within my funnels. There is absolutely no way I could possibly seed everything in a one hour presentation. You most likely have a similar situation. It is important to determine what is best to seed and I look at a few things when considering what should be included and what should be left out. We’ve talked about being relevant above so I won’t address that one again but here are a few other thoughts:
– Who is my current audience
– What are they most likely to be drawn to within my funnel
-What price points seem reasonable and what price points seem beyond them. (And by the way I rarely share the price. But I almost always seed my most expense program from the intro session.) I avoid smaller products like books or dvds.
– What product or services add to my credibility (either they gotten excellent results, are publicly known, attached to people they would know or demonstrate that I have an depth knowledge far deeper than the current discussion could go.)
Once you have a selection of maximum three things to seed I look for how I can work them into the presentation using many of the tools we’ve already discussed.
8. Conclude with a tie down
A good tie down question like “How many would like those kind of results?” or “Who wants to be able to do that?” are brilliant ways to gauge interest on a seed you’ve just planted. I also like tie downs because it is another opportunity for the audience to participate according to the persuasion principle of commitment and consistency.
Douglas Vermeeren is the CEO of High Profit Speaker. He is also the producer and director of the films The Opus, The Gratitude Experiment and The Treasure Map.
Douglas Vermeeren reinvents Speaker training with High Profit Speaker
By Terri McCoullogh
In a world where there are so many good tools available for speakers to take their business to the next level it’s hard to believe that something could come along to take the idea of good training and make it spectacular. That’s exactly what Douglas Vermeeren, the president of High Profit Speaker has done with their training. Perhaps the name says it all – HIGH PROFIT SPEAKER. (www.HighProfitSpeaker.com)This is what their focus is on and it makes sense as you’ll see in the following interview:
Terri McCoullough: With me is Douglas Vermeeren, The President of High Profit Speaker. His company focuses on training public speaker, or motivational speakers to create greater success in their business. Today he is going to share with us a little bit about how his company is changing the speaker training world and what speakers can do to take their business to the big profit levels. Thanks for being with me.
Douglas Vermeeren: It’s good to be with you.
Terri McCoullough: Most people who would know you know that you are the producers of 3 of the most successful personal development movies, The Opus, The Gratitude Experiment and The Treasure Map. They also may know you as the author of 3 books in the Guerrilla Marketing series and one for the dummies brand. But what they may not know is that you are a highly profitable speaker and you teach others how to do the same. Can you tell us how you got there?
Douglas Vermeeren: Thank you Terri. Actually I’m kind of glad you mentioned the other things too, but becoming a high profit speaker really involves a bigger picture than just focusing on profit. It’s important to have a full business model and a variety of elements in place to grow your expertise and credibility in the marketplace. That’s what I’ve tried to do with the books and movies I’ve created in addition to what I’ve been able to do on the stage.
Terri McCoullough : What would you say is the biggest mistake that most speakers are making today?
Douglas Vermeeren: Well, I think the biggest single mistake is that they don’t really have a business model figured out for their speaking. And without the model any speaking, coaching, products, seminars, workshops or whatever they are trying to do is not attached to strategic plan for growth. They basically wing it. And because they are reinventing themselves nearly every presentation they are also begging at square one to find new customers each time.
Terri McCoullough : Explain to us what you mean by business models for speakers? What are you referring to when you say a business model?
Douglas Vermeeren: I think a business model really means two parts. It’s not a business plan when you break down what you are going to do. It’s really about identifying the transactions that your customer base is willing to pay for based on the problems you can solve for them. And the second part of the business model deals with your funnels. When you find customers where will you take them so that they can get results and compensate you for your support and teachings.
Terri McCoullough: What elements are important for speakers to consider?
Douglas Vermeeren: Well, I think a big thing that most speakers do as a mistake is that they spend a lot of time developing great content, but not enough time thinking and planning about how they will sell it so their audience can get results and they can make a profit. Profit is important as a speaker. I often tell our students that if you don’t make a profit you don’t get the privilege. Meaning the privilege to be in the speaking business.
Terri McCoullough: How can people learn more about your programs if they’d like to become High Profit speakers?
Douglas Vermeeren: They can go tour website http://www.HighProfitSpeaker.com There they can find a free ebook called 3 Obstacle to Speaking Success. This will help give them basic tools to start. From there they could also register to attend a free info session in their area.
Terri McCoullough: Thank you talking the time to talk with me.
Douglas Vermeeren: Thanks for having me.
A weird way of setting goals for transformational leaders and speakers
By Douglas Vermeeren
Goal setting is the hot topic of the day! Most people that I’ve chatted with on the subject generally do it in categories in their life. Some of those categories include what they will do in their personal life and relationships, Business/product growth and revenue growth, things they’d like to learn and accomplish personally. These are all important areas to focus on – but here’s a quick thought. Have you ever made a list of the people you’d like to serve this year and what you’d like to do for them?
I’m talking simply make the list and leave it at that.
Think about it. If you make a list of who you’d like to serve and how you want to empower them, don’t you think most everything else will take care of itself?
If you are truly interested to become a transformational leader and help people get results doesn’t this approach make more sense. Your students and contacts will reward you as they get results. We have a saying at High Profit Speaker, “Compensation follows completion. People don’t pay for good intentions.” So in your planning focus your time and look at who you can help, how you can help and make it less about what you want.
You already have heard Zig Ziglar’s oft quoted truth, “You can have everything you want in life if you just help enough other people get what they want.” Don’t just say it. Live it!
Happy New Year!