MICHAEL WIESE: A TRIBUTE
Michael Wiese has left us to explore the next mystery of the human journey. He passed away on Saturday, March 11, 2023, in his treasured retreat in Cornwall, England.
Michael was an explorer of the artist’s instincts and the human soul. He had deep curiosity, dreams, compassion, and impish humor.
For him life was a love affair. He maintained rich and lasting relationships with his friends from his birth town of Champaign, Illinois, as well as the multitudes of allies he made on his expansive explorations. His most passionate joy was his wife, Geraldine, whom he confessed he fell in love with at first sight, as if they were somehow connected and destined for each other. Geraldine inspired and accompanied him in almost every aspect of his many adventures. The other luminous person for him was his daughter, Julia. From the moment he filmed her birth their constantly deepening bond, rich and precious, filled him with awe and transformed him.
Michael sought out and engaged with people like the Dalai Lama, Buckminster Fuller, and Salvador Dalí. He and Geraldine trekked across the earth to remote places, meeting Japanese artists, musicians, and shadow puppeteers; Balinese dancers; and Mexican and Peruvian shamans, documenting their spiritual healing powers using ayahuasca in the Peruvian jungle.
His evolution in the ’60s underground film scene in San Francisco led to him create films like Hardware Wars, his celebrated parody of Star Wars, and Dolphin Adventure, his documentary inspired by swimming with wild dolphins. Hollywood studios took notice, and gave him opportunities to work on projects with stars like Robin Williams, Whoopi Goldberg, and Billy Crystal. But Michael eventually moved on, more a free spirit than a corporate suit.
Michael wrote and self-published The Independent Film and Videomaker’s Guide, a book that sold 50,000 copies. He built upon that experience to lay the foundation for his company, MWP, which has published over 250 books on the art, techniques, and business of storytelling through film and television. MWP titles have now been translated into 28 languages, a testament to the global reach of Michael’s legacy.
Despite his success Michael was a quiet, graceful man always open to new discoveries. Michael’s hunger for spiritual exploration found an outlet in his second publishing arm, Divine Arts, through which he and his team create innovative and nourishing books designed to elevate human consciousness.
Michael dueled with Parkinson’s disease and found a Master who taught how dance could be regenerative, which brought Michael many productive years. Divine Arts shared this message of hope and healing in an uplifting book.
Michael, Geraldine, and Julia would not want his passing to be seen as a loss, but as a celebration. Michael embraced every day with gratitude. He and Geraldine always used to say to each other, Gracias. Gracias. Gracias.
Michael’s heartfelt spirit touched all who had the privilege of spending time with him. His autobiography, Onward and Upward: Reflections of a Joyful Life, has been described as the chronicle of the raging adventure that has been Michael Wiese’s life.
With Geraldine and long-term intimate allies Alexander Ward and Ken Lee, MWP and Divine Arts will continue to vigorously champion his philosophy to support “conscious media.” The collective guidance and discoveries captured in the books he published will continue to influence generations of filmmakers, creators, and spiritual seekers all over the world, in every culture. Spreading Michael’s faith in the value of the artistic and spiritual richness of mankind.