Meet the Flipsters

Conversations on the Bridge

A Conversation with John Raatz
(The complete Flip interview, with only minor edits, not found in the book)

John Raatz ( is a partner in Awakened Media, a company founded to distribute conscious media projects with an emphasis on mind, body, and soul. As founder and president of The Visioneering Group, John is a skilled and experienced communicator, strategist, musician, teacher, and entrepreneur. He has worked with many of today’s most popular authors, musicians, and artists. One thread that runs through John’s professional life is an abiding commitment to others’ excellence and success, and to the unfolding process that lifts all of humanity to a new level of ethical and spiritual expression.

Firmly ensconced in his role at Awakened Media, John told us about the flip he sees in the movie industry. “Film is beginning to demonstrate its powerful potential for transformation and there is a vast audience who wants to support the emergence of film as a vehicle for fostering change. There has been a large, nearly underground, movement of consciousness developing and evolving for decades now that has, in recent years, become very prominent. People are naturally drawn to the visions, values and ideas being promoted by this community because they are the ideals of Self with a capital S. It’s irresistible. We’re talking about nothing other than essentially speaking to who we are.

“If one looks at the media today, there’s the corporate media, which has a specific agenda that is driven by corporate, governmental and other interests. Then there is this new media created to appeal to who we are as human beings. And that media is much more powerful because it is more direct. It touches our hearts. It touches our soul. It speaks to us much more than the evening news. Much more than 99 percent of the programs you will see on television and much more than 99 percent of the films you will see in theaters.

“This is a Self-created market sparked by the impulses of consciousness moving through all of us in the media profession who are awake and listening. We are assisting in the manifestation of this new world of media.”

We wanted to know if this new media has acquired a name yet. John was forthright: “It’s almost impossible to be in this world without some kind of a label. The choiceless awareness in one’s personal life can be a lovely experience. But in terms of communicating with other people, we use words, we use expressions, we use ideas, and, in the domain of communication, we need words or expressions in order to be able to communicate with one another and help direct this flow that is happening. Right now we call it conscious/inspirational films. There are other terms being used to describe the genre which aren’t as satisfying or as accurate. We hope that by choosing the right film, music, or book projects that that helps define the genre. There’s a natural alignment and resonance that takes place.”

We asked John what role authenticity plays in its emergence. “Authenticity is key in the development of the kind of media we’re discussing. More and more people want to play in this field and develop media projects that reflect these higher considerations, these higher visions, these higher values.

“A distinguishing factor is that much of the media in our community is inwardly directed, even though its expression is outward. In the Hollywood model, there have been many expressions of media that are purely outward directed and designed to appeal to the senses alone. Often when something hasn’t worked, they’ve tended to push it harder and farther, rather than trying to figure out a new way. If a little bit of violence isn’t working, maybe a little bit more will work better. They’ve tended to amp things up rather than to make them more refined, subtle, or connecting. But projects are starting to manifest that are rooted in consciousness and appeal to our hearts and minds in a more refined manner.”

With the rising popularity of this genre, does John see it becoming adversely affected by the inevitable commercialization and big money typically associated with the movie industry? John replied, “Madison Avenue hasn’t led this revolution. People just started responding to their own inner visions and values. And they had to earn a living, so they figured, ‘Why not earn a living by creating businesses that revolve around these creative impulses that we’re experiencing?’ Still, I think that we have to continue to explore questions of the integration of art and commerce. It’s one of those issues that people perennially debate. The Hollywood system is antiquated and no longer serves the purpose it once did. It is no longer indispensable, but is still needed for certain kinds of films.

“We have a model that doesn’t map to the old movie industry blueprint. For example, a well-known director contacted me recently who has a new project. The nature of the project is such that he believes it requires an $80 million-plus budget. We passed on it even though we loved the content because that isn’t the range we participate in. We believe incredible films can be made for one to 15 million dollars. It’s sustainable. Profitability is possible and sustainable at that level.”

What about the independent filmmaker with just a camera and an idea? John doesn’t rule out the possibility of the proverbial “out-of-nowhere” success. “The playing field is being leveled by the democratization of media technology,” he acknowledged. “When self-publishing became viable, more and more people wrote and published their own books. When recording technology became inexpensive, all of the sudden we had thousands of musicians releasing their own CDs and MP3 files. Film technology is now inexpensive enough that almost anyone can make a movie or video. Unfortunately, as with most self-published books and music, there would not be a market for a vast majority of these films.”

We were curious about the potential for cross-over sales. With the overwhelming popularity of so many spiritual and inspirational books over the past several years, does John see people flocking to theaters to watch film versions of favorite books or screenplays by their favorite authors? “I don’t believe that people will go see a film based on a book that they like just because it’s on film. The film version would have to have some artistic merit to it. It would have to be compelling and inspiring in its own right and represent values that resonate with the viewers. Viewers have to have a relationship with what they see on the screen. If that relationship isn’t there, then they’re not necessarily going to support it. And word-of-mouth can make or break a film.”

So can this important but fledgling media succeed? “I am overwhelmed and deeply heartened by the response, openness, and willingness of people to participate in giving birth to a new genre of film. What is important is that people who resonate with this idea of media as transformational come together and form an alliance. There has never been a shortage of people whose work in life – their dharma – is to promote the various manifestations and expressions of the spiritual content of life. We have to work together to help understand what is being manifested to support one another, to exchange ideas, to exchange resources, to collaborate. The type of media that all of us would like to see more of requires a collective commitment and effort. There is incredible generosity and willingness on the part of many who want to create new expressions of media that connect us to our most essential nature.

“Media is crossing a threshold from being self-serving and agenda-oriented toward fully presenting us with the immense diversity of the human experience. Whether conscious content expresses itself as a book, a piece of music, or a film, it is the content that inspires us and calls us forth and brings us together. Expression of our authentic creativity is the essence of life.”



The Flip, by Jared Rosen and David Rippe, illuminates a clear path to a vibrant enlightened world where millions of people already live and thrive. It describes in vivid detail and real examples evidence of an upside down world in decay and a Right Side Up world of authentic beings bright with possibility.
The Flip is an owner’s manual for the twenty-first century full of insights, conversations with recognized experts, thought leaders, and visionaries, and actionable exercises and tips you can use to begin your own personal flip.

To read more about The Flip and additional interviews from other luminaries, experts and bestselling authors, please visit

The Flip is available at your local bookstore or online at, Barnes & Noble, Joseph-Beth, and Borders.


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