Oprah Winfrey hosted an interview with “Wake Up” Director Jonas Elrod on Sunday for her network’s “Soul Series,” where he talked about his visions of demons, angels and spirits, and how they changed his life.
In the interview, the filmmaker described the his first vision, in San Francisco, on the last night of a film shoot. Elrod was alone at the studio, putting away film equipment, when he suddenly felt the temperature drop, and saw a strange, bright light pop-up in the corner of the room. “Geometry,” which he described as various shapes, began jumping out of the walls, followed by spirits that he could not fully describe.
To Winfrey’s surprise, the filmmaker shared the experience lasted no less than 11 hours, and he was captivated the entire time, describing the vision as both “beautiful and terrifying.” The spirits followed him when he went to his hotel room, and he could not turn on his phone or the television. Elrod said that he kept “seeing things” wherever he looked, from angelic visions to unsettling demonic faces. The director claimed that they were “showing him things” that he could not understand.
An exploration of his experiences is presented in his film, “Wake Up,” that premiered on the Oprah Winfrey Network on Oct. 16, 2011.
Featured in an online interview on the Oprah website in October, Elrod and his girlfriend, Mara Evens, talked about how they envisioned the film. Elrod shared that it tries to tap into people’s inner consciousness that he believes are all connected to God.
Elrod said that he consulted with a number of spiritual leaders and scientists when putting the film together, but also arrived at his own truth that he tried to share with the audience. He admitted that his search for answers was not an “overnight thing,” and that he had to do much stumbling and struggling to see it.
Evans described she had experienced her own “awakening moment” when a Buddhist monk talked to her about the meaning of her name over a slice of pizza. She commented that people take different paths when it comes to searching for answers, and that it is not a negative thing if some are simpler than others are.
“So, it's okay if you don't feel that you need to go to the peak of the mountain to find exactly who you are. You might find it over a slice of pizza like I did,” said Evans.
She described that her very meeting with Elrod was a “miracle,” since true love is rare and she remembered how deeply she fell in love with him. It was that love, she revealed, that gave her a solid ground base and allowed her to fight off skeptical questions about her faith that used to confuse her.
Elrod concluded that after making the film, he found himself no longer afraid of death. He commented that he believes spirits and souls “certainly survive” the physical process of death, and continue onto their journey.