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Betsy Chasse is a What tHe #$*! (Bleep) director and a believer

By Steve Ramos · December 1st, 2004 · Reel Answer
Betsy Chasse
Betsy Chasse

Director Betsy Chasse understands the phenomenon over her quantum-physics-meets-new-age-spirituality documentary What tHe #$*! (Bleep) Do wE (k)now!? from both sides. As Bleep's co-director and co-writer, Chasse says she convinced co-directors Mark Vicente and William Arntz to mix its straightforward interviews of scientists and mystics with funny animation and clever special effects.

Chasse also understands why people want to take the mind trip down the wonderland rabbit hole overagain via repeated Bleep viewings.

"I was a producer for hire and burnt out from past projects when William (Arntz) contacted me about working on this film," Chasse says, speaking recently from her home in Washington State. "I was tired of the movie business, but I was also broke and desperate for a paycheck. So I said yes, and it was the best decision I ever made."

Moviegoers come to Bleep with pressing issues just like Chasse had her own unanswered "life" questions upon beginning work on Bleep: Why was her career in turmoil? What did she want to do with her life? How could she become happy? It wasn't long before her work on the project started providing answers.

"This film has changed me personally," she says. "My task was to take these complex ideas and make them attractive and coherent to lots of people. I was not a practitioner of new age philosophy when I started, but I now consider myself a student. By talking about these ideas throughout the filmmaking and having a conversation with others, I have bettered myself. I met a wonderful man and got married. I have a new baby, a family, an entirely new worldview."

Asked if a Bleep sequel is in the works, the 34-year-old Chasse laughs. Her new lease on life provides the clear answer.



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