In my travel to Spain to do research for a book on that topic, I journeyed through the north to Santiago de Compostela and by staying in a small inn outside of the city (the terminus of The Way of Saint James, the pilgrim’s paths through Spain to the Cathedral where the relic remains of Saint James are held and revered), I was able to walk the last mile or two of the Camino that led in from the west of the city. And throughout my travels, I searched for the Camino path wherever it was in proximity.
As I near completion of my travels through Spain, I had been thinking about walking the Camino for a longer distance to capture the connections that pilgrims make with the beautiful countryside, the other pilgrims who walk the path, and of course, with the Divine source that inspires all to make it a spiritual journey – like that of the fisherman from Galilee who walked to the end of the (known) world to spread the Gospel to the people on the Iberian peninsula – all the way to the rugged cliffs overlooking the Atlantic in the northwest corner of Spain.
In planning my subsequent trip through Extremadura and Castilla, I did a Google search on Camino de Santiago and found several links to a film entitled, “The Way” – (completed in 2009-2010) by Emilio Estevez and featuring his father, Martin Sheen. I followed these links to a Web site and to a Facebook page created to support and promote this film.
On the Facebook site, I read a message from Emilio in which he laid out his plans for the premiers and possible distribution of The Way. To my surprise, it appeared that he was filming in and near Santiago de Compostela when I was there on that previous trip and he was more recently premiering and promoting his film in Madrid during the time I was there on my last trip.
What struck me was that broadcast and print media had not made me aware of this film or its production, premier, and promotion occurring when I was physically proximate, such as to attend the premiere in Madrid.
Yet, through the freely available Web-based search and social networking sites, I was able to become informed of it and to interact by making a marketing suggestion in a reply comment on Facebook. By crowdsourcing on his Facebook page, his plans and invitation for ideas to promote the film, Emilio is not only providing the equivalent of a powerful broadcasting message, he has also initiated an equally powerful interaction with many people who might become advocates in promoting the distribution and performance of this film in the United States and throughout the world, especially in situations where there might not otherwise be enough support from traditional media companies.
And by creating this initial content on his Facebook page and Web sites and the outbound and inbound links to it, Emilio is creating a snowballing effect that can achieve higher ranking on search engines – which is how I originally made a connection with his film and promotional efforts.
So in close, I want to thank Emilio, not only for making a film on this important topic, but also for showing the way that we can use our online presence to promote the ideas and artifacts that we value, and share them with others who in turn receive and invest in that value.
And in that spirit of sharing, I welcome your comments on these topics in reply,
The Way (movie) Web site: http://www.theway-themovie.com
The Way (movie) Facebook site: http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Way-A-film-by-Emilio-Estevez/149700758373570