Something Divine

A journey of transformation inspired by life, spirituality, and straight edge hardcore punk music.

  • Thomas Essig
  • Thomas Essig
  • Alex Knapp
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Spirituality, travel, music, religion, poetic
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 18 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    May 13, 2023
  • Production Budget:
    105,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    Germany, India, Italy, Poland, United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Thomas Essig

Thomas a native New Yorker now residing in western PA is a multi-instrumentalist, writer, producer, audio engineer who expanded his horizons to film by virtue of having had a short film (Drive) created around his music by Alex Knapp (A+M Creative). He executive produced Knapp's first film Go/Don't Go (released 2021). Which he acted in and wrote part of the film score as well. Co-executive producer for the short film Through the Stars (released 2022). To now creating his directorial debut documentary, Something Divine.

The interest in film comes from his background in live stage performances including being in the first cast of Sam Hall's War Games and his love for the magic of cinema.

Thomas's music is released internationally under the name Stick Shift Yayas. His music career has garnered interest to the point he is starting a touring band.

SSYY Productions Inc was created in 2017 to support creative endeavors for himself and others.

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Director Statement

In 2017 I went on a two-week pilgrimage to holy cities of India led by Raghunath (a.k.a. Ray Cappo the lead singer for the bands Youth of Today and Shelter as well as being a former monk and now Krishna devotee). What I thought was a yoga trip, was a journey into yogic philosophy and transformation of oneself. That pilgrimage is the catalyst that forever changed my life and became the inspiration for this film.

During those two weeks I saw not only yoga practitioners on the trip, but hardcore punk fans who were there to be near Ray Cappo (Raghunath) who they idolize. What caught my attention was how similar the ideologies of straight edge hardcore punk and spirituality are. That experience of people from different cultures coming together in harmony, supporting each other in change, growth, healing and a belief in God was humbling...Something Divine.

My view of India had always been what we see on the news. Mostly negative. A distortion of who the people of India are. What we see in the west is not what the heart of India is about. A sweet, beautiful people with a deep connection to God derived from thousands of years from many religious and philosophical teachings.

Being a first-time film maker I wanted Something Divine to be a unique documentary; part travel diary, part cultural exploration, entirely human and authentic.
Capturing the experience of pilgrimage, transformation, the people of India, and juxtaposing that with stories and images of hardcore punk rock.

Something Divine is the culmination of filming in India twice, multiple countries in Europe and all throughout the United States. Filming live performances of Youth of Today, Shelter and copious interviews to bring forth the essence of what it is to be spiritual across different walks of life.

Thomas Essig-Director