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New film about Philip Glass, Robert Wilson, Einstein on the Beach, and the connection between physics, opera, and human imagination.
1,175 backers pledged $106,429 to help bring this project to life.

The Earth Moves - Update

Posted by John Walter (Creator)

To all The Earth Moves contributors – 

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we move toward completion of our film.

We are reaching the last phase of editing — an intensive process for director/editor John Walter in completing the last act of this epic 4 Act film. This last Act is centered on the underlying science incorporated into the opera and the enigmatic figure of Einstein himself. After the Kickstarter campaign, we did some additional shooting of interviews with Professor Steven Gimbel, whose book Einstein: His Space and Times was published by Yale in 2015.

The film has expanded in scope — and our target for completion is now in the summer of 2017. John is holed up in a basement editing space in Soho, with a little bit of light filtering in from 6th Avenue. The film is being edited in an unconventional way — with all graphics and visual effects executed as John proceeds through the cut. There is a massive amount of archival footage included — some of it never before seen — from private collections, members of the ensemble, and the creators of the opera. This material follows the evolution of Einstein on the Beach from its first rehearsals at Westbeth through the most recent production. The filmmakers have had unprecedented access, but the documentary's true merit comes from John Walter's ability to present the artistic process in a context that has surprised even the opera’s composer.

John Walter explores the creative synergy between the artists in Lower Manhattan in the 1960’s and 1970’s and finally shifts his lens to the subject that inspired the opera: the world of Einstein and the creative leap that initiated a revolution in the way the physical world was perceived as a narrative. This leap between the art world and the world of science — between opera and physics — is the beating heart of our film.

We’re so close to completing John’s most ambitious film — and a very fitting complement to How to Draw a Bunny and Theater of War. Of course, we couldn’t have made it to this point without your support. We feel confident that you will consider The Earth Moves worth every bit of the wait and director/editor John Walter's considerable efforts.

Thanks again, 

Lianne Halfon

**For all rewards related questions, feel free to contact Chris at For all those still waiting on totes and towels, we're finalizing designs and will be ready to ship in the next few months. Thank you again for your patience.


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    1. Missing avatar

      Dave McKinnon on

      ... _TWO_ YEARS LATER...

    2. Missing avatar

      Dave McKinnon on

      ... ONE YEAR LATER...

    3. Michael and Anne Hanafin on

      I thought other backers might be interested to read my recent conversation with Kickstarter Customer Service. It's more or less what was to be expected, but perhaps something will come of it.

      Kickstarter Support (Kickstarter)
      Aug 28, 3:51 PM EDT
      Hi there,

      Thank you for following up with us about the status of this project. I’m sorry you’ve been experiencing these issues with communication. We've reached out to the creator with a reminder of their obligations to their backer community, and have forwarded along your concerns and those of your fellow backers. While we're disheartened that they have not yet updated backers on the status of their project, we're unable to force them to do so — it's the creator's responsibility to communicate and complete the project as promised.

      Backing a project on Kickstarter is an expression of trust and can help lead to the creation of new and exciting things. But it’s important to remember that sometimes complications arise that might prevent a project from unfolding as planned — or from happening at all. This certainly isn’t ideal, but we hope that creators and backers will try to communicate with each other through these developments.

      Although we are unable to offer refunds, we are constantly working to improve the vetting process for creators and thank you for sharing your experience. We hope you’ll continue to be an active member of the Kickstarter community as we learn and grow.


      Aug 25, 3:29 AM EDT
      Dear Kickstarter: I know you do not guarantee project delivery. And given the glacial pace at which Robert Wilson's art moves on stage, perhaps we shouldn't be surprised that after two years with our money, John Walter still has no film. But I suspect that the backers of this important project understand that. All we want is the courtesy of an update on the work, on a more timely basis than every six to twelve months. I don't think that's too much to ask. There have been rumblings in the comments for some time now that this project is a scam, and although I hate to think that, the lack of regular updates, empty promises of festival delivery dates, the production company's web site perpetually "undergoing site maintenance" does make it appear possible. Is there anything Kickstarter can do to encourage John Walter and his team to give us an update? Particularly as they are now claiming a Summer 2017 release? With thanks.

    4. Missing avatar

      Andrew Mcfarlane on

      Another kickstarter scam...

    5. WSC on

      Thanks for the update -- and thank you for all your hard work John, the creative process takes time and energy that we all appreciate so much. This is an exciting process to be a part of, and I am so grateful to have supported artist-historians like you to bring it together. Hang in there!!!!

    6. Sam Umar on

      Thanks so much for the update! Can't wait to see the final product.

    7. Niels Olof Bouvin on

      Excellent news! Thank you for the update.

    8. Missing avatar

      Ariel Kalma on

      I can't wait to see this masterpiece... but I will... and I'm sure the result will be great!

    9. Ludovic on

      Thanks for this update. It seems that the project has become even more ambitious. Of course, it's a good thing for the resulting movie... but it will be hard to wait for the summer ! Good luck to John Walter for the rest of the editing...

    10. luke kurtis on

      Glad to hear the update. And cool to know the editing is happening just down the street. :-)

    11. Missing avatar

      Stephen Stuart on

      Thanks for the update!!!

    12. Michael Wild

      Thank you very much for letting us know what is going on.