A photography, design and video project documenting the restaging of a 40 year-old memory and a shot at dad redemption.
FINAL UPDATE, NEW FINAL REWARD
Here is a last minute reward for pledging that I just pulled out of the flat files. Missleman 2004. 4-color silkscreen (metallic gold and silver) 26" x 40" only 10 of these were printed, I am making the last 3 I have available now! $300 Reward level includes everything in the lower reward levels.
UPDATE: SECOND STAGE
Thank you all for your support. We exceeded our funding goal! There are only a few hours left and with your help, I would like to expand the video part of this project into a short documentary film with original music by composer Shay Lynch, who did the music on the project video (above) and the trailer (below). But making a documentary will cost money so I have added an HD digital download of the documentary to all pledges of $10 or more. Please back the project or consider upgrading your pledge by adding on a book, print, t-shirt, patch or mug.
Saturn V Relaunch is a photography book, design and video project that will document an attempt to travel through time and space to remake a childhood memory. A shot at dad redemption—40 years later—that involves the re-building and public launch of a Saturn V model rocket in order to introduce two boys to the grandfather they will never know.
Near the the end of the Apollo space missions of the early 1970's, my father—an aerospace engineer from Johnson City, New York—began work on his own Saturn V (the massive vehicle that brought men to the surface of the moon). Even at 1/100 scale, the Centuri Saturn V was the grand daddy of all model rockets—at almost 4 feet high it was as tall as me at the time. The kit had hundreds of separate parts that took my dad months (my mom remembers it as YEARS) to meticulously cut, glue, sand, and paint.
When he finally finished, he brought the whole family out to an open field. We counted down, and my mom had the honor of pushing the button. The rocket shot 500 feet into the sky...but the chutes failed to deploy and we watched in horror as it plummeted—nose first—back to earth. Dad's Saturn V was destroyed and I've never forgotten.
My father passed away a few years ago, and I recently discovered his launch pad in the attic—along with dozens of snapshots of the original launch. I am a father now as well, and it struck me that this was the first time I remember seeing him fail at ANYTHING. It reminded me of a time when our fathers were omnipotent; when any dispute with the kid down the block could be settled with "I'll ask my dad."
I started thinking about taking this experience full circle, to see if I can reverse the outcome or see if history will repeat. In the process, I hope to share a bit of my father's geeked-out love of flight and physics with my two young sons, who never knew their grandfather.
But this is more than a personal story.
Saturn V Relaunch is a tribute to the days before NASA cutbacks when every kid wanted to be an astronaut in order to explore the unknown, if only in our own backyards. And to all of the model rockets that caught fire on the launch pad, exploded in mid-air, were lost in a tree or disappeared from sight, never to be seen again.
Saturn V Relaunch picks up where my father left off. I am building another Saturn V from the very same vintage Centuri model kit my dad built (recently purchased on ebay). I plan to conduct a public launch (in Kirkwood, NY) and fire the rocket from dad's 40 year old launchpad —and hopefully—land it safely. Re-Launch day will be documented by myself, videographer Joe Hollier, and long-time collaborator photographer Michael Northrup and will take place sometime in spring/summer of 2013. Our photo study (along with my dad's original images) will populate a self-published art photo-book that I will write and design. A short documentary video will also be produced.
COME ALONG FOR THE RIDE FOR AS LITTLE AS $5!
This is a participatory project so EVERY backer will have their name affixed to the exterior of the rocket. I'm envisioning a nascar type situation, with the rocket covered with names.
PLEDGE $5 (or more)
YOUR NAME ON THE ROCKET!
(INCLUDED ON ALL HIGHER REWARD LEVELS)
SEE WHO'S ON BOARD
PLEDGE $9 (or more)
EMBROIDERED MISSION PATCH. 3.5"x 3.5" WITH METALLIC GOLD AND SILVER THREAD.
PLEDGE $10 (or more)
HD DIGITAL DOWNLOAD OF THE VIDEO DOCUMENTARY + DIGITAL VERSIONS OF SATURN V RELAUNCH BOOK AND MISSION REPORT WILL BE CREATED FOR IPAD AND OTHER DEVICES. (INCLUDED ON ALL HIGHER REWARD LEVELS)
PLEDGE $15 (or more)
NEW REWARD! MISSION INSIGNIA MUG. ADD-ON TO ANY REWARD LEVEL FOR $12 ($15 INTERNATIONAL). INCLUDED AS A THANK YOU TO ALL PLEDGES OF $200 OR MORE.
PLEDGE $15 (or more)
TRY TRY AGAIN SIGNED 11" x 17" SILKSCREEN (WITH METALIC SILVER INK) PRINT. WILL DELIVER (MID-DECEMBER 2012)
PLEDGE $25 (or more)
THE RELAUNCH T-SHIRT. THESE HIGH QUALITY ONE-COLOR SILKSCREEN SHIRTS WILL DELIVER FIRST (MID-DECEMBER 2012)
PLEDGE $25 (or more)
MISSION REPORT (10-PAGE REPORT INCLUDES DOZENS OF ORIGINAL CHARTS, DIAGRAMS AND ALL KINDS OF OTHER DETAILED INFORMATION ABOUT THE LAUNCH. ALL XEROXED IN A BINDER) AND EMBROIDERED MISSION PATCH.
PLEDGE $35 (or more)
SATURN V RELAUNCH HARD COVER PHOTO-BOOK and MISSION REPORT SIGNED BY MICHAEL AND PAUL + THE MISSION PATCH
(THE PHOTOGRAPHS SHOWN ARE EXAMPLES OF THE KIND OF IMAGES THAT WILL BE IN THE BOOK)
PLEDGE $45 (or more)
THE BOOK AND MISSION REPORT AND PATCH + 11" x 14" TRY TRY AGAIN SIGNED PRINT.
PLEDGE $55 (or more)
THE BOOK AND MISSION REPORT AND PATCH + THE T-SHIRT.
PLEDGE $60 (or more)
LIMITED EDITION SIGNED AND NUMBERED 24" x 36" TRY TRY AGAIN SILKSCREEN POSTER (WITH METALLIC SILVER INK). FRAME NOT INCLUDED.
PLEDGE $75 (or more)
THE BOOK AND MISSION REPORT AND PATCH + YOUR CHOICE OF 11" x 17" TRY TRY PRINT OR THE T-SHIRT + 8" x 10" PRINT OF ANY OF THE IMAGES REPRODUCED IN THE BOOK SIGNED BY MICHAEL.
PLEDGE $85 (or more)
THE BOOK AND MISSION REPORT AND PATCH + LIMITED EDITION 24" x 36" TRY TRY AGAIN SILKSCREEN POSTER.
PLEDGE $200 (or more)
THE BOOK AND MISSION REPORT AND PATCH + 11" x 17" TRY TRY AGAIN PRINT + THE T-SHIRT + 18" x 24" PRINT OF ANY OF THE IMAGES REPRODUCED IN THE BOOK SIGNED BY MICHAEL + THE MUG.
PLEDGE $230 (or more)
THE BOOK AND MISSION REPORT AND PATCH + 24" x 36" TRY TRY AGAIN PRINT + 11" x 17" TRY TRY AGAIN PRINT + THE T-SHIRT + 18" x 24" PRINT OF ANY OF THE IMAGES REPRODUCED IN THE BOOK SIGNED BY MICHAEL + THE MUG.
PLEDGE $1,000 (or more)
ONE-OF-A-KIND SATURN V. CHOOSE BETWEEN 'POLKA DOTS', 'ORIGINAL MARKINGS SHARPIE', 'BOMB POP', 'UPSIDE DOWN', OR 'NO. 2 PENCIL CLOUDS'. THIS IS A BEAUTIFUL ONE-OF-A-KIND SATURN V MODEL ROCKET BUILT (FROM THE ESTES #2157 SATURN V FLYING MODEL ROCKET KIT), WITH ORIGINAL EXTERIOR DESIGNED AND SIGNED BY PAUL. LENGTH: 43.25” DIAMETER: 3.9” + PLUS ALL OTHER ITEMS INCLUDED IN THE LOWER REWARD LEVELS.
PLEDGE $2,500 (or more)
LAUNCH A SATURN V! PAUL WILL COME TO YOUR SCHOOL OR ORGANIZATION AND GIVE A DESIGN TALK AND ROCKET DEMONSTRATION (US ONLY AND BACKER MUST COVER TRAVEL AND LODGING) + ONE-OF-A-KIND SATURN V + ALL OTHER LOWER REWARDS.
- I am building my own SATURN V model (from a vintage kit I found on ebay).
- I was told by the guy at the hobby shop that this particular kit will take "months to build if you want to do it right." I want to do it right.
- I'll be exploring alternate graphic treatments for the exterior of the rocket that includes the name of every backer of the project.
- As soon as the rocket is finished, I will use my dad's original launchpad and will attempt to successfully fly it.
- The public launch will take place in Kirkwood, NY, in the spring or summer of 2013, date/time/specific location TBA.
- A self-published hardcover photo book Saturn V Relaunch (64 pages, 9" x 12" cloth bound, foil stamped cover with over 45 full color quality reproductions) will be published in late 2013 in a limited edition of 1,000 signed copies. It will feature the photographs of Michael Northrup and my dad.
- I will also issue a 10-page Xeroxed report on the relaunch that will include figures, maps etc... (in the manner of a NASA mission report). The report will fit into a pocket on the inside back cover of the book or will be housed in a binder depending on the reward level.
- There will be a number of reward items I hope you will like: t-shirt, and a series of limited edition silkscreen posters.
- A digital version of the book and report will be created for the iPad and other devices.
- There will be an embroidered patch designed for this mission.
- I am creating two one-of a kind Saturn V rockets with 5 different original exterior designs to choose from. Each will be signed and numbered and will be built from the latest Estes #2157 Saturn V Flying Model Rocket Kit and will be ready to fly if you like to live dangerously.
- A short documentary video shot and co-directed by Joe Hollier and Paul will also be produced.
This is such a personal story, why make it public in this way and why do you need $14,000 to launch a model rocket?
This project isn't really about a model rocket. It's a story about a time machine posing as a model rocket told through photography, video and design.
I miss my dad and it profoundly sucks that my sons don't know him. But I have a memory and I have a launch pad. By making this personal event public, I hope to explore some basic ideas that we can all relate to: memory, family (specifically fathers), loss, trying again, and what (and how) we pass on to our children.
The project goal of $14,000 represents my best guess at the basic expenses for this project. The printing costs for the type of book I am envisioning would represent about 75% of the project goal with the other 25% covering model-making and re-staging costs, as well as video production for the short documentary video, travel and other expenses. Everyone involved in the project at this point is on a volunteer basis so if we exceed our goal, contributors can be compensated and the scope of the project (and story) can grow.
There will be frequent project updates so backers can see how we are progressing.
Thanks everyone, this is going to be a blast.
Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
I have authored 3 books and designed dozens more, so while every book project is a challenge, I feel like my biggest difficulty will be the building and launch of the rocket.
After my dad's tragic example, I never spent the kind of time or money that he did on a model rocket before launching it (the Saturn V model was WAY out of my price range as a kid anyway). I bought the cheapest models I could and invested as little time possible building them.
With this project, I intend to do the OPPOSITE. I want this launch to have the gravity of 100's of hours sunk into building and finishing, just as my dad's original launch did. MUSEUM QUALITY is what I am after here. I always gave my father credit for going thru with the launch when it would have been much safer (after all that work) to leave it in his den or office as a display model.
Also, I haven't launched a model rocket since I was 14. So I am basically a novice. A successful launch and landing is far from a sure thing.
My two sons will be at the launch so I hope that if something goes wrong, I can be as good natured as I remember my dad being.
Yes. Once you select a reward level, you can add-on any of these items by increasing your pledge as follows:
Add $5 for each additional name on the rocket
Add $7 for each patch
Add $12 for each 11" x 17" print
Add $20 for each t-shirt
Add $30 for each copy of the book (includes mission report)
Add $55 for each 24" x 36"poster
Add $5 for each additional name on the rocket
Add $9 for each patch
Add $15 for each 11" x 17" print
Add $23 for each t-shirt
Add $35 for each copy of the book (includes mission report)
Add $65 for each 24" x 36"poster
Is there any chance of allowing members of the public or the kickstarter backers to come watch the launch?
Yes! All backers of the project are welcome to join us for the relaunch. I didn't include this in the project description for a few reasons. Mostly because of the location. The launch will take place somewhere in Kirkwood, New York (near Binghamton) on the exact spot my dad launched from 40 years ago. Once I know the date and time, I will send an e-mail alert to all backers with all of the details. The plan is for this to happen in the spring of 2013.