About this project
"Rutan Film Aims to Inspire Next Generation In this age of derivatives and faceless design-by-committee, a new film is aiming to tell the story of the most famous aircraft designer of the modern age – the legendary Burt Rutan." —Tim Robinson, Royal Aeronautical Society News
This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to document Burt Rutan as he creates a new design. It takes a lot to make a high quality feature-length documentary.
Please help us make the film the best that it can be!
STRETCH GOAL #1 - $100,000 - Completed!
This goal includes installing higher quality cameras on board Skigull as well as additional air-to-air and on-the-ground photography documenting the test flights with more high-quality cameras and angles. Our producer/director Scott B designed and installed the camera systems on Virgin Galactic's WhiteKnightTwo and SpaceShipTwo. Here's an example of his work. This goal will also enable our following Burt to Oshkosh for the 40th anniversary of the VariEze, which is going to be great fun!
STRETCH GOAL #2 - $110,000 - Cinematic Aerial Photography
The test flights for SkiGull will be incredibly exciting. There will be other Rutan design chase planes in attendance as well. We’ll shoot wonderful 4K footage and capture a sense of the freedom of flying in these remarkable aircraft.
STRETCH GOAL #3 - $120,000 - Archival
This film will tell the story of Burt’s life, from his earliest childhood, to competing model planes and beyond. There are tremendous archival resources all over the country, some of which contain incredible never-before-seen films, photographs and other materials. This goal will help us travel to archives and help us to make copies of photos and documents, digitize films, etc.
The details about Burt's new plane the SkiGull
SkiGull Description & Walter Mitty Plan
LOOKING UP, WAY UP! THE BURT RUTAN STORY
Imagination, tenacity and courage transform the impossible into reality: A documentary about the Ultimate Maker, Aerospace Designer Burt Rutan.
Burt Rutan's ideas have revolutionized personal flight and space travel. Now we can go behind the scenes and follow the man who continues to reshape modern aviation in pursuit of his singular obsession ... flight.
Described by Newsweek, as "the man responsible for more innovations in modern aviation than any living engineer," and named one of Time Magazine’s "100 most influential people in the world,” Burt Rutan created some of the most innovative designs ever flown. Few industrial designers have been as prolific and audacious as Burt Rutan.
He revolutionized the homebuilt aircraft community with a series of innovative, simple-to-build and thrilling-to-fly kit planes in the seventies. He designed Voyager, the first aircraft to fly around the world without refueling and SpaceShipOne the world's first commercial spaceship that led to the establishment of Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic.
Looking Up, Way Up! The Burt Rutan Story is a feature-length documentary spanning Burt Rutan’s life, career and legendary contributions to the field of aviation and beyond. Burt has lived an outsized public life, but much of who he is remains intensely private. This film will reach behind the public persona to reveal the origins of the drive and creativity that make him one of the world’s greatest industrial designers.
We first met Burt Rutan in 2004 when we were asked to produce, write and direct Black Sky: The Race for Space and Black Sky: Winning the X-Prize for Vulcan Productions and Discovery Channel. We have continued to shoot with Burt over the years and started to film him specifically for this documentary in 2012. Our long-standing relationship with Burt has provided us with exclusive and unprecedented access to archival footage, and to his most recent endeavors.
Our film will tell Burt’s story in his own voice and through the voices of those around him. Like most great innovators, Burt surrounded himself with a remarkable group of collaborators. Candid interviews with colleagues, friends, family, and critics as well as those he’s inspired will provide intimate accounts and perspective on his remarkable career. Never before seen footage and extraordinary material from Burt’s own archives as well as others will bring the decisive moments of their trials and triumphs to life.
BURT’S BUILDING A NEW PLANE - THE SKIGULL
Today Burt is creating another groundbreaking aircraft—in his garage. Looking Up, Way Up! The Burt Rutan Story will follow him as he builds his new plane, the SkiGull from its conception through its first test flights to its unveiling.
Few industrial designers have been as prolific or audacious as Rutan. His extraordinary 45-year body of work reads—and sometimes looks—like science fiction and encompasses 45 flown designs.
From his childhood building and competing model airplanes to the inclusion of five of his full-scale designs on permanent display at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, Burt’s passion, fearless obsession and the conviction to follow his own compass have pushed him to achieve what no one thought possible.
Burt’s story has the power to inspire a new generation of makers, inventors, designers and creative technologists.
Rutan’s designs are grounded in the build-it-yourself principals being adopted by today’s burgeoning Maker Culture. In fact, he was considered a “maker” before the term was ever coined. His career is the embodiment of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) with the added grace of an artist’s sensibility.
It’s Burt Rutan’s innate nature to question conventional thinking, a trait he shares with some of history’s greatest innovators.
THIS IS WHERE YOU COME IN…
So far we are financing the film with our own money, but with Burt working so quickly on the SkiGull we need your help to keep up with him!
At antennaFILMS we believe in the power to inspire and educate our younger generation to dream and achieve the impossible. Right now science, technology, philosophy and art are changing and intertwining in so many new and exciting ways.
With your help we can bring to the attention of future generations that anything is possible if they follow their dreams. They too can change the world.
Like so many great dreamers and inventors Burt did this not once, but countless times in his life by following his philosophy, and daring to imagine something more.
By donating to this project you are giving the chance for others to stick their heads in the clouds and keep them there. So thank you for keeping the dream alive!
We’ve come to Kickstarter to reach out on a grassroots level to Burt’s fans and to the aviation community to assist us in the making of this film. No gift is too small. All of your gifts mean that you are participating in its creation and proving that there is a huge, hungry audience for a film about Burt.
By supporting this campaign, you are actually making this film with us. Further, some of our rewards include a way for you to literally become a part of the film.
HELP SPREAD THE WORD!
We're so grateful for your support and hope you’ll join us on Social Media. Click the link below to help us get the word out! http://lookingupwayup.com/get-the-kickstarter-out
WHO WE ARE
Sandy Guthrie (Producer, Director) recently completed projects as an Executive Producer and Showrunner for LOREDANA, ESQ., a six-part series for Sundance TV; Co-Executive Producer, AMERICAN HAUNTING for A&E; Series Producer, VIRGIN GALACTIC: WILL IT FLY? for National Geographic. Executive Producer and Writer, DELTA DIVERS: DIVER DOWN and RACING THE STORM as well as TWIN CITY BRIDGE: AFTER THE COLLAPSE for National Geographic. She co-executive produced the Lifetime Original Reality Movie KARAOKE SUPERSTARS, and served as the Supervising Producer for the 13-part A&E series ROLLER GIRLS. She has also produced, directed and edited programming for Discovery, Lifetime, A&E, Discovery Health, HBO, and Showtime. These programs include the Peabody Award and Cine Golden Eagle Award-winning BLACK SKY: THE RACE FOR SPACE, BLACK SKY: WINNING THE X-PRIZE, two seasons of PLASTIC SURGERY: BEFORE & AFTER, the Peabody Award-winning PBS series CRAFT IN AMERICA, and episodes of the Discovery series ON THE INSIDE.
Scott B (Producer, Director) is a filmmaker and documentarian whose diverse work is united by an interest in characters and stories driven by passion and obsession. Scott executive produced, wrote, directed and filmed the series DELTA DIVERS: DIVER DOWN and RACING THE STORM, as well as TWIN CITY BRIDGE: AFTER THE COLLAPSE for National Geographic. He co-executive produced the Lifetime Original Movie KARAOKE SUPERSTARS. He was Series Producer, Director, Writer and Director of Photography for VIRGIN GALACTIC: WILL IT FLY?. Scott produced, wrote and directed the Peabody Award and Cine Golden Eagle Award-winning specials BLACK SKY: THE RACE FOR SPACE and WINNING THE X-PRIZE on Discovery. He has produced, written, directed and photographed other programming on networks including Discovery, National Geographic, History, Lifetime, TLC and Discovery Health. His groundbreaking independent films have been honored in New York Film Festival, Berlin Film Festival, retrospectives at the Museum of Modern Art and in other festivals and museums worldwide. As creative consultant to Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic he continues to document their mission to provide low-cost access to space. His recent commercial work is featured in spots for Land Rover and Grey Goose.
Patricia Bischetti (Producer) has produced and supervised documentary projects and series for cable and television networks including PBS, WNET, WGBH, Discovery, TBS, TNT, TCM, CNN, American Masters, Lifetime, Starz, Encore and Showtime. These include the Emmy Award-winning AMERICAN MASTERS MEL BROOKS: MAKE A NOISE; the Sundance Film Festival selection and Academy Award-nominated THE LAST DAYS IN VIETNAM; Peabody Award-winning and Emmy-nominated series CRAFT IN AMERICA; a ten episode series for Discovery’s ON THE INSIDE; the Peabody Award-winning BLACK SKY: THE RACE FOR SPACE; Participant Production’s THE WORLD ACCORDING TO SESAME STREET, also featured at the Sundance Film Festival; CODE BLACK, winner of the LA Film Festival; the PBS primetime series TAVIS SMILEY REPORTS; TCM’s Emmy-nominated CARY GRANT: A CLASS APART; CNN’s Emmy-nominated DYING TO TELL THE STORY that explores the world of war photojournalists; and CNN’s SOLDIERS OF PEACE: A CHILDREN’S CRUSADE, recognized internationally for its celebration of Colombia’s Children’s Peace Movement.
Bonnie Benjamin-Phariss (Advisor) is Managing Director at ProSocial. She brings three decades of experience as an award-winning production executive with a proven track record of using storytelling to change opinions and lead people to action. She has worked with the film industry’s greatest brands and creative leaders, including Disney, CNN, HBO, PBS and National Geographic. Bonnie oversaw Vulcan Productions documentary projects for 14 years. The Independent film production company, founded by Microsoft co-founder Paul G. Allen, Vulcan Productions is noted for telling powerful stories that help audiences understand the world around them, respond to challenges and bring about lasting change Prior to her work at Vulcan Productions, Bonnie spent seven years with Disney as Manager of Creative Development and Business Administration at the Disney Institute in Orlando, Florida. Bonnie began her career as Director of Research and Development for public affairs programming for WNET in New York (https://www.linkedin.com/in/bonniebenjaminphariss).
Mark Greenberg (Co-Producer) is an award-winning photojournalist, editor and best-selling author. His work has appeared in publications worldwide for the past 40-years. In 1987 he was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for feature photography for his coverage of the Rutan-designed and built round-the-world Voyager aircraft. Mark was the project photographer for Voyager and also co-produced with the BBC the award-winning documentary, VOYAGER THE WORLD'S LONGEST FLIGHT. Since 1988 Mark has worked with the Virgin Group of companies and has enjoyed a 27-year personal relationship with Virgin's founder, Sir Richard Branson. Presently he is project photographer for Virgin Galactic; Branson's private endeavor to bring paying passengers into space.
Aaron Howell (Associate Producer) started in television back in 2006 logging uncut footage for the Lifetime reality show MERGE and the PBS series CRAFT IN AMERICA. Moving into research for an installment of the AMERICAN MASTERS series, he took a short hiatus in 2008 to attend graduate school at New York University earning a M.A. degree in news and documentary production. Personal highlights in his career include the two months he spent in Antarctica for WHALE WARS; creating a documentary short about activism in New York; and working for the past four years with antennaFILMS on the VIRGIN GALACTIC project.
Michelle Kaufer (Campaign Producer) began her career in New York City working in independent film on such projects as IAN’S GHOST with Director, Dylan Kidd (P.S., Rodger Dodger); MYTH AMERICA with Director, Galt Niederhoffer (Prozac Nation, Labor Pains); and INTO MY HEART with Director Sean Smith (3 Days in L.A.). Her most recent television and film credits include Associate Producing on DELTA DIVERS and VIRGIN GALACTIC for National Geographic, producing TURN AND BURN for the Discovery Channel and producing DELIVER US and RADFORD RD for An 11:11 Experiment. In addition to working on LOOKING UP, WAY UP! THE BURT RUTAN STORY, she is currently producing the feature documentary AMERICAN STREET KID.
Photo credits: Mark Greenberg, Scott B, Doug Shane, Tonya & Burt Rutan Collection Check out some of the Reward Posters!
SOME OF OUR REWARDS!
- PLEASE NOTE: If you wish to pledge to receive more than one reward, please send us a message with your pledge. We will track your additional pledge/reward so that you receive both rewards (or as many as you wish)!
- All rewards above the $25 tier level come with the updates, the thank you on the website and the digital downloads — including both RUTAN DESIGN LEGO PLAN REWARDS.
THE NEW LEGO PLAN REWARDS ARE HERE!!! We have two new prize levels at $50 and $100. Inspire you and your kids with these Rutan LEGO PLANS that let you build his most famous planes.**Please note both LEGO Rewards come with the digital downloads, the updates and the thank you on the website.
Risks and challenges
As experienced filmmakers we understand that finishing and releasing an independent film takes dedication, hard work and perseverance. A film of this caliber needs funding, research, producing, filming, editing, distribution and a substantial campaign to get the word out.
Our biggest challenge with this project will be timing. We want to make this film and tell this story as soon as we possibly can. The timing is very tightly tied to our main character and his accomplishing the building of his new airplane. As with any documentary project, there are always unforeseen circumstances. However, we have years of experience in film, television, and documentary production and we're confident we can overcome any obstacles we face.
If any obstacles do arise, we will be sure to update our backers and be completely transparent as we proceed with this film. Thank you!
Support this project
- (30 days)