PICTURES OF INFINITY - The Ultimate Quest of Nikola Tesla
Tesla said Earth itself is a source of unlimited, naturally-sustainable energy. This film retells his theory WITH experiments.
PICTURES OF INFINITY - The Ultimate Quest of Nikola Tesla
Tesla said Earth itself is a source of unlimited, naturally-sustainable energy. This film retells his theory WITH experiments.
This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Wed, November 27 2019 9:01 PM UTC +00:00.
When Albert Einstein was asked how it felt to be the smartest man in the world, he replied: "I wouldn't know, you'd have to ask Nikola Tesla."
NIKOLA TESLA said that EARTH ITSELF is a source of unlimited and naturally-sustainable energy.
He believed that when harnessed, it would provide an infinite, non-toxic, and renewable resource, for the shared benefit of all humankind.
Tesla made discoveries that confirmed this. During the latter part of his life, he sought to prove it to the world. When he died in NYC in 1943, agents from the Office of Alien Property swooped in and seized his documents and files. They now exist in an archive at the Nikola Tesla Museum in Serbia. Access to these documents remains tightly controlled to this day.
PICTURES OF INFINITY is a feature-length documentary from award-winning filmmaker and composer Helen Hall. It focuses on Tesla's later-life work. The film explains theories, shows the underlying support, AND reconducts key experiments.
"I am going to perfect the ideas of transmission of energy which I have found in the new and measureless ocean of the atmosphere around us." - Nikola Tesla
"He is among our world's greatest-ever geniuses. He had a totally unique perspective. With this film, his urgent later-life work will be ignored no longer." - Carole Dean
Helen Hall has been researching Nikola Tesla's later-life work for 20 years. Much of this work is famously shrouded in mystery. Helen has dug deep. As she began to make progress with her research, she began producing this film. She has been working on PICTURES OF INFINITY for a decade, and has self-funded it to date (from limited personal funds, and with support from several competitive grants). The success of this Kickstarter will raise finishing funds sufficient for Helen to complete and release the film.
"Helen, good luck with this project. If you do it right, it deserves all the funding it can get!" - Neil deGrasse Tyson
BY VIRTUE OF ITS FISCAL SPONSORSHIP through From The Heart Productions, Inc., pledges made to this campaign are tax-deductible, to the amount and extent allowable by law. See section on "fiscal sponsorship" - very bottom of page.
ABOUT THE FILM
NIKOLA TESLA was an inventor, engineer, futurist, altruist, and visionary. Hundreds of known patents were issued to him. Many other inventions and devices were developed by Tesla but not put into patent protection. Tesla invented the alternating current electrical system, which has become the global standard for power transmission. He also created the eponymous Tesla Coil, which is a high frequency, high voltage transformer.
Tesla inventions have led to widespread adoption of lasers, spark plugs, and circuits used in television and computers. He is now acknowledged as the true inventor of radio.
Many people, including the filmmaker, believe Tesla's GREATEST and most innovative achievement has NEVER been made fully known. Until this film.
PICTURES OF INFINITY is more than halfway through production. It's about Tesla’s discovery that the Earth itself produces an unlimited reservoir of natural electricity which CAN be harnessed. The film reproduces some of his most noted experiments, with demonstration and dramatization. It reveals key life moments that formed his pathway to this discovery. It brings to light his unique understanding and motivations. The film is shot in a variety of locations where Tesla did his most important work - including Croatia, Colorado Springs, New York City, and Serbia.
Says Helen: "It was necessary to travel to these locations, not only for authenticity, but to help the audience better see the world through Tesla's eyes. Each scene is like a piece of a puzzle. The locations help convey Tesla's unique way of understanding, and will enhance the audience's understanding as well. I've taken the same approach on social media, and with the Rewards for this campaign (scroll down when you're ready). Thank you for your time and interest. "
The film also features music, interviews, archival footage, and graphics. It addresses resonance, harmonics, tuning, electromagnetism, and the universal medium which Tesla called "the aether." It addresses Tesla's humanity - his unique intuitive nature, his profound ecological sensibility, as well as his eccentricities. The film strives to be user-friendly - no prior knowledge of electricity or any other subject is necessary.
Enlightening interviews are conducted with historians, scientists, engineers, philosophers, and noted Tesla authors and scholars. Many mysteries and oddities surrounding Tesla (though not the primary focus of the film), are discussed by the scholars.
Tesla famously said: "Let the future tell the truth and evaluate each one according to their work and accomplishments. The present is theirs; the future for which I really worked, is mine."
MORE ABOUT THE FILM
TESLA AND MUSIC
Nikola Tesla imagined the world in musical terms, describing the universe as a ‘symphony of electrical vibrations’ that works on acoustic principles of resonance, frequency, harmonics, and tuning. When he applied these principles in his experiments, the results were outstanding.
The film will explore a range of vibrations – natural radio signals from space, sounds of galaxies, planets, stars, and harmonics of the earth’s resonant frequency, to make audible the ‘symphony of electrical vibrations.' The music for the film will be based on the same acoustic principles Tesla applied in his experiments to harness the natural electricity of the earth. Note: We are offering Planetary Ringtones, a Helmholtz Resonator, and a Musical Tesla Coil among our project Rewards.
Here are some of the moments, stories, and locations featured in the film:
TESLA'S CHILDHOOD IN CROATIA, AND THE WATERWHEEL
Nikola Tesla was born about midnight, between July 9 and 10, 1856, during a violent lightning storm. According to family legend, the midwife who helped with the birth believed the storm to be a bad omen. She declared that this meant the baby would be a ‘child of darkness’. Tesla’s mother smiled as she replied: "No, he will be a child of light." And that he certainly was.
He grew up in the mountains of Croatia (top left). His father Milutin (top center), was an Eastern Orthodox priest who planned for Nikola to follow in his footsteps. But Nikola wanted to attend engineering school. When he contracted a serious case of cholera, he convinced his father to accede to his wishes should he recover. His father agreed. He recovered and attended engineering school.
A waterwheel is a device that takes advantage of flowing water to generate power using a set of paddles mounted around a wheel. At the age of 5, Nikola Tesla built a small waterwheel - a crude disk, smooth and without paddles, with an axle fashioned from a twig. He placed it into the fast-moving stream that ran in the back of his house, and even without the paddles, the axle turned the disk and spun evenly in the current. It was an early example of his ability to see things differently, to think outside the box. With commentary and dramatization (including a young actor playing Tesla as a boy), the film links this moment to Tesla's later invention of the "Bladeless Turbine" where liquid (or gas) moves over a series of smooth disks to create a vortex that spirals toward the center and spins the turbine.
TESLA AT COLUMBIA COLLEGE: THE TESLA COIL
At Columbia College in 1891, Tesla introduced the Tesla coil and demonstrated wireless transmission of energy. He stated that modern science was making rapid progress by recognizing the ether as a medium in which invisible waves travel; and that luminous effects in Geissler tubes were not caused by electromagnetic waves.
Tesla provided a series of demonstrations to support these claims and many who attended called it the greatest scientific event of their lives. In the film, we dramatize the experiment (see images, below).
After the re-enactment of the experiments, we cut to scientists responding to Tesla’s lecture with their own insights into the true nature of the energy Tesla was harnessing. They explore how Tesla’s understanding differed so radically from accepted knowledge at the time. They also provide solid scientific evidence that supports Tesla’s claims.
Says Helen: "We filmed this at Columbia University itself, in a lecture hall that hadn't been renovated since 1900 - talk about authentic! The Physics Dept. even had original 'Geissler tubes' - beautiful antique glass (see top image), that lit up in colors with the energy from the coil! Getting the location was no small feat for an indie filmmaker. After exhausting 'proper' channels, I wrote directly to the President of Columbia, detailing the many connections Nikola Tesla had with the university. It worked. Permission to film there was finally granted, and they even waived the location fee."
TESLA IN COLORADO SPRINGS: ENERGY AND THE EARTH
In 1899, Tesla spent a year in Colorado Springs to conduct experiments with transmitting high frequency, high voltage electricity, at extreme altitudes, without wires. It was during this period that he made what he considered his most important discovery.
With a sensitive receiver he had invented, Tesla discovered the Earth has a resonant frequency, and that multiples of this frequency, known as ‘terrestrial stationary waves’ or ‘standing waves’ could be created between the Earth and ionosphere by lightning.
This led him to use another of his inventions - a large Tesla coil (below) - as an instrument to generate standing waves so that at the right frequency the Earth would respond to the transmitter’s vibrations. Thus stimulated, the entire earth-ionosphere cavity forms a circuit and vibrates in resonance.
With this breakthrough he proved that the Earth itself could be a conductor of energy and would respond like a tuning fork to electrical vibrations of a certain frequency, making it possible to harness this vast reservoir of natural electricity.
Colorado Springs placed a historical marker (above) on the original site of Tesla's experimental station, and on that marker was placed a plaque that described Tesla's research, and its significance.
THE FINAL CHAPTER OF HIS LIFE, HIS DEATH, AND THE TESLA MUSEUM IN SERBIA
Nikola Tesla became more reclusive in later years, making public appearances only on his birthday, when he would organize a press conference to announce his latest discoveries and future plans. He wrote his autobiography ‘My Inventions', and it was published in a magazine called ‘The Electrical Experimenter.’
In the film, we dramatize scenes from this final chapter of his life, including excerpts of an interview about his discovery and invention to harness the natural electricity of the Earth. We show Tesla on his daily walk to Bryant Park to feed his beloved pigeons, while deep in thought. We hear Tesla in voice-over, reading from his autobiography. Each of these scenes puts another piece of the puzzle in place to reveal Tesla’s unique understanding of energy.
Nikola Tesla died in his room on the 33rd floor of the Hotel New Yorker in New York City on January 7, 1943. Two days later, representatives of the Office of Alien Property seized all of his documents and arrangements were made to have them shipped to Serbia where they remain in an archive at the Nikola Tesla Museum, under lock and key. His funeral at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in NYC was attended by more than two thousand people.
Tesla’s entire archive, including more than 30,000 unpublished scientific documents, has recently been inscribed on the Memory of the World Register of Unesco, an international program to protect documents deemed so valuable they transcend all boundaries of time and culture.
The film interviews Tesla scholars, scientists and researchers in Serbia, the US and Canada, to explore the current state of Tesla’s archive and why it remains inaccessible and shrouded in mystery, and what might be possible to change this.
TESLA MYTHS & MYSTERIES (EXCERPTED FROM HELEN'S "TALES OF TESLA" COMPILATION)
NOTE: Tales of Tesla is a compilation of fascinating anecdotes being prepared by Helen, offered as a Reward for all backers at the $300 level and above.
Says Helen: "Pictures of Infinity is not a biopic. That said, any film that describes and depicts the work of Nikola Tesla will be confronted with mysteries, half-truths, conspiracies, rumors, and misconceptions. Tesla was unique. And he was eccentric. Here are a few Tesla-tidbits excerpted from my "Tales of Tesla" compilation, for visitors to this Kickstarter. Most of these fall outside the realm of the actual film. But I thought you might enjoy them. In "Tales of Tesla," I go into much greater detail."
- Mark Twain was Tesla's close friend. "This is true. Nikola Tesla discovered the works of Twain as a child, while bedridden with illness, and credits the works for inspiring his recovery. Tesla told him this, many years later. Twain was moved to tears."
- Tesla loved pigeons. "This is true. He took daily walks in NYC to feed them. One evening, a white pigeon (pictured) flew into his hotel room. He saw a light in her eyes, and felt she was trying to tell him something. When she died, Tesla said he knew his life's work was complete. "
- Tesla wanted energy to be off the grid, available for free. "Yes. He wanted this very much, as a humanist. Energy is everywhere, and he felt it should be free and unmetered. This view was not widely shared."
- Tesla loved music, and you can see how that influenced his work. "Tesla applied acoustic principles in his experiments, including resonance, vibration, frequency, harmonics, and tuning. He discovered that Earth has a resonant frequency and that multiples of it - known as ‘harmonics’ - could be created by lightning. One a personal note - I am a composer, and the thing that first inspired me to make this film, is that he imagined the world in musical terms, describing the universe as a ‘symphony of electrical vibrations.'"
- Tesla was never motivated by money, and was not particularly enamored with business. "This is true. Tesla’s predicament was that he was too trusting, and too unconcerned with the profit-oriented aspects of industry, to ensure his own financial security through agreements and intellectual property filings."
- Because he didn't focus on money and business, he got victimized by opportunists. "Yes, this is very true. But it is difficult to distinguish where Tesla's eccentricities and carelessness ends and the greed of others begins."
- John Trump took Tesla's papers. "This is untrue. John Trump was a professor at MIT, electrical engineer and physicist. He was also a 'Technical Aide' at the NDRC (National Defense Research Committee). He authored a letter on behalf of the NDRC to the Custodian for the Office of Alien Property assessing the value of Nikola Tesla's archive."
- Tesla went crazy. "This is not true. He became more reclusive in later days, and more eccentric, but maintained his brilliance."
- Tesla was murdered. "This is not true. He became older and frail, and died in his hotel room."
- Tesla's work is kept secret. "It's strange how access to Tesla's archives is restricted and controlled. I discuss this in detail in my Tales of Tesla compilation."
- One thing I still don't understand. "Why is Tesla so sparsely referenced in textbooks - even in subject matter directly linked to his unquestioned inventions? I write about this in the compilation."
"He belongs to the passing age of heroic invention - the age of technical poets who expressed themselves in generators, induction coils and high-voltages rather than in drama and verse and were the real architects of this culture." - NY Times Obituary, Jan 1943
CAN I MIX AND MATCH? Yes. Send a message. Click the round photo of Helen (top left), then "CONTACT ME". We'll work it out. DELIVERY DATES: These are estimated, based on most likely date for film's completion; we'll fulfill many Rewards earlier. MAKING "CHOICES": All "choices" involved (t-shirt size, etc.) are made AFTER the campaign.
The Ring-tone of Resonance: These are unique sounds made by the planets (and the sun). See short video, just below.
These planetary sounds make great ring-tones - when your phone rings, whomever you are with is likely to ask - hey, what was that? And - it's included with every Reward level ($10 and above). Each backer receives several choices from which to select.
The Film: The film is included with every Reward level ($15 and up). There is a digital download, a deluxe digital download (with extended interveiws and bonus footage), and there is a DVD (or BluRay) option with a second version of the film featuring commentary by Helen.
T-Shirt and Poster: Both the T-Shirt ($60) and the Poster ($50) are artfully designed, stay tuned for information on the designer. The poster is signed by Helen and numbered as a Limited Edition.
Your Name in the Credits: Every Reward at $90 and above receives "name in the credits" at the end of the film in the section: "The Producers would like to thank ..."
Tales of Tesla: This is a compilation of fascinating anecdotes being prepared by Helen for all backers at the $300 level and above. It answers many questions about Tesla, raises a few, and discusses others. Tesla was a fascinating man in many ways. Over a 20-year odyssey culminating in this film, Helen amassed countless facts and stories.
Plasma Globe: The plasma globe is a clear glass sphere filled with a mixture of noble gases (usually xenon, argon, krypton and neon). A Tesla coil in the center of the sphere transmits radio frequency energy into the gas inside. This creates streamers of plasma, the most common form of matter in the universe. The color of the streamers depends on the gases used (xenon = pale blue, argon = blue, krypton = pale green, neon = red-orange). Touching the glass with your finger will attract the streamers to it, because the conductive properties of the human body create a discharge path with less resistance than the surrounding glass and gases. The plasma globe was invented by Nikola Tesla in 1894, when he was experimenting with high frequency electric currents in a glass vacuum tube. (US Patent 514,170: Incandescent Electric Light)
Helmholtz Resonator: This is a Limited Edition collector's item, numbered - earliest pledges receive lowest number. Includes Certificate of Authenticity. A Helmholtz Resonator is a hollow sphere made of a specific size and shape so that it both vibrates at one specific tone, and amplifies it. When the small opening in the resonator is held up to the ear, it is possible to hear this single tone within sounds such as wind and traffic noise in the surrounding environment. It was designed in the 19th century by Hermann Von Helmholtz, a German physicist, as a tool to study and demonstrate resonance. Nikola Tesla was applying the principle of resonance he learned from Helmholtz, and demonstrated his system for harnessing the natural energy of the earth for him in 1894. A tuning fork is also an acoustic resonator in the form of a fork, and is tuned to resonate as a pure tone. The reward is a set: Helmholtz Resonator and tuning fork, custom designed and carefully tuned to demonstrate the principle of resonance Nikola Tesla was applying in his experiments. Each resonator is beautifully etched with Pictures of Infinity. Special thanks to Adams and Chittendon, scientific glassblowers in SF.
"Singing" Tesla Coil: This is a Limited Edition collector's item, numbered - earliest pledges receive lowest number. Includes Certificate of Authenticity. It is a version of a solid state Tesla coil, in which the coil functions as a form of plasma speaker. It responds rhythmically to sound input from a phone, mp3, or computer audio with 2 inch arcs of plasma discharge. Personalized for Pictures of Infinity; not commercially available; coolness is guaranteed.
MEET THE TEAM
Helen Hall - Director, Producer, Composer
Helen Hall first entered the world of filmmaking with Powerlines, a documentary about the mystery of electromagnetic fields (which began as a musical score based on the sound waves of electromagnetic radiation). Powerlines premiered at the Vancouver International Film Festival in 1998 and won the International Jury Award at the International Festival of Films on Energy in Lausanne, Switzerland in 1999. The film has been featured in books and magazines (Design Noir, Anthony Dunne, UK; Musicworks, Toronto). The soundtrack has been released independently on CD. Helen’s music has been featured on CBC Radio’s Two New Hours, Radio-Canada’s Musique Actuelle, Le Festival International de Musique Actuelle de Victoriaville (Quebec), The Scotia Festival of Music (Nova Scotia, Canada), New York’s Bang on a Can, Sonic Disturbance Festival of Sound in Ohio and the Subtropic Music Festival in Florida, and in prestigious venues such as Merkin Concert Hall in New York. Her music is published by Da Vinci Edition in Japan. She has been a guest lecturer in Music, Literature, Visual Art and Film departments in Canada and the U.S. and taught music and sound design at the National Theatre School of Canada for ten years.
Helen and Pictures of Infinity have received support from the Canadian Independent Film and Video Fund, the Canada Council for the Arts, le Conseil des Arts et des Lettres du Québec, the Department of External Affairs Canada, the National Film Board of Canada, the Flemish Government of Belgium, and the Bakken Library and Museum of Electricity in Life. Helen spends most of her time in Montreal; she loves Colorado.
“Helen is a brilliant artist with total dedication to her art. The knowledge she has accumulated about Tesla, his life and his inventions, is vast. She is the perfect person for this monumental job of producing and directing this important film.” – Carole Dean, From The Heart Productions
Carole Dean - Co-Producer
Carole is President and CEO of From The Heart Productions, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to funding films that are “unique and make a contribution to society”. In 1992 Carole created the Roy W. Dean Grant Foundation in honor of her late father. Carole’s grant and mentorship programs have provided filmmakers with millions of dollars in goods and services and have played an instrumental role in establishing the careers of some of the industry’s most promising filmmakers. She has produced over 100 television programs including the popular cable programs Filmmakers and HealthStyles, where she interviewed some of the biggest names in the industry including Dr. Deepak Chopra, Dr. Weil and Dr. Caroline Myss.
Iris Ng - Director of Photography
Iris Ng is a cinematographer with over a decade of experience. She has collaborated with award-winning filmmakers and artists on over 60 projects. Her credits include the multiple award-winning Stories We Tell directed by Sarah Polley, Emmy-winning Herman’s House directed by Angad Bhalla, and The Ghosts in Our Machine directed by Liz Marshall. She has worked on films directed by Fredrik Gertten, Rama Rau, Min Sook Lee, Michael McNamara, Martha Burns, Fisher Stevens, Vikram Jayanti, and artists Chris Curreri, and Oliver Husain. Recently released projects include Making a Murderer, a multi-episode documentary series produced in the U.S.
Erica Pomerance - Script Advisor and Editor
Erica Pomerance is an independent documentary filmmaker, writer and producer. She has been involved in filmmaking for more than 40 years. Pomerance was writer, director, and associate producer for the award-winning Dabla! Excision. She was line producer for the international documentary series Finding Our Talk, and for the series Race Around The Great Turtle. She divides her time between Montreal and Mali.
BUDGET, TIMELINE, & USE OF PROCEEDS
The film has been in production for years. The target monies from this Kickstarter represent the minimum needed to complete and finish the film. With these funds, the filmmaker will film in Croatia and Serbia, and then augment the filming already done in Colorado Springs. If the campaign exceeds its target, additional funds will be used for greater effects and enhancements, archival footage, and additional filming in NYC.
We came to Kickstarter to maintain INDEPENDENCE, to tell the story TRUTHFULLY, and to reach and interact with a like-minded COMMUNITY.
If you've got questions, we are pleased to respond. At the top of the page on the left there is a small round image of Helen - click that image, then click CONTACT ME to send a message.
A FINAL WORD FROM TESLA:
We are whirling through endless space, with an inconceivable speed, all around us everything is spinning, everything is moving, everywhere there is energy. There must be some way of availing ourselves of this energy more directly. Then, with the light obtained from the medium, with the power derived from it, with every form of energy obtained without effort, from the store forever inexhaustible, humanity will advance with giant strides. The mere contemplation of these magnificent possibilities expands our minds, strengthens our hopes and fills our hearts with supreme delight." - Nikola Tesla
Risks and challenges
Making a full length feature film, documentary or otherwise, is a challenge for anyone, even for a major studio. It is a substantial endeavor, with many moving parts. Independent film producers have to especially be able to roll with punches. We have done our best to minimize risk partly because we are not starting from scratch. It's taken us years to get it to this point, and along the way, we've done what we had to do - raising and/or borrowing money, financing some of it from limited personal funds, and successfully being awarded funds from grants (all reducing what is needed for this campaign).
The funds from KS will now allow us to finish the shoot in Colorado and Serbia, both relevant places where Tesla spent time, edit the film, and add post-production elements that can really make a film special.
Our scope of work, time frames, and budgets are reasonable. It's not our first rodeo, so to speak, and this is truly a work borne of personal passion and import.
We say with total confidence - when the Kickstarter campaign succeeds, the film will be finished; and all rewards will be delivered fully and on a timely basis.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter