From aircraft homebuilders to would-be space travelers, aviation devotees travel innumerable paths. One point of intersection on many of those journeys is a connection with aviation inventor Burt Rutan, whose visionary designs have become the gateway to flight for countless pilots.
Now, a career spent "democratizing flight" is entering the realm of documentary movie-making as a pair of filmmakers launch a project to tell Rutan’s story.
"From his early days building and competing model airplanes, to taking his first kit plane to Oshkosh AirVenture, through the awe inspiring Voyager and SpaceShipOne, Rutan’s trajectory defies the idea of what can be done. The story of this remarkable innovator will inspire generations of people worldwide to reach for the skies and attempt the impossible," said Sandy Guthrie, executive producer and co-creative director of antennaFilms about the documentary, titled Looking Up, Way Up! The Burt Rutan Story.
For Guthrie and her filmmaking partner Scott B, telling the story of Rutan and his aerospace inventiveness will chronicle a career "focused on democratizing flight and making it possible for more people to enjoy the freedom of taking to the air in a craft of their own."
The filmmakers are an award-winning team honored for a Discovery Channel television special Black Sky: The Race For Space (2004). They and Rutan have worked together in the past, including filming for the 2010 National Geographic Channel program Virgin Galactic: Will It Fly?
Filming for the new documentary project began in 2012. On Feb. 25, 2015, antennaFILMS was set to launch a grassroots fundraising campaign on website Kickstarter, with an $80,000 goal for the current stage of the film’s production.
"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," the filmmakers said.
If the idea of getting to know the very public designer (and private man) through a feature-length film isn’t enough of a draw for an aviation buff, the team from antennaFILMS offers this additional enticement: Rutan, they say, although retired, is building another "groundbreaking" aircraft in—where else?—his garage.
From conception, to flight tests, to the unveiling of the new machine, Looking Up. Way Up! The Burt Rutan Story will put you on the scene as each milestone accomplishment is revealed.
The fund drive had to be launched now "because he’s building his new plane so quickly," antennaFILMS said in the news release announcing the project.