Rudy Panucci On Pop Culture

Sunday Evening Video: The Edge of Utopia

Previously here in PopCult I’ve told you about the work of Studio Joe, Tim and Lisa Weedn, and the work they do making hilarious stop-motion videos with action figures, many of whom look a bit Joe-ish. You can see their work HERE and HERE.

That’s not all they’ve done. Between 1995 and 1996, Tim and Lisa wrote, produced, and directed a full-length documentary for PBS. With a huge assist from the fine folks of NASA’s film library at the Johnson Space Center in Houston Tim and Lisa created a fast-paced hour that celebrates America’s amazing space program.

The Edge of Utopia will take you back to a long-forgotten era when intelligence was considered a virtue, and science had not been disrespected and co-opted by special interests. We never would have been able to go to the moon if the Koch Brothers had been throwing their money around back then. This film shows what we can accomplish when we put politics aside and treat scientists and engineers with respect. It sure would be great to get back to that situation.

The program aired on PBS in 1997 and 1998, then took a trip to the Cannes Film Festival where it was picked up for a five-year world tour. It was particularly ‘big’ in Canada, Poland, and Australia. As Tim says, “Not bad for our first effort. Low budget as low budget gets. We mastered on S-VHS then had it kicked up to Beta Digital for broadcast. Particularly proud of the music score which I composed and performed.”

And this time I’m posting it here without asking Tim and Lisa first. I figured the element of surprise will be welcome, and It’s cool for even more people to be exposed to this great film. Somehow I don’t think they’ll mind. They’re pretty cool people.

 

1 Comment

  1. Tim Weedn

    Never opposed to a shameless plug. Thanks, Rudy!

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