This film started as a dream for Jeanne Robinson, to bring to the screen a realized vision of zero-gravity dance. The vision first appeared with the publication of Jeanne and Spider Robinson's novella "Stardance." The award winning story became the basis for a novel by the same name, and spawned two sequels "Starseed" and "Starmind." Jeanne's vision was realistic - her goal was to make a short film, a visual piece with little in common with that story but the actual act of zero-gravity dance along with some of the humanistic and spiritual subtext that infused the original series. After James Sposto got involved the vision jumped up - or perhaps we should say "scaled WAY up" to the development of an "IMAX" large format version.
Developing for the Giant Screen:
The proposed picture, now a 40 minute piece, seemed to have the right stuff for the GIANT screen - and Ms. Robinson and Mr. Sposto pursued the development of this ambitious project. The pair created outlines, prepared and refined a treatment, and started writing the screenplay. They even shot test footage in actual Zero-G, blogged of thier experiences and developed a proposal to woo sponsors and investors.
The story was now loosely based on the original trilogy - described thus:
"Our story follows dancer and dreamer Treya Anderson, an artist who has yearned all her life to break the bonds of gravity and create a brand new artform: zero-gravity dance. But Treya knows her dreams are likely to stay just that – dreams - and so she applies her art to translate that vision to an earthly stage, choreographing a dance for the company she directs that speaks of the unbound freedom of zero-G, and the unequalled peace and serenity to be found in space.
That dance's premiere catches the eye of maverick space industrialist Peter da Silva, perhaps the only person who not only shares her dream, but has the means to help her achieve it. With his encouragement and backing, Treya finds herself in High Orbit, preparing her first work of zero-G choreography for a planet-wide premiere.
But there may be a far larger audience watching than she, da Silva or anyone else suspects…"
A New Direction:
In September 2008 the filmmakers attended the GSCA conference in NYC to learn the state of the industry for Giant Screen and IMAX cinema, and to gauge the market for their project. Presenting their film in development to the distributors and film buyers was an overall positive experience. They and their project were well received - but they soon realized that the market for such films was more unstable than they had expected. Ever keen to the changing winds the filmmakers regrouped to discuss their best options going forward.
Only one answer seemed to make sense, forget the "Inspired By" version of the story, and adapt the original story to the screen as a full-length feature. In the production blog both Jeanne and Jim write about their decision - a decision that was truly inevitable. Now armed with a years worth of research and story development along with a solid proven piece with a built in audience of worldwide fans the filmmakers are setting forth to create a true-to-the-original feature length adaptation.
Stay tuned, and thanks for your support.