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#96422
"Holy Cow!" The Soaranator hit this one out of the park with the bases loaded! :yay: :popcorn: :popcorn: :yay:

My copy of the DVD arrived while I was on the phone with the IRS trying to sort out a client's tax debacles. So, when I didn't have to pull up any remote client files I popped that precious jewel into the DVD carousel and fired up VLC Media Player, concluded my conversation, held all calls, deferred all emails, and proceeded to take a trip back though time that only David Tenet could possibly muster in his Tardis.

The first thing I will say is this: keep the DVD playing after the credits are over! This video was edited to play on the big screen as a feature length documentary. This was not done in the current style of video and film production. Nearly all of the footage is from the '70s and it has the style and feel of that era. I felt as if I had been transported to an art house movie theater as I watched in amazement at the unfolding history of the sport that I had experienced in large part, in the same fashion as the Midwestern skateboarding wannabes did that were portrayed in Dog Town and Z-Boys. And that is because I was the same age as Tony Alva and hung out with other skaters who tried to emulate him. I went through the same phases with hang gliding and I was about the same age as many of the teenage innovators portrayed in Big Blue Sky.

Rather than critique the movie I'd like to share my seat of the pants experience of watching it. It was very much a seat of the pants movie going experience and the soundtrack and narration totally fit the picture and set the mood. I could watch it again just to hear the great rhythms and beats and pulsating sounds. I relived much of the trajectory of the sport’s history in vicarious and almost voyeuristic way. At one point the film took a savage turn that gave me a jolt. I became concerned that it would be a let down from that point forward but I was instead pleasantly rewarded with a look into it’s pulse and story that I was tangentially involved in at the time. Although I did encounter my share of the dismal experience too.

Why am I not telling you what was going on? Because you don’t need to know. You need to watch this movie for yourself and ride it out through all its twists and turns and tumbles and core its bountiful lift and dodge its sink. Ultimately Big Blue Sky lifts the spirit in so many ways. I felt connected with its narrators as if I’ve know these individuals all along. I felt the exhilarations and the devastating losses and the transformations into its present form.

I feel this film is best watched on as big a screen as it can be played on, and with as many friends as one can muster. It is both a personal and a shared journey that should not be put off. Now go buy a copy for yourself and/or your club. Don’t wait to rent it or be the eighth in line to borrow it. And for God’s sake do not pirate it! This was clearly a labor of love and reflects a tremendous amount of time and effort not only on Bill “Soaranator” Liscomb’s part but on many others as well. I hope he wins the ultimate film fest award of hooking up with a good distributor who gets it out there where the public at large can enjoy the same journey and even take the next step of coming out for a tandem lesson in your neighborhood. http://www.bigblueskythemovie.com/

Cheers, Jonathan

Image
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By Florida Bee
#97232
Dito! Professional production. Instant classic. :mosh:

I got my copy yesterday & since it was pretty late in the evening I was just going to pop it into the DVD drive to make sure it played. But I instantly got hooked and felt compelled to watch the entire disc, it was that good.

The movies from the 60s and 70s really transport you back in time. As a former photographer, I was surprised how cleaned-up and vibrant the movies looked. The documentary clearly illustrates the lineage to our modern-day machines. And the content is first-rate: movies, still photos, recent interviews with many of the key HG pioneers, music. All scripted and weaved together professionally. This DVD should win some inde documentary awards.

Buy the movie--I don't think you'll be disappointed.
User avatar
By feathered1
#97256
I done went and ordered me one mmmhhmmm
By adi
#97280
aww no fair, they wont ship outside the US. If anyone can help out please let me know.
User avatar
By Florida Bee
#97286
adi wrote:aww no fair, they wont ship outside the US. If anyone can help out please let me know.
adi--check out the hg.org link titled '"Big Blue Sky" movie review' that explains why it's currently only Region 1

(Can't post the link because I have less than 5 posts)
User avatar
By Avnav8r
#97293
I saw the movie when he premiered it at the Hang Gliding Spectacular this past May. The footage really took me back since I started flying around the time. I will order my copy soon. By the way, Jonathan, nice picture of that Aeolus at the bottom of your message.

John Stokes
By adi
#97310
Florida Bee wrote:
adi--check out the hg.org link titled '"Big Blue Sky" movie review' that explains why it's currently only Region 1
cant find it, but i can play region 1 dvd's anyway :D
User avatar
By Florida Bee
#97313
adi wrote:
Florida Bee wrote:
adi--check out the hg.org link titled '"Big Blue Sky" movie review' that explains why it's currently only Region 1
cant find it, but i can play region 1 dvd's anyway :D
Here's the post by Soaranator relating to this:

The DVD is available only in the USA because of licensing agreements with the musicians. They have all agreed to let me use their music for free. The restrictions in their contracts state that at this time I can only sell from my web site in the US and enter the documentary in film festivals. I am certain that a DVD distributor will pick this deal up and they will have all the international contracts and agreements for international distribution in place. When the movie is "picked up" I'll get some cash to the musicians who so generously let me use the music for free At this time the DVD is region 1 only for that reason. I am entering Big Blue Sky in film festivals at this time, and the whole process takes a long time....
I have invested over 5 and a half years of my life and a huge amount of MY money into this project and would greatly appreciate you all respect this by not ripping copies/streaming it online and/or shipping it overseas for friends. Sorry I cannot ship overseas at this time but it is in the works. Please be patient. I would be very happy to be sponsored to come to your club, show the movie and give a talk!
Happy Landings!
Bill Liscomb
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By NMERider
#97329
Avnav8r wrote:.........I will order my copy soon. By the way, Jonathan, nice picture of that Aeolus at the bottom of your message........
Hi John, Glad you like my White Tailed Dart. AFAIK it preceded the Aeolus by at least a year. I displayed it at the nationals in Hyner View, PA in 1978 while I was still trimming it out. It often gets confused for the Aeolus which was a very nice looking wing and had the altitude gain record for a long time. It would have been fun to fly one and compare the handling, etc. They were actually very different gliders but at first glance they look very similar. More, here: http://imageevent.com/aero92/gliders

I was also in a part of the US that was extremely active from 1973-1979 that is not mentioned in the film, but that's often the way things go.

Cheers, Jonathan
User avatar
By NMERider
#97336
What a great write-up! http://ozreport.com/1226417768
Harry Sudwischer

“Big Blue Sky” Dreams , Fears , Joy and Tears

Bill Liscomb has managed to reach down into the part of my brain that holds all the emotion I’ve accumulated since I first wanted to leave the Earth and Fly.

The collection of restored 8mm home movies , stills , interviews and the reporting of first hand participants had me enthralled. Waves of memories dimly recalled have been restored to me. It’s as though a Veil of Gauze was brushed away and I was there rediscovering the most significant moments of my youth. Powerful recollections of the time when I and untold thousands of dreamers realized that the Gift of Personal Flight was there for anybody to take .

The stories of the rediscovery of Hang Gliding includes the context of the 1970’s and the realization that Society was ready for this leap of personal freedom. Of course with that freedom came personal tragedy as a movement into the sky for so many included the loss of friends and loved ones. Today we still suffer the loss of friends but not to the extent and scale of the early days of what was sometimes seen a "Death Sport."

The narrative is California centric with a nod to the Eastern pioneers but basically that’s the way Hang Gliding really developed. I got my inspiration from “Low and Slow” and "Ground Skimmer." My enthusiasm for being a Man Bird knew no bounds. Every couple of weeks another publication arrived in the mail and leaps of imagination ,techniques ,new radical ideas flowed like a drug into my brain. My personal journey included discovering local Hang Gliding junkies by accident. Driving along the Long Island Expressway on my way to work in September 1974 I saw to my amazement 4 or 5 colorful Kites in a sand pit to the side of the highway. Forget my job I stood on the brake and swerved off the next exit backtracked to the sand pit and so ended my rational ordinary life. Everybody in that sand pit was as addicted to the notion of personal flight as I was.

The film is true to the feel of the times. Maybe it is best appreciated by those who lived the Dreams of the Pioneers of Hang Gliding. Fear was also present ,when I first found myself thousands of feet above the ground at Mittersil Ski Area in New Hampshire in August of 1975. Hanging under a 43 pound Wills Wing 20/20 Swallowtail Standard Kite with my recently purchased Colver Vario screaming UP UP UP. I had the same thoughts as expressed by Sky God Taras Kiceniuk flying his Icarus spiraling up into the Big Blue Sky "what am I doing here." I wasn’t alone in the sky that day. Just off my left wingtip was Terry Sweeney in the new Sky Sports Kestral. He proceeded to get even higher than me and went XC upwind several miles from the mountain before landing.

My fears of that flight were overcome later that day by Joy when it sunk in what I had just done . The next morning I met Tom Peghiny in the LZ at the base of the Ski Slope I told him I was impressed with the Kestral that he and Terry Sweeney had developed. He was all enthusiastic about the Gold colored Colver audio vario hose clamped to my control bar. I was in the presence of the “Sky Gods “great fellows who shared all they knew and reached out to help anyone who asked for help .

So it continued. I met Stu Smith “Future Sky God” that very same weekend. We rode up the Ski Lift and he was pumping me for flying tips. I guess he thought I knew what I was doing when all I really knew was how to hang on really tight and let the sky have its way with me. I was extremely lucky to have lived and survived those early days . My tears came years later hearing of the death of Stu Smith at Grandfather Mountain. Stu a champion gymnast became disconnected from his wing while doing aerobatic maneuvers and was not able to hang on, I cried again last night .

I am grateful Bill Liscomb was able to capture the time of my and many of my friends lives in this important work of Love. It faithfully focuses on the passion of those heady early days. The story is now frozen in time. We can all revisit it and remind ourselves how we really Left Earth.
#405521
I have invested over 5 and a half years of my life and a huge amount of MY money into this project and would greatly appreciate you all respect this by not ripping copies/streaming it online and/or shipping it overseas for friends. Sorry I cannot ship overseas at this time but it is in the works.
Read more: viewtopic.php?t=9203#ixzz5WFuyO0A7

Does anyone know whether it is available in Britain yet? (I tried to contact Bill recently via LinkedIn, but I can never get my head around such 'social media' sites.)

I am reliably informed that Big Blue Sky is available from a file sharing web site. If it was put there by Bill, that's fine, but I have a suspicion it is a pirate copy. One argument that was put to me in favour of pirating it is that it is such an important documentary that its distribution world-wide is more important than copyright issues. (Anyway, most of my fellow Brits, like the Chinese, do not seem to grasp the concept of copyright.) However, given that western economies are nowadays based largely on copyright, it seems to me that Bill Liscomb should decide that, not anyone else.
:punch:
#405531
.... and Graeme Henderson strikes again, with his typical use of foul, low-class language in argument for John Dickenson being the father of HG.
If only he could control his temper he might be able to contribute something.
#405544
While talking with Bill Lipscomb, after Big Blue Sky was circulating around, I asked him how he chose what to include in this great HG history documentary. He replied that he tied to focus on "firsts" in hang gliding.

I gave him a gentle "poke in the rib" by pointing out that my Colver Varios could be seen on control bars of various gliders in the film. I then pointed out that it was the first aircraft instrument ever manufactured specifically for hang glider use, but was not mentioned in this documentary of HG "firsts".

I did notice, however, the Colver vario was mentioned twice in this review of BBS.

Touche! :punch:

All in good fun,
Frank Colver

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