Documentary in Progress: Big Imagination 747

After 5 years of planning, 3 years of building, and with the help of hundreds of volunteers, the Big Imagination 747 is making its long-awaited debut at Burning Man.

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The initial announcement about the project happened in 2015, appearing as a question: Have you ever seen one of these on playa? The video pans down to reveal a 747 fuselage, with a bold promise: YOU WILL. Due to extensive legal issues (some still in process to this day), the project was delayed. The Big Imagination camp hosted a fun, interactive experience instead.

The plane was acquired by Big Imagination Foundation in March of 2016. Over the next two years, through countless hours of labor and love, pieces of the plane were delivered to Black Rock City- in 2016, the front quarter section, and in 2017, the entire top half.

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2016, front quarter

 

The plane has received a mixed reception. In 2016, when the front quarter was placed on the Esplanade main street, the citygoers were underwhelmed. After everyone had been promised a plane, they were left feeling disappointed with just one piece. When the top half appeared in 2017, the crew was inundated with the same questions from visitors.

“Where is the rest of it?”

“Is this the same plane as last year?”

“Why didn’t you just fly it here?”

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2017, top half

 

It was initially announced as an art car, which implies a “mutated vehicle.” Many burners complain that the plane is “not mutated enough” to be art. Many burners complain that it’s towed by an airport tug, so it’s not really a car. The legitimacy of this project has been up for debate so long that sometimes it almost competes with the original concept of the project: a roving 747 in the heart of the Nevada desert, home to one of the sweetest transformational experiences on playa.

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Passengers first enter through the Insecurity Checkpoint, where they are greeted by camp members in flight attendant outfits. Beverages are served from vintage drink carts. Once inside, they fill out their Boarding Pass which asks: where would you go or what would you do if nothing was holding you back? Then they are invited to the Emotional Baggage Check, where they are encouraged to fill out a tag with everything they want to leave behind. At the end of the week, all the baggage tags are taken to the Temple and burned.

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The loving message and amazing team members on this project have attracted a strong core team of builders. The crew is almost entirely made up of familiar faces from the last few burns. And finally- after years of literal blood, sweat, and tears- the plane is being reassembled for its debut at Burning Man 2018.

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The bottom half has to be transported in one piece, for structural integrity. The wings have been removed and are shipped on a separate truck. The interstate caravan moves at night, this time, to avoid causing traffic.

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Happy 4th of July, from Yours Truly

 

The top two pieces are re-attached, the belt line is secured by thousands of bolts. The sun-roof is cut out of the top section. The build crew sets up a base just outside Gerlach in mid-June, and works until the plane is transported to Black Rock City in mid-August.

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When the plane arrives at Burning Man, the landing gear is lowered and the wings are reattached with a crane. Eventually, the lights will be installed and the experience will be built out.

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Oh yeah- and it will move.

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I have been documenting this project for three years, from the first month they got their hands on a fuselage in Mojave, CA. I have continued to follow them through their learning and growing process, through the negotiations with BLM and Burning Man Org. This year I spent almost 2 months in the desert capturing their journey.

We continue to release short videos to update the public on our progress, but we intend to make a longer, more comprehensive feature down the line.

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Bonus shot from our wedding!

Credit: Director / Editor

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Max Proposes to Kari on American Ninja Warrior

Kari has been with her boyfriend, Max, for almost four years. Max works as a Rigger for competition shows like American Ninja Warrior and Ultimate Beastmaster.

In an exciting turn of events, this happened…

The production crew was kind enough to hand off all the footage after the fact. Amazing, kind professionals- thank you for making this happen!

Credit: Editor

Shawn Mendes “One Night Only” with Apple Music

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“In anticipation of his upcoming self-titled studio album, superstar Shawn Mendes is spending the evening with someone very special – YOU! Join Apple Music on Thursday, May 17 at the Ford Theatres in Hollywood, CA as Shawn performs a special set including new songs from his upcoming album. The performance will be followed by an intimate Q&A hosted by Apple Music’s Zane Lowe.” Read full article here.

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“A pop singer/songwriter who broke records with his debut single, Shawn Mendes was born and raised in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. After posting a series of his cover versions to various video-sharing sites, Mendes earned a dedicated following of viewers… In April of 2018, Shawn performed the single “In My Blood” at a concert for Queen Elizabeth II’s 92nd birthday at the Royal Albert Hall in London. The track lyrically explored Mendes’ struggles with anxiety disorder and was later released as the lead single for his eponymous third full-length which arrived in May of that year. The album, Shawn Mendes, which also featured collaborations with Teddy Geiger, debuted at number one on the Billboard 200.” Apple Music

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Find out more about artist Shawn Mendes on the Apple Music platform.

Credit: Assistant Editor

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony

“On April 14th, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inducted its 33rd class: Nina Simone, Sister Rosetta Tharpe (in the Early Influence category), Bon Jovi, the Cars, Dire Straits and the Moody Blues. The induction ceremony, which took place in Cleveland, included tributes to Tom Petty and Chris Cornell, performances from several inductees and an exceptionally bawdy speech from Howard Stern. Now that the event is available on HBO, we look back at the night’s most unforgettable moments…”

Read the full article here on the Rolling Stone website

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“This is the textbook definition of a tribute. Lauryn Hill served as a surprise guest by being one of the performers for Nina Simone’s induction, weaving a gorgeous sonic tapestry (with some added modern flair) of the songs ‘Ne Me Quitte Pas,’ ‘Black Is the Color of My True Love’s Hair,’ and ‘Feeling Good.'”

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“Howard Stern continued the new tradition this year by presenting for his good pals Bon Jovi, so please feign shock when we tell you that his no-holds-barred speech equally delighted and disturbed the ceremony’s attendees, where he waxed poetic about everything from having a threesome with Richie Sambora to how much of an ass he thinks Jann Wenner is.”

Read the full article here on the Vulture website

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Credit: Assistant Editor

Joan Jett ‘Bad Reputation’ Documentary

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“‘Bad Reputation’ is really part of a victory lap, coming on the heels of not just that biopic about her seminal all-girl band but her 2015 induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. That’s not to say the new doc feels unnecessary: As producer Carianne Brinkman says, ‘It’s wonderful that the Runaways’ story was told, but I didn’t think we were done telling a story about Joan Jett. I think it’s a really important story, especially for young girls to see, and also young boys.’ The goal may be a tip-off that the movie’s story is less about decadence than, in Jett’s mind, ‘perseverance.'”

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“Given Jett’s extreme role-model status, the film’s guest list naturally tips to appreciative women. She values the new climate of outspokenness that might make things easier on younger generations. ‘The situations women and girls find themselves in daily is something I’ve dealt with since before being in a band was even a conscious thought in my head,’ she says. ‘I applaud the women who have found the strength to speak out about demeaning, vicious, sometimes violent experiences and a misogyny that is pretty much baked into American society. In my experience, very little has changed on that plain in 40 years. Now that attention is focused on these entrenched problems, let’s deal with it at its roots and not let this moment slip through our fingers.'”

Read the full article on Variety.com

Credit: Assistant Editor

OSCARS: 90th Annual Academy Awards

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“The 90th Oscars, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, will be held on Sunday, March 4, 2018, at the Dolby Theatre® at Hollywood & Highland Center® in Hollywood, and will be televised live on the ABC Television Network at 6:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m. PT. The Oscars also will be televised live in more than 225 countries and territories worldwide.”

See more info here at Oscars.org

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AFTER THE OSCARS: “These Oscars showed, in their quieter moments, how individual people—women, people of color, gay men, allies—could be powerful political agents just by being themselves, explaining their experience, and doing what film is meant to do: Reach out and connect. We’re in a golden age of sorts.”

Read more here at Time.com

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Credit: Assistant Editor

Super Bowl LII Halftime Show

“We are all big fans of Justin Timberlake. We’ve kind of felt that Justin deserves, and has for a number of years, to be the main artist for the halftime show because previously he wasn’t the main artist. It was just about the timing. To be honest, we have discussed Justin for the last number of years for coming and doing halftime, and this year just felt really right to us. He is hands down one of the greatest entertainers currently alive, it was a no-brainer. We know he’s gonna bring it.”

Read more at Billboard.com

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Photo credit: IG @marklashark

See more photos here at CNN.com

Credit: Assistant Editor