Thursday, May 06, 2010

Rendezvous With Rama: a student film project

I remember watching Aaron Ross' "trailer" for Arthur C. Clarke's book Rendezvous with Rama which had an already stunning sound scape created by Andrew Halasz. It was stunning and beautiful and I honestly hoped it would galvanize someone into attempting the project. As you can no know, that didn't happen. However Aaron's film has not languished. I read in Cory Doctorow's Boing Boing that Vancouver Film School student Philip Mahoney took the film and added his own sound design to the film -- including a fantastic voice over -- to turn it into a trailer for a film.
Is it as good as the initial project? No, but it does add a dimension that was lacking that of a true movie trailer, which we now have and again it leads us in the direction once more of a film that I know I would love to see. Thank you Philip for rekindling the dream!

Rendezvous with Rama - Vancouver Film School (VFS) from Vancouver Film School on Vimeo.


blizno said...

Some liberties are being taken with the story. This film says that Rama was flying under deliberate control, was aimed at Earth and was clearly intended for humans to find.
In the book, Rama appears to be adrift. Even after humans have explored it Rama shows no awareness of or interest in humans. It only starts to move under control when it dives into the sun.
The film shows people entering the first hatch, then the narrator says that the second hatch is different. In the book there were three hatches, all identical. This is important for the story.

I think the filmmakers are trying to add layers of drama that aren't needed. There's no alien conspiracy involving humans in the book. The insignificance of the human explorers is an important part of the story.
Also, the astronauts are shown bouncing as if under low g. The center of Rama had zero g. The flare flew straight out before igniting, not dropping in a parabola as in the film. Much of the drama in the book was because of the zero g at the axis.

The look of this effort is superb. I hope that whoever makes the final movie is careful with the science of the book and doesn't make many unneeded changes.

Beam Me Up said...

Yeah, when I first saw the short, I was struck by some of the inconsistencies. I think the new voice over just adds interest. I didn't think the new effort was all that exciting even though some folks thought it so. For me, just being reminded of the initial effort was enough. Obviously in the intervening decade no one has caught the bug, but one can hope.