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Dr. Bryan Laubscher & Victor Cummings, Sunday, 9-9-12 September 9, 2012

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Dr. Bryan Laubscher & Victor Cummings, Sunday, 9-9-12


Guests:  Dr. Bryan Laubscher, Victor Cummings.  Topics:  The space elevator screenplay, “High Lift.”  You are invited to comment, ask questions, and discuss the Space Show program/guest(s) on the Space Show blog, https://thespaceshow.wordpress.com. Comments, questions, and any discussion must be relevant and applicable to Space Show programming. Transcripts of Space Show programs are not permitted without prior written consent from The Space Show (even if for personal use) & are a violation of the Space Show copyright.  We welcomed back Dr. Bryan Laubscher and for the first time Victor Cummings to discuss the space elevator screenplay, “High Lift.”  This screenplay won the ScriptVamp 2011 Dream Quest: Feature Screenwriting Competition and was the Grand Prize Winner.  Visit

https://scriptvamp.com/Victor_E.html for more information about the screenplay and the competition. Visit the High Lift website at www.highlift.us.   Victor started our discussion by providing us with his background that took him into the screenwriting profession. He talked about challenges & screenplay issues plus the differences in a screenplay compared to other forms of writing.  Both Victor and Bryan told us some about the story line, the plot and as a result of my pressuring them, the villain!  The space elevator is considered to already be in existence in the story and there are space elevator centers for different purposes and destinations.  As you will hear, using the space elevator is key to solving the global warming problem and saving the Earth.  Both our guests talked about reviews and oversight from professionals, agents, etc.  They told us how they had to remove much of the science jargon and focus the screenplay on a younger and more generally educated audience.  Listeners asked several email questions about the science fiction genre in screenplays as well as target audience and marketing concerns.  Our guests talked quite a bit about the issues in getting an agent, making that first sale, and capturing an audience.  We also talked about science fiction usually being bigger in the budget area and more costly, probably due to technical special effects.  Near the end of the first segment, a listener wanted to know if a successful screenplay and movie would further interest, funding, and development of the space elevator project.

In the second segment, we talked about markets and the need to break the circular loop of needing to have a sale but needing to have an agent but first needing the sale.  We talked about their winning the ScriptVamp competition per above and raising money for their project through crowd sourcing, particularly Kickstarter.  A listener suggested our guests attend the well known Maui Writers Conference and another brought up the Darpa 100 Year Starship Program.  As our program was drawing to a close, Victor and Bryan asked for help with Hollywood type contacts for their screenplay.

If you want to contact Victor and Bryan, send your note to me and I will forward it to them both.  Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog per the above URL.



1. Tony Rusi - September 15, 2012

re: Highlift movie

I listened to your interview with Bryan and his screen writer buddy, early this morining, and I got pretty excited about seeing this film.

Don’t worry about what “professionals” like Lynn Pembrose, and Gordy Hoffman think!

If “movie professionals” knew what they were talking about, they’d be writing their own screen plays, and making millions themselves!

I remember when the first Starwars when it came out in ’77. It was the end of May, it had been a pretty bad year for movies in general, let alone ANY science fiction. And this movie called Starwars came out with a TV ad campaign with the tag line: “Never has so much money, been spent on a movie that is so much fun!”

I remember going to the UA 150 in downtown Seattle to see it. People like me, (kids) were lined up 4 deep, all the way around the block to see the next show. People who coming out of the theater were comparing it to the “Wizard of Oz”, AND “2001: ASpace Odessey”! I ended up seeing that movie 14 times!

There really is no secret to writing a blockbuster. It just has to be good, and well made. People don’t want to see the same scene five times, and people don’t want to see overlong cheesy boring special effects. People want to see something new, something that they have not seen before, and people want to be surprised, and entertained. People want MAGIC! And it does not hurt if the movie is intellectual enough to provoke discussion in the car on the way home! People will pay money to have a few hours of a good time!

I did not understand 2001 really until a few weeks ago, when I read a physics book on Boltzman Brains. A little mystery does not hurt!

But true innovation is what gets rewarded. Special effects wizard Douglass Trumbell is working on a 120 frame per second movie technology that produces a real 3D effect without glasses. You should see if you can get your movie produced in that format.

And having cool ideas like vertical take-off, vertical landing electric supersonic jets, and Hyperloop Mass transit systems that service the elevator bases are the “little touches” that will make your movie cool, and hold up over time.

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