Independent Filmmaker Turns To Kickstarter to Explore What Happened to the Space Program

By James DeRuvo (doddleNEWS)

“If Kennedy said ‘we will go to the Moon…some time before the century ends,’ what is… what is that? That’s not ambition. That’s pandering.”
– Neil deGrasse Tyson, Fight for Space

July 20, 1969, 43 years ago, man set foot on the moon.  Within two years, we were driving on it.  And then, we left and haven’t returned since.

I was a child of the moon.  I remember growing up and watching a grainy black and white images of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin setting foot on the moon.  The technology it took to not only get to that “one small step,” was not only bleeding edge for it’s time, but sending back those grainy black and white images was simply amazing.  But somewhere between a giant leap America lost it’s capacity to dream, and a filmmaker is exploring that with a new documentary and a Kickstarter campaign.

“We are producing a documentary that will examine the reasons why our space program is not all it can be. We are also going to show that space IS worth the time, money, and energy that it needs, not for only exploration and scientific reasons but for economic, planetary security, and cultural reasons as well,” Paul Hildebrandt.

Make no mistake about it, Fight for Space is a call to action, and like a clarion seeking to move America to look to the stars again, producer Paul Hildebrandt is sounding it.   For the last several months, Hildebrandt has been traveling the country interviewing such scientific luminaries as science rock stars Neil deGrasse Tyson and Bill Nye, as well as the Mars Society’s Dr. Robert Zubrin, about why returning to space is within our grasp, and also politicians like Congressman Dana Rohrabacher who believe that all that’s missing is national and political will, like what fueled the Space Race of the 1960s.
But Hildebrand wants to go even deeper, by interviewing astronauts, educators and even you and me about why we should care about a space program and give it the funding it deserves.  And with that, his documentary Fight for Space was born.  And he’s already got distribution lined up as PBS has sent him a letter of interest saying if he makes the film, they’ll broadcast it.  That’s a heady partner to have in your corner.
“Please, support our film by donating above and share this project with your friends, family, and anyone you know who cares about space exploration or cares about the future economic and national security of this country.” – Paul Hildebrandt
Of course, PBS is just as cash strapped as NASA is these days, so they’re not funding the endeavor, so, Hildebrandt has turned to Kickstarter to launch his mission.  Hildebrandt is looking to raise $65,000 to fund for the following:
  • Travel Expenses
  • Camera & Gear Rentals
  • Crew Expenses
  • Motion Graphics
  • Original Musical Score (Composed by Star Trek TNG composer Ron Jones)
  • Music Licensing
  • Video Footage Licensing
  • Marketing
  • Post Processing for Video
  • Audio Mixing & Mastering
  • Broadcast Distribution

To date, he’s raised about ten percent and has about 26 days to reach his goal.  People can pledge between $1-10,000 to help him reach his goal.  And not only will interested patrons receive the satisfaction of funding a project that reminds America of it’s greatness, but they’ll also earn some cool swag and even credits in the film.  From an HD digital download for a donation of $10 to a behind the scenes glossy photo book to executive producer credit for a $10,000 donation, those who share Hildebrant’s vision can help him make it happen.

Now before you counter with the “we have so much need here at home, we don’t need to go to the stars” argument, let me go ahead and remind you that in addition to 5 jobs being created for one job at NASA, but without the space program, we wouldn’t have many of the filmmaking tools we take for granted, like satellite distribution, computers to make our CGI, the cellphones we talk on, and even the Internet.  All directly benefiting from the research and development done by NASA.  Then look at the actual amount of our tax dollars go to NASA today and where we are in the world scientifically.
I challenge you to watch the videos below and tell me you aren’t moved to want to lay down a few bucks.  And after you get excited about it, head over to my podcast, Conversations with Apollo, and remember the heady days of Neil and Buzz.


About James DeRuvo

James has a multi-faceted career that spans radio, film and publishing. A writer about the technology in the video industry for nearly 20 years, James is also an award winning film director, having garnered a Telly Award for his short film Searching for Inspiration. He's also worked as a producer of many talk radio programs in Los Angeles with topics ranging from entertainment to travel to technology.


  1. jayne says:

    I believe there should be a base on the moon. WHY NOT? It is the perfect jumping off place.

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