Stuck on Hubble
The Hubble Roadshow
My name is David Gaynes and I am an independent filmmaker. The documentary Saving Hubble is the result of my decade-long examination of, reflection on, and sometimes obsession with the Hubble Space Telescope and its role within science and culture. Central to the plot of the film is an exploration of Hubble's struggle to survive amidst a proposed cancellation of the mission in 2004. I believe the events surrounding this decision - and the massive public outcry responsible for Hubble's redemption - offer a fresh perspective on American resolve in a troubled time. Saving Hubble is about everyday people and their determination to see the cosmos and revel in its mystery and wonder.
In late 2011, I decided to set an unusual course for the distribution of Saving Hubble. Under a banner called The Hubble Roadshow, I began planning a series of screenings in non-traditional venues featuring distinctive companion programming including talkbacks with notable scientists, stargazing with amateur astronomers and live music by local artists. Hubble Roadshow events took place across the country and as far away as Beijing, China. Admission was usually free or by suggested donation. By limiting opportunities to see the film to single live events, I intended to create unique conversations around the awe-inspiring nature of Hubble as well as the uplifting and unifying themes that I find so resonant in Hubble's story. In effect, I wanted Roadshow events to create space for a conversation that we're not having right now as a culture: "Who are we?" and "Where are we going?"
I'm proud to say that this actually happened. A few thousand people participated in Hubble Roadshow events in 2012. Many people looked through a telescope for the first time in their lives. Everyday people had opportunities to connect with professional astronomers. My goal of scaling the Roadshow to the level of a national tour - a traveling science festival in the spirit of old 'Chautauquas' - remains a dream for me and the many friends and supporters I've met on this journey. I do keep a light on for that vision and I invite you to join our cause if you haven't already. I guess my elevator pitch for what we tried and continue trying to do is: "Hubble-as-a-metaphor-for-how-to-create-a-purposeful-existence-and-peaceful-world." I would be pleased to welcome you to our team if this sounds at all interesting to you.
To read more about these social/political/spiritual goals of the Hubble Roadshow, you can read more about the endeavor HERE.
About the Director
Saving Hubble (2012) is my second documentary feature. My latest film, Next Year Jerusalem (2014), focuses on eight nursing home residents who make a pilgrimage to Israel. Jerusalem premiered to sold out audiences at the Sarasota Film Festival and the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival and is distributed by First Run Features, making it's theatrical premiere in New York City on May 16, 2014 and in Los Angeles on May 30, 2014. More information on this new film is available at nextyearjerusalemmovie.com. My debut feature, Keeper of the Kohn (2005), documents the trials of an aging, autistic waterboy-turned-spiritual leader of a college lacrosse team. Keeper was seen in film festivals and on television and is available on digital platforms and home video. I work actively as a documentary cinematographer having recently photographed the award-winning feature documentaries All Me: The Life and Times of Winfred Rembert, Men of the Cloth, and Release: the Jack Ryan Story. More information about my work is available at dgfilmworks.com.