Matt had written a script for one of the NASA ‘docs’ we were doing. It was our only ‘formal’ film. All the others were pure documentaries. This script was already written, and we just had to bring it to life.
Not so easy.
We didn’t have a budget to do anything but film what was there. To make things worse, Matt showed us the National Film Board of Canada film, UNIVERSE, a big budget story similar to ours.
The film was full of special effects work, planets moving through outer space, star fields. I laughed out loud when I saw it, wondering why Matt showed us. It was nothing that we could afford and I felt the film was pompous and preachy, especially the overbearing music track full of kettle drums beating on my head.
We did our best with what we had and made a decent film, A View of the Sky, that became a U.S. Pavilion film at Expo ’67.
Some time goes by and I go to see 2001 in Cinerama. I laughed at the pompous music that begins the film, Also Sprach Zarathustra, and wonder what’s next because it ‘gotta be important’ after that intro. The music reminded me of the drumbeats that start the Canadian film.
Time goes by and I read that UNIVERSE was a huge influence on Kubrick’s ideas for 2001. I rescreened the Canadian film and laughed out loud, again. The pompous drumbeats that begin UNIVERSE have the same pomposity as Kubrick’s choice of Wagner’s silly homage to Nietzsche. The music was better used in BEING THERE, when Peter Seller’s Chauncy Gardner character leaves home. Elvis Presly used it to open his Las Vegas act for a while.