Arthur C. Clarke's "Rendezvous With Rama" Gets The Film School Treatment

Illustration for article titled Arthur C. Clarkes Rendezvous With Rama Gets The Film School Treatment

Arthur C. Clarke's giant space monolith novel Rendezvous With Rama won't be getting a blockbuster film anytime soon, but this neat short from film students offers a tantalizing taste of what a Rama adaptation could be.


This sound composition by Philip Mahoney of Vancouver Film School (with visual media provided by Aaron Ross of NYU) introduces Clarke's 1972 tale about a mysterious cylindrical monolith and the astronauts who investigate it. The film doesn't delve into the depths of the Rama spacecraft, but it offers a glimpse of the sheer size of the Rama and its claustrophobic interior. Hats off to these students for tackling a classic scifi tome.


[via Kuriositas]

Update 5/3/10: Phil Mahoney wrote in and had the following to say about this project:

I studied Sound Design at Vancouver Film School from October 2008 to October 2009. It's an intense one-year program that teaches you everything you need to know about sound. It was a huge investment in time and money, but I had a great time. I worked hard and got a lot out of it. From day one, the instructors tell you to start looking for a final project. It's pretty simple: Scour the internet and any other sources you can think of for a 3-4 minute video that you can do the sound for. As in *all* of the sound. You have the chance to breathe life into blank canvas of previously existing video, and tell the story through sound. You do this in the final two months of the program. I looked around and found a few videos that I liked. The only snag is that VFS requires you to get written permission to use the video. I didn't get my first or second choice. In both cases it was pretty disappointing.

But then I found Rendezvous With Rama.

This film was created by Aaron Ross, who attended the Tisch School Of The Arts at NYU. It was, I believe, his final project in 2001. I say "I believe" because I don't actually know Aaron. I contacted him and asked him permission to use his film, and he was very generous and forthcoming. He signed the required form and I had the freedom to have a go at it.

So that's the first thing I wanted to clear up: Aaron and I did not work *together* on this film. He created the visuals in 2001 in New York, and I recorded, edited and mixed the sound in 2009 in Vancouver. I also wrote the music - I am primarily a composer and have been scoring for twenty years.

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Derek C. F. Pegritz

Pretty, but the filmmakers clearly didn't read the text well enough. The voice-over is completely inane and indicates—in complete contradiction to the original novel—that the ship signaled us from "several lightyears away" (no, it was discovered by an asteroid defense system's automatic sweep of space) and is headed for Earth (it's not: it was headed for the sun on what was a clear gravitational assist trajectory). Why? What's the point of changing the story in such an arbitrary fashion?