"We started filming BLACK SKY three years ago, right at the project's inception," said Richard Hutton, vice president of media development for Vulcan Productions. "When Paul Allen decided to sponsor the SpaceShipOne project, we knew there was a one-of-kind opportunity to help tell the story and chronicle both the human and technological accomplishments shown in the film. It was truly a unique experience ... it was rocket science, and we documented it."
"Discovery is thrilled to have won its third Peabody award with this film. We passionately believed in the project, which celebrates the spirit of adventure and the thrill of discovery. This honor is a tribute not just to the people involved in the production, but also to the team that actually made this happen," said Phil Fairclough, senior vice president and acting general manager of Discovery Channel.
Discovery Channel and Vulcan Productions' BLACK SKY: THE RACE FOR SPACE, which premiered on the network October 3, 2004, documents investor and philanthropist Paul G. Allen's sponsorship of the SpaceShipOne project and his work with aeronautical legend Burt Rutan, as they accomplish one of the greatest achievements in aerospace history. In the film, the team builds a one-of-a-kind spacecraft, and attempt to capture the elusive Ansari X-Prize: a $10 million award given to the first private manned spacecraft to exceed a sub-orbital altitude of 328,000 feet (60 miles) twice within a 14-day period. The team went on to win the X-Prize competition, which was captured on film by a second project entitled BLACK SKY: WINNING THE X-PRIZE. Both films were co-produced by Discovery Channel and Vulcan Productions in association with Gemini Productions and Antenna Film. BLACK SKY: THE RACE FOR SPACE was produced and directed by Gail Willumsen, Jill Shinefield, Sandy Guthrie and Scott B. Executive producers were Richard Hutton for Vulcan Productions and Stephen Reverand for Discovery Channel.
About Vulcan Productions
Founded by investor and philanthropist Paul G. Allen in 1997, Vulcan Productions devotes itself exclusively to producing independent films of unique vision and artistic quality. With feature film projects such as HARD CANDY, FAR FROM HEAVEN, THE SAFETY OF OBJECTS, and documentaries such as THE BLUES, EVOLUTION, and BLACK SKY: THE RACE FOR SPACE, and BLACK SKY: WINNING THE X PRIZE, the company commits its talent and resources to creating films of substance and enduring significance. Through collaborative partnerships with established and emerging filmmakers, Vulcan Productions explores creative opportunities that result in engaging and inspirational storytelling.
Discovery Networks, U.S., a unit of Discovery Communications, Inc. (DCI), is the world ' s largest producer of original, non-fiction entertainment programming. DCI ' s programming arm includes Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, Travel Channel, Discovery Health Channel, Discovery HD Theater, Discovery Kids Channel, Discovery Times Channel, The Science Channel, Military Channel, Discovery Home Channel, Discovery en Espanol and FitTV. In addition, the unit distributes BBC AMERICA.