The first night of the Global Leadership Conference kicked off with a special screening and filmmaker Q&A for Spark: A Burning Man Story. This documentary follows the evolution of the event through the experiences of theme camp leaders, artists and Burning Man organization staff over the past year. Covering the introduction of the lottery ticketing system to plug and play camps (mixed with lovely moments like Crimson Rose and Will Roger’s on playa wedding!), Spark helped set the tone for a weekend of lively discussion.
Quotes that lingered in my head after the screening:
“The place is an idea that is so powerful and so alluring that people will go to the worst place in the world, just to get a little taste of it.”
“In order to survive and get along with people, we need to engage.”
“You people here today are the people from this moment on that creates the framework of the cauldron that will cook their soul.”
“The fundamental value of this event is its social capital.”
“I don’t think that it’s about money, but what you do with it.” (on plug and play camps)
“You put so much intention together, it’s like nucleur fission!” (Filmmaker Steve Brown during the Q&A session)
Hollering the names of different Burners appearing in the film, the GLC attendees, who filled The New Parkway Theater, gave this documentary an enthusiastic welcome. I realize that screening Spark for GLC attendees is preaching to converted, so to speak. However filmmaker Steve Brown revealed that this film inspired similarly positive response at SXSW in Austin, where this documentary had its world premiere.
Over 1000 hours of footage was shot by dozens of filmmakers, some of whom Steve drafted on the spot after meeting them filming their own footage in Black Rock City. This kind of collaboration continues even now. Producers are asking for Burners’ photos, videos and stories to include in the DVD release.
We have the Burning Man Film Festival in a Box. Can you think of other vehicles that convey a taste of our community? There are thousands of Burning Man stories yet to be told on film.
Photos from the screening: