The Beginning

Welcome to my blog about the making of “When Dreams Take Flight” – a one-hour documentary film for Documentary.

The film has been in the works since early 2009 when, led by Dr. James DeLaurier, Todd Reichert of the University of Toronto HPO team, Adamm Liley of 35.5 Entertainment Inc. and Sheona McDonald of Dimestore Productions started to discuss the possibility of following the building and (eventual) flight of the now-named “Snowbird”.

At that time, April 2009, Todd and a team of 10 engineering students were packing up their lab at the University of Toronto and driving up to a glider field in Tottenham, Ontario where they were planning on spending the Summer building a human-powered ornithopter. They were hopeful that by July 2009 they would have built the plane, tested it and have made history as the people in history to fly a human-powered ornithopter.

Using mini HDV footage that Todd and his team captured and periodically visiting them to record their progress on a Sony EX-1, we began to follow the building of the aircraft – at that point we thought we’d have about 4 months to shoot. At that point we had no broadcaster interested. At that point it was uncertain whether they were on track to make history or simply another group in a long line of pioneers reaching for the unattainable.

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