Columnist Leonard David

Space Elevator Concept Stars in 'Sky Line' Documentary

'Sky Line" Space Elevator Documentary
'Sky Line' documentary follows space elevator visionaries. (Image credit: David Egge)

Going up? Attention space elevator button pushers!

A feature-length documentary called "Sky Line" is being released this month, an impressive view that follows a group of scientists and entrepreneurs as egos collide in an attempt to reach for the stars.

The film, which centers on the real-life building of the once fantastical space elevator concept, will debut at DOC NYC 2015 – America's largest documentary festival — and will be released on all major On Demand platforms on November 20th, 2015.

Historical note

In his  1979 novel "The Fountains of Paradise," science fact/fiction writer, Arthur C. Clarke imagined a 22nd century-set elevator connecting Earth with an orbiting satellite, eliminating the need for costly and environmentally destructive rockets. While scientists have considered such a project, they have been hampered by the lack of sufficiently advanced technology … until now.

"At its heart, 'Sky Line' is a movie about chasing your dreams, and this was one of ours," says director Miguel Drake-McLaughlin. "What drives a person to devote his life to pursuits that may take generations to achieve? We set out to answer that question when we first went to Seattle to begin filming the folks involved in the Space Elevator Conference. We didn't have much of a plan, but we knew everyone had a story – and we found the people that became the backbone of this film."

For several years, Drake-McLaughlin adds, the documentarians would revisit these eccentric and brilliant characters, resulting in "Sky Line." [Video: Is a Space Elevator to the Moon Possible?]

On demand platforms

With a running time of 74 minutes, "Sky Line" will be available on all major On Demand platforms, including Amazon Instant Video, Google Play, iTunes, Vudu, and Xbox, beginning on Nov. 20.

"Sky Line" is co-directed by Miguel Drake-Mclaughlin and Jonny Leahan, and executive produced by Robert Wood. The distribution deal was negotiated by Sam Scupp of FilmBuff – an award-winning full-service distribution company, with a focus on delivering high quality, compelling film and video to targeted audiences.

You can see a "Sky Line" trailer here. To learn more about the documentary, visit:

Leonard David has been reporting on the space industry for more than five decades. He is former director of research for the National Commission on Space and is co-author of Buzz Aldrin's 2013 book "Mission to Mars – My Vision for Space Exploration" published by National Geographic with a new updated paperback version released in May 2015. Follow us @SpacedotcomFacebook or Google+. Originally published on

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Leonard David
Space Insider Columnist

Leonard David is an award-winning space journalist who has been reporting on space activities for more than 50 years. Currently writing as's Space Insider Columnist among his other projects, Leonard has authored numerous books on space exploration, Mars missions and more, with his latest being "Moon Rush: The New Space Race" published in 2019 by National Geographic. He also wrote "Mars: Our Future on the Red Planet" released in 2016 by National Geographic. Leonard  has served as a correspondent for SpaceNews, Scientific American and Aerospace America for the AIAA. He has received many awards, including the first Ordway Award for Sustained Excellence in Spaceflight History in 2015 at the AAS Wernher von Braun Memorial Symposium. You can find out Leonard's latest project at his website and on Twitter.