Man in the Moon is just a few short weeks away, and yet only a few bits and pieces of information about the event itself have been revealed. In fact, until today only the storytellers at the American Dream Labs working on the show and a few select members of Glenn Beck’s staff have seen any of the production elements from the event. Earlier today, Glenn decided to publicly release a trailer for the event put together exclusively for a small number of movers and shakers in the film, technology, and entertainment industries that were personally invited to attend Man in the Moon.
For the past year, Glenn has been working alongside a small team in Salt Lake City led by Ben McPherson, who has been leading the creative production The Man in the Moon. The team has pioneered several new methods of stage production in order to tell their story, including projecting video onto a three-dimensional surface. The testing of this technique can be glimpsed in the trailer when the face of the moon is seen on a large white balloon while other video elements are projected on a flat screen behind the moon itself. The balloon seen in the trailer is roughly 20% the size of the balloon that will represent the moon during the actual performance.
It has been difficult for The American Dream Labs team to find a rehearsal venue for the show due to the sheer size of the production elements. The Salt Palace, a 10,000 seat arena was considered for a short time, but they team ultimately decided to rehearse with the smaller scale pieces as a cost saving measure.
"No one has seen the staging yet and what you will see in the video is only a fraction of what will be seen at any given time. The stage itself has been completely redesigned and plays a role as does the entire venue when the show officially launches," Glenn explained.
The trailer hints at some of the dazzling special effects, but Glenn has always emphasized the importance of the story itself over empty spectacle.
“Mercury Radio Arts and the American Dream Labs and TheBlaze boil down to one thing: We're storytellers. Be it news or fiction-based-in-fact, television, film, Internet, TV or radio,” Glenn said, “I have built a company that is uniquely equipped to use the hard facts and the truths that helped build this country and tell the story of what man has done and what they can yet do to become a beacon of light and hope for all the world to see.”
Some have been confused by Glenn’s moves into entertainment and culture, as they are not the traditional spaces occupied by political commentators. But Glenn has always maintained that he is not only interested in simply commenting on the news of the day, but also on spreading a message about hope, inspiration, and the power of good that exists in mankind. From D.C. to Israel to Dallas, TX, his summer events have always aimed to empower ordinary Americans to stand up and reach their full potential and by extension restore America as a beacon of freedom and greatness to people all over the world.
“The ballot box is the last stop. The first stop is the culture and teaching it to our kids and getting them to understand the story. If you get them to understand the story then their whole life will be set. My job as I see it is to tell the story in such a way that it just sears it on their heart,” Glenn said in an interview about Man in the Moon.
Glenn has always seen himself as a storyteller above all else. His first real professional attempt was The Christmas Sweater stage show in 2008, where he toured the country acting out the story of the novel in a one-man show. But he has always had the gift of storytelling, and it’s one of the reasons he has had such unique cross-platform success. Glenn says he inherited the gift from his grandfather.
“Most of my life I didn't know what my gift was, and I certainly didn't see a purpose behind it if I did,” Glenn said. “This one I truly love. It is the gift of storyteller. And I got it from my grandfather. Heaven to me, heaven to me will be able to be to sit with my grandfather under a tree with my family and just remember, to study and watch, watch him weave the stories of life for all those to hear and maybe even a few that will really even listen.”
The story behind Man in the Moon is still mostly shrouded in mystery. Recent promos on TheBlaze have shown some pieces that didn’t make the cut – most notably the “current wars” between Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla. But the trailer shows that the story will span thousands of years, with Biblical stories like Noah’s Ark and the Tower of Babel playing an important role, as well as key moments in American history like Abraham Lincoln’s assassination. Glenn has also said that World War 2 would play an important role in the story, and production staff were known to be working with actual planes from that era as part of the early planning for the show.
Whatever happens on July 6th, there is no doubt that Glenn and his team will once again put together an experience unlike anything that has been done before on stage.
On Wednesday, Glenn travels to the American Dream Labs in Salt Lake City to begin final tweaks on film, score and visual effects, and will also work with the stage performers and acrobats who are part of the show. He will then head to Flying by Foy in Las Vegas, the rehearsal space of Cirque du Soleil, where they have been developing and rehearsing never before seen fly by wire segments.
Glenn said that for weeks the Man in the Moon creative team literally thought he was kidding about the acrobatic portion of the show. When they discovered that he was serious the team spent several frustrating weeks trying to wrap their arms around how to not only create the vision but how to reduce the physical stress the performers bodies would need to endure for an incredibly challenging eight minute segment. Glenn will be seeing the final wire rehearsal in Vegas to approve the effects and scene before it is broken down and sent to join all of the other pieces of Man in the Moon to be constructed next weekend at the venue for five days of overnight rehearsals the week of July 4th.
Stay tuned to TheBlaze and GlennBeck.com in the weeks ahead for more on The Man in the Moon.