Rendezvous With Rama

Arthur C. Clarke’s Rendezvous With Rama was published in 1972 and was awarded both the prestigious sci-fi literary awards the Hugo and Nebula. Rendezvous With Rama is one of four Rama stories that are set in the 22nd century and details a fifty-kilometer-long cylindrical alien starship that enters Earth’s solar system.

The manned solar survey vessel Endeavour and it’s 20 man crew is rerouted to study Rama. The team enters Rama and explores the vast 16-km wide by 50-long cylindrical world of its interior, but the nature and purpose of the starship and its creators remains enigmatic throughout the book. The only lifeforms are the cybernetic “biots” who completely ignore the humans, and who are busy all about the spacecraft, appearing to be prepping Rama for a major upcoming maneuver.

It’s hard to believe that to date no film adaptations of this marvelous science fiction novel have been attempted. Now at last, thanks to the visual media by Aaron Ross and Vancouver Film School student sound designer, Philip Mahoney, we finally get a glimpse of just what Rendezvous With Rama might look and sound like if given the full movie treatment.

The film was created by Aaron Ross when he attended the Tisch School Of The Arts in 2001 and Phil Mahoney provided the sound design while attending the Sound Design For Visual Media program at Vancouver Film School last year. Consequently the piece was chosen out of many to be featured on the official VFS Youtube channel, Vimeo and iTunes, among others. Primarily a composer Mahoney said of the piece, “It was an absolute blast to record, edit and mix all of the sound for the film, including the original score”.

For obvious reasons, Ross was not able to include everything that happens in Clarke’s detail rich novel in this short animation. However, he manages to feature some key moments from the novel in this superbly done animation.

If you haven’t had quite enough – here is a short making of film that we are sure you will find interesting.

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One thought on “Rendezvous With Rama

  1. Hello Folks,

    This is Phil Mahoney, the sound designer in question. Thanks so much to this site for writing about my sound design final project, and for everyone who posted comments. Just want to clarify something though: This is not *my* film. The film was created by Aaron Ross when he attended the Tisch School Of The Arts in 2001.

    However, the sound design is all mine, and was the catalyst to this film getting so much attention. I attended the Sound Design For Visual Media program at Vancouver Film School last year, and this was my final project. I chose Aaron’s video because I thought there was a lot of opportunity for sound, and I was right. I got 91% on the project and consequently, my project was chosen out of many to be featured on the official VFS Youtube channel, Vimeo and iTunes, among others. Io9.com found it, wrote about it, and it went viral from there. As of this writing, nearly 20,000 people have viewed Rendezvous With Rama in the past 48 hours.

    It was an absolute blast to record, edit and mix all of the sound for the film, including the original score. I’m primarily a composer and I’ve been scoring for over twenty years. I am actively looking for sound design and composing work and if you like what you heard, please get in touch!

    Phil Mahoney
    Vancouver
    phil@philmahoney.com

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