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Skywriters

The flying cloud factory

© by Nils Otte / Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg / Vimeo

Source | Nils Otte / Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg / Vimeo | 08 June 2016 1 minute
“There are more astronauts that have landed on the moon or been in space than there are skywriters”. “What exactly is a skywriter?” you might ask yourself. Well, a skywriter’s canvas is the sky, the airplane is the paintbrush. Usually the planes in operation write or “paint” massive messages in the sky, each of them about 5 miles long. Each skywriting character is about as tall as the Empire State Building, it takes about 2.5 minutes to complete a message, and – this is really sad – each skywriting message lasts only about 5 to 7 minutes in the sky. Ephemeral beauty, one could say. In other words, skywriting is probably the largest advertising in the world and one of the nicest things to watch next to aurora borealis sightings. Usually, world-famous brands employ skywriters to advertise in the great blue yonder, but it has also been rumored that certain men in love have resorted to skywriters to prove their love with a massive lover’s oath in writing. The beginnings of skywriting, however, are disputed. Commercial sykwriting was developed in the United States in the early 1930s by Sid Pike, the President of the Skywriting Corporation of America in 1932. One of the first major clients was Pepsi-Cola which used this method to reach out to a mass market. Many other companies have followed since. This awesome documentary by Munich-based director an producer Nils Otte takes you behind the scenes of this very rare art. By the way, skywriting is not only a fun thing to watch, it is also a struggle against weather, time and nerves, even for experienced pilots. For more please check out www.nils-otte.de