THE SPARK OF IMAGINATION
“The Spark of Imagination” is an 11-minute show designed to play inside a MEDIA SPHERE to a standing audience, able to turn and watch the show unfold around them.
Inside an enormous media sphere, guests go on a soaring, visually immersive journey alongside the path of a single flickering ember (visually representing ideas, creativity, innovation and discovery –– think Forrest Gump’s famous ‘feather in the wind’) as it flitters and floats through history, and across the globe, touching, inspiring, transforming and connecting countless lives; sharing its light in the very smallest of ways, all the way up to the most spectacularly illuminating “Eureka!” moments of a lifetime.
THE SPARK OF IMAGINATION
ACT I (3 minutes)
The theater is wrapped in darkness.
A pair of quotes appear, one after the other, written via ‘moving spark text’…
“Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions.” –– Albert Einstein
With a clap of thunder, a single bolt of lightning streaks down (Section 1), illuminating a tree (Section 2), which catches fire [stylized animation]. To the left of the audience (Section 8), a YOUNG WOMAN draped in animal skins and carrying a crude spear, approaches (into Section 2). She gazes up at the burning tree, which sends off showers of sparks. The woman is transfixed. A burning branch falls to the ground (Section 2) and the woman comes closer, touching it cautiously with her spear; it catches fire. She walks away with her simple torch. Everything falls dark again, with just a crackling spark, zigzagging around and leaving a faint trail behind it.
A GROUP OF PEOPLE, also draped in animal skins, appears in a group on the ground around a campfire (Section 3). A man on his feet raises his arms, acting out a story. A young boy jumps to his feet, miming another story. Long, stretching shadows are thrown onto the rocky face behind them.
The fire gives off a plume of sparks, which catch on the wind, floating up into one direction (Section 5) and then bursting upwards (towards the top of the sphere) and exploding into a thousand more sparks which spread out through the night sky (all sections.) The circle of cave-people disappears into darkness.
ACT II (2 minutes)
Burning into the darkness, the sparks become stars. Constellations begin to appear among them. Down below (Section 8), A SINGLE MAN in a draped tunic stares at the stars earnestly. Then, bending over, he picks up a two-pronged compass on a table and uses it to measure the distances between two stars on a piece of parchment. He stares intently at his star chart, then back up at the sky. He dissolves into sparking darkness.
A larger GROUP OF MEN come into view (Section 2), pointing up at the stars through a marble arch. As they point, faint lines appear in the sky, forming the fantastic pictures of constellations, coming alive / animating through the power of the astronomers’ imaginations. A meteor shower rains down through the sky, one sparkling star becoming that same spark…
The sound of crashing waves rolls in. The spark darts around, finally soaring through the window at the top of a tower, becoming a dancing flame and revealing the tower to be a lighthouse (in Section 1). The LIGHTHOUSE KEEPER stands behind it, using a glass lens to reflect the light out to sea. A ship’s foghorn echoes through the night and a freighter rocks into view, tossed by a raging storm. Raging winds and rain roar in 360 degrees around the sphere. Lightning streaks through the sky, lighting up the boat (Section 5). Back in the lighthouse (Section 1), the lighthouse keeper sees the boat in alarm and works hard to swivel the lens toward the boat. The beam of light shines out of the lighthouse, with the spark from before, leading the way. In acknowledgement of the lighthouse, the ship sounds its horn in two short blasts. The lighthouse keeper punches the air triumphantly. The ship disappears into the night and the spark shoots into the sky once more.
ACT III (2 minutes)
Out of the darkness, a spark zips around and lands on a candlestick, lighting a small flame (Section 8). An OLDER MAN bends over a table cluttered with tools and equipment. He is tinkering with a small glass sphere – a light bulb. A GROUP OF MEN pull back a tent flap and walk to the man’s side, frowning at his work. A few of them shake their heads and the man looks up at them, earnestly pointing at the bulb. They give up and walk back out of the tent. More determined than ever, the man turns back to his work, twisting small filaments with pliers. Suddenly, the spark lights up the bulb. The man jumps to his feet, elated. He runs off into the dark (out of the vignette) as another scene takes place. The man is now on a stepladder with his bulb, screwing it into place somewhere on the ceiling (Section 3). He optimistically smiles, gets the light bulb screwed into place and suddenly, hundreds of lights spark to life, chasing across the sphere in lines. It’s a beautiful, triumphant sight. The sparks of light in each bulb converge into one spark as the scene disappears.
The spark flies around again and then expands and flattens into a lit screen (Section 7.) Projected on the screen is the flickering, black and white image of a WOMAN, dressed in turn-of-the-century fashion and fanning herself demurely. On the opposite side of the sphere, the spark resides in a movie projector, shining across the sphere to the screen. The woman turns around the screen.
Revolving around the sphere, the quality of the movie evolves, flickering less. It becomes a WOMAN in a 1950’s gown, singing a ballad. She is in color, if not yet totally correct. The movie projector is still evolving as well. This scene revolves and evolves into a vibrantly colored woman, standing onstage and singing another song. And finally, the scene evolves again into a modern ACTRESS in a spy/superhero outfit, standing confidently on the edge of a building with a complex background behind her. The spark in the modern movie projector crackles to life, leaving the movie screen in darkness.
ACT IV (4 minutes)
The spark darts around (Section 8) until it suddenly slows into a small shape of a firefly. Others join it. The first firefly, glowing the brightest, floats around (into Section 6) as a SMALL GIRL - almost a toddler - runs barefoot through the grass towards it, carrying a glass jar. Her face lit by the glowing bug, she stares in amazement. Gently, she lifts the glass jar to the firefly and cups it inside. She runs with the jar, its spark leaving a trail of light behind her. In a shower of light, the girl transforms into a grown WOMAN, wearing a VR headset (Section 2). With a VR light-brush, she paints a breathtaking 3D painting. She gracefully moves around her masterpiece, painting with the light just as she did with the firefly. Her 3D painting takes form into a huge firefly, which flies back into the sky… (into Sections 1,3,5)
The firefly streaks across the top of the sphere, bursting into a sparking, crackling explosion. Down below (Section 4), a YOUNG BOY is crouching with a bottle rocket in his hand. He lights the bottom of it, sticks his fingers in his ears, and the rocket takes off into the sky. He watches it in amazement, and then gives it a thumbs up. He looks at the last rocket in his hand and then sends it into the sky as well. The burst of sparks it produces spreads across the sky like a firework, lighting up the whole sphere.
When the light dissipates, the face of the boy is visible once more, right where he had been (Section 4), only now he is a GROWN MAN. His face glows from inside an astronaut’s helmet, showing through a window of the space shuttle. The shuttle rumbles, sparks flying in every direction. It’s about to lift off. The man smiles from inside the shuttle, then gives a confident thumbs up. The shuttle lifts off, roaring with power, flames and smoke all around audience platform as it pulls smoothly into the sky (Section 5.) The exhaust bellows clouds of fire, which spit a galaxy of sparks.
The sparks burst out into a web of light, starting at the peak of the sphere and connecting all around it. A faint image of the earth, as though the guests are looking out at the surface from the inside, glows beyond the grid. Beads of light travel across the web, pinging from one country to another. Snippets of conversations, communications, songs and electronic sounds indicate that this web of information beams beads of lights across the globe, connecting the world at the speed of light.
Then, as though dissolving into stardust, the web dematerializes and comes shimmering down. The brightest of the sparks condenses into one sputtering point of light (Section 1). It barely lights the figure behind it. The spark ignites into a small flame. A YOUNG GIRL kneels on the ground, a baseball hat on her head, staring in wonder at the flame she produced with flint and steel. It catches onto a small pile of tinder she must have collected. The fire grows brighter and the young girl reaches out to a stick in the fire and pulls it out; it glows like a torch. Other KIDS come out of the darkness around her, amazed at her ability to start her own fire. Her PARENTS stand behind her, smiling, and laying their hands on her shoulders. Smiling, unaware of her distant ancestor’s similar act of discovery, the girl holds up the torch like a beacon. The cycle continues.
A final, triumphant spark streaks from the fire, leaving the girl in darkness, and circles the sphere in a powerful, optimistic arc.
Finally, out of the dark, the spark of the fire appears once more, tracing out words across the dark screen:
“The smallest spark ignites the fire that lies deep inside you, and suddenly everything is possible.” –Jennifer Herndon
CUT TO BLACK.