Giant Rock Podcast – Director / Producer Jonathan Berman from “Calling All Earthlings”

 Jonathan Berman (Producer/Director) has had a longtime obsession with film and film-making, beginning as an assistant editor and as a stock footage researcher. His film Commune (2006), looked at a seminal commune, the Black Bear Ranch, to explore the wins and excesses of the Sixties and Seventies. His film My Friend Paul (2000), about his relationship to his bipolar best friend, was produced with ITVS, a part of the US public broadcasting family. He is director and producer of The Shvitz (1994), a film about the last traditional steambaths in New York. His films have been awarded grants from the NEA, NYSCA, The Jerome Foundation and more; broadcasts include the BBC, PBS, Sundance Channel, Discovery, ARTE, and others. Festival screenings include SXSW, Slamdance, Amsterdam Documentary Festival, (IDFA), Karlovy Vary and many others. Berman co-wrote the story for the independent comedy On The Run. He was the American producer on Claudia Heuermann’s German TV project Sabbath in Paradise, which featured Harvey Pekar and John Zorn. Berman helped create On The Run for director Bruno De Almeida.

Calling All Earthlings explores a mid-century UFO cult led by one-time Howard Hughes confidante, George Van Tassel. Van Tassel claimed to have combined alien guidance with the writings of inventor/physicist Nikola Tesla, and other controversial science, to build an electromagnetic time machine he dubbed “The Integratron.” Was he insane? Or could the dome really break through boundaries of space, time, and energy? FBI agents worked against Van Tassel and the alternative community that formed out of his work. Would he finish the Integratron before the government finished him? Calling All Earthlings looks at all the roots of counterculture, particularly through the lens of the reactions against and inspiration of “Big Science” and “The Bomb.” The story portrays the roots of the Peace Movement, Burning Man and even the FBI’s notorious COINTELPRO program. The verité tale of Van Tassel and his dome is told by relatives, neighbors, skeptics, believers, scientists, healers, artists and historians. The film features the “stewards” and owners of the Integratron, the Karl sisters; Dr. Kevin Starr, the preeminent historian of California; Eric Burdon, Singer for The Animals and War; and the legendary Drs. J.J, and Desiree Hurtak.

Calling All Earthlings” Website:

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