The creators of the acclaimed multi-media project "1 Giant Leap" will preview its DVD component at screenings tonight (May 2) in San Francisco and next week in Los Angeles and Toronto. Duncan Bridgema

The creators of the acclaimed multi-media project "1 Giant Leap" will preview its DVD component at screenings tonight (May 2) in San Francisco and next week in Los Angeles and Toronto. Duncan Bridgeman and Jamie Catto spent six months traveling around the world recording music that wound up on the "1 Giant Leap" audio CD, and later combined visuals from the trip with wide-ranging interviews to create the accompanying film. The DVD is due in August in North America and a month later internationally via Palm Pictures.

The screenings feature about an hour's worth of excerpts from the 180-minute film, which is broken into "12 universal concepts: late night conversations about deep things you might have with your close friends, with a whiskey or a spliff," Catto told Billboard.com before last night's screening in New York. Tracks featuring everyone from R.E.M.'s Michael Stipe, Robbie Williams, Neneh Cherry, and Baba Maal are intercut with ruminations from actor Dennis Hopper, authors Kurt Vonnegut and Tom Robbins, and a host of other fascinating subjects from around the world.

"When you mosaic all these people talking soulfully about death, for example, you get on the surface this incredible amount of diversity," Catto says. "But underneath it, you get this phenomenal unity of soul -- the stuff that connects you to me. You get this thing that isn't exactly a documentary or a pop video, but a great big beautiful artistic melange. It's a big spoonful of sugar for quite deep stuff."

The screenings conclude with a question-and-answer session with Bridgeman and Catto, which have opened up a whole new world for the first-time filmmakers. "We've gone from musicians to filmmakers to interviewers to political commentators to almost new-age workshop leaders," Catto says with a laugh.

Asked why he got involved with Bridgeman and Catto on "1 Giant Leap," Stipe told Billboard.com at last night's screening, "because of their audacity to take on such an ambitious project. It is so outrageously ambitious. But there was a lot of skill involved in not making it just a patchwork quilt." The artist lent his signature vocals to the track "The Way You Dream," which were recorded in a shed in his garden in Athens, Ga., and in London.

Catto says he and Bridgeman are in pre-production for a 1 Giant Leap tour, which would feature acts from each country in which the trek stops and may get underway by the end of the year. "We think that's a pretty sexy idea, because each live show will be that country's meeting with 1 Giant Leap," he says. "Obviously we can't tour with Michael and Robbie and everybody. But we want to continue the evolution."

Here are the dates for the "1 Giant Leap" screenings:

May 2: San Francisco (Bimbo's 365)
May 6: Los Angeles (Egyptian Theatre)
May 9: Toronto (Opera House)

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboard

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