Burning Man Films - 2000 to 2009


Pop. 25,400; Cost $200; Theme: The Body


(2001, 58 min.)

Director & Producer: Steven J. Payne aka Paynie

BurnBabyBurn doesn’t have much of a story thread, instead focusing on montages of playa happenings set to a variety of commercially successful songs not usually associated with BRC. Between montages BRC denizens quip with little insight about whey they attend Burning Man.

By 2000, much of the original vibe of Burning Man was morphing away, with the first real police and BLM presence noticeable. Dr. Megavolt is still featured, but guns and overtly dangerous pyrotechnics began to be replaced by larger scale art projects.

got fire?

(2001, 28 mins.)

Director: Bill Breithaupt

Bill Breithaupt has gone on to create numerous Burning Man films, but got fire was his first, and is essentially a collage of film clips from his experiences at Burning Man 2000. There are no interview, nor any narrative. Most of the time the sound is a music track.

The film does a good job at showing many art exhibits and camps and capturing the general vibe of Burning Man 2000.

Good film of Thunderdome and Chaotic (the fire tether ball thingy), great film of Megavolt and a lot of fire dancers.


Pop. 25,659; Cost: $200; Theme: Seven Ages

Confessions of a Burning Man

(2002, 58 min.)

Directors & Producers: Un Su Lee & Paul Barnett

Available for purchase on Amazon

This Strange Eventful History: The Art of Burning Man 2001

(Release Date: 2002, 22 minutes)

A short non-narrative film about Burning Man 2001. The film includes nice footage of the temple and its burn. The rest of the film has generally slow paced footage of other art projects and happenings, as well as extended video of photographs with Ken Burns style effects, If you have a sentimental attachment to 2001, worth a watch.

Dust Devils

(2003, 45 min.)

Covers 2001 and 2002

Director: Dearbhla Glynn

Producer: Aprile Blake

The film includes interviews with Larry Harvey and David Best (temple designer).

Much of the film is footage of BM 2001/02 punctuated by participants explaining their interpretation of BM. However, the interviews with David Best and the temple materials by themselves make the film well worth watching.


(Release date: 2001, 22 mins.)

Another Bill Breithaupt film documenting the events at Burning Man 2001. Unfortunately the video upload has significant artifacts; hopefully he will upload a high quality version at some point.

As in his earlier effort, got fire?, there is no narrative, just video of the various art project and people at Burning Man 2001. The following year he goes on to release Aqua Burn, a high quality, high resolution film.


Pop. 28,979; Cost: $200; Theme: The Floating World

Black Rock Burning

(Release Date: 2003, 30 mins.)

Director: Kim Barr; Producer: Aleece Germana & Kim Barr

Film website

Familiar playa - participant interview - playa format. The launch of the Spanish Galleon is described (its demise is documented here). The Temple of Joy and it’s architect David Best is well covered. The film does a nice job to briefly show many of the art projects that year, and covers the Burning Man Fashion Show, hosted by Annie Coulter. one of the longest running BM traditions. The Death Guild’s Thunderdome gets the obligatory coverage. Overall, a well-made film.

Fall and Rise of the Fool's Ark

(Release date: 2003, 43 min.)

Essentially an extended surrealistic music video, with film of the construction of Dadara's Fool's Ark art and Burning Greymen installation at Burning Man.

Much of the film is animation featuring greymen images, with a loose fictional story. Original and entertaining for those who like these type of videos…the first five minutes will tell you whether you’ll enjoy the project.

Nothing Without You

(2004, 51 min.)

Directors & Producers: Ted Mattison & Paul Kelleher

Available on line from:
Nothing without You

Ted Mattison heads to Black Rock City with nothing (entirely naked). Over the next few days people donate everything he needs to survive Burning Man, all of which he must gather without leaving his “camp”. Once he wanders BRC we see glimpses of Megavolt, Thunderdome and the other often featured projects of BM 2002.

WHISTLEWORKS: The Steam Whistle Project at Burning Man 2002

(Release Date: 2002, 15 min.)

Producer: The Burning Chicagoans

Aqua Burn

(Release Date: 2002, 34 min.)

Director: Bill Breithaupt; Producer: Bill Breithaupt & Diane Buteux

Available on line from:

Bill Breithaupt’s first full-fledged documentary features some of the best filmed images of BRC to date. In playa-participant-playa format, it features high-quality video of the 2002 event. Sisyphish (the Swimmers) is well covered as is Fire Vortex, Nathan Smith’s fire tornado. Good footage of skydiving into BRC.

FireFall: Road to Burning Man

In a six month journey that brings to life a fire fountain sculpture, the community acclaimed, "Firefall: Road to Burning Man" is a feature length documentary chronicling the creation of a mesmerizing work of art from its conception to its unveiling.

Burning Man: Beyond Black Rock

(2004, 111 min.)

2002, 2003 Burning Man

Director: Damon Broan; Producer: Michael S. Wilson

Available on line from:
Amazon DVD, YouTube $0.99 Rental

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Folding Time

(2002, 2003)

Director: Robert Henrickson

Note: Download and put into a singe video. Each is short, time lapsed photography

Available on line from:
Folding Time (2002 & 2003) 

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Burning Sensation


Pop. 30,586; Cost: $200; Theme: Beyond Belief

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Burning Man: Voyage in Utopia



Burning Karma (2003, 23 min.)

Beyond Belief: The Art & People of Burning Man 2003


Pop. 35,664; Cost: $250; Theme: The Vault of Heaven

Dust & Illusions

(2009; 80 mins.)

Director & Producer: Olivier Bonin

Official website; Vimeo rental (99 cents)

Arguably the best documentary to tell the story of Burning Man. Interviews with Larry Harvey. John Law, Michael Mikel (Danger Ranger), Michael Hopkins (Flash), William Binzen, Jerry James.

The film traces the history from the Suicide Club, Cacophony Society and Burning Man’s roots. Includes fantastic early footage and excellent interviews.

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Astro Blaze (2004)

The Vault of Heaven: The Art & People of Burning Man 2004


Pop. 35,567; Cost: $250; Psyche: The Conscious,
Subconscious & Unconscious

Psyche: The Art & People of Burning Man 2005

The art and people of the Burning Man Festival 2005 by Lenny Jones and Claudia Rose. This video features a special Hurricane Katrina tribute performance by Reverend Billy and The Church of Stop Shopping as well as Singer Joan Baez. Music by Cirque Du Soleil "Solarium/Delirium"


Pop. 38,989; Cost $280; Theme: Hope and Fear: The Future

Burning Man: Journey to the Flames

(Various release dates from 1998 on)

Director: Doug Jacobson

Since 1998 Doug Jacobson and his crew have been releasing coverage of Burning Man. Many years are very hard to find these days.


Pop. 47,097; Cost: $280; Theme: The Green Man

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Burn on the Bayou


film: https://vimeo.com/8057642

The Green Man: The Art & People of Burning Man 2007


Pop. 49,599; Cost $295; Theme:
American Dream

As the Dust Settles



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A Burning Dream


American Dream: The Art & People of Burning Man 2008


Pop. 43,558; Cost: $360; Theme: Evolution: A Tangled Bank

Evolution I & 2

Encountering Burning Man