Pretty Bird is an upcoming (2008) film directed by Paul Schneider, adapted from the 2006 book The Rocketbelt Caper: A True Tale of Invention, Obsession and Murder by Paul Brown. The film recounts a story directly inspired by the main story of The Rocketbelt Caper concerning Bradley Wayne Barker, Joe Wright and Larry Stanley, their construction of the Rocketbelt-2000 (dubbed Pretty Bird by rocketbelt pilot Bill Suitor) and their resulting extensive conflicts.
The following is from New Scientist October 2005 (number 2519):
In 1992, one-time insurance salesman and entrepreneur Brad Barker formed a company to build a rockeltbelt with two partners: Joe Wright, a businessman based in Houston, and Larry Stanley, an engineer who owned an oil well in Texas. By 1994, they had a working prototype they called the Rocketbelt-2000, or RB-2000. They even asked [Bill] Suitor to fly it for them. But the partnership soon broke down. First Stanley accused Barker of defrauding the company. Then Barker attacked Stanley and went into hiding, taking the RB-2000 with him. Police investigators questioned Barker but released him after three days. The following year Stanley took Barker to court to recover lost earnings. The judge awarded Stanley sole ownership of the RB-2000 and over $10m in costs and damages. When Barker refused to pay up, Stanley kidnapped him, tied him up and held him captive in a box disguised as a SCUBA-tank container. After eight days Barker managed to escape. Police arrested Stanley and in 2002 he was sentenced to life in prison, since reduced to eight years. The rocketbelt has never been found.
The film is scheduled to compete in the Dramatic Competition at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival.
A sweet-natured guy enlists his pals to help him create and market his idea for a rocket-powered belt. But can their friendship withstand unexpected success?