A Beautiful Planet is a new movie showing striking images of the Earth as seen from space. The film takes full advantage of the new digital capabilities of IMAX.
Astronauts at the International Space Station (ISS) shot much of the footage shown in the new documentary. The viewing cupola onboard the ISS served as a perfect vantage point to record video and images of our home planet from space. The film shows powerful storm systems, shining aurora, and city lights as seen from orbit.
The film combines views of the Earth with video showing space travelers aboard the ISS constantly working, in order to maintain the habitat so that it might sustain life. The idea behind the film is that similar actions must be taken at home, in order to protect the biosphere on our own Spaceship Earth.
"From space, Earth blazes at night with the electric intensity of human expansion - a direct visualization of our changing world. But it is within our power to protect the planet. As we continue to explore and gain knowledge of our galaxy, we also develop a deeper connection to the place we all call home," IMAX Entertainment announced on their website.
This is not the first IMAX film shot in space, but it is the first such movie to be recorded entirely in digital format. Using film, shooting times were extremely limited, and each scene could only be shot once. However, the upgraded format allowed these amateur filmmakers in space to record as many takes as needed to produce the desired result.
Low-resolution takes were downloaded to producers on the ground, in order to determine how scenes should be recorded for the final film. Raw footage was saved to external hard drives, and returned to Earth aboard cargo ships, as well as with occupants returning back home.
The film was created by IMAX Entertainment and noted space filmmaker Toni Myers, with assistance and cooperation from NASA.
Astronauts who see the Earth from space for the first time can become overwhelmed by the beauty and majesty of this pale blue dot. Known as the overview effect, this film strives to instill a similar feeling in viewers.
A Beautiful Planet officially opened in select IMAX theaters on April 29.