For the first time in history, a short film has been projected into the skies and onto a cloud using an updated laser version of a zoopraxiscope — an early version of a movie projector that projects images from a series of rotating disks.
Titled "Project Nimbus," the ambitious task was first first devised back in 2007 by artist Dave Lynch after coming across Robert Bunker's work on non-lethal weapons — a cloud projection among them — and after that, an image of Eadweard Muybridge's famous 1878 "Sallie Gardner at a Gallop" (a series of photographs shown on a zoopraxiscope — also credited to Muybridge) considered to be one of the first films ever made.
Along with maker Aaron Nielson and scientist Mike Nix, the three developed a laser version of the zoopraxiscope after having failed using a converted 16 mm cine projector to get the job done.
"Historical analogue technology was the only safe way to use a laser in the sky, as other laser projectors work by scanning an image using a dangerous pencil beam," Nix told New Scientist in an interview.
To make the transition from the typical silver screen to the skies, a laser projector modeled after Muybridge's own zoopraxiscope was mounted onto an airplane, which was then telecast onto a nearby cloud — a pretty straightforward procedure.
While the advertising possibilities for cloud-projected films are pretty obvious, let's just be happy that the projected video was a lot more successful than Rolling Rock's "moonvertising" hoax.
You can watch footage of the cloud movie below.