I often wish that my home was big enough to house a full-size IMAX screen and viewing room, and also that I could afford to put one in, assuming I”m not paying out the ass for this huge imaginary house. While it would be cool to watch movies like 2001: A Space Odyssey on such a screen, I’m more interested in checking out the things that I can’t just watch on my laptop. And it’s hard to consider a movie better suited for this type of viewing than filmmaker Steven van Vuuren’s almost criminally beautiful project called In Saturn’s Rings, a giant-screen film quite unlike any viewers have ever experienced.
For almost seven years, van Vuuren has been working on turning In Saturn’s Rings into a reality by putting together over 1,000,000 space photos. Yes, one million photographs. He put them together in his basement using a special photoanimation technique, and what he made looks like one of the most awe-inspiring space tours imaginable, at least for those of us who will probably never get to experience the final frontier firsthand. He cobbled the photos from a variety of space missions over the years, including ones from Hubble, Apollo, Voyager, and, of course, Cassini spacecraft.
Currently, In Saturn’s Rings is going through a Kickstarter campaign to fund the Greensboro Symphony Orchestra’s recording of composer Samuel Barber’s “Adagio for Strings,” which van Vuuren plans on incorporating into the film’s climax, in which Saturn features heavily. He believes that such a majestic sight should only be complimented by something that sounds just as beautiful, and conductor Dmitry Sitkovetsky’s orchestra is the one he wants. It has already surpassed its initial goal and has now moved on to its stretch goals, including hiring international remix artists to give their own spin to “Adagio” and achieve more global awareness. Oddly enough, the $37,500 needed to fund the musicians, travel, music space, recording, and music rights is still cheaper than paying for use of a licensed performance of the song. Geesh.
But it’ll be so worth it. Just take a look at the trailer below, making sure to watch it on the highest definition screen you have in your house.
Do we need a mop to clean up all your drool? Oh wait, that’s still just mine. Somebody get another mop!
In the campaign video below, Van Vuuren explains his process and his goals for the project, though making me googly-eyed wasn’t a part of it.
And now, just because, here’s Sitkovetsky masterfully playing the 3rd movement of Beethoven’s Violin Concerto. Space!