South African filmmaker Stephen van Vuuren has a surprise for you. His passion for the spectacular images of Saturn’s rings made by the orbiting Cassini spacecraft since 2004 inspired him to create the short test film Outside In back in 2010. Now he’s back with a bigger, better version In Saturn’s Rings.
Van Vuuren used thousands of images from the Cassini archive to create a strikingly realistic journey through the Saturn system in that early effort. Paired with Samuel Barber’s music Adagio for Strings, a lot of us got goosebumps watching it.
In the new, longer version retitled In Saturn’s Rings, van Vuuren has upped his game with more than a million images and new film techniques to create a high-definition IMAX film set to be released next year. Click on the photo to see the trailer, and be sure you select the ‘original 4K quality’ to revel in its full glory.
No computer generated images (CGI) were used in the movie, just the real thing. Only the motion was computer generated through zooming, panning, tilting, etc. similar to what you’d see in a PBS documentary. That’s what makes this movie special. And what better celebrity than Saturn to fill a full-dome screen with accompanying concert surround-sound?
If there was ever a cosmic object that demanded your full visual field, Saturn’s it. The rings span some155,000 miles (250,000 km). If one end of the ring plane were touching Earth, the other end would reach two-thirds the way to the moon. Yet the rings are exceptionally thin, only 30 feet (10 m) thick.
Once completed, the film is slated to run at IMAX theaters, full dome planetariums, museums and select movie theaters. In the meantime, enjoy a taste. More information about the project can be found on the movie’s website.