IMAX® Audiences Embark on a Cosmic Voyage Through Time and Space
Beginning this summer, audiences will have the unique opportunity to experience the wonders of the cosmos and explore humanity's true place in the vast continuum of nature -- from the tiniest building blocks of matter to superclusters of galaxies in outer space.
Making its world premiere on Friday, August 9, 1996 in Washington, DC and opening worldwide in the following months, Cosmic Voyage, the newest IMAX® format film from the Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum, takes viewers on a spectacular journey through the known dimensions of our universe. Narrated by three-time Academy Award® nominee Morgan Freeman, the 35-minute film is a special commemorative program of the Smithsonian Institution's 150th and the National Air and Space Museum's 20th anniversaries. Cosmic Voyage is sponsored by the Motorola Foundation with additional support from the National Science Foundation and will be distributed worldwide by Imax Corporation.
Highlighting Cosmic Voyage is a "cosmic zoom" extending from the surface of the Earth to the largest observable structures of the universe, and then back down into the sub-nuclear realm -- a guided tour across some 42 orders of magnitude!
Produced by Jeffrey Marvin and Bayley Silleck and written and directed by Bayley Silleck, Cosmic Voyage breaks new ground in filmmaking both on and off the screen. The film presents the latest scientific information on the formation and structure of our universe in a breathtaking and ambitious blend of live action footage and cutting-edge computer animation, which accounts for an unprecedented 15 minutes of the IMAX® film. In fact, key members of the production team developed a new technology called the "Virtual Director" to help simulate the computer-generated images, a process which is enticing Hollywood filmmakers.
This larger-than-life film format allows viewers to observe stupendous events such as the explosion of the "Big Bang," the collision of galaxies and the development of our own solar system. Viewers will also experience the smaller universe that exists on the microscopic level, by flying through a carbon atom and viewing quarks ... the smallest known building blocks of matter.
"Cosmic Voyage not only makes us aware of the tremendous advances in scientific exploration in our lifetime, but also reveals how much we have yet to learn," remarks Dr. Robert Hoffmann, the National Air and Space Museum's acting director. "Each new discovery leads to new questions. The National Air and Space Museum hopes that this film will inspire and spark the curiosity of the next generation of scientists and cosmic explorers."
Live action sequences for this production were filmed on location in Greece, Italy, Holland, Hawaii and Utah. Macrophotography was produced at Image Quest in England, while computer animation sequences were created by Santa Barbara Studios, the University of Illinois's National Center for Supercomputing Applications and Pixar Studios.
Cosmic Voyage is the eighth giant-screen IMAX® film presented by the Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum, following the enormous success of such films as To Fly!, The Dream Is Alive, Blue Planet and Destiny In Space.
Acclaimed actor Morgan Freeman, narrator of Cosmic Voyage, is best known for his roles in such feature films as: Moll Flanders, Robin Hood: The Prince of Thieves, The Shawshank Redemption, Driving Miss Daisy, Glory and Street Smart. In addition to three Academy Award nominations for best actor in Street Smart, Driving Miss Daisy and The Shawshank Redemption, Freeman received a Golden Globe Award for his performance in Driving Miss Daisy. Freeman has also earned wide-spread acclaim for his work both on and off Broadway including a Tony Award nomination for his role in The Mighty Gents and four Obie Awards.
IMAX technology, invented by Imax Corporation, uses the largest film frame in motion picture history (ten times the size of conventional 35mm and three times the size of standard 70mm), together with wrap-around digital sound systems and the most advanced projection system ever built, to support the network of more than 130 specially-designed theaters around the world. Since the IMAX medium premiered in 1970, more than 510 million people have enjoyed the IMAX experience. IMAX® is a registered trademark of Imax Corporation, Toronto, Canada.
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