Still from To Space & Back
Geekadelphia was fortunate to attend an advance screening of the all-new FullDome planetarium show, To Space & Back, at the Fels Planetarium.
To Space & Back is the first-ever Franklin Institute-produced FullDome Planetarium show (co-produced by Sky-Skan), and is a stunning experience, both conceptually and in design, as it beautifully visualizes how certain technologies, originally created for advancements in space exploration, have paved the way for dozens of everyday devices in our lives. Within minutes, the audience is seamlessly transported from the inner-workings of the human eye to outer space, through the (surprisingly many) layers of satellites currently orbiting earth.
When asked about the highly collaborative process of co-producing To Space & Back, Derrick H. Pitts, Chief Astronomer and Planetarium Director of the Franklin Institute, stated “My favorite was doing the conceptual development for the storyboard,” as he elaborated on the research and creative process. Pitts also mentioned, in the audience Q&A following the premiere, that he traveled to London to supervise the narration of the movie, which was done by Top Gear‘s James May.
A particularly awe-inspiring moment in To Space & Back is when the highest resolution animation of the International Space Station, to-date, drifts across the dome. Outside of its elegant animation, To Space & Back also claims the title as the most technologically advanced FullDome show ever produced, with impressive specs: full 8K, 3D stereo, 60 frames per second.
To Space & Back has some additional local geekery and fun tucked into it: anyone with quick recognition will notice that the ‘starting location’, on land– before you’re brought into space– is in Philly, and set mere blocks from the Franklin Institute at City Hall. And that’s not the only bit camouflaged in To Space & Back: Philadelphia is mixed into every pixel, as one of the animations teams selected for the To Space & Back project, was 3FX: an animation studio and production house based out of Consohocken.
Though it will soon be distributed to select FullDome theaters, globally, be sure to catch To Space & Back at The Franklin Institute.