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Polly Katherine Hilton

A Beautiful Planet: A Cinematic Call To Action

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A Piece of The Whole

It’s rather easy, in the midst of this hubbub of a city, to forget that I am a crucial piece of a universal greatness.  I am a part of something complex, balanced, and beautiful.  I, along with the rest of Manhattan, and truly, the world, am a proud crewmember of our ‘spaceship earth.’  I’ve heard that phrase for years (after all, I did work at Walt Disney World and in turn, Epcot, for a time), but never has the idea of ‘spaceship earth,’ with all the responsibility, wonder, and intricacies that come with it, been more tangible than when I recently had the exclusive opportunity to view the film A Beautiful Planet.  A piece that marries the technological advancement and achievement of IMAX with the realities of space station living, A Beautiful Planet is a must-see for the bSmart woman.

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Get your tickets for A Beautiful Planet here!

About The Film

The film itself, which is simultaneously dizzying and breathtaking, invites audiences to take a brief journey out of this world, while highlighting the realities of working and living on the International Space Station.  This unscripted documentary, which is narrated by the smoky-voiced Oscar winner, Jennifer Lawrence, provides a mere snapshot of the landscape of Earth today, climate change and all.  Throughout the piece, a definite call-to-action resounds in regards to this controversial topic.  Upon sitting down with some of the astronauts featured in the film, as well as with powerhouse director, Toni Myers, it became even more evident that this plea for activism with regards to climate change is at the very heart of the project.  ‘I would hope that in making this film, we have inspired our audience, predominantly young people, as to what a beautiful place they are inheriting.  At the same time, it is such a fragile place… I would like to inspire people of all ages to actively look for solutions to pre-existing problems and problems that have yet to arise.  Let’s crack the energy crisis.  Let’s address climate change… It can be done, and the film optimistically illustrates that.’

Through captures depicting everything from the stunning aurora borealis, to the man-made lights of big cities that pepper the surface of our globe (the most stark and shocking of which was the physical light divide between North and South Korea), each cinematic moment was carefully crafted to begin a dialogue of unity and activism that resounded with me long after the credits rolled.    

People can’t simply say, (the earth) it’s too big a place, it’s not mine to save or my problem to solve. - Toni Myers, Director/Producer, A Beautiful Planet

About The Technology

I was completely swept away by the imagery rather than by the logistics that created A Beautiful Planet, so while watching the film at first blush, my mind never wandered to the process of production.  Perhaps that made the logistical reality all the more astounding—the fact that it was the crew of astronauts, experts in the sciences with only rudimentary cinematography training, armed with digital cameras, GoPros, a wish-list of shots, and a whole lot of duct tape, that made this movie a reality.  And what a breathtaking reality it is. 

Commander Terry Virts, who is a featured crewmember in the film, was quick to jump into the conversation in regards to the amazing quality provided by IMAX technology.  ‘This is the first movie filmed in all digital, and when you put that quality on a hundred foot screen it’s a once in a lifetime view.  This is the best way for people to experience what it’s like to fly in space.’  Whether you are a tech junkie or have little to no interest in what goes into a production such as this, the IMAX experience of A Beautiful Planet takes audiences to soaring new heights.

When I see an IMAX film, I expect to be wowed.  I expect it to be an experience rather than just a movie. This film puts you there.  Audiences have been said to feel a little space sick when watching… it’s just that close to the real deal. – Barry ‘Butch’ Wilmore, Astronaut/ Featured Crewmember, A Beautiful Planet  

People can’t simply say, (the earth) it’s too big a place, it’s not mine to save or my problem to solve. – Toni Myers, Director/Producer, A Beautiful Planet

To The Girl Who Wants A Future In Space

When I was an elementary school girl, one of my first book reports focused on Sally Ride, an American physicist and astronaut who became the first woman in space.  I vividly remember pouring over pages of information about her and dreaming of what it would be like to fall asleep next to stars.  While my career certainly hasn’t taken me to the moon and back again, it did land me in a room full of astronauts where I had the opportunity to personally ask Commander Terry Virts what advice he would give to a young girl yearning for space exploration.  His response left me feeling challenged and motivated.

I would tell her to go for it.  It can happen for her. For NASA, a technical background is important—engineering, medicine… There may come a time, someday, when we are flying so many people to space, technical backgrounds won’t be imperative.  It would be fantastic to take journalists (writers) to space—people who can use nouns and verbs much better than we scientists can—to tell our stories.  Until then, a technical background is key.  That being said, the most important thing in this life is doing something you love.  If you do something you love, you will do well at it.  Everybody has gifts.  Focus on those and then go for it!  Don’t be afraid of what others will say.  I applied for NASA when I was still in test-pilot school, and I was against more experienced people, people with years of training, better looking and more attractive guys than me, and guys that were just smarter.  Everyone told me, ‘Terry you are not going to get this,’ but most of those guys talking didn’t even apply.  I know I got lucky. But never tell yourself no.  If someone else is going to, then fine.  But don’t be the one to tell yourself you can’t achieve something. - Commander Terry Virts

A Beautiful Planet hits theatres Friday, April 29th.  Don’t miss out on this inspiring new look at the spaceship we call home, and the powerful message to protect our planet’s future. 

 

 

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