On the 40th anniversary of the famous ‘Blue Marble’ photograph taken of Earth from space, Planetary Collective presents a short film documenting astronauts’ life-changing stories of seeing the Earth from the outside – a perspective-altering experience often described as the Overview Effect.
The Overview Effect, first described by author Frank White in 1987, is an experience that transforms astronauts’ perspective of the planet and mankind’s place upon it. Common features of the experience are a feeling of awe for the planet, a profound understanding of the interconnection of all life, and a renewed sense of responsibility for taking care of the environment.
‘Overview’ is a short film that explores this phenomenon through interviews with five astronauts who have experienced the Overview Effect. The film also features insights from commentators and thinkers on the wider implications and importance of this understanding for society, and our relationship to the environment.
• EDGAR MITCHELL – Apollo 14 astronaut and founder of the Institute of Noetic Sciences
• RON GARAN – ISS astronaut and founder of humanitarian organization Fragile Oasis
• NICOLE STOTT – Shuttle and ISS astronaut and member of Fragile Oasis
• JEFF HOFFMAN – Shuttle astronaut and senior lecturer at MIT
• SHANE KIMBROUGH – Shuttle/ISS astronaut and Lieutenant Colonel in the US Army
• FRANK WHITE – space theorist and author of the book ‘The Overview Effect’
• DAVID LOY- philosopher and author
• DAVID BEAVER – philosopher and co-founder of The Overview Institute
Producer: STEVE KENNEDY
Director: GUY REID
Editor: STEVE KENNEDY
Director of Photography: CHRISTOPHER FERSTAD
Original Score: HUMAN SUITS
Dubbing Mixer: PATCH MORRISON
Filmed with Canon 5D Mk ii.
Additional footage from NASA / ESA archives
Duration: 19 minutes
In 1980 Shanghai had no skyscrapers. It now has at least 4,000 — more than twice as many as New York. ‘This is Shanghai’ explores the diversities and eccentricities of the metropolis that is Shanghai going beyond the famous skyline.
Photographer Rob Whitworth and urban identity expert JT Singh joined forces combining deep city exploration and pioneering filmmaking. ‘This is Shanghai’ is a roller coaster ride seamlessly weaving between the iconic, sparkling and mismatched buildings of the financial district travelling by boat and taxi touring Shanghai’s impressive infrastructure whilst glimpsing some of the lesser-known aspects of Shanghai life such as the lower stratum areas or the stunning graffiti of Moganshan road. And of course there is the opportunity to try some of the vast variety of street food and Shanghai’s most popular homegrown delicacy, the pan-fried pork dumplings, the shengjian bao.
Wherever you travel in Shanghai the cities skyline is always present. The looming silhouette of the almost constructed Shanghai Tower now dominates and perfectly encapsulates the new heights this city is yet to reach. Once completed, in 2014, it will be the tallest building in China and the second tallest in the world after the Burj Khalifa in Dubai.
To understand the city, the team carried out rigorous urban exploration. In the words of JT “we walked, walked and walked, the Jane Jacobs way”. Weibo, China’s main social media platform was used to ask local Shanghainese people to share ideas of different vantage points and what they thought were the over-riding characteristics of the city. Stealth and curiosity were required to find and gain access to rooftops and locations. It became addictive for the team discovering breath-taking vantage points of the city. There was always an adrenaline rush upon reaching the top of a different building to see the vast urban jungle of Shanghai.
Rob Whitworth (robwhitworth.co.uk/) is a creative time lapse photographer from the UK based in Asia. His previous videos, ‘Traffic in Frenetic HCMC’ and ‘Kuala Lumpur DAY-NIGHT’ have received international attention including being short listed for 7 film festivals, and have had received well over 2 million online views.
JT Singh (jtsingh.com/) has explored hundreds of emerging cities around the world and is a next generation thinker about the value and impact of 21st century cities. Having grown up in Toronto JT is now based in China. He explains:
“The over-riding reason we made this video was to creatively show the world visually how China is rising, in particular Chinese cities. Just as New York City exemplified the strengths and ambitions of emerging America in the 20th century, Shanghai, perhaps more than any old or emerging rival, will personify the power and dreams of rising Asia in the 21st century.”
Featuring an array of scenes from the North American landscape, EYE OF THE BEHOLDER is a short film that encourages the viewer to shed previous conceptions and ideas about the world, and to return to a place of wonderment and awe.
Shot on location in the High Sierra Nevada, Canadian Rockies and Southern Appalachians.
Original text inspired by the writer's daughter, Mistaya Joy, and Eckhart Tolle's "A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose".
Special thanks to:
Karen Urquhart , Guy Thorsby , Erik Huber, Paul Zizka, Doris Doster & the USFS - Nantahala Ranger District , The McClure Family, The Urquhart Family, Wendall Beason, Maggie Caldwell, Mike Posehn, Brian @ emotimo.com, Chris Pritchard, Yosemite Steve, Oscar and Julie @ aperturent.com, Jay & Chris @ dynamicperception.com, Fred Beal, Andy Hendrix
Shot with Canon 5D3 (Magic Lantern Raw video module), 6D, 7D, T3i (solar-powered camera) and Rebel 400D (solar-powered camera). Samyang Cine Primes (14mm, 24mm, 85mm), Canon 14mm, 17-55 EF-S and 10-22 EF-S, Timelapsecontroller.com
00:10 - Small pond nestled below a cliff on the southern edge of Minaret Lake. High Sierra, CA + 00:21 - Sunset view from the summit of Mt Craig in Pisgah National Forest. Black Mtns. North Carolina. + 00:30 - Lassen Volcano reflected in Lake Helen. Lassen NP, CA + 00:34 - Multi-directional clouds soar while crepuscular rays radiate above a morning inversion blanketing the town of Franklin, NC. Shot from the Albert Mtn Fire Tower, located directly on the AT. Nantahala National Forest. + 00:39 - Sunset at Minaret Lake, Ansel Adams Wilderness + 00:43 - Our home galaxy illuminates a devastated area (wind damage) along the John Muir trail. CA + 00:55 - Sunrise at Minaret Lake. High Sierras, CA + 01:03 - Big Sur coast. CA + 01:07 - Evening light on McWay Falls. Big Sur, CA + 01:11 - McArthur-Burney Falls, road to Shasta, CA + 01:15 - Winter at Mistaya Canyon, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada + 01:19 - Full moon above Nantahala National Forest. Albert Mtn Summit + 01:23 - The Milky Way shines over the dancing maritime fog layer. Big Sur / Lucia, CA + 01:32 - White Oak tree atop Lookout Mountain, GA. Summer to Winter + 01:37 - White Oak, Lookout Mountain, GA. Winter. + 01:43 - Apple orchard, winter, Franklin, NC + 01:50 - Yamnuska Mtn, Winter, Front range, Canadian Rockies + 01:55 - Morning light on the Minarets. Minaret Lake, High Sierras, CA + 02:00 - Morning light on the redwoods of Pfeiffer State Park. Big Sur, CA + 02:06 - Australian tree fern + 02:07 - Winter moonlight above Bow Lake. Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada + 02:10 - Autumn colors at Sweetwater Creek State park. Atlanta, Georgia + 02:14 - Albert Mountain Summit - Summer to winter, fall foliage change. Nantahala National Forest + 02:23 -+ Full moon and fall colors at Lake Nantahala. Nantahala National Forest, NC + 02:27 - Nantahala River, NC + 02:32 - Sunset with Crepuscular rays illuminating the Appalachian Trail. Cheoah Bald Summit. Nantahala National Forest, NC + 02:39 - Afternoon at Cecile Lake. High Sierras, CA + 02:43 - The Galactic core illuminates the outlet stream / pond at Minaret Lake. High Sierras, CA + 02:46 - Evening light at Pfeiffer beach. Big Sur, CA + 02:51 - Sunset above the Pacific. Coastal Ridge - Santa Lucia Mountains, Big Sur, CA + 02:55 - Our home galaxy blazes above the dancing maritime fog layer. Big Sur / Lucia, CA
"Words reduce reality to something the human mind can grasp, which isn’t very much. Language consists of five basic sounds produced by the vocal cords. They are the vowels a, e, i, o, u. The other sounds are consonants produced by air pressure: s, f, g, and so forth. Do you believe some combination of such basic sounds could ever explain who you are, or the ultimate purpose of the universe, or even what a tree or stone is in its depth?" - Eckhart Tolle