Mauna Kea is a very special place, I felt it the second I set foot on the mountain
in 1993. I was however struck how time seemed to stand still, and so did burgeon the idea
of time accelerated cinematography : coupled with highly sensitive digital cameras capturing
the starlight and nighttime landscape, this film technique reveals the magic of the place through
beauty. My work as an astronomer specialized in all techniques pertaining to high
resolution digital imaging offers me the great privilege of producing beautiful
true colors still images of the Universe for the CFHT using its 340 megapixels digital camera.
I saw fit to create a visual experience putting in context the way the observatory sees
the Universe : within sequences of captivating daytime and nighttime terrestrial timelapse
footage of the telescope domes, Mauna Kea, and Hawaii ; all free of any computer generated imagery.
This film defies classification : even though there is an underlying story line,
the film is first and foremost an invitation to the contemplation of nature's beauty.
Narration would distract the audience from the visuals, in consequence only
music accompanies the footage. Words mostly fail to explain the film (though
professional writers succeeded in these
hence I wanted the two trailers presented on this site to be a true representation
of what the entire film experience is about.
A goal of this film is to bring astronomy to the public and this DVD is an effective way
to achieve this through some educational oriented special features which do engage audiences
at home and in the classroom.
I want to thank the following people as the film would not be without their key contribution :
Marty O'Donnell, a truly gifted music composer and audio director at Bungie Studios ;
the ever effective staff of the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope ;
Sidik Isani, the software wizard who always managed to deliver what I dreamed up ;
the passionate Roberta Zabotti and Giovanni Anselmi from Edizioni Scientifiche Coelum ;
Microsoft Game Studios for being supportive to this special project.