CFHT Copyright Contact
To the friendly visitor, a welcoming note by the film director
It took me seven years to create this film which I made to be enjoyed by all ages, by non-scientists and scientists alike. It is a representation of the realization of a dream I had as a teenager : becoming astronomer at the leading astronomical facility Canada - France - Hawaii Telescope (CFHT) atop Mauna Kea in Hawaii. Astronomy was not my only interest : photography has always been my favorite creative activity, branching out into filmmaking over the past decade.
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 cinematic 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 press reviews), 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.

Jean-Charles Cuillandre
Credits A film by Jean-Charles Cuillandre
Halo music by Martin O'Donnell and Michael Salvatori
CFHT astronomy images by Jean-Charles Cuillandre (CFHT) & Giovanni Anselmi (Coelum)
Film digital technology by Sidik Isani
Copyrights Footage and photographs © Jean-Charles Cuillandre
Astronomical Images © CFHT / Edizioni Scientifiche Coelum
Bungie Studios' Halo Soundtrack © Microsoft Corporation
Used under license from Warner Chappell Music
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