Ice Museum Explained ISVRI 2011 (2011)
An attempt to explain some of the ideas behind ‘The Ice Museum’ fulldome movie.
This was made for the ISVRI 2011 conference in Singapore, where it is being presented by my collaborator, Paul Bourke.
The audience is, of course, a scientifically-interested one, so that is why I have chosen to emphasise this aspect, as opposed to the human story, both within and behind the project.
Nevertheless, that story is an important part of what I want to explore – striking the balance is the challenge.
Work-in-progress, needless to say.
The fulldome feature is serious business,
scheduled for 2012 – a lot of work. I plan to release a version vision-rectified for 16:9 on 1080P suitable for HDTV broadcast, Blu-ray and DVD (so, yes, the POV will be selective and reduced from 4k fulldome), as well as a 3D stereoscopic version – which will vary slightly in content due to the systems/approaches used. The idea here is that these off-shoots could cross-subsidize each other.
My touchstones for this project as it develops are a mixture between what-is-possible-for-fulldome (not only visually, but audially in a multi-channel surround-space); Peter Greenaway (the early funny stuff – to paraphrase Woody Allen – like ‘Prospero’s Books’ and ‘A Zed and Two Noughts’); Jacob Bronowski’s ‘The Ascent of Man’; Brian Greene’s ‘The Elegant Universe’ (NOVA); the wonderful “Wonders of the Solar System’ by Brian Cox (BBC); Errol Morris’ ‘Mr Death’ & ‘First Person’ and, last but not least, any of the ‘Connections’ series by James Burke (BBC). But without a presenter.
I look at these visually, through their clever visual metaphors, and I am convinced this is interesting territory awaiting further exploration. Of course, fulldome is the visual medium par excellence, yet one easily undermined by a poor quality script. Working with my clever team of clever writers and researchers, we’re aiming higher.
Needless to say, I certainly won’t be doing the voice-over: that will be a montage of voices dramatising the original texts, giving voice to the expeditioners, with a linking narrative by a skilled voice actor. I have someone in mind.
I trust the haunting beautiful imagery will explain itself – it has a long way to go and much will be done with it, but the essential immersive content is there: a sense of place that no other medium can match – this unique, historic place at the end of the Earth – that is the originary locus of Australian Antarctic Science.