A story about future and space travel told by an ISS Timelapse and messages from astronauts.
I’m not the first one to use NASA’s pictures taken from the International Space Station to craft a Timelapse video. You can find many of them on the Internet, that’s where my inspiration came from.
What I wanted to do, though, was to look beyond the intrinsic beauty of those pictures, and use them to tell a story and share the messages sent by the astronauts who worked on the station in the last 11 years.
A message from Space
The story tells about a group of pioneer astronauts, working on the ISS to open a Gateway to space for all humankind. Their voices, crackling with the static, tell us their story of exploration while a day passes on Earth, from dawn to sunset. They are aware that what they are building can’t be of any use for mankind until people on Earth understand that they must think without borders, promoting cooperation between nations, as the astronauts learnt by working together and by watching our Planet from above.
The astronauts send their wishes to the people down on Earth, their last thoughts fading out as they are flying above an aurora borealis and the lights of European cities.
Then, suddenly, a burst of light: the Gateway to Space is opened.
The ISS gains speed, flying faster and faster to the stars, the astronauts ready to leave our planet, which they see getting smaller and spinning faster and faster, melting borders, oceans and people together, ready to follow them, Further Up Yonder.
Watch with subtitles (English, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese so far, but you can contribute by adding your language)
As a filmmaking student, this was my first attempt to craft a timelapse video. It has been a time consuming process, but it turned out as one of my most satisfying projects.
I focused my workflow on colours and harmony of movements, syncing every frame with the music and the voices of the astronauts. Every picture has been post processed individually before being imported in the NLE software, as I tried to take the most out of every image in terms of colours, contrast and neatiness.
Pictures were downloaded from the Image Science & Analysis Laboratory, NASA Johnson Space Center and edited with Photoshop CS6. Even if they were Hi-res images shot with Nikon D3S cameras, a lot of noise removal and color correction was needed, especially for those shots at ISO 3200, which was the highest ISO speed limit I’ve allowed myself to use, exception made for the last sequence of the spinning world, which comes from a sequenze of shots taken at ISO 12800. Daytime shots were taken at ISO 200. I’ve used Topaz Denoise 5 for noise removal, as it is very powerful and accurate when dealing with shadows and blacks.
Editing was made with Adobe Premiere CS6, with a 2K workflow, which allowed me to scale, rotate and pan image sequences whose native resolution is 4K. The video was downscaled to 1280×720 resolution for Vimeo. The poriginal 2K version is available for download on my blog.
Images courtesy of Image Science & Analysis Laboratory, NASA Johnson Space Center, downloadable for non-commerical use from http://eol.jsc.nasa.gov/
Music: Synthetic Truth, di digitalR3public – licensed under a Creative Commons – Attribution 3.0 License
Audio messages courtesy of NASA: http://www.nasa.gov