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Tomorrow is Steve’s birthday.
Because I write this blog, a lot of what is covered centres on my story. But while I write and subject myself to guinea pig trials, Steve is consistently working away on his film business. It’s impressive in itself that he’s been able to do this on the road, but even more so when you look at what he and the other members of Planetary Collective have managed to achieve. It blows my mind.
So, in honour of the man who I think is the best of this universe’s people, I’d like to shout a little about some of what he’s achieved this past year gone by.
I think the best way to do this is to re-publish a letter he and Planetary sent to all their supporters on the anniversary of their first film, Overview, in December. It’s a great round-up of the impact this beautiful film has had. Steve is the Creative Director of Planetary Collective and the Producer and Editor of their films.
A letter from Planetary Collective
It’s amazing to think a whole year has passed since we released our first major short film – Overview.
We were deeply honoured to launch the film at Harvard with a brilliant discussion panel of astronauts and philosophers from the film, visual effects genius Doug Trumbull, and our director Guy Reid. You can watch the entire launch online.
It was an great start, but the success and spread of the film has exceeded all our hopes and expectations, with current online viewing figures at 4.7 million. It’s been quite a ride thus far, so we wanted to take a moment to reflect on the film, one year on.
Beyond just the spreading of a film, this whole endeavor was about spreading an idea – the Overview Effect itself, an experience that points to our essential inseparability from the planet, as well as its indescribable beauty. Six months before we launched the film, we decided to start testing the water: we set up some Google Alerts and started monitoring Twitter for discussions of the Overview Effect. There was very little, if any, discussion of the idea circulating the internet.
Since the launch of the film, the change has been huge. The ways we interact and disseminate information on the internet means that an idea can spread far quicker than ever before. We’ve seen art, poetry, music, dialogues, discussions, and articles about the Overview Effect and its message appear all over the internet in many different languages. We’ve been personally contacted by many of the people creating these things, as well as people looking to screen the film at their local schools, churches and festivals.
The beauty and fragility of our home planet is a powerful message, and a timely one. It’s also one that can be understood by people of any age, and all over the planet. Overview is currently being translated by volunteers all around the world into their own native languages by people keen to share the message even further. In Frank White’s own words: “The idea of the Overview Effect has spread further in the last year than it did in the 25 years before it since the book was first published.” Frank and the Overview Institute are now on a mission to take the film even further – check out their 1:100 Campaign. It’s been heart-warming to watch as the film and message spread, and we’re humbled to be a part of it.
Environmental Media Award
Overview won an EMA (Environmental Media Award) for Best Digital Content in October. Our production manager Blaire Embrey went to the Warner Bros Studios in LA to collect the award, among other award recipients such as, Matt Damon, Bill McKibben, and the makers of Gasland.
Check out the whole event online. (Jump to 27 minutes to see Blaire’s awesome acceptance speech).
Planetary Collective x United Purpose
In September, we teamed up with the awesome United Purpose to stage an event at the Red Bull Music Academy in New York. We screened Overview and the CONTINUUM trailer to 120 people and hosted a panel with two astronauts (Ron Garan and Mike Massimino), and environmentalist (Elizabeth Thomspon) and a Zen priest (Angel Kyodo Williams). There was live music, incredible food, and some great connections were formed.
We launched our Kickstarter campaign for CONTINUUM with screenings of the trailer and Overview at simultaneous events in New York, Chicago and Albuquerque. They were all amazing events that fired up the beginning of our campaign in an excellent way.
Other highlights from Overview’s first year
- After a special screening of Overview, director Guy Reid answered questions for an audience of more than 600 students at the Francis Parker High School in Chicago, IL.
- In November, the National Air and Space Museum in Washington DC hosted a screening of Overview, featuring a panel discussion with Frank White, David Beaver and two astronauts.
- Overview is now screened as part of Jail Education Solutions program, an organization whose mission is “to replace daytime television in jails and correctional facilities with educational and edifying programming.”
- The Sacred Resonance Festival screened Overview in Adelaide in September as part of a celebration of the International Day of Peace.
- Overview was featured in a televised interview with ISS Commander Chris Hadfield on the George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight Show. Jump to 5:40 to see them discuss the film.
- Overview was shown at the Buddhist Geeks Conference 2013, with David Loy also playing the trailer for CONTINUUM as part of his talk, “The Cosmos Wakes Up”
- The Microwave Festival in Hong Kong hosted an exhibition inspired by the film called The Overview Effect & Other Planetary Interconnections, featuring artworks from France, Germany, South Africa, Brazil, Portugal and the US that demonstrated “thought-provoking planetary interconnections”.
- Brainspace Magazine, a Canadian augmented reality digital magazine aimed at students aged 8-13 featured the film in its entirety in their November edition.
- Overview’s first full-colour print review appeared in independent film magazine Gorilla in the UK
- Upworthy.com have been incredibly supportive of the film (we owe a huge amount of views to them), listing us as one of their Top Ten Most Shared Things from their first year.
- Overview got its first broadcast airtime on Dutch TV channel VPRO.
Overview is a prelude to our upcoming feature documentary, and after a year of success we are excited to move into the next phase.
Thanks for supporting what we’re doing. More updates coming very soon.
Steve, Christoph and Guy
Yay! Aren’t they awesome?!