WASHINGTON (June 6, 2011)—It’s an unlikely scenario: a creature the approximate size and shape of a modern-day giraffe with a wingspan of 45 feet flying through the air. A figment of the imagination? Hardly. In “Flying Monsters 3D,” world-renowned naturalist Sir David Attenborough immerses audiences in a prehistoric world to witness the story of pterosaurs. These giant flying monsters were a mysterious group of winged vertebrates that ruled the skies while dinosaurs roamed the Earth. Produced by award-winning Atlantic Productions in association with Sky 3D, and distributed by National Geographic Entertainment’s Cinema Ventures (NGCV), the film is opening worldwide in giant-screen theaters and digital 3-D cinemas throughout 2011. It is scheduled to premiere across North America in several cities simultaneously on Oct. 7, 2011.
Applying the same state-of-the-art 3-D CGI technology used in “Avatar,” “Flying Monsters” also employs pioneering scientific techniques that reveal new details about pterosaurs. The groundbreaking new adventure film is already earning accolades, including a 2011 BAFTA Award from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts.
“It’s almost as if this animated 3-D technology was created to tell our story. Bringing back to life something unique that had never been captured on film — creatures that had become extinct hundreds of millions of years ago — is an extraordinary opportunity, and immersing audiences in the giant-screen experience creates a whole prehistoric world,” said producer Anthony Geffen, CEO of Atlantic Productions, who also produced and directed the recently released and widely praised 35mm and giant-screen National Geographic film “The Wildest Dream: Conquest of Everest,” the dramatic story of George Mallory’s attempt to become the first person to summit Mount Everest.
“Pterosaurs are marvelously suited to 3-D because they move, they fly, they swoop, they glide, and it’s thrilling to see the world as they did and to watch as the largest flying creatures the world has ever known come to life in every detail,” said Attenborough, the film’s writer and narrator.
The story is told from a series of stunning environments around the world, where discoveries have been made that help us understand the incredible evolution of pterosaurs and resolve mysteries that have intrigued scientists for more than two centuries.
An astounding find last year in China led to a revelation about Darwinopterus, a transitional pterosaur and one of the most skilled aerial predators. In central France, there is evidence on a beach where pterosaurs left vivid traces of their presence in a kind of preserved pterosaur runway covered in tracks that may have been the key to their global proliferation 100 million years after they first evolved. The film also shows the truly amazing ways in which pterosaurs began to evolve, as seen in Tapejara, one of the oddest creatures ever to fly, and Quetzalcoatlus, the largest animal ever to fly. Sometimes reaching sizes equivalent to a jumbo jetliner, the latter lived in what is now New Mexico and was discovered by paleontologist Doug Lawson. A CT scan is performed in the film that shows its bones were hollow.
“National Geographic was immediately intrigued by ‘Flying Monsters’ and the idea of helping to unravel one of the most enduring mysteries of paleontology in an engaging and visual way — by using pioneering science, real discoveries and cutting-edge 3-D technology and computer graphics as visuals,” said Lisa Truitt, president, NGCV.
After millions of years of successfully dominating the skies, what happened to these magnificent creatures? Did a meteor 65 million years ago cause their ultimate demise? Was it the rise of birds that eventually drove them to extinction? Audiences will marvel at the pterosaurs’ view of a world they dominated for millions of years, in an adventure film that soars to new heights and dramatically changes our understanding of pterosaur evolution.
For more information on “Flying Monsters 3D,” updates on where the film is opening and links to preview the film, visit www.flyingmonsters-movie.com. To become a fan on Facebook, join facebook.com/natgeomovies. Follow the film on Twitter @natgeomovies.
About Atlantic Productions
Atlantic Productions is one of the world’s leading factual production companies whose films have been seen around the world. Atlantic’s award-winning and acclaimed films and series include “The Promised Land” (BBC/Discovery), “The Greeks: Crucible of Civilisation” (BBC/PBS), “Munich: Mossad’s Revenge” (Channel 4/Discovery/La7/FremantleMedia), “Predator X” (History/ZDF/NRK/ BBC Worldwide), “Egypt Unwrapped” (National Geographic Channel/Five/FremantleMedia) and “The Link” (History/BBC/ZDF/NRK). Since it was founded in 1992, Atlantic has sought fresh ways to tell often complex stories, embracing new techniques and technologies and building pioneering cross-platform projects. Atlantic’s theatrical feature documentary “The Wildest Dream,” produced with Altitude Films, released in 2010 by National Geographic Entertainment and Serengeti Entertainment into theaters and giant-screen theaters around the world. For more information, visit www.atlanticproductions.co.uk.
About National Geographic Entertainment
National Geographic Entertainment (NGE) is part of National Geographic Global Media and combines into a single operating group National Geographic Films (NGF), National Geographic Cinema Ventures (NGCV), Kids Entertainment and Music & Radio. Over the last decade, NGE units have released and produced a number of successful films in both traditional and giant-screen theaters, including the Oscar-nominated documentaries “Restrepo” and “The Story of the Weeping Camel”; the Oscar-winning film “March of the Penguins”; giant-screen films “Sea Monsters: A Prehistoric Adventure,” “The Wildest Dream,” “U2 3D” and “Mysteries of Egypt”; and traditional feature-length films “The First Grader,” “The Last Lions,” “The Way Back” and “Amreeka.” Daniel Battsek is president of NGF; Lisa Truitt is president of NGCV; and Mark Katz is president of NGCV distribution.