WASHINGTON (March 4, 2010)—National Geographic Cinema Ventures (NGCV) has selected Evans & Sutherland Computer Corporation (E&S) and Sky-Skan to convert and distribute its film “Forces of Nature” to digital planetariums and other fulldome theaters. This will be Sky-Skan’s first fulldome project with National Geographic; E&S previously acquired fulldome distribution rights to NGCV’s “Sea Monsters: A Prehistoric Adventure.”
“Forces of Nature,” originally released to giant-screen theaters in May 2004, invites viewers to experience some of our planet’s fiercest natural phenomena. From volcanic eruptions on the island of Montserrat and trembling fault lines in Turkey to storms ripping through the notorious “Tornado Alley” of America’s Midwest, modern-day disasters from around the globe are witnessed in eye-popping enormity on the giant screen. The film, by National Geographic in partnership with Graphic Films, and narrated by Kevin Bacon, captures inspiring and terrifying atmospheric and geological events, then takes audiences behind the disasters with scientists willing to risk their lives to understand these forces and increase our odds of surviving these events.
“We are actively pursuing both the conversion of our existing giant-screen films to fulldome as well as the creation of original content for the fulldome market, which we feel provides us with exciting opportunities,” said Mark Katz, president of distribution for NGCV. “The fulldome experience is a truly unique one for audiences, so we want to ensure a stream of content that will both entertain and educate today’s more demanding audiences. To that end, we are thrilled to be partnered with these two cutting-edge companies on the ‘Forces of Nature’ conversion.”
NGCV is part of National Geographic Entertainment. Building on its global reputation for remarkable visuals and compelling stories, NGCV produces original 2D and 3D productions for the world’s largest screens. NGCV also retains distribution rights to one of the largest film libraries in the giant-screen industry. Lisa Truitt is president of NGCV, and Mark Katz is president of NGCV Distribution.
About National Geographic Entertainment
National Geographic Entertainment combines into a single operating group National Geographic Films, National Geographic Cinema Ventures, Kids Entertainment, Home Entertainment and Music & Radio. In 2005 National Geographic Films co-presented the Academy Award-winning “March of the Penguins.” National Geographic World Films co-presented both the 2004 Oscar-nominated film “The Story of the Weeping Camel,” which received the Director’s Guild Award for best documentary and was nominated for an Academy Award, and Lu Chuan’s “Mountain Patrol: Kekexili.” National Geographic Cinema Ventures released the 3D concert film “U2 3D” to critical acclaim and set giant-screen box office records with “Mysteries of Egypt” and “Sea Monsters: A Prehistoric Adventure.”
About Evans & Sutherland
Evans & Sutherland in conjunction with its wholly owned subsidiary, Spitz Inc., creates innovative digital planetarium systems and cutting-edge, fulldome show content. E&S has developed Digistar 4, the world’s leading digital planetarium with fulldome video playback, real-time computer graphics, and a complete 3D digital astronomy package fully integrated into a single theater system. This technology allows audiences to be immersed in full-color, 3D computer-generated worlds and to interact with these worlds. As a full-service system provider, E&S also offers Spitz domes, SciDome, hybrid planetarium systems including Goto optical mechanical projectors integrated with Digistar 4 and a full range of theater systems from audio and lighting to theater automation. E&S markets include planetariums, science centers, themed attraction venues, and premium large-format theaters. E&S products have been installed in over 1,300 theaters worldwide. Visit the E&S Web site at http://www.es.com.
In 1967, Sky-Skan began creating unique special effects projectors for planetariums. In the 1980s, SPICE Automation synchronized planetariums and giant-screen theaters. In the late 1990s, SkyVision sparked a fulldome video revolution. Today, Definiti theaters with DigitalSky 2 software present the world’s most immersive real-time astronomy presentations in addition to other sciences, entertainment and art. Definiti theaters include Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum, University of Notre Dame, Horizon Planetarium in Australia, the Queen Mary 2, Beijing Planetarium (first 8K fulldome theater), ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center of Hawai’i (first 3D stereoscopic planetarium) and the Macao Science Center (8K and 3D stereo).