What’s Up This Week (er Month) with ISR

It’s been too long since I posted an update (there will be a larger email update in April) but here’s a quick tour of what’s going on.

  • Progress and challenges on the opening section

The primary section of that film that is behind schedule – the fly-through of the universe from the Beginning to Earth – about 1/4 of the film – is coming along. We have solved the complex challenges and now it’s just a matter of doing the work. We have the unexpected challenge of cleaning up stars out of 5.5 million galaxy cutouts (more about that here). This is going to ultimately delay the film another 4 months, but I’m over halfway through (3 Million+) and working at a faster speed thank to programmable mice and other tricks.

  • The rest of the team working on the opening section has figured out exactly how to place all these 5.5 million galaxies in this section so everything is the correct distance and scale. This will be BY FAR the largest and most complex photographic animation in history. Here’s a simple diagram Bill Eberly who leads up the team has put together. He will be horrified since it was just for internal use explaining the complex math and code, but I think it helps give an idea of what exactly we are doing. Click to see the full size.


  • Finally, next week I will be in the Outer Banks of NC getting the very last photographs for the film (about 10,000 or so). This was originally supposed to be at the Kennedy Space Center back in April 2014, but if you recall, I suffered a serious ankle injury Feb 24th that year. It was supposed to then be rescheduled for late Dec 2014 when I was recovered enough from ankle and kidney stones, but NASA &KSC red tape has held it up ever since. Finally, I had to cancel and come up with an alternate shoot which I feel is still true to the script and will be just as good. So heading to Rodanthe, NC to get panoramic stills and time lapse at high resolutions to fit the concept of “shores of the cosmic ocean”.
  • Before and after packing pics…


  • Peg Parham
    Posted at 02:38h, 23 March

    Stephen, Glad to see the update. Very excited about your progress. I was just talking up the film this weekend. Standing by, if you need to assign me something else to work on. ‘Break a leg” in Rodanthe, but not really, OK!?! No ankles or kidneys either.

    • stephen v2
      Posted at 02:48h, 23 March

      Thanks! We will have things to get help with and will be sure to let you know.

  • Jim Schenkenberg
    Posted at 11:45h, 23 March

    Stephen, you and your team are amazing!!!! And what patience!!!!
    Jim S

  • Mr Khagol
    Posted at 18:59h, 23 March

    I’ve been watching over all updates. Man, I just can’t wait until film comes out. All the best in your endeavors.

  • etienne
    Posted at 20:52h, 25 March

    tres impatient !!!! Vivement le film et la suite qui sais ca va cartonné

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    Posted at 01:33h, 31 March

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