McCann is doing some program promotion and experiential work for the new National Geographic series, "One Strange Rock." Ever since going over the press materials, I can’t get David Bowie’s “Major Tom” out of my head.
I wonder why that one and not Elton John’s “Rocket Man?” I don’t know -- maybe because Bowie was out first with his song by a couple of years.
Anyway, the new show, which debuts later this month, is designed to give viewers an astronaut’s view of the earth — both literally and figuratively — and no doubt will feature a lot of footage of the Pale Blue Dot, as the late Carl Sagan put it, from space.
Those inventive scamps at McCann came up with what they’re calling the “Space Projection Helmet” to give wearers a simulated view of what astronauts see when they’re looking at earth from space. Pretty cool, right? And they had a ton of help from outside firms, so I’ll provide the list of credits below so nobody gets their cosmic feathers ruffled.
According to the agency, the feat was accomplished using replica space helmets with projection technology that creates an immersive viewing experience with a combination of laser projection, custom fish-eye optics and a special audio technique.
McCann says the experience is even better than in-market VR headsets, because the space helmet offers a wider field of view and is designed so the users can freely move their heads inside of the dome to look around the entire field of vision, just as an astronaut would wearing a helmet in space.
The space projection helmets were showcased at tonight’s premiere event for the program at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall in New York City and will tour schools and planetariums in select cities this spring.
Hosted by Will Smith, the 10-part "One Strange Rock" debuts on Nat Geo March 26. It is executive produced by Darren Aronofsky and Ari Handel from Protozoa Pictures and Jane Root and Arif Nurmohamed from Nutopia and features astronauts Nicole Stott, Jeff Hoffman, Leland Melvin, Mike Massimino, Peggy Whitson, Jerry Linenger, Chris Hadfield and Mae Jemison.
According to McCann, the astronauts involved in the show gave two thumbs up for the helmet experience after giving it a try.
Here’s a video about the making of the helmet.
And here are the helmet credits:
Dennis Camlek, EVP Strategy & Consumer Marketing
Chris Spencer, EVP Creative
Kevin Bulmer, VP Strategy & Consumer Marketing
Brandon Kessler, Associate Marketing Manager
Katie Morrow, Sr. Director Strategy & Consumer Marketing
Chris Albert, EVP Global Communication & Talent Relations
Jennifer DeGuzman, VP Communications & Talent Relations
Eric Silver, Chief Creative Officer - North America
Tom Murphy & Sean Bryan, Co-
Chief Creative Officers – New York
Chris Mitton, Executive Creative Director
Nir Refuah, Executive Technology Creative Director
Pete Sherer, Sr. Copy Writer
Rick Cohen, Sr. Art Director
Ryan Quigley, Associate Creative Director
Andrew Hajjar, Associate Creative Director
Nathy Aviram, Chief Production Officer
Christine Lane, Executive Producer – Innovation
Cindi Blondell, Executive Producer
Courtney Fallow, Lead Producer - Innovation
Jeremy Miller, Chief Communications Officer
Neena Koyen, Director Brand
Rob Rawley, Executive Global Account Director
Jennifer Prieto, Account Director
Juliana Cresci, Account Supervisor
Savanah Brihn, Group Strategy Director
Colin Parajon, Sr. Strategist
Ethel Jones, Sr. Project Manager
Eric Perini, Sr. Brand Content Creator
Brett Berman, Brand Content Creator
Aude Cuenod, Brand Content Creator
Tomorrow Lab – Helmet Design & Production:
Pepin Gelardi, Lead Designer
Theodore Ullrich, Lead Interaction Designer
Shelby Thompson, Coordinator
Ben Oppenheimer, Associate Designer
Tan Tran, Product Design Engineer
Jing Wen Zhu, Interaction Designer
Dorian Fernandez, Electrical Engineer
Joe Saavedra, Interaction Designer
Lucy Yip, Assembly
Framestore – Content Production:
Christine Cattano, Executive Producer
Pete Jones, Senior Producer
PJ Stegall, Producer
David Estis, Director/Creative Director
Sam Goetz and Jake Sadowsky, Editorial
Gabriel Portnof, CG Lead
Matt Pascuzzi and Steve Drew, Compositing Leads
Zavier Mojica, Compositor
Hook - Software Development:
Norman McGarry, Director of Engineering
Kathryn Newman, Producer
Tricreation – Helmet Fabrication:
Jude Henson Oliver, Lead Fabricator
Forecast 3D – Helmet Fabrication
Nylon Studios – Sound Design