Viewers will tag along with Rath to a variety of locations around the globe, experiencing places beyond sight-seeing, and using travel as a relatable mechanism for the audience.
From the Filmmaker: Working with Cmdr. Chris Hadfield
Most of the world is staying close to home right now, but that doesn’t mean you can’t go on the ultimate joyride… through space! We like to think of it as Cosmos meets Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.
In CuriosityStream’s original documentary Miniverse, we scale down the solar system to the continental United States and put the planets along the way to really appreciate the immense scale of the Universe. Imagine Mars over the Freedom Tower and Jupiter towering above the Lincoln Memorial. And we’re doing it all behind the wheel of a Tesla, with Commander Chris Hadfield driving.
He’s the astronaut who’s performance of David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” onboard the International Space Station turned into a viral sensation on YouTube.
And it turns out, Commander Hadfield is just as fun and creative here on Earth. We sat down with Doug Cohen, executive producer of Flight 33, to live vicariously through him about working with one of the world’s greatest astronauts.
Q: What was Chris Hadfield (CH) like to work with?
A: Chris is a former fighter pilot and an astronaut, so the things that felt like challenges to the rest of us were no sweat to him. To quote one member of our crew, “Chris Hadfield is the best human being I’ve ever met.” It’s not just that he’s charming, curious and tireless; it’s also that he sings, plays guitar, tells great stories and, of course, he’s been to space!
Q: What was the funniest thing that happened while shooting Miniverse?
A: Chris had spent the whole day driving at about 40 miles per hour through the Mojave Desert while chatting with astronomer Laura Danly. We kept his speed down to reduce the amount of road noise during the conversation. As the sun set, we prepped to shoot beauty shots of the car driving down the lonely desert highway. I radioed to Chris that he should drive past the camera, and since we weren’t rolling sound he was now free to go as fast as he wanted. When I called “action”, he put the pedal to the metal and whipped past us at 122 miles per hour with poor Laura Danly holding on for dear life! That’s the last time I tell a former fighter pilot to drive as fast as he wants!
Q: Describe the dynamic between CH and Michio Kaku.
A: They were excited to meet each other! It was fun to watch the contrast between astrophysicist and astronaut. Michio made it clear that despite his fascination with space, he had no interest in doing something risky like traveling to Mars. Chris, on the other hand, said that the danger is precisely what makes him want to do it.
Q: What was the hardest part of shooting so much inside a car?
A: We had five cameras rolling inside the car at all times, plus cameras affixed to the exterior and to a chase car. That’s a lot of cameras that need a lot of tending. You are constantly stopping to troubleshoot misbehaving gear. We studied how James Corden does it for Carpool Karaoke and how Seinfeld’s team does it for Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, and took the best ideas from both. The difference with our show is that we were really traveling from place to place, so we couldn’t just stake out a route on a local road and keep circling. The entire country was our “set”.
Q: Why did the police keep pulling CH over?
A: We had no problems in most of the country, but in New York and Washington, D.C. the police were extremely “curious” about this car with cameras all over the windows. Sometimes, we would neglect to remove our prop license plate that said “ROCKET”. That also drew the attention of the police on a couple occasions. One officer removed the license plate and cut in half! Luckily, we had made an extra one. In general, when we would tell the cops that we were making a science documentary with an astronaut and a bunch of astrophysicists, they let us go with nothing more than a confused look.
These Series on CuriosityStream Will Give Your Brain the Stimulation It Needs At CuriosityStream, we know what it’s like to be a knowledge junkie. Your craving for knowledge is insatiable. Outer space … biology … world wars … …you name it … …you need to know. Well, take heart: you can indulge your addiction […]
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