March 7, 2018—BIG & Digital has announced that iconic Emmy, Grammy, Peabody and NAACP award-winner LeVar Burton will narrate In Saturn’s Rings, a groundbreaking, new, crowd-sourced production for IMAX® and giant screen theaters and planetarium domes.
Written, produced and directed by innovative filmmaker Stephen van Vuuren, In Saturn’s Rings takes the viewer on a 14 billion light-year journey of the mind, heart and spirit, from the Big Bang to the conclusion of the Cassini-Huygens Mission at Saturn.
This groundbreaking, awe-inspiring film was created entirely as a multiplane photo animation, using 7.5 million real source images, without CGI or 3D models.
The rough cut of In Saturn’s Rings including Burton’s narration will be presented during the Giant Screen Cinema Association (GSCA) Film Expo March 12-13, 2018, at the Pacific Science Center IMAX® Theater in Seattle.
On May 4, 2018, this much-anticipated film will be released to giant screen digital theaters, with 15/70mm film and Fulldome for planetariums releasing by Fall 2018.
Viewers will marvel at this unique, giant-size perspective of space captured by Hubble and other space telescopes looking deep into the past, through stunning images of Earth, the Milky Way and a 10 day- and night-time lapse. The film also includes a jaw-dropping recreation of NASA’s Apollo 17 mission and culminates with a breathtaking fly-through of Saturn’s system.
Burton, who has enthralled and educated multiple generations throughout his stellar 40-year entertainment career, was In Saturn’s Rings Director van Vuuren’s first choice from the beginning to guide the viewer on this one-of-a-kind, breathtaking trek through the cosmos as science meets art.
A highly acclaimed actor, producer, director, writer, speaker and champion of education for all, Burton is beloved by millions of children and adults alike around the world. Burton’s name is synonymous with quality and excellence. Known for his memorable roles in Roots and Star Trek: The Next Generation, as well as his renowned work with Reading Rainbow and LevV Burton Reads, this multi-talented performer is universally celebrated for his passion for storytelling and is greatly admired for consistently delivering on his mission to inspire, entertain and educate through his numerous endeavors.
For van Vuuren, those meaningful credentials made Burton the ideal voice and trusted representative for a film of this magnitude and historical and technological significance.
“It was a daunting decision to choose the voice I felt best would provide the humanity and intelligence to guide us on this journey across space and time,” van Vuuren said. “After listening and considering many great voices, LeVar Burton was at the top of my list and I was stunned and honored when he graciously accepted.”
Burton welcomed the opportunity to take on the universe and use his powerful voice to inspire, entertain and educate people of all ages in even more new and spectacular ways through his narration of In Saturn’s Rings.
Burton said, “I couldn’t be more proud to lend my voice to this amazing project. Stephen van Vuuren has crafted a masterwork of filmmaking. It is certain to leave audiences spellbound and inspire audiences with the majestic nature of our Universe and the importance of humanity's role in its exploration.”
The recent recording of Burton’s narration for the film was a monumental milestone for van Vuuren, who has worked methodically for 10 years painstakingly creating In Saturn’s Rings.
“LeVar Burton is a consummate professional and incredible voice artist,” van Vuuren said. “Listening to his voice now over the film, I can’t imagine a better marriage of sound, music and images.”
Just like Burton’s tireless work to make learning fun, In Saturn's Rings is already making a meaningful impact across the globe through the power of human ingenuity and unprecedented collaboration.
More than 100 volunteers and 1,000 donors from around the world have combined to help van Vuuren make his far-reaching vision become a triumphant reality‑and thousands upon thousands of fans of space, science, technology, cinema and more are eagerly anticipating the film's upcoming release.
In Saturn's Rings is already an online viral sensation. Over 2.5 million people have watched In Saturn's Rings footage in more than 200 countries, resulting in hundreds of thousands of shares, likes, comments, tweets and more across the globe.
To learn more about In Saturn’s Rings or to join in on this epic adventure, visit the In Saturn's Rings official website or Facebook page, or follow @insaturnsrings on Twitter, in_saturns_rings on Instagram, or insaturnsringmovie on YouTube.
ABOUT LEVAR BURTON – NARRATOR OF IN SATURN'S RINGS
The honored recipient of 13 Emmy Awards, a Grammy and five NAACP Awards, Burton has demonstrated in his career that he can do it all—acting, directing, producing, writing and speaking. He is often invited as a keynote speaker at leading education and technology events, most recently speaking at NASA, ISTE, The National Education Association, FAST COMPANY’s Innovation Series and many more. With millions of fans throughout the world, Burton continues his mission to inspire, entertain and educate.
ABOUT STEPHEN VAN VUUREN – WRITER/PRODUCER/DIRECTOR, 'IN SATURN'S RINGS”
Stephen van Vuuren is a visionary director, producer, animator, space image processor and multiplane animation pioneer with global media coverage for his work on In Saturn’s Rings. His credits include award-winning feature and short films, commercial work for international clients with 20 years in the film industry.
While In Saturn’s Rings was van Vuuren’s vision, he is quick to say that this is not a solo project but rather a multi-year Herculean effort by a deeply devoted team across the globe. In Saturn’s Rings is the result of a dozen years of passionate work by a dedicated team yearning to share unseen wonders with the world,” van Vuuren said. His Scientific Advisers for In Saturn’s Rings are Andrew Chaikin, Michael Malaska, Dr. Steve Danford and Professor Tom English.
Image sources used by van Vuuren for In Saturn's Rings footage include Cassini-Huygens, Apollo 8-17, Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), Hubble Space Telescope, Colin Legg Astrophotography (111k photos), Axel Mellinger Astrophotography (8k photos), Unmanned Spaceflight image processors, Messenger Mission, Suomi HPP (VIIRS), Galileo, Voyager 1 & 2, Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), Venus Express (VEX), Rosetta, Dawn and the US Library of Congress.