Share This Article:
National Geographic Entertainment and Day’s End Pictures Present
MYSTERIES OF THE UNSEEN WORLD
Narrated by Forest Whitaker
Giant Screen Film Transports Audiences to the Hidden Dimensions of Our Everyday Universe Invisible to the Human Eye
Opens In IMAX®, Giant Screen, and Digital Cinemas in North America On November 8, 2013
WASHINGTON (November 6, 2013) — Scientists are on the threshold of extraordinary advances born of our drive to see all that is hidden in the world around us. Each day, trail-blazing researchers are pushing the envelope with new technologies to peer with increasing clarity into these once-invisible dimensions. A new 3D/2D giant screen film takes audiences on an extraordinary journey into these unseen worlds beyond our normal vision to uncover the mysteries of things that are too fast, too slow, too small or simply invisible. MYSTERIES OF THE UNSEEN WORLD, narrated by Forest Whitaker, is an original production by National Geographic Entertainment and Day’s End Pictures premiering in giant-screen, IMAX® and digital 3-D cinemas in 3-D, 2-D, 15/70 and digital formats in the USA and worldwide beginning November 8, 2013.
MYSTERIES OF THE UNSEEN WORLD allows viewers to see things not visible to the naked eye, thanks to the film’s innovative use of high-speed and time-lapse photography, electron microscopy, and nanotechnology. Audiences peer into unseen dimensions once reserved only for scientists to see a whole new universe of wondrous nature, daily events that escape the naked eye, and secrets crucial to our survival. The discoveries portrayed in the film are culled from those happening today in laboratories around the world, where existing and emerging technologies are yielding exciting new images of long-hidden worlds.
Produced by Lisa Truitt (“Mysteries of Egypt”) and Jini Dürr (“Sea Monsters: A Prehistoric Adventure”), and directed by Louie Schwartzberg (“Disneynature: Wings of Life”), the 40-minute large format film is brought to dramatic life through a mesmerizing lens by a team of award-winning veteran filmmakers using cutting-edge technology and visual techniques.
“MYSTERIES OF THE UNSEEN WORLD immerses audiences in mind-bending dimensions that enhance our understanding of the planet,” said Lisa Truitt, president of National Geographic Entertainment. “The film exemplifies National Geographic’s dedication to creating films that inspire people with the wonder and possibilities of science.”
“The premise of this new giant screen film experience is looking at the world through a variety of imaging technologies that allow audiences to see beyond what they can with the naked eye,” Producer Jini Dürr shared. “Absolutely everyone will walk away with either new knowledge or a new vision of the world around them.”
We see only a fraction of the millions of wavelengths in the vast electromagnetic spectrum– the rainbow of light waves called visible light. The film shows audiences what it would be like if we had X-ray vision, or infrared vision like a mosquito, how a bee’s eyes see through ultraviolet light, and what Gamma rays, microwaves and radio waves show us.
Time-lapse images capture mundane events and the spectacles of life that happen too slowly for humans to perceive. Packed with stunning visuals, the film includes sequences of plants creeping toward the sun and astonishingly complex “slime mold” searching for food. On a grander scale, time-lapse allows audiences to see our planet in motion—from the vast and relentless sweep of nature to the restless movement of humanity.
How many secrets remain to be discovered in the super-fast worlds of nature? High-speed cameras do the opposite of time-lapse. The film shows extraordinary events that happen too quickly for human perception–from a rattlesnake strike to drum cymbals flexing. Eye-popping slow-motion sequences shot using high-speed photography include a Eurasian Eagle Owl, the world’s largest, flexing its wings, shot at 600 frames per second (FPS); a basilisk or Jesus lizard running on the surface of water shot at about 1,000 FPS; popcorn popping at about 2,500 FPS; and lightning that, shot using a Phantom camera at about 10,000 FPS, is revealed to rise upwards from the ground as well as strike from the sky.
The film also peers into the world of wonders too small for the human eye to see–from the minute structures on a butterfly’s wing and the tiny organisms that inhabit the human body all
the way down to nano-scale structures. We see how the amazing electron microscope can create an image that magnifies things by as much as a million times–revealing a world that is both bizarre and beautiful and challenging filmgoers to guess which unusual image is a fruit fly’s eye, the skin of a shark, a flea on a cat, a tomato stem, an eggshell, and more!
MYSTERIES OF THE UNSEEN WORLD then moves from the familiar events of everyday life to the building blocks of matter itself. The filmmakers worked with a 3-D medical animation company to depict the atom-scale realm of nano-science and potential innovations in nanotechnology. In another complex zoom sequence, the shot moves in on a spider, then a strand of its silk, then into the silk itself where audiences see a bacterium. The camera then zooms even deeper, in on a virus on the bacterium, then into the DNA of the virus and finally into the actual atoms of the DNA.
The film was created in collaboration with a variety of groundbreaking scientific, data, computer graphic and 3-D animation companies, as well as scientists at MIT, the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory at the University of California, Berkeley, and the Center for Cellular Imaging and NanoAnalytics (C-CINA)—a research laboratory at the University of Basel in Switzerland. MYSTERIES OF THE UNSEEN WORLD was funded in part by a grant from the National Science foundation and a generous contribution from Lockheed Martin for the film and educational outreach. FEI, a manufacturer of electron microscopes, contributed to the film and extended learning stations for theaters.
Visually captivating, entertaining and rooted in cutting-edge research, MYSTERIES OF THE UNSEEN WORLDtakes us beyond the limits of our own human vision and transports us to an enthralling secret world full of breathtaking phenomena.
For more information on MYSTERIES OF THE UNSEEN WORLD, including Theater Listings, links to the trailer, and behind-the-scenes videos, visit nationalgeographic.com/movies. Become a fan on Facebook atfacebook.com/NatGeoMovies. Or follow us on Twitter @NatGeoMovies, #unseenworld.
About National Geographic Cinema Ventures/National Geographic Entertainment
National Geographic Cinema Ventures/National Geographic Entertainment is responsible for production and distribution of giant screen, 3-D and specialty films. Over the last decade, NGCV/NGE has produced or released a number of successful films, including Oscar-nominated documentaries “Restrepo” and “The Story of the Weeping Camel”; giant-screen award-winning films “Sea Monsters: A Prehistoric Adventure,” “U2 3D,” “Mysteries of Egypt” and “Forces of Nature”; and feature-length films “The Last Lions” and “Life in a Day.” Lisa Truitt is president of NGCV/NGE, and Mark Katz is president of NGCV/NGE distribution. For more information, visithttp://www.nationalgeographic.com/movies.