Millions of miles away from home
BY SANDY STRASSER
(Published in The Produktkulturmagazin issue 1 2016)
When Alfred Newman- Randy’s uncle - composed only a few bars in 1933, he had no idea that his music piece would continue to become a world famous synonym for the big screen: the 20th Century Fox fanfare. You’ll hear it too when you simply imagine the moving search lights and the equally famous logo of the Hollywood studio which pre-announced stars like Spencer Tracy, Shirley Temple, Joan Collins and Elizabeth Taylor in so many films. Now brace for Matt Damon as he has taken the lead role in their latest science-fiction production as we are heading for Mars!
And no, this time around it’s not a Martian monster who is coming to earth. To be precise it’s an earthling who is stuck on the red planet and he somehow has to stay alive until a spatial rescue mission arrives to pick him up again for a ride back home. And yet the plot twist of this science fiction flick is still not the most revolutionary element in the latest 20th Century Fox production which was directed by Ridley Scott. For those are the digital mini cameras of Censhare client GoPro that have resulted in outrageously beautiful shots of Mars and some intense action scenes.
Who would ever believe those wonderful red landscapes were recorded in a Budapest studio and, as a practical backdrop, at Wadi Rum, the very Jordanian valley where in the early 1960s the great film classic Lawrence of Arabia was shot? This time around however, we are not dwelling on the past, but fast-forwarding to the 21st century where the hero is Astronaut and Botanist Mark Watney.
During a manned NASA mission to Mars, Watney is presumed dead after a fierce storm and left behind by his crew. Of course the hero has survived and finds himself stranded and alone on the hostile red planet. With only meager supplies, he must draw upon his ingenuity, wit and spirit to subsist and find a way to signal to Earth that he is still alive.
“In your face, Neil Armstrong!”, is his typical Hollywood sound bite at this point in the story. Millions of miles away Houston and a team of international scientists then tirelessly try to repatriate The Martian. Simultaneously his crew concurrently plot a daring, if not impossible rescue mission. As these stories of bravery unfold, the world comes together to root for the hero’s safe return. Such is the
story of the action-adventure based on the bestseller by Andy Weir. Apart from Matt Damon in the lead role there are also parts for - among others - Jeff Daniels, Donald Glover, Jessica Chastain, Kate Mara and Kristen Wiig.
The use of the mini cameras in the production of The Martian began with Ridley Scott using them as prop throughout the set, including as a standard piece of the astronauts’ space suits. However as the director reviewed the resulting footage, he discovered the unique perspectives that these unlocked, enabling a new way to showcase the intimate struggle of his hero’s life on Mars. As a result, the Go Pros became a much larger part of the production than was initially intended.
“We used GoPro in several of our biggest scenes in The Martian, and they really allowed us to capture not only the intensity and suspense of these moments, but also the intimacy of the characters themselves,” said director Ridley Scott. “New technologies like these cameras give filmmakers the opportunity to really push the language of cinema forward and introduce audiences to new perspectives and layers of storytelling that can really be quite engaging. I ended up using these cameras in a way I didn’t expect. They became a character in the movie; they were mounted on the astronauts; Matt’s character actually records all of his video logs on them in the habitat. Small details that helped drive aspects of the story forward and gave the world an extra layer of authenticity and familiarity.”*
GoPro Inc. is transforming the way people capture and share their lives. What began as an idea to help athletes self-document themselves engaged in their sport has become a widely adopted solution for people to capture themselves engaged in their interests. From extreme to mainstream, professional to consumer, GoPro enables the world to capture and share its passion. And in turn, the world has helped GoPro become one of the most exciting and aspirational companies of our time. Since taking wearable video-camera firm GoPro public in June 2014, founder and CEO Nick Woodman has gone back to developing new products. In July, the company unveiled a smaller, lighter camera, ditching the past rectangular design for a cube-like camera dubbed “Session”. He has also said that his company is soon to unveil its first ever quadcopter, getting GoPro into the quickly developing drone industry.
A brief portrait of censhare
Censhare is a software company with offices in Germany, France, Switzerland, the UK, the US, and India. Through technological innovation it helps companies dominate with the next generation of digital communication. Censhare offers an integrated software solution that enables companies to integrate their communications with all information. Thus optimised with all measures, it inspires audiences across digital and analog contact points. Innovative, Censhare connects people with content, processes and enables intelligent business communications. It transforms business requirements into solutions for accurate communication and enthusiastic customers, thereby enriching the entire life cycle of communication making customer journeys understandable. The result is an efficient and flexible system that transforms corporate communication into real-time interaction, customer loyalty and engagement enhances, thereby saving time and up to 40 percent in marketing costs. The world's top companies and brands use Censhare to integrate and automate their communication and to create exciting customer experiences. The customer and project portfolio includes almost all sectors and company sizes including Burda, Conde Nast, German Bank, Dyson, General Motors, Hearst UK, GoPro, Kohl’s, McCann, Migros, REWE, Swiss Re and Vitra.
CENSHARE and GOPRO
GoPro started as an idea to help athletes self-document while engaged in their sports. Its rugged mini cameras have become very popular in recent years. The US company aims to transform itself from product manufacturer into a media business and seeks to produce videos and increase its content online. Therefore it has become a client of software company Censhare whose integrated software solution enables it to manage digital communications, integrate information and optimise audiences across contact points. As such it now has a system for managing, production and publication of all its videos as well as a scalable, flexible and open solution. Other clients include: Burda, Condé Nast, Deutsche Bank, Dyson, General Motors, Hearst UK, Kohl’s, McCann, Migros, REWE, Swiss Re und Vitra.
Picture credits © Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment