When Harry Kloor won the grant from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in 1997 to make a film about the upcoming Cassini-Huygens mission, he knew it would be over a decade in the making: Cassini wouldn’t begin to send back data until 2008 at the earliest.
It’s been worth the wait.
Since the probes started sending data back to Earth, scientists from JPL have been helping Kloor’s team turn it into the most accurate visual renderings of first few planets of the solar system anyone has ever seen. These reputedly amazing visuals will form the bread and butter of Quantum Quest, an animated, science-fiction, large-format film film that’s now been 12 years in the making.
Each rendering will be founded on contours developed from radar data, and then surfaced over with visual data, all merged together through CGI. And although the plot will feature a crew of talking neutrinos and photons taking a “solar safari” from the sun to Saturn’s moon Titan, all the space visuals, Kloor swears, will be real.
But unlike the real solar system, in Quantum Quest, there will be sound in space.
Quantum Quest: A Cassini Space Odyssey is an animated film that makes use of data from NASA’s Cassini mission. The movie tells the story of Dave, a solar surfing photo who battles his way through the solar system to save the Cassini probe from evil aliens.
Twelve years in the making, Quantum Quest has cycled through at least a couple of voice casts. At last year’s Comic Con Quantum Quest panel, producer Harry “Doc” Kloor, a scientist and veteran science fiction writer, announced that he had lined up Digimax Inc., a Taiwanese animation studio, as his partner to finish the film.
At this year’s panel, featuring Bob Picardo, Doug Jones andJanina Gavankar, Kloor announced that the movie will see wide release in February 2010 and will include actual Cassini images, including Enceladus and Titan.
The hype machine was cranking in Ballroom 20 at Comic-Con this afternoon for Quantum Quest, a 3-D animated feature about “Dave the photon” who leaves the sun to “save his people and save the Cassini spacecraft from the forces of fear and ignorance.”
Clearly, we wish these guys well. Nothing would make us happier at Discover than to have an astronomy movie written by NASA scientists penetrate the public consciousness in some meaningful way.
That being said, we hope they have a good editor, because the amount of information conveyed at this panel was overwhelming.
Here is just a small portion of my notes from the session: Read More