A mini-episode of Neil deGrasse Tyson’s StarTalk from the year 2035, featuring a science-based breakdown of The Martian’s dangerous mission to Mars.
Ridley Scott’s The Martian features one of the most realistic space missions ever presented on the big screen. We needed a creative way to highlight the film’s commitment to authenticity and explain the stakes of the story.
We partnered with pop culture’s favorite scientist to create a stunning CG mini-episode of his show StarTalk set in the year 2035. The video gives viewers a complete overview of how an Ares mission works, with a focus on the danger and bravery of the astronauts who undertake the mission. “Ares: Our Greatest Adventure” was launched during primetime on National Geographic, alongside a comprehensive social program with Neil and StarTalk.
We wanted to capture the spirit and optimism of a Cosmos production, but give everything a distinct stylization of its own. The introductory sequence features a beautiful aerial shot of Mars as we’ve never seen it before. We don’t know where we are yet but we know it’s somewhere special. From there, we introduce Tyson as he reminds viewers of humanity’s longstanding fascination with Mars and offers a step-by-step breakdown of how an Ares mission works. Tyson himself was cast as a character in the world: aged slightly and played with more gravitas than usual. The “holo-room” set was a creative choice that allowed us to go on a journey with Neil that would keep the focus on the Hermes and its voyage, bringing the cosmos directly to our host in a futuristic 360° mixed reality setting.
A COORDINATED LAUNCH
We launched “Ares: Our Greatest Adventure” with a coordinated social campaign that included NASA, 20th Century Fox, StarTalk, National Geographic, and Neil himself. It ran as a serialized short film on NatGeo during commercial breaks and was also used to promote the new season of StarTalk.
The response was overwhelmingly positive, with audiences and press praising the short film’s creativity and applauding the authenticity of the promotional effort.
“One of the best, most creative, and frankly most awesome promos for a movie ever.”
“Might be described as the most realistic three-minute glimpse into the future ever. All future makers of movies about the future, take note.”
“Excuse me for a second. I’m wiping a tear from my eye.”
— The Mary Sue
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