by Alex Vikoulov [Posted April 21, 2023 08.30 pm PST]
Russia's "The Challenge" becomes the first feature film shot in space.
The first-ever feature film shot in space has premiered on April 20, 2023 and Moscow is celebrating the achievement, considering it a victory over a rival Hollywood project amid rising tensions with the West.
In October 2021, Russia dispatched an actor and a film director to the International Space Station to shoot scenes for a movie titled "The Challenge." The plot of the film revolves around a surgeon who is sent to the ISS to save an injured cosmonaut. The filming took place during a 12-day stint onboard the orbiting laboratory.
In a competition to produce the first feature film shot in space, the Russian crew emerged as the winners, surpassing a Hollywood project that was announced in 2020 by Tom Cruise in collaboration with NASA and Elon Musk's SpaceX.
THE CHALLENGE Film Poster
The Russian president, Vladimir Putin, has praised the film and commented: “We are the first to have shot a feature film in orbit, aboard a spacecraft. Once again the first.”
Russia has a long history of leading the way in scientific and technological advancements. Their historic launch of Yuri Gagarin into space in 1961 marked a significant milestone, as they became the first country to send a human into orbit. In more recent times, Russia has made headlines with the development of a COVID-19 vaccine, an extraordinary accomplishment in the midst of a global pandemic. And now, Russian filmmakers have taken the lead by producing the world's first movie shot in space.
Watch the trailer below:
Video: THE CHALLENGE Trailer (English)
In The Challenge a surgeon, played by 38-year-old Yulia Peresild, is sent to the ISS to perform a complicated surgery on a cosmonaut that has been injured during a spacewalk.
Klim Shipenko, the 39-year-old director who was responsible for the camera, lighting, and sound, captured 30 hours of footage during the filming of The Challenge in space. However, only 50 minutes of this footage was ultimately included in the final version of the film.
Yulia Peresild and Klim Shipenko underwent four months of training before traveling to space on a Soyuz spacecraft, accompanied by a cosmonaut. The scenes for The Challenge were filmed in the Russian module of the International Space Station, and three Russian cosmonauts who were stationed there at the time made cameo appearances in the movie.
In the film, the camera tracks Yulia Peresild as she moves through the confined space of the International Space Station, her blonde hair floating in the zero-gravity environment.
Prior to the release of the film, the capsule that transported Yulia Peresild and Klim Shipenko back to Earth was exhibited in Moscow downtown near the Red Square for public viewing.
The film was a collaborative effort between the Russian space agency, Roscosmos, and Channel One, one of the country's leading TV networks. Konstantin Ernst, the head of Channel One, expressed his elation at beating Hollywood in the production of the film. “We are all fans of Gravity,” Ernst said in reference to the Hollywood blockbuster starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney. “But our Challenge shot in actual weightlessness shows that it was just CGI.”
While the overall cost of the project has not been disclosed, Konstantin Ernst stated that the production of the film cost less than a billion roubles, which is equivalent to approximately $12 million, a fraction of the comparable budget of similar scale Hollywood movies.
While many movie-goers around the world can now enjoy their overview effect and space first-hand for a price of a movie ticket, the U.S. consumers have to wait indefinitely long to see it on the big screen, if ever, thanks to warhawkish Biden administration and severed cultural connections between the two great countries.
#TheChallenge #FirstMovieShotinSpace #FeatureFilm #Trailer #Filmmaking #SpaceExploration #cosmonautics #InternationalSpaceStation #Roscosmos #ChannelOne #Russia #YuliaPeresild #KlimShipenko #KonstantinErnst
Image: Roscosmos, Channel One
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Alex M. Vikoulov is a futurist, evolutionary cyberneticist and philosopher, editor-in-chief at Ecstadelic Media Group, filmmaker, essayist, author of many books, including the 2019-2020 best-seller "The Syntellect Hypothesis: Five Paradigms of the Mind's Evolution."
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