My article “A Tweet Is Just a Ritz Cracker, But an IMAX Film Is a Steak Dinner” appears in Smithsonian magazine. Here’s the lede:
When producers for the TIME and PBS documentary “A Year in Space” interviewed astronaut Terry Virts from space, the self-declared camera guy, who at age 10 was already the owner of his first Konica 35mm SLR, knew they were using Canon C100 or C300 cameras.
“When I told them I was using the C500, the camera guys got really jealous,” he says.
Virts was doing his own camerawork during his six-month stint on the International Space Station, where six astronauts orbit Earth every 90 minutes. The roughly 500,000 still photos and extensive video footage that he shot—the most, he says, of any astronaut—form the basis of the new IMAX film “A Beautiful Planet,” now showing at the IMAX Theaters at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., and the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia.
And the cameras that IMAX flew out to the station impressed not only the documentary producers, but also Hollywood royalty. “I was talking to James Cameron, and he saw my Red [camera],” Virts says. “He said, ‘I filmed Avatar with that camera.’”