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First Flight
Year: 2004
Run-Time: 1 x 50 min.

Directed by Steve Nicholls, Alfred Vendl
Written by Steve Nicholls Alfred Vendl

Burning Gold Productions Ltd & AV Dokumenta production for ORF in co-production with BBC in association with WDR

Languages: German (ORIGINAL) , English (DUBBED)
Format: 16:9 , 16:9

First Flight

Der erste Flug

First Flight is a visually innovative film showing the unbelievable things that animals can do in the air. Key moments in aviation history will be reconstructed using live action combined with CGI. These will be combined with equivalent stories from the world of insects, birds or bats. For example, by combining live action and CGI, we can follow the extraordinary journey of a monarch butterfly across the North Atlantic to Europe, set against the Atlantic crossing made by Alcock and Brown in 1999. With dramatic computer animation and 3-D "blueprint" designs, the film compares the success of animals with that of humans. Coincidentally - the Wright brothers first design flew exactly like an insect, with wing-warping movements to control direction. Only recently we have begun to understand how exactly insects fly. How does a butterfly change direction by 180 degrees with one wingbeat? How does a hoverfly hold station in mid-air to a precision of a millimetre in a stiff breez? How can an albatross circumnavigate the globe each year with barely a flap of its wings. The main visual impact from the natural history footage will come from stunning slow motion flight shots of insects, birds and bats. In particular, technology is being developed to reveal insect flight in new and dramatic ways. High speed motion control rigs will be built that will allow the camera to spin around insects in flight. And gyroscopic mounts attached to the camera will allow us to film insects in such a way as to mimic free flight. The end result will be stunning never-before-seen images of insects in flight, and a film with the equivalent impact to Stephen Daltons classic, Bourne on the wind.
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