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Space Exploration: Duck Factory and ESA unveil a short film

This article is available in: Français (French)

French production studio Duck Factory just released their latest project: a short film created for the European Space Agency (ESA). The film was unveiled yesterday at Toulouse during the “Space Summit”. French President Emmanuel Macron attended the event, alongside secretaries of state from all over the EU, and of course the ESA.

Titled Human Space Exploration, this short film features several ESA projects and programmes such as the Ariane 6 rocket, the International Space Station (ISS), the Gateway lunar station. Here is the short film, followed by a few technical details and behind-the-scenes pictures:

Jérôme Bernard (founder – Duck Factory), gave us some insight into this project:

The idea was to create a film that would feature three key ideas: technology, exploration and people. Just like space exploration requires new technologies, I try to explore new ways to create films. Which is why I used virtual production (we teamed up with Plateau Virtuel, a French virtual production studio), but also motion control and CG environments, in the spirit of a modern Georges Méliès. From my point of view, the EU does not wish to conquer space but to explore it, then to come back to Earth with new knowledge. A greater knowledge of the universe helps us to know ourselves. My goal is therefore to balance visuals and sound, technical challenges and artistic research, in order to create a sense of respect, magic and even poetry.

In order to bring this vision to life, Duck Factory used virtual production / LED video walls, a technique brought forward by the Disney+ series The Mandalorian. The team worked for two months to prepare the shooting and the 3D assets. The shooting itself took place at Plateau Virtuel. Besides virtual production, motion control was also used for some sequences.

Of course, traditional techniques were also used, such as props and a stunt wire system to help stuntpersons act as if there was no gravity.

Here are a few behind-the-scenes pictures:

Photo Credit: Duck Factory / ESA
Photo Credit: Duck Factory / ESA
Photo Credit: Duck Factory / ESA
Photo Credit: Duck Factory / ESA
Photo Credit: Duck Factory / ESA
Photo Credit: Duck Factory / ESA
Photo Credit: Duck Factory / ESA
Photo Credit: Duck Factory / ESA
Photo Credit: Duck Factory / ESA
Photo Credit: Duck Factory / ESA
Photo Credit: Duck Factory / ESA
Photo Credit: Duck Factory / ESA
Photo Credit: Duck Factory / ESA

If you missed it, here is the previous film created by Duck Factory for the ESA:  Your Way to Space. It was launched on 31 March 2021, just as the European Space Agency was opening the application process for its first astronaut selection in over a decade. A making-of video can be found below the film.

Human Space Exploration – Credits:

A film by Jérôme BERNARD

Music – Grégory TANIELAN

CASTING
Astronaut – Prudence LEROY
Astronaut – Krees DE ALMEID
Astronaut – Christelle WALLOIS
Astronaut – Marc QUENUM

PRODUCED by DUCK FACTORY – DKFT
Shot at Plateau Virtuel

Producer – Jérôme BERNARD
Production Manager – Paul FREY
Production Assistant – Pauline LE MEZ

STAGING

Director – Jérôme BERNARD
First Assistant Director – Tiphaine PIRIOU

FILM CREW

Director of Photography – Julien Lascar
First Assistant Camera – Simon FERAY
2nd Assistant Camera – Maell FERAY
Gaffer – Clément BOYELDIEU
Lighting Technician – Gabriel BEAUMELOU
Motion Control Operator – Yann BESSET
Motion Control Assistant – Maxime TOUBLANT
Set Decorator – Karen FINGERHUT
First Assistant Set Decorator – Gilles MASSOLO
2nd Assistant Set Decorator – Julien GALAND
3rd Assistant Set Decorator – Karine BOISSEL
Stylist – Nathalie FRACHON
Make-up – Nathalie VAN SPAANDONCK
Location Manager – Samuel WEBER
Floor Manager – Giovanni CASONI
Stuntman – Alexandre CAUDERLIER
Stuntman – Kévin CAUDERLIER

PLATEAU VIRTUEL
Bruno CORSINI
Remi AYMARD
François
Olivier SAINT-HUBERT

POST PRODUCTION by DUCK FACTORY – DKFT

VFX Supervisor – Johan SARBIA – Mathieu GOMEZ – Tanguy LAVABRE
Post-production Manager & VFX Artist – Tanguy LAVABRE
VFX Artist – Mathieu GOMEZ
VFX Artist – Theo BOUVIER
Flame – Johan SARBIA
Editors – Maxime ANTOINE & Jérôme BERNARD
Colorist – Nicolas GAUTIER
VFX Reinforcement for Ariane, Mars and Enceladus – REEPOST

Voice Over – Voix Off Agency
Sound Designer – Clément MAURIN

SPECIAL THANKS TO OUR PARTNERS
PLATEAU VIRTUEL
SONY – Anna DOUBLET
PANAVISION – Alexis ROPOSTE

© DUCK FACTORY 2022

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