The Explorers   The Explorers

  • Genre: Documentary
  • Synopsis: We live in an incredible time. This decade alone will see the upheaval and reconstitution of what we believe about the universe. At the same time science is bringing us into a more comprehensive understanding of the cosmos, school age children often lack that spark of the imagination which sets in motion a life-long passion for learning about the world around them.

    A single night with a telescope often opens one’s mind for a lifetime. When a spec of light gives way to the rings of Saturn, the moons of Jupiter, or the glowing tail of a comet, the world becomes a much bigger place. What’s more, Astronomy naturally leads to questions about the origins of life and interest in Chemistry, Biology, and Physics as we question our place in the universe and how it all began.

    This film moves to capture the passion which all astronomers share, those conducting research or those simply gazing at the stars. The Explorers is a journey into the joy of learning motivated by looking into the night sky and asking, “Why?”

  • Initiated: June 2011
  • Status: “In the summer of 2011, I conducted interviews at Arizona State University’s SESE with Jim Bell and at NASA Ames, Mountain View, California with the planetary robotics research team. The same summer, I ventured to the Adirondacks of upstate New York to attend the Adirondack Astronomy Retreat with David and Wendee Levy and then with astrophysicist Gaurav Khanna and his colleagues at the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth. In the summer of 2012, I joined a few dozen individuals who braved the 100 Kph winds and sub-zero (C) temperatures atop Mauna Kea, Big Island, Hawaii, to observe the transit of Venus across the face of the Sun. In April and May of 2013, I worked with Telescopes to Tanzania, EU Universe Awareness partner schools at the base of Kilimanjaro, Tanzania, and with the South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO) outreach program, astronomers, and classes in both Cape Town and Sutherland, South Africa.” —kai

    The Explorers continues to evolve and grow … some day, I’ll stop filming and start editing.


Feedback for the Trailer

“Wow–that is a really beautiful trailer, Kai. Well done. It seems like you have captured some magic. Best wishes pulling it together!” —Jim Bell, Professor at ASU SESE; President of the Planetary Society

“Excellent work thus far … I really like the concise interviews with different people. It keeps you interested and waiting to see what the next person will say. Looking forward to its conclusion …” —Vince Matteo, amateur Astronomer

“Amazing! Great build up and I am looking forward to watching the final product! Good luck with all the work ahead!” Pedro Russo, Astronomer at Leiden Observatory / Professor at Leiden University

“This is so powerful! Wonderful! Great Work. Looking forward to the final product!” —Sivuyile Manxoyi, Manager SALT Collateral Benefits Program

“Excellent, excellent trailer Kai. Your passion for this subject just spilled out in 3 minutes. Nice cinematography and audio edits, the lighting and dialogue is very PRO.” —Ben Scott, Graphic Designer, Film Maker

“This trailer is more than ok. More than good. It’s fantastic. Scenes, lighting, camera angle, juxtaposition, voice over, music. Seemless. Smooth. Flowing. Engaging. Truly, your work has inspired me. This is the kind of quality I want to be associated with. We’ve got to make something work.” —Ron Spomer, Writer, Photographer, & Wildlife Conservationist

“I showed this trailer to my 7-year old son and while he watched it, the word ‘WOW’ was uttered. When I asked him which were his favorite parts, he said the lightning and the scenes where SALT and the 1.9m telescopes were moving. He had visited Sutherland a few times and simply love the telescopes, but never saw them moving before. My husband has now promised him that he will build a water rocket.” —Chantal Fourie, SALT IT Specialist

“I’m gonna cut right to it, the trailer is amazing. It’s downright awesome, great music, great timelapses, great people. I am really impressed. The last shot is genius too. The music is epic.” —Kai Dieho, Film Maker

“‘The Explorers’ looks absolutely stunning. Your skill at producing these videos has really gone to a new level. I wish I had the sophistication to properly praise it, but it is very impressive. The subject technology looks impressive, but the people you’re showcasing must be great to hang out with. The knowledge and perspective they have must be mind-blowing.” —Bill Mueller, Software Developer, Technologist

“I enjoyed [this] very much. I love the way you’ve used the track in Explorers.” —Terry Devine King, Composer

“That’s really nice – good job. Great music, lots of cool shots. Looks like you’ve got the time lapse thing really figured out. That matches astronomy really well. Damn good edit too. A lot of work there. I actually want to watch. Great Work!” —Joel Kaye, Film Directory / Director of Photography