Movies related to space have come a long way since A trip to the moon – a silent film without camera movement or close-ups – was released in 1902. Filmmakers are now using the extensive at their disposal to immersively transport the fans to extraterrestrial worlds. However, no one has attempted to shoot a feature film in space – until now! On October 5, 2021, astronauts on the International Space Station (ISS) hosted their first fiction film crew – Russian actress Yulia Peresild and director Klim Shipenko.
The two civilians and veteran Cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov arrived at the ISS aboard the Soyuz-2 rocket. Peresild and Shipenko will spend 12 days filming a 35-40 minute film segment for a characteristic dubbed movie Vyzov (“The challenge”). The film tells the story of a surgeon – played by Peresild – who travels to space to operate on a patient cosmonaut, whose state of health prevents him from returning to Earth for treatment.
Before flying into space, Peresild – who beat out more than 3,000 candidates for the role – and Shipenko suffered a intense, four-month “cosmonaut” training. They were submitted under conditions such as weightlessness suspension and at high speed acceleration inside a centrifuge. “It was hard psychologically, physically and emotionally… but I think when we reach our goal not all challenges will seem so bad, ”Peresild said at a pre-flight press conference on October 4, 2021.
In addition to being the first actress to shoot a film in orbit, Peresild is also only the fifth Russian woman to travel to space. Shipenko makes his own story as a senior director, makeup artist, sound editor and Director of Photography of a feature film shot in space. Meanwhile, Shkaplerov and Russian cosmonauts Oleg Novitskiy and Piotr Dubrovnik, who are currently at the ISS, will be making their acting start in a cameo appearance like the space station crew.
Peresild and Shipenko will return to Earth on October 17, 2021. This time, they will be accompanied by Novitsky, who will have completed his tenure at the ISS by then. He will be replaced by Shkaplerov, who will remain there until March 2022.
While this is the first sci-fi film to be shot in space, it probably won’t be the last. American actor Tom Cruise is said to be collaborate with SpaceX founder Elon Musk for a project that has yet to be revealed. William Shatner will also be traveling to space. However, the famous actor – best known for his role as Captain Kirk in the Star Trek series – will not work. He will appreciate the spectacular views of Earth aboard Blue Origin’s second crewed space flight program for launch on October 13, 2021. The 90-year-old will also be doing the story like the oldest person to fly in space!
Resources: theGuardian.com, CNN.com, NASA.gov