The long-anticipated release of Secrets of the Universe has taken place with the World Premiere at the National Air and Space Museum at the Lockheed Martin IMAX Theater on July 10th. The film will start its official run on July 12th. Secrets of the Universe is a sweeping, 3D Giant Screen science adventure that immerses audiences in the greatest mysteries of our time – puzzles spanning from the infinitesimal to the infinite; a journey guided by some of the most brilliant minds, seeking to answer life’s greatest questions, using the greatest science machines in history. The answers await at the collision points of intellect and imagination, of theory and experiment, of the tiniest particles and most powerful forces in the Universe.
The film has been in development/production for over 7 years. According to Executive Producer Mark Kresser, "It took an incredible amount of thought to develop a story that was engaging and accessible for a broad audience. We wanted to give people a clear understanding of why they should care about particle physics, given where the scientific discoveries could lead. We also wanted to use the film to ignite passion among the future scientists of tomorrow, connecting to ethnic and gender-diverse audiences. This was extremely important to the National Science Foundation, who provided significant support to jumpstart the film, as well as unprecedented access to the Large Hadron Collider and LIGO research projects."
Preliminary research conducted by veteran National Science Foundation researchers, among both adult giant screen theater audiences and target school age children, indicated substantial interest in the topics explored in the film, in particular the Large Hadron Collider. Title testing was extremely encouraging, with Secrets of the Universe outperforming some of the most popular giant screen film titles.
In addition to the National Air and Space Museum, “Secrets” will also be premiering at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, the Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago, and The Clark Planetarium with several additional exhibitions in coming months. The film will be made available in all digital formats, plus 15/70mm 2D for domes, and a fulldome version. “Secrets of the Universe” has consistently tested very highly as a title, and topic, in several rounds of audience research undertaken in 2012/13, and again in 2018/19 (both through NSF, as well as additional research firms).
A comprehensive age-appropriate educators resource guide and extensive interactive website have been developed and can be found at www.secretsoftheuniversefilm.com. We also have a formal outreach initiative in collaboration with the National Teacher's Association, and a number of other education groups, to drive awareness and interest in the film.
In addition to a resource-rich website, which is also available as a mobile app, a generous grant from the National Science Foundation was used to develop and fund a social media outreach campaign, and original supplemental content to drive interest in the film.
Other strategic partners that will be supporting the film in various ways include University of California Davis, and Futurism, with other partnerships in development. For educational outreach we will be working AAAS, APS, NSTA, among others.
The Perimeter Institute of Theoretical Physics, the world's largest theoretical physics institute and our main science advisor for the film, will provide targeted support for key major markets. They are influential in this field and can help to generate significant interest and drive awareness and attendance.
Secrets of the Universe will help to inspire audiences and seed the imaginations of our future science leaders! Award winning veteran IMAX filmmaker Stephen Low calls it “one of the most challenging of the 17 films I have made, but ultimately, I feel it will be the most rewarding”.