“Wild Oceans” planetarium showing was definitely wild, but not necessarily the kind of wild you’d want.
When you first walk in, it feels like a private showing because of how few of seats there actually are. Once you sit down and lean your head back in your seat, the entire screen fills your peripheral vision. It was surprising to see how nicely set up the planetarium was.
Once the movie actually started, however, disappointment hit.
The first couple minutes is just a trailer for “Wonders of the Universe,” which is another planetarium screening our campus provides. The next five minutes or so is a brief display of “winter star-gazing,” which is a basic screening and lesson on basic constellation systems. It was very interesting, and I walked away from it actually learning some new things.
For the next 45-50 minutes, “Wild Oceans” was showing. Right from the start, the camera is already filming all over the place. It was tough to know which direction was up, what was down and sometimes confusing on what was even being filmed. The screen was too big for the shot and there was no clear focus, confusing viewers with what they should be looking at.
The most difficult part was the low quality of film that it was shot in. Don’t go in there with the idea that you are watching Discovery channel’s “Planet Earth”; in fact, it was far from it.
The whole storyline was about a large movement of sardines, and how predators from all over meet at this one area to feed. The area is near the south tip of Africa. This gave the makers of the film the idea to have the narrator be a man with a heavy African accent. This was good thinking, but very hard for the audience. Most of what he was saying was going through one ear and out the other, just because he was almost impossible to understand.
On top of having the headache from the jittery camera, poor quality and mumbling narrator, the show ended with a roller coaster ride from the planet Mars. Although it was clearly computer animated, it was still clearer than the actual show. If you already have a headache at the start of the roller coaster ride, close your eyes, or else that headache will stay with you all day.
Don’t get the idea that the planetarium isn’t any good. It was actually a shock seeing that good of a set up on our campus. The only bad part was the actual show itself. I’m confident that in the future, the kinks will get worked out and we’ll have some high quality planetarium shows soon.