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Copywrite 2001-2004, California Science Center
 
Media Contact:  Isela Aguirre-Castillo, California Science Center
(213) 744-7446 or (213) 410-9160
 
January 30, 2003
 
Film of Titanic Proportions
Docks at the California Science Center's IMAX® Theater

February 9, 2003
 

Los Angeles – Visiting the famed sunken ocean liner Titanic will be an adventure for filmgoers with the help of fascinating archival photographs juxtaposed with footage of the 1991 expedition to the wreckage site. These images as well as a poignant interview with a Titanic survivor are magnificently captured in Titanica. Titanica, presented by energy company BP is brought back for a return engagement at the California Science Center’s IMAX Theater on February 9, 2003.

Take a breathtaking voyage to Titanic, the world’s most famous shipwreck and experience the adventure, drama and danger of deep-sea exploration with an international expedition team. Combining spectacular images of the shattered remains on the ocean floor with survivor recollections and computer-enhanced archival photographs, Titanica brings to life a remarkable tale of history, science and human ambition. Audiences can once again experience the Titanic life-size at the California Science Center’s IMAX® Theater on the enormous 7-story IMAX screen with the latest technology and a 12,000-watt digital surround sound system. This 40-minute film was shot during the expedition of the Akademik Keldysh to the North Atlantic by award-winning filmmaker Stephen Low.

Deemed “unsinkable” by the press, the Royal Mail Steamer (R.M.S.) Titanic was the largest moving object as well as the most luxurious ocean liner of its time. As long as two city blocks (882 Feet) and 92 feet wide, the ship set sail from Southampton, England destined for New York City on April 10, 1912. On April 14th the Titanic collided with an iceberg at 11:40 p.m. splitting the vessel in two. Just over two hours later at 2:20 a.m. on April 15, the Titanic sank in the icy waters off Newfoundland, taking more than 1,500 of the 2,228 booked passengers and crew with her.

Taking full advantage of the IMAX oversized 70mm-film format, IMAX Producer/Director Stephen Low (The Last Buffalo, Beavers, and Super Speedway) presents a dramatic account of the 1991 IMAX Corp./ Canadian-American-Russian expedition to the Titanic. The film offers startling, and often times eerie shots of the vessel as she now rests on the ocean floor of the North Atlantic set against historical footage of the ship on her heyday. “IMAX gives you a sense of being there, it fills your peripheral vision, and it’s really the only film format that can do justice to the Titanic, both in scale and resolution,” said Low.

In its day, the R.M.S. Titanic, the largest and most luxurious liner ever built was described as unsinkable. On April l5, l9l2, on its maiden voyage, it collided with an iceberg and sank; tragically, of the 2,228 passengers and crew aboard the ship, l,523 people lost their lives. Nearly 80 years later, in the summer of l99l, a high-risk Canadian-American-Russian expedition set out to explore the shipwreck and to conduct important scientific research.

Director Low weaves a dramatic story of this modern-day expedition and the legendary Titanic, the symbol of an era. Startling, eerie images of the Titanic as she now lies on the ocean floor are contrasted with the exquisitely-preserved archival photographs of the ship in all its splendor, taken in 1912. Juxtaposed to these images are the touching and eloquent comments of Eva Hart who, as a seven-year-old girl, survived that tragic night but lost her father.

According to Low, audiences will see the ghostly wreck in extraordinary detail. The expedition made l7 dives in two state-of-the-art submersibles, Mir I and Mir II. They worked off the largest research vessel in the world, Russia's Akademik Keldysh. Using specially designed HMI underwater lights, the most powerful ever-used under water, the expedition was able to see very large expanses of the wreck. Were it not for these lights, Titanica would not have been possible.

A team of scientists who participated in the expedition used the Titanic as a time gauge to measure environmental processes active in the deep sea. The sea at that depth is not the inert, passive void it is generally perceived to be. Active currents indicate that the sea bottom is not the place to dump the world's waste. Twenty-eight species of animals and four species of fish inhabit the wreck. The expedition and the film footage will present scientists with invaluable data to study for years to come.

André Picard, then Imax Corporation's Vice President, Film, introduced Low and MacInnis in early l990 and, along with Michael McGrath, Imax's past Vice President, Film & Distribution, pulled together the financing in record time. A year later the expedition members were on their way to Bermuda, first to test the lights, and then to the Titanic site itself.

Titanica is directed by Stephen Low, and produced by Low and Pietro Serapiglia. Executive producers are André Picard and Dr. Joseph MacInnis. It was made possible with the participation of Telefilm Canada, Export Development Corporation, Zurich Canada, Motion Picture Guarantors Ltd., Ontario Place, the Canadian Museum of Civilization, and Undersea Imaging International Ltd., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Imax Corporation.

Editors Note:
Titanica is back for a return engagement at the California Science Center. Guests can have a “Titanic experience” by witnessing the deep sea exploration on the giant IMAX screen, then viewing over 250 items actually recovered in Titanic: The Artifact Exhibit, on display concurrently with the film. Combination IMAX/Exhibit prices are $15.00 for adults, $12.00 for seniors 60+ and $7.00 for children 4-12.

California Science Center, located at 700 State Drive in Exposition Park, Los Angeles, is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. Admission to the exhibitions is free. For recorded information on IMAX show times, phone (213) 744-7400. For advance ticket purchases, group rates, or to make reservations for any visiting group of 15 or more (required), call (213) 744-2019. Parking is available in the guest lot at Figueroa and 39th Street for $6 per car. Both the Science Center and IMAX Theater are wheelchair accessible. For general information, phone (323) SCIENCE or visit our website at www.casciencectr.org.

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