Academy Award-nominated director Darren Aronofsky confirmed Monday (June 26) he’s directing “Postcards from Earth,” the debut “experience” premiering at MSG’s innovative Sphere in Las Vegas in October.
“I see SPHERE as a great opportunity to pluck people from the bling and thrum of the Vegas strip in all its human constructed madness and immerse them as fully as possible in the wonder, awe, and beauty of the natural world. Postcard from Earth is a sci-fi journey deep into our future as our descendants reflect on our shared home,” Aronofsky said.
Aronofsky’s ties to the project have been rumored for months; coincidentally, he was lauded in 2018 with a Best Virtual Reality award at the Venice Film Festival for “SPHERES: Songs of Spacetime.”
“Sphere Experiences” are designed to be roughly hour-long productions that “utilize the full breadth of Sphere’s technological capabilities to create a multi-sensory storytelling journey, providing audiences with a first-of-its-kind shared experience at an unparalleled scale,” the company said in an April 11 press release.
“Postcard from Earth,” the first of these, is scheduled for release in October and will “offer a unique perspective on the magnificent beauty of life on Earth.”
“’Postcard’ actually has narrative elements as well documentary ones,” Aronofsky says. “We designed it to be as effective as possible to communicate the message we wanted to deliver in an emotional way, so it’s less about genre than about the audience experience.”
“Experiences” are intended to run multiple times per day throughout the year.
The 10,000-seat Sphere will include a “16K x 16K” LED screen that wraps above and around the seats inside the venue, intended to create an immersive experience in the truest sense of the word. The venue’s proprietary sound system — “Sphere Immersive Sound” — utilizes a variety of audio technology, including beamforming (heretofore primarily the province of naval sonar systems and little else) which will allow for custom auditory experiences. Certain seats will also be fitted for haptic experiences, allowing guests to “feel” the narrative.
“At its best, cinema is an immersive medium that transports the audience out of their regular life, whether that’s into fantasy and escapism, another place and time, or another person’s subjective experience. The Sphere is an attempt to dial up that immersion,” Aronofsky says.
“Every day we’ve taken out the camera we’ve gotten better at getting the best possible shots. It’s a learning process because the technology is new. And it’s the same with post. Delivering a half-petabyte movie – that’s 500,000 gigabytes – that utilizes more than 160,000 speakers is mind boggling. But honestly, every film is always a learning experience. You are always in a process discovering the language of the film and unearthing the story using the tools you’ve got at hand. Here it’s about how to make the beauty and fragility of our planet feel as potent as possible. The tools might be a little different on this film, but the task is the same.”
Tickets for Postcard from Earth start at $49 and run to $129 and are available well into 2025.
The early dates run primarily on a Sunday-Monday-Tuesday-Thursday schedule with shows at 4:30, 7 and 9:30 p.m. with a smattering of weekend shows including matinees.