Parallax: discover an alien world

37 years ago, Carl Sagan imagined an ‘Encyclopaedia Galactica’, a “vast repository of the knowledge of many worlds”. “Imagine” he pondered, “the impact on us if we could study a rich compilation of not merely one world but billions.”

Parallax is a series of video essays that wonders what this Encyclopaedia Galactica might look like. What do we learn when we step outside of our myopic, planetary view and see life from a wider perspective?

Parallax is an ambitious experiment in visual storytelling. It takes the video essay genre and smashes it with science-fiction, using video in the public domain in a unique and creative way. I wanted to see what would happen if I screwed with the conventions of the documentary/video essay and used a fictional narrator.

I worked with actor, Jennifer Munby, to create a voice for the alien narrator that oozes timeless wisdom. The series has an original score, composed by Dale Nichols that evokes the TV series Cosmos.

I also had to up my motion graphics skills to create realistic renderings of the Milky Way galaxy and Earth itself. I used Trapcode Form and Particular to build the spacescapes. The upside-down planet is built on satellite photographs from NASA. If you look closely enough you can even see the clouds moving.