OVERVIEW: Emotional view of Earth from space and where we are in the universe

by planetMitch2 Comments

This is a little documentary that I feel everyone should just watch – maybe I’m very partial to it because I grew up watching NASA send people into space and to the moon and I remember with great entheusasm the moon landings and Apollo 8 being the first to round the moon.

But this documentary really hits home with me and I hope it resonates with you as well. It has virtually nothing to do with cameras and gear, but it rings so emotionally with me that I wanted to share. It does have some amazing video from the last 5 decades of space travel – as well as a few things that might be considered cinematography boo-boos (see below).


[tentblogger-vimeo 55073825]

Overview: Overview

Looking for your daily inspiration? Look no further. As a result of the famous Blue Marble photograph, author Frank White coined the term ‘The Overview Effect.’ The Overview Effect is the reaction most astronauts have to seeing the Earth from space: common features of the experience are a feeling of awe for the planet, a profound understanding of the interconnectedness of all life, and a renewed sense of responsibility for taking care of the environment. In This documentary, over fifty years’ worth of incredible footage is cut with interviews of astronauts who try to explain what it’s like to see our planet from space. Whether it’s timelapse footage, stills, or video that you’re into, you’ll find plenty of each to appreciate here.

Cinematography boo-boos?

Hey, did you see anything that you’d consider a mistake in the documentary? I noticed that in the background of one of the interviews was a round plate or something right behind the head of the astronaut – it looked like a halo at some points (Jeff Hoffman – see 2:56 for example) and distracted me. I also didn’t care for the lighting on Edgar Mitchell towards the end of the short (see 14:37 for example) – his face and the reflection in his glasses seemed blown a bit.

Am I too picky?

via OVERVIEW: An Incredible Mini-Doc Featuring Five Decades Of Extraterrestrial Photography And Cinematography | Fstoppers.

(cover photo credit: snap from the video)


chief astronomer at planet5D LLC
Mitch "planetMitch" Aunger is the creator and mastermind behind planet5D.com

He's incredibly happy running planet5D and sharing so much joy of photography and filmmaking with his readers.
Mark Krigbaum
Mark Krigbaum

I've shot with Edgar Mitchell several times for the Institute of Noetic Science (which Edgar founded 40 years ago) and I've edited his story several times as well. I think this was really good - having the other astronauts give their perspective gave Edgar's experience even more context. Yeah the lighting wasn't perfect. I would have dialed it down a bit in color correction but the reflections in his glasses won't go away. In the end, his comments are so important that unless you are a filmmaker you probably aren't distracted by it too much. The other thing that I saw was what looked like soft sync in some of the interviews. It was probably shot in 24 frames? It's not a look I personally like for documentaries. It's a great video though - very well done. I'd be very happy with it if it was mine.


As a fan of the space program I thought this was a great little gem. The only thing that got me was the duration. It felt a little too long, and perhaps could have been condensed down to under 15 minutes. Although, it would be a shame to lose out on such great interviews. There was only one or two points of lighting or positioning in the interviews that I saw, but in the overall mix of all the cutaway footage it is a moot point.