Historical Ending Creates Lasting Impression

“There really is a ray of hope even in the darkest of circumstance”

filmmaker; Matt Ornstein


After thirty years and one hundred and thirty flights, NASA’s space program coming to an end raised concern for filmmaker Matt Ornstein. His interest in science was inspired by NASA’s space program, “I wanted to be an astronaut as child,” said Orstein “with the ending of the program who is going to continue to inspire future generations?

The outcome of his concern is Atlantis, which took seven days to shoot and several long post-production hours. Working together with NASA for footage and research was an easier process than you might imagine. Submit a script to the programs film expert and if they like you, it’s smooth sailing. Orstein says the most difficult challenge was film format. “The footage is in every format created over the past 15 years. Our crew searched high and low to find facilities that could convert the tapes for us.”

The short version of Atlantis shown at Sarasota Film Festival starts off as a documentary but quickly turns into a love story. I asked Ornstein, why not keep it as a documentary? “With historical films, putting a face on them can help you feel emotion. With the ending of the space program, that’s sad in itself.” He goes on to say “Giving people something to be hopeful about is better than leaving them with no hope. There really is a ray of hope even in the darkest of circumstance.”

The debut took place at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival and the director now is doing the festival circuit. Ornstein hopes Atlantis will show in schools, providing a history lesson that will inspire future generations to explore the world of science like it did for him.


 “After serving the world for 30 years, the space shuttle has found its place in history,” said Christopher Ferguson, the astronaut who commanded Atlantis’ final mission, by radio to mission control. “Wheels Stop.” The ship came to a stop at 5:58 a.m EDT, on July 21, 2011.


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