SXSW Review: Hubble 3D

By  · Published on March 14th, 2010

While much of Hollywood is still struggling to find balance amidst the wash of the 3D and IMAX explosion, there is an organization that has been making interesting and wonderful films on the giant-screen format for years. The folks at NASA. They’ve been aiding and abetting filmmakers for some time now, allowing them to being the vastness of space to the vastness of IMAX ever since the first IMAX theater was built. One could go as far as to say that IMAX, the format, was created to show this kind of thing. But with Hubble 3D, we’re quickly reminded that we haven’t seen anything yet.

In a big and beautiful way, director Toni Myers opens her film with the voice of Leonardo DiCaprio and a stark, brilliant shot of the Space Shuttle sitting ready on the launch pad. It is human achievement in its grandest form, a level of technological prowess that is beyond what many of us will ever be able to comprehend. The movie continues…

In addition to hitting us early with some brilliant imagery, Myers also beings to craft her narrative. The Hubble space telescope, one of the most famous pieces of equipment in the exploration of space and all its many wonders, needs one more big repair. And despite NASA having all but given up on the project, they will be making one last trip to make critical repairs. It’s going to be dangerous, it’s going to be difficult and it’s going to be captured in glorious IMAX.

The shots – as you might expect – are beautiful. And to her credit, Myers uses the 3D to enhance the depth of the experience. It’s a simple concept, but one that still seems lost on many filmmakers who are using 3D. This extra dimension is about adding depth, not making the spider nebula stick out at my face. For the record, the spider nebula sticking out at my face is also in Hubble 3D, and it’s awesome. Overall, it’s a fascinating story weaved into a narrative that moves and remains interesting for the film’s 43-minute run time. It’s a short film, but a fascinating one that contains breathtaking imagery. It’s as simple as that.

Neil Miller is the persistently-bearded Publisher of Film School Rejects, Nonfics, and One Perfect Shot. He's also the Executive Producer of the One Perfect Shot TV show (currently streaming on HBO Max) and the co-host of Trial By Content on The Ringer Podcast Network. He can be found on Twitter here: @rejects (He/Him)