ISR FAQ - Screenings, Perks, Releases
UPDATED November 2021
WINTER 2021 UPDATE:
Now that children's and booster vaccines are beginning to roll out and increasingly available around the world, we are finally resuming a push to restart the release of the film to help fund the completion of the fulldome version.
All of this comes after the film has been fully shutdown since March of 2020. It won't be fast as the pandemic is still ongoing but we feel enough options are available to begin the process of safely resuming screenings in selected venues and parts of the world.
Stay tuned for more as we re-start our social media and newsletter efforts.
ONE YEAR COVID UPDATE (March 12, 2021):
Today marks exactly 1 year since the film's release was totally shutdown to the global pandemic. It's been a difficult year for all of us and all of you. Our hearts go out to all those who've lost loved ones or suffered serious illness.
For us (producers Stephen & Marie van Vuuren), we are still healthy and locked down but we lost our two beloved cats last summer and Stephen lost his mom (to natural causes) in January.
As for the film, the film's distributor is in hibernation survival mode until widespread theatrical openings AND attendance resumes, most likely late this year or into 2022. Many other film, music, theater and other public arts are in the same boat.
Production on the native fulldome version of the film has stayed alive, although slowed way down due to loss of funds from ticket sales and volunteer render machines.
But we have survived and will continue to due so. The 8K native fulldome version will open next year, all things going well this year. We all can do our part to bring back arts and entertainment by getting vaccinating, wearing masks, and staying safe.
We look forward to sharing the film again all of you in the future. Thank you for still being there for us and we wish everyone a safe and healthy future.
on behalf of all the volunteers and supporters of the film,
Stephen & Marie van Vuuren PRODUCERS In Saturn's Rings
COVID-19 Update: We have been shut down since March 12th, 2020 at all venues. Currently, we are opposed to any indoor showings of the film unless they are in areas of near zero virus (e.g. New Zealand) or sell no concessions AND mandate masks at ALL times. AND they must not be in a red zone/hot spot/ surging area regardless of local policies. If NY Times/John Hopkins etc. show the area as surging, no screenings of any type.
Check here to see if and when any reopening will happen.
STREAMING UPDATE: We held two live streamings of the film on September 15th and 19th, 2020. If you missed those, subscribe to our newsletter and/or follow social media as we are considering holiday streaming events in November and or December 2020.
You have questions, we have answers...
The film is done - so what are you doing now? The initial version is done, but we have several other versions to render so work will continue until 2021. Plus we are working on getting more screenings.
When will the film screen near me? We wish we could say. The film's distributor is working very hard on this. We will announce booked screenings on our website and on social media. Feel free to look at lists of theaters here (US) and here (International) to request it. We are also looking into this site for setting up special event screenings.
When will the film be released in other formats to watch at home? This will take place after the theatrical release - read below about other releases of the various versions of the film.
When will the perks be sent out? We have a huge number of donors (thank you!!!), lots of different types of perks and lots of places around the world to send them too. Most (but not all) will have to wait until the film's versions are complete due to we cannot legally make discs of the film during theatrical. We are exploring an encrypted streaming option.
Giant screen and fulldome planetarium films roll-out very differently than other films. The bad news: it's slow. The good news: it lasts much, much longer than other films. Each theater is individually owned and often plays films for months or even years, so they are often booked up months or years in advance.
The native fulldome version won't finish rendering early 2021. Rendering on it could not start until the 4K DCI giant screen version was completed. Those screenings will start in 2021 (pandemic depending) and continue.
We understand how badly people want perks especially those who are getting copies of the film. But we can't start work on those until all the theatrical versions are completed and out the door. The native fulldome version, which is in 8K resolution, is a brutal render that requires all our computers here plus many volunteer's computers to complete by 2021.
Due to the delays in the fulldome version we hoped to get complete by summer of 2019, instead it will be released in the summer of 2020, we don't expert perks to ship until 2021 at the earliest.
Again, I realize that seems so far out, but remember that many of us having been working on the film, unpaid, full-time for 15+ years. It's been a labor of love and we want it be done right.
AND we are looking at secure technology to let donors stream the film soon and will have more to announce later.
OTHER FORMAT RELEASES
Retail/for purchase and rental DVDs, Blu-rays etc. as well as streaming will happen at some to-be-determined date (by the film's distributor) when it will no longer interfere/compete with theatrical screenings. Many giant screen and fulldome theaters will NOT book the film if we have it for sale/rent/stream. We will have these available as soon as this window closes but if the film does well, it could be 1 to 2 years down the road.
VERSIONS OF IN SATURN'S RINGS
The film has been released - but only in one of the several versions that it will release in. The creative work on the film is complete. The technical work required for outputting all the versions is not. Here are the versions possible:
4K DCI Widescreen Giant Screen version (completed, mastered, released): This is the version that is currently showing and more theaters will be announced soon.
4K 4:3 (Tall Screen) IMAX Laser version (complete, possible master and release pending). This version is also complete but not mastered by IMAX (it costs $50K to master picture and sound). We are waiting to see what IMAX Laser venues will book the film before mastering and releasing.
15/70mm 4:3 (Tall Screen) IMAX Film version (completed, master and release unlikely). There are still some IMAX film-based venues however their numbers shrink every month (less than 50 full-time worldwide today). It costs $250k to make a film print so many giant screen films can't afford to make prints nor can theaters to afford to print them. This is unfortunate. Those venues will go digital however, in the next 1 to 2 years, so we may screen at those venues then.
Native Fulldome (360 degree domes) version. (rendering now, mastering and release confirmed). This is the big one - there are only about 200 giant screen theaters worldwide, but over 7,000 fulldome screens. You will have a much better chance of seeing the film in fulldome but rendering will not complete until 2021 at earliest.
DVD/Blu-Ray (donor versions, incomplete). These are the non-retail perks versions of the film. There is much "behind the scenes material" to create that is not yet complete including some special bonus material that will NOT be on the retail versions.
DVD/Blu-Ray/Streaming (retail versions, incomplete). These versions won't be released until after the theatrical roll-out.