News from the Extreme Screen

News from the Extreme Screen

My job at COSI is the best – one of the parts of my job that I enjoy the most is working with COSI’s giant digital screen theater – The Extreme Screen Theater.

I have been working with the theater for the past eleven years and opening new films, meeting film makers and seeing guest reactions to the films never gets old.

Last weekend we opened two new films: Air Racers 3D and Meerkats 3D. Both films are really strong and should appeal to a wide range of people.

Air Racers 3D chronicles the fastest motor sport on the planet – the Reno National Championship Air Races held each September and follows Steve Hinton, Jr. the youngest pilot to win the air race. The film combines the antics of an air show, like stunt pilot Kent Pietsch flying his Jelly Belly sponsored plane and landing on the world’s smallest air strip mounted on a moving truck, with aviation history and the thrill of being in the cockpit during a race where the planes go over 500 miles per hour. The motto in this race is fly low, fly fast, turn left. The end race sequence is one of the most exciting giant screen film making I have seen (and I have seen a lot).

We had the film’s star Steve Hinton, Jr., and co-director, co-producer, and co-writer Christian Fry visit COSI last week for an opening event with Donors and Supporting Members. It was great to hear the behind-the-scenes stories and their passion for the sport. Steve has been around aviation his whole life and comes from an aviation family. His dad was a two-time Gold Unlimited National Champion at Reno and started taking Steve to the air field as a tot. Steve told a story about getting his pilot and drivers license on the same day when he turned 16 and how he almost didn’t pass the driver’s test but passed the pilot test with the proverbial flying colors. He shared his passion and dedication for the vintage airplanes he flies and how much he loves to fly. There were many kids in the audience who, now are thinking about earning their wings...

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Christian is also a pilot and flies a vintage 1948 Navion, originally owned by his grandfather as well as a documentary film maker and story teller. When he had the chance to go the Reno Air Races for the first time and see this incredible race, he asked around to see if a film had been made about it yet and found that the answer was no. A light bulb went off for Christian who began his quest to film the race and the incredible pilots. In 2009 he took a film crew to shoot the race and not knowing if Steve Hinton, Jr. would win or not, took the opportunity to get him in action at the races. Steve would go on to win the 2009 and 2010 races and Christian was there to film it.

After their screening at COSI, they went to the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force IMAX in Dayton, Ohio for two screenings and some time to meet and greet their guests before returning to California where they are both based.

I love having the chance to meet the people “behind” the giant screen films – they are passionate about the topics they cover, professional and truly approachable.

Air Racers 3D will be at COSI on our Extreme Screen daily through early November – see our theater page for showtimes.

Next week I’ll write about our other summer feature – Meerkats 3D!

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